The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 23, 2006

Puppy withdrawn from auction amid breeder’s concerns

Some people are not sitting pretty with Abounding Grace Biblical Counseling Ministries’ original plan to auction a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy during its annual Sitting Pretty fund-raiser.

Pet lovers and dog breeders expressed concerns following a News & Eagle article about the fund-raiser in Wednesday’s paper.

Abounding Grace biblical counselor Julie Davis and Sitting Pretty organizer Judy Vickers received many calls Wednesday and Thursday from people who considered it unethical to auction a puppy. News & Eagle readers outraged by the situation also posted comments online, citing health concerns about the breed.

“We respect their opinion,” Davis said. And, although both women disagree with the reasoning, they said they believe the controversy isn’t worth the flak and decided Thursday to withdraw the 10-week-old female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Jessica from Saturday’s fund-raiser.

“Due to some concerns, Abounding Grace Biblical Counseling Ministries has decided not to auction the puppy,” Davis said.

Allegedly the uproar over the puppy’s welfare began with Oklahoma City breeder Renee Bruns. Bruns said she believes it is unethical to put a puppy for auction and told the News & Eagle a responsible breeder never would do so. Bruns is a member of American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Central Oklahoma and registers her dogs with AKC (American Kennel Club) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club USA.

Vickers, who owns Jessica, the puppy in the middle of the dispute, said she is angered and saddened by Bruns’ accusations. Jessica is registered through ACA (American Canine Association), which Bruns called “a puppy mill registry.”

“We’re not a puppy mill,” said Vickers, who also owns two 2-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, one of which is Jessica’s sire. Vickers said she could have sold Jessica outright for a profit of $1,000, but she wanted to make a donation to Abounding Grace Biblical Counseling Ministries.

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