The Dog Game Defined: Puppy Brokers

Dinglehopper was sold by Hunte Corporation to a Toronto pet store

Dinglehopper was sold by Hunte Corporation to a Toronto pet store

I’m working on a multi part series on definitions of common terms used in ‘the dog game’.

Today’s definition: Puppy Brokers (sometimes colloquially called ‘dog dealers’)

A puppy broker is someone who buys puppies, either individually or entire litters, and then re sells them at a marked up price. For example, a  broker might buy a puppy from a small town Penny Saver for $50, and then re sell it through their website for $350. At the height of demand for European bred French Bulldogs, some brokers were buying puppies in Eastern Europe for as little as $300, and re selling them for as much as $2,500. Being a broker can be a very lucrative business.

Brokers can be huge commercial outfits, like The Hunte Corporation.

Hunte is estimated to supply 80% of North American pet stores with their puppies (85,000 sold in one year alone). Hunte breeds no dogs of their own, but purchases them from primarily mid western commercial dog breeders, Missouri in particular. They then are vetted at their main facility, and shipped out across North America, to stores like PJ’s and Petland. The AKC, by the way, just loves Hunte Corporation. The CBC did a great expose on the pipeline that got a puppy named Dinglehopper from Missouri to Toronto, where he was purchased from PJ’s Pet Store.


Brokers can be shady, like the ones who buy up the puppies Hunte and other big commercial brokers don’t want.

These outfits buy ‘second class’ puppies, also known as “B” grade puppies, either directly from the breeders or sometimes through a contact at the big brokers. They then re sell these puppies through penny saver ads, or at flea markets, or from Walmart parking lots. Some of them have a new twist to this – they market their “B” grade puppies as ‘rescues’, charging ‘adoption fees’ higher than they could get at flea market, and with the ‘adopter’ having signed away any expectation of getting a healthy dog.


Brokers can be importers who buy foreign litter lots of puppies, mainly from Eastern Europe.

Since whelping costs are MUCH lower there, and puppy prices very low as well, import brokers can purchase an entire litter of puppies and then re sell them at inflated American prices. Some import brokers don’t import the puppies until they have ‘orders’ for them. Many of them have slick looking websites, some of which will make claims about “FCI” puppies being miraculously healthier than North American bred ones.


Brokers can be small, and claim to be ‘Finders Services’.

These people claim that they have a secret pipeline to all of the “most exclusive” breeders in North America – breeders that you, Joe Public, couldn’t possibly qualify to purchase a puppy from. Some of them offer all kinds of bells and whistles – they’ll hand carry the puppy to you, they will stay in your home for a week and do puppy ‘nanny’ duty. These places, generally run by just one or two people, will claim that they’re doing buyers a service by pre screening puppies and breeders, so you don’t have to.

Here’s what you need to know – NO reputable breeder will EVER knowingly sell a puppy to a broker of ANY sort.

A good breeder wants to meet you. Scratch that – a good breeder will INSIST on meeting you. They want to make sure you are a good home for the puppies they’ve raised and loved and looked after. They want all of your contact information. They want you to keep in touch, and send photos, and let us know if something goes wrong.

NO good breeder would ever turn a puppy over to strangers, to be sold to strangers. The very idea is repugnant. We need to know that our puppies are safe and loved and being cared for.

There is no ‘secret puppy pipeline’, like the “Finders Services” claim there is. They find puppies primarily by calling ads from the Penny Savers, or looking for local back yard breeders – the only kind of breeders willing or clueless enough to sell to them.

ANYONE can get a great puppy, from the best breeder in the world, if they’re willing to do their homework, and show some patience – and you don’t need a broker to be your middleman.

Meanwhile, in Ontario…Meet Mojo

An update on Mojo:

Thank you all for your support of Mojo.

Mojo has his first vet appointment today, where we’ll try to get an idea of just what sort of surgeries and care we’re looking at for him. We are also documenting his condition and his injuries, for potential cruelty charges.

We will keep everyone posted on his progress, but there is a limited amount of information we can release right now. Let me just say that, in all my time doing rescue, this is one of the worst things I’ve personally been involved in.

If you can, please donate to help us get Mojo the care he needs. His paypal link is here:

Also, if you’re in Southern Ontario and looking for a fun, healthy, happy adult male French Bulldog for adoption, why not check out Ulric? He was part of the cross Canada Rescue convoy I talked about a few weeks past.

What I’ve Learned from French Bulldog Rescue

Today’s photos from CFBR’s staging area

Some days, I can get cranky about the state of our fancy, and of the politics and bullshit that go on in French Bulldogs (or any other breed, really).

One more day of seeing all of those ads with Frenchie cross puppies for sale. One more email from someone bitching at me because their (free) listing on the French Bulldog Links site hasn’t shown up yet, and how dare I make them wait so long? One more email from someone whining that  I tossed them off of Frenchie Friends for spamming their puppies. One more phone call from someone complaining about our upcoming show – but not offering to help, of course – they’re BUSY, and don’t have time for trivial things like that.

Then, something like this week’s Chicago French Bulldog Rescue comes along, and all of sudden ALL of these people just jump in and offer the most amazing things.

Money, which is always needed and always awesome, but other things, too – things that take people’s time and efforts and selflessness.

Need someone to drive a dog across country? Sure, what’s a nine hour drive each way?

Pregnant girl needs a foster home? Not one, not two, not three, not four, but countless people offering to help.

C sections for pregnant bitches? TWO vets so far who have offered their services gratis.

More dogs than you had thought? Here, let me pay for ALL of them, and their vet care, too.

When Ema was sick, we even had two people offer to fly her in their private planes for her surgery.

On the days when you think “This just isn’t worth it”, miracles will happen that restore your faith in humanity, and that make you realize what a truly AWESOME community of breed lovers we really are.

If you’re part of that, then thank you.

And…. if you’re one of the bitchy whiners who never actually do anything, but sure do love to complain?

Screw you.

There are more of us than there are of you, and we will ALWAYS win, so take your negativity and go sulk someplace else.


CFBR Puppy Mill Rescue – Live Blogging

I’ll be updating this post throughout the day, as news comes in from Mary and her team. When we get photos, I’ll add them after the cut, so that the front page will load faster.

Chicago French Bulldog Rescue’s French Bulldog Puppy Mill Updates:

Donate to help cover the veterinary expenses of the rescued dogs and their unborn puppies – click here for the PayPal link. CFBR is a 501(c)3 Charity.


6:24 EST

Just spoke to Mary. She asked me to clarify that four of the ten Frenchies rescued by CFBR were paid for by an anonymous east coast donor, who will also be taking responsibility for their veterinary care and expenses. CFBR won’t be fostering them, as they’re heading for a veterinary facility on the east coast.

(English) Bulldog Rescue update: Mary said that Bulldog rescue, with the help of CFBR, got out: 3 10 day old puppies and their mother; one bitch who had just miscarried; several other puppies; several other Bulldogs which had gone unsold at a nearby puppy mill auction. CFBR is trasporting them to the Bulldog rescue staging area.

Mary says that they are enroute to their own staging area, and that they are fine for supplies. They have loads of towels and blankets, but trust me – anyone bringing coffee, donuts or snacks will be greeted with open arms 🙂

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that these dogs are in much better shape than we had feared. They are friendly and well fed, and seem to be refreshingly free of any immediately apparent health issues. They’ll be screened as soon as possible for heartworm or other parasites, and will be given whatever meds and parasite controls possibly (considering that half of them are pregnant).

I will post more updates in the morning as they come in. Mary tells me that they’ll probably be on the road until 1 am or so, after which she still has to get dogs settled, fed and exercised, and then check her mail and messages. So, if you’ve contacted her, be patient waiting for a response!

If you’ve contacted her offering to foster, she’ll attempt to reach you sometime in the morning.


4:14 PM EST

OK, facebook and blogosphere – I’m taking a break for an hour to play w my own puppies and to feed my dogs. I’ll check back in later w any news and updates. Happy Frenchie Freedom Friday! I vote that the girl who has her birthday today is named “Freedom” – how about you?


12:45 EST

Phone update from Mary.

For anyone who has been asking, this farm is DEFINITELY out of business. Everything is being sold today, including the farm property itself.  The owners are out of money, and stated that there was enough food left for the dogs for one more day.

Here are the totals of what Mary and her team were able to get, with your help:

They were able to purchase ten of the fifteen French Bulldogs for sale, four of which were paid for by an anonymous donor from the east coast, who will be looking after their vet care and other expenses.


Pregnant Female 1 – Fawn

Born 9/8/09, Due 04/17

Pregnant Female 2 – fawn and white

Born 11/2/06, Due 05/01

Pregnant Female 3 – brindle and white

Born 08/06/07, bred, not sure of due date

Pregnant Female 4 – NINE year old Cream

Born 09/23/02, due 04/26 (touted as having ‘lots of litters left in her’)

Pregnant Female 5 – EIGHT year old Cream

Born 07/03/03, Due March 15

Pregnant Female 6 – Fawn, barely one year old

One year old today, and due 03/08

Female 7 – fawn and white

Female 8 – white and fawn

Female 9 – brindle and white

Male – brindle and white


They aren’t sure yet how many Bulldogs made it out, as the sale was still going on as Mary and I were speaking. Mary says that the other buyers were Amish, and that they are PISSED that Mary’s team got the pregnant girls out.

URGENT – this is WAY more pregnant females than was expected. Experienced breeder foster homes willing to whelp and rear litters are desperately needed. Please contact Mary at if you can help. C Section and vetting costs are going to be astronomical, so please donate if you can.


9:42 AM (20 minutes ago)

Mary just checked in and the caravan is approx 20 minutes from the auction site. Cell phones are spotty at best down there in the mountains! Everyone, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers that they get all of the Frenchies OUT and they themselves are safe!


Update: 3:06 pm

First photos – after the cut.

Read more

French Bulldog Puppy Mill Rescue – Live Blogging Friday

Ginger, a French Bulldog helped through rescue

This is Ginger - another puppy mill rescue. Her full story is coming on Monday. This is Ginger AFTER gaining weight, by the way.


Just a quick update that, thanks to some dedicated Chicago French Bulldog Rescue volunteers, I’m going to be live blogging as much of Friday’s puppy mill rescue efforts as possible.

No updates will be possible from the auction itself (and there are police on hand to make sure of that, which is pretty much the height of irony), but as soon as the auction is done, and from the staging areas onwards, we’ll be getting you news just as soon as we possibly can.

Check in through out the day on Friday, for news as soon as we have it, including photos and video.

These Frenchies are going to need a LOT of veterinary attention, so please – continue spreading the word and encouraging people to give. Once they’re out of the puppy mill, the real job of ‘rescuing’ them will just be starting!