I am sure your readers have
seen the stories about "Professional Handler" Tony Carter from Washington State,
on the way to Woofstock with 15 show dogs… stopping in Redding, CA and leaving
15 show dogs in his van unattended while he and his assistants went to get food
at In 'N Out Burger!
The van was stolen but
fortunately recovered… animals relatively unscathed (before temperatures climbed
the next day). However, this brings up a myriad of questions and concerns that I
believe must be addressed.
I am glad for the owners of these dogs. The outcome could have been far worse. I
have so many issues with this situation that I do not even know where to begin.
First of all, this "professional handler" showed incredibly poor judgement in
regards to the animals in his charge...show dogs whose owners expect nothing but
the utmost of care for their dogs while away from home.
To leave a vehicle running, with animals in it and no supervision is beyond
stupid. It is a total violation of rules and regulations for the transport of
Secondly, in looking at photos
inside the van and the manner in which the animals were being transported is
beyond belief. No rear AC, no insulation, crates too small for the dogs in them,
animals doubled up... I truly believe that the AKC and authorities need to
address this issue head on, and, at the very least level sanctions against this
handler. Others have suffered the consequences of their actions for far less.
Understand that this is what I do. I transport animals … for 35+ years, having
logged over 16,000 miles in the last 2 months! I have all the necessary
certifications for animal transport, the knowledge and experience to back it up.
Dare I say, a majority of handlers that transport their clients’ pets do not.
This is a wake-up call to everyone.
If you are going to take on the responsibility of caring for and transporting
peoples’ animals, whether for hire or not, you damn well better know the law, be
in compliance, have the knowledge and ability to provide the services you are
being hired for and the proper equipment to do so.
So, please do not make this dumb-ass out to be a victim… the only victims here
are the animals and their owners. Our "Community of Dog" is broad and full of
fabulous folk. Because of such people, calls were made and strings were pulled
to affect an immediate and broad search for this van full of show dogs. Had it
not been for the action of so many, the outcome would have been devastating.
Editor’s note: photo credit to Redding, CA police and other sources. One of our
staff asked “why are the crates not secured in case Carter had to slam on
brakes, or worse?” That prompted discussion so we’ve added COMMENT code and
would like your feedback. But first read Tony Carter and
explanation as received from one of our readers.
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