A different kind of rescue…….

February 25th, 2009 - 2:02 pm KY Time

Howllo Fellow Basset Hound and Rescue Lovers:

Chaps, as most of you know, came from a large breeding operation in TX called BoBac Bassets. Large operations like this breed many, many dogs for the show dog circut. I really did not understand all of the inner workings of this industry until much later.

I look back now and realize that many, many x-show dogs need rescuing as well. After their show career is over at a young age the breeders need to find homes for them. Larger operations like the one Chaps and Emma came from cannot possibly keep all of the dogs they breed.

Of course I don’t mean rescue in the true definition of the word, but I sure feel like I rescued Chaps.

The x-show dogs are fed, safe and mostly in clean environments. I have only had first hand experience with one of these operations so I cannot comment on other show dog facilities. I do see some of these x-show hounds listed on the internet and on the show kennel websites up for adoption.

I would love to hear from you in the comment section if you have a similar or different story of your adoption/rescue of an x-show hound or if you are a breeder and can add to this topic. I think it is a topic that is not discussed very much.

Some of the male dogs at these show kennels can be lonely and isolated because every dog is intact. The females can all play together but the males are relegated to their runs. For the most part the males don’t get along with each other for 1 main reason.

1.) The breeders don’t need many males and one of the girls is always in heat so the boys will fight for her attention.

When I picked up Chaps and I saw how he lived it made me sad.


He had a bath matt that he slept on and that was it. See that red heart toy? It was sent by me the week before I drove from KY to TX to get him and Emma. I asked what was his favorite type of toy and the reply was, “I don’t think he has ever had a toy?”
Say what?

I totally understand why Chaps is so protective of me, his home, Emma, and his family. Can you imagine being a male dog coming from such a stressful situation where all the females are either coming into heat, in heat, or just finishing heat? Chaps was a nervous wreck.

So, my dear readers that is why I say, there are different kinds of rescue. My older sister always says that I rescued an x-show dog. I totally get that now.

More stories later………Love Cat, Chaps and Emma


  1. MaureenandSlinky
    February 25th, 2009 | 2:42 pm

    That is so sad, especially when you consider Bassets have such friendly loving personalities. Everyone suffers from such a structure. The Basset and the Owner.

  2. February 25th, 2009 | 2:56 pm

    How sad. I am so glad you rescued the Mayor and Emma. You’d think breeders would have more compassion, but i guess it’s all about the money.

  3. February 25th, 2009 | 4:26 pm

    I find it odd that this topic is never really discussed. I guess the drool is mostly rescue people. Also, I think that breeders like BoBac don’t want people to know just how many dogs they have and what the turn over is. The really sad thing is breeders like this are spreading disease like glaucoma.

  4. February 25th, 2009 | 4:37 pm

    My Melba Toast was a CH. x-show girl. She came from a good breeder and was very much loved. I am lucky because I know so many really good breeders that do treat their dogs like family. Taco Bells (atb) breeders have all their dogs in the house and have area’s for the boys and the girls when one is in heat. they do such a great job!! i have been to their home and saw how they do things. I would have to say the breeders i know are all on the smaller side with only around 10 dogs in the home and show some and some are x show. the sad thig is for every breeder like the ones i know there are three that are like the place that Chaps came from and yes you did rescue him and gave him a “life” and a darn good one at that!!
    love hugs and belly rubs

  5. February 25th, 2009 | 4:49 pm

    Hey Sandy! Thanks for the great update. I love hearing that. That makes sense about the smaller breeders versus some of the larger ones.

    Even after Emma lost her first eye to primary (inherited) glaucoma, they bred her parents again. I could not believe my eyes.

    These breeders have 2 massive out buildings housing all of the bassets and I heard that a few years ago they added another huge out building.

    That’s a whole lotta puppies.

  6. Sandi
    February 25th, 2009 | 5:44 pm

    As a breeder, I have to say that our dogs are all house dogs and live as pets first and show dogs second. We do not place our retired show dogs in adoptive homes — we are their forever homes. When we breed, we go into the breeding prepared to keep each and every puppy if we should need to. When we place a puppy, we are prepared to take that puppy back if the need should ever arise during their entire lifetime.
    I have five intact males living together in my home. Yes, sometimes we have to separate someone who is having a *testosterone incident* but nonetheless, they are all house dogs, well cared for and well loved. Don’t paint all breeders with the same brush.

  7. February 25th, 2009 | 7:37 pm

    Sandi – I specifically did not paint all breeders with the same brush. I made a point of saying I only have one experience and that is why I asked for comments from others who may shed some light.

    Thank you for yours. I am really glad to hear that your program is so much different than what I experienced. I am sure others who read this will really enjoy your feed back. Sounds like you do a great job. Again, thanks for commenting.


  8. Lana
    February 25th, 2009 | 8:08 pm

    This is off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows why there are never any litter announcements on the BHCA website?

    Also, I see a rescue page on their site but not all of the rescues are listed. Does anyone know why?

    Then there is this statement that is the first thing you see when you click on rescue.

    “While BHCA does not engage in basset rescue activities, there are basset hound rescue groups around the country working to find homes for homeless bassets. The groups whose links can be found on this website are supportive of our efforts to promote ethical practices in basset hound rescue.”

    I know of lots of other basset rescues that promote ethical practices that are not on their list.

    The BHCA says that they do not engage in basset rescue activities. They make it sound like it a nasty activity. They do not engage?

    I heard on your radio show that you were going to start a forum. When you do I can put my questions on there.

    Sorry to clog up your comments. Lana

  9. February 25th, 2009 | 8:12 pm

    I have rescued two dogs from breeders. Most recently, that rescue was Nell (our Sussex Spaniel). The first was a beautiful collie that was “retired” from the show ring and only gave her breeder one puppy (she nearly died giving birth). When I contacted the breeders looking for adult dogs in need of retirement homes, I had no idea that I was rescuing the dogs until I got them home. You can read their stories and see pictures by clicking my name (Lolly’s picture is at the bottom, but her story is in there as well).

  10. February 25th, 2009 | 8:16 pm

    PS – I will say that the breeder we got Sophie from (our basset), takes incredible care of all of her dogs. When her adults retire from show and/or breeding, she finds them well-screened retirement homes, or they stay with her family. They are beautiful dogs and enjoy the couches and all the other amenities of their home.

  11. Glenn,Charlene,Clancy &Baiey
    February 25th, 2009 | 9:43 pm

    If you are a small breeder and start out with two dogs, and keep two puppies for show, you will have 4 dogs the first year. If you breed again next year( I guess that’s what a small breeder would do, is to breed only once a year) you would have 6 dogs, in three years you would have 8 dogs in four years, 10 in 5, 12 in 6, 14 in 8, 16 in 10. That is a lot of dogs to feed, clean, brush teeth, clean ears,take to the vet, to play with and love. As you know Bassets are a very high maintance dog. I know because we have owned bassets for the last twenty years.

    Showing dogs is a big ugly business. The only reason a dog is a show dog is where the owner can get more money for breeding. If you breed your own puppies and take them to shows for fun, you are one of a very few.

  12. Sandi
    February 25th, 2009 | 10:26 pm

    Most small breeders don’t breed their dogs once a year. Your projection of number of dogs is also inaccurate because responsible breeders don’t breed their dogs until they are about 3 years old and are finished champions. Also, the cost of raising a litter of puppies is very high if it is done correctly. At this point, we are still in the red financially. We have been breeding for 16 years. We have a total of 8 dogs ranging from age 10 to 1. No dogs that we have kept have been rehomed after retiring from the show ring. We breed, raise, and show our own dogs. Go to a dog show — most of the exhibitors are small breeders — and we show our own dogs for fun, not profit.

  13. February 25th, 2009 | 10:53 pm

    Sandi –

    I think the word responsible is subjective. It is a self appointed title. Even if you belong to the Breed Club there is no way they can keep up with all of the members and what they are doing.

    I have been to a lot of dog shows. How do you know that most of the breeders are small? I was just wondering.


  14. Sandi
    February 25th, 2009 | 11:07 pm

    The word responsible is subjective and you are correct that BHCA cannot be sure of what all members’ practices are. I don’t think that the term *responsible breeder* is self-appointed however because there are some hallmarks of responsible breeding that are generally recognized including spay/neuter of pets sold, taking back dogs of their breeding that need to be rehomed, appropriate medical screening/testing, contracts with puppy buyers, quality of care, breeding practices, involvement in rescue etc. I know most of the breeders personally at the shows I go to and many throughout the country. I am actively involved in a local breed club and rescue. Yes, there are large scale breeders with huge kennels and lots of dogs. They collectively have more dogs than the small breeders have collectively but they don’t *out-number* the small breeders who show their own dogs. I would be happy to give you more information personally.

  15. February 25th, 2009 | 11:44 pm


    I just wanted to respond to some of your points for a responsible breeder and how it relates to my experience only. That is what my blog posting was about.

    As mentioned above in the comment by Lana, the BHCA states on their website that they do not engage in basset hound rescue. I think that is irresponsible and very sad. The only reason I mention that is because you noted it as a point.

    Breeding practices cannot be monitored. We already talked about that.

    Medical screening and testing is very broad.

    My puppy had medical screening and testing and I was told she was healthy. Her eye doctor told me her bilateral eye test was abnormal from birth. She was pre-pre disposed for primary, closed angle glaucoma. A responsible breeder would have known and disclosed that.

    Of course there is a contract because significant money is changing hands. I know for small breeders this does not pay the bills. I do a huge amount of rescue and I know what the bills cost.

    Spay/neuter is also optional. Emma’s breeder did not want me to spay her because they thought they could talk me into showing her for them. They wanted to hire a handler and take her away from me for a year. I NEVER indicated that I was remotely interested in showing. They sprung that on me when I got to TX. They continued to pressure me not to spay her. It was not in the contract so I did the responsible thing and had her spayed.

    Quality of care is widely different. From the quality of care you give to what we don’t see.

    All I am saying is that what is considered responsible to some breeders might not be for others.

    I understand your passion and I am thrilled you have a wonderful responsible kennel.

    My experience with a so-called responsible breeder was nothing of the sort of Hallmark you are talking about.

    My blog posting was about my experience. I welcome all comments from other folks and their experiences.

    Feel free to e-mail me anytime.

  16. kipandgus
    February 26th, 2009 | 8:07 am

    I am just happy Chappers found a wonderful loving home.
    Kip, Gus, Bonnie and Charlie Bear

  17. Cat, Chaps and Emma
    February 26th, 2009 | 6:31 pm

    Me too Kip.

    Chaps flourished in a loving family, just like most rescue dogs do.

    Thanks for you comment.


  18. Janette
    February 26th, 2009 | 7:00 pm

    Cat I had to say that I totally see where you are coming from. I also like Sandi and her love for our breed.

    I live in the UK and we are going through the Crufts thing right now. Have you heard about it? Here is an article:

    Ruff trade: A crisis for Crufts

    Crufts returns next week but there will be no TV coverage, no big-money sponsorship, and no support from the RSPCA. After six months of scandal that has left pedigree breeds branded genetic freaks, John Walsh asks if we can save our love affair with man’s best friend”

    Crufts Dog Show starts next week, on 5 March. “Crufts” it could almost be the name of one of those aristocratic-looking dogs that win rosettes every year. Heel, Crufts. Roll over, sir. Go to your basket. If Crufts were a dog, it would be a dignified English mastiff with a noble pedigree, standing four-square and alert in the judging arena, its coat glossy, its perfect muzzle trembling with intelligence. How proud Charles Cruft, who founded the world’s most important dog show in 1891, would be to see the high reputation in which his brainchild is held…

    Except that, unfortunately, it’s not. In the past six months, Crufts and all it stands for has suffered a series of blows. Its international reputation as a showcase of British dog-breeding genius has been holed below the waterline. Its owners since 1942, the Kennel Club of Great Britain, have become so beleaguered by the dog-loving public, the RSPCA and even its own members, it now resembles The Stag at Bay being savaged by (non-pedigree) dogs in Landseer’s etching. And in the wider world of dog-pampering, professional breeders are struggling to live down the accusation that they’re a race of cruel and thoughtless Nazis presiding over a genetic freak show of dumb animals.

    What happened to the British reputation as a nation of fond, doting dog-lovers? What has made some breeders turn round and savage the face of their presiding body? And can any combination of bone, Winalot and walkies make everyone Best Friends again?

    This is just the article that I found today. I always read your blog, just like a lot of basset hound lovers in the UK. Tea and BHT!

    I thought that you would find this interesting mate.

    Good work on the blog. Bright points like this are interesting.



  19. February 26th, 2009 | 7:20 pm

    Janette – I have heard about this. However, I am not smart enough to comment on it.

    What does this all mean? Maybe some of my readers will chime in.

    However, I do not get many comments. I would love to hear from your group.

    I would also love to sip tea with you guys! Thanks for commenting!


  20. Cat
    February 27th, 2009 | 5:03 pm

    I did just see this come across the wires Janette. It is about the same as what your article is about but a few more details.

    Judges at Crufts on high alert for dogs that show signs of poor health.

    Valerie Elliott, Countryside Editor

    Judges at Crufts next week are under orders to remove unhealthy animals as part of a campaign by the Kennel Club to save pedigree dog showing from extinction.

    The club was badly damaged when the BBC One documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed revealed in ther summer rearing methods that created dogs with diseases and deformities. The programme provoked a furore and led the BBC to scrap its coverage of the show after 42 years.

    This year, in an attempt to salvage its reputation, the Kennel Club has enlisted a team of 20 show monitors to scrutinise the judges’ decisions on breeds deemed to be at risk from health problems. Extra vets are also to attend the show.

    At a private briefing in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, Ronnie Irving, chairman of the club, told judges that they were now on the front line to ensure that dog shows and pedigree dogs survived the 21st century. He warned them that rewarding the health and welfare of dogs had to be paramount.
    Fourteen breeds are deemed to be at risk from health problems: basset hound, bloodhound, bulldog, chow chow, clumber spaniel, dogue de Bordeaux, French bulldog, German shepherd, mastiff, Neapolitan mastiff, pekingese, pug, St Bernard and shar-pei. The club has issued new breed standards.

    All the judges have been sent new rules on evaluating the dogs, and they will be briefed on potential pitfalls presented by each breed. They have been told to ban dogs if they shows signs of sickness such as lameness. They must also be alert to symptoms including shortness of breath, refusal to be handled, timidity or aggression. Any dog with features or symptoms that raise concerns will be examined by vets.

    Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, said: “We all think dog shows are under threat. There is a view among some animal welfare groups like the RSPCA that dog shows are bad. But if you don’t have dog shows what is the incentive for people to change the way they breed dogs?

    “We have to get across that showing dogs is about improving the health of dogs and ensuring they have a good temperament.”

    She acknowledged that a number of breed societies were angry about the new standards. “If they don’t accept new standards they will have to go their own way. The majority can’t be sacrificed to the minority.”

    Of the decision not to offer a Crufts press pass to Passionate Productions, which made the documentary, Ms Kisko said: “We see Crufts as a big celebration of dogs and we don’t want them there spoiling our day and I don’t think breed people would be pleased to see them there.”

    The Times has learnt that the three-year contract between the club and the BBC for future coverage was also ditched this week but too late to arrange highlights on a rival channel.

    A live webcast of the show, which opens next Thursday at the NEC in Birmingham, will go ahead. The Kennel Club is expecting about 160,000 visitors to see 28,000 dogs over the four days.

    CASE STUDY: Clumber spaniel

    A heavy responsibility

    The clumber spaniel, is among breeds deemed at risk from health problems.

    Many are overweight, because they are not used for their prime role as gundogs. Some have eye disorders because they have been bred with heavy skin above the eyes. Joan Hubbard, who has kept clumbers for 30 years, is judging the breed at Crufts and is under instruction to use the new standards to choose the best clumber. “I can only judge what is in front of me and if a dog is not fit, it should not be there,” she said.

    End of article…..Things are getting really serious.

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