Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Montana ES. No, Really.

All of our cell phones are screaming for batteries, but at long last NESR will be on the ground in Billings, Montana to contribute our resources and expertise to the evaluation and rehabilitation of the growing number of English shepherds being held as evidence in the cruelty case against Linda Kapsa.

Growing number?

Yep. There are puppies. And more on the way. My guess is, every female who has been in season in the last two months is pregnant. That would be about a third of them. Thirty bitches?

Just for a population perspective, the English Shepherd Club Registry recorded twenty-nine litters anywhere in 2008. (There will probably be a few more litters registered that were born in December.)

Ms. Kapsa was not, needless to say, registering her litters or her adult dogs with us.

And not every breeder does. Some use one of the commercial registries. Some don't register litters, and some don't register dogs at all. Still ...

When we heard "two hundred," we were first incredulous. That is, by seat-of-the-pants estimates, around 5% of the world population of these dogs.

Ms. Kapsa started with, we think, eight foundation dogs about five years ago.

Only half those foundation dogs were female.

And in five years, while selling puppies to anyone naive enough to lay out $650 to some stranger on the interwebz for a "quality" puppy, while dogs died of doG-knows-what and rotted in the yard -- in five years she got to 200 English shepherds. In another two months -- 300?

Talk about hitting critical mass.

I will be arriving in Billings Monday afternoon, and hope to be able to update in this space during the time I spend there.

Meanwhile, a slide show

That good looking fellow at the top is Teddy, my foster dog from the spring of 2007. He was another death-row ES. Teddy is a happy, gentle, uncomplicated soul.


  1. Thank you! I really hope you'll be able to give us some substantive updates. Since Jill posted, I've been trying to follow comments on the Billings Gazette, but the conversation seems to have devolved into old resentments about local shelter politics.

  2. Thank you for coming here to Billings to help - it is good to know that English Shepherd Rescue is involved along with all of the volunteers from Billings.

  3. As one of the idiots who purchased one of the English Shepherd puppies via the Internet, I am sorry for unwittingly funding a puppy mill. I am happy to report that the puppy is now two, is a wonderful dog and is a much loved member of our family. Keep up the good work!


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