In October 2013, Keeshond rescuers in the U.S. were contacted by John, a volunteer,
in Binghamton, New York. John indicated he was working with a long-time dog
breeder, Marjorie Ingraham, who wanted to retire from breeding and needed help to
place her dogs.
Mrs. Ingraham was a high volume breeder of Keeshonden and other breeds for nearly
40 years. At the time, she had over 100 Keeshonden in need of rehoming.
We in the Keeshond community stepped up to the task. After Mrs. Ingraham signed a
release form to Suncoast Keeshond Rescue, we went to work for all of the dogs at
Marjorie’s Kennel. We provided funding for transportation, veterinary care, supplies,
and whatever was necessary for 60 Keeshonden that Mrs. Ingram released between
November 2013 and March 2014.
What We Found
36 dogs with Giardia
21 dogs with Coccidia
55 dogs with roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and/or
12 dogs with bacterial infections
11 dogs with fungal or yeast infections
2 dogs with demodectic mange
3 dogs with systemic bacterial infections
27 dogs with bite wounds
2 dogs with frostbite injuries
4 dogs with untreated torn cranial cruciate ligaments and severe
41 dogs with patellar luxation of grades 1-4
29 dogs with abscesses
2 dogs with hip dysplasia
2 dogs with malformed limbs or patellar fusion
1 dog with mammary cancer
1 puppy with a large burn
2 dogs with sarcoptic mange
60 dogs frightened of human beings and completely unsocialized.
The Dogs Were Transformed
With Help from their Foster and Adoptive Parents
Sapphire was mauled at Marjorie’s Kennel and had mange, other skin
issues, and a heart murmur, in addition to her bite injuries. After a couple of
months of fantastic vet care at a clinic owned by one of her heroic
volunteers, she was ready to go to her forever home, even though she still
needed special care
Sapphire slowly recovered from her skin issues, discovered new adventures
walking with her parents, playing in her backyard, and going to doggy
Sapphire has completed obedience class and loves one-on-one play with
With the fantastic care of her loving parents, her tolerant older Keeshond
brother, and her amazing spirit, Sapphire has gone through an inspiring
On Dec. 21, 2013, it was this tiny girl’s turn to be rescued from THE HORRID PLACE. She stank to high
heaven. She shrank from any human touch, curling her feet tightly into her body, curling her body into a
tight ball, probably praying that she would be overlooked. But she wasn’t…and on that blessed day, F17
was crated in the transporter’s van with several other terrified dogs. She got her first taste of dehydrated
chicken. She was named Noelle.
Noelle spent months struggling to get over serious intestinal issues and trying to avoid nearly all human
In June the breakthrough started, she bonded with a foster mom and her 3 Kees siblings. She learned to
go on walks, play in her wading pool, and play touch me.
Noelle loves soft things. She will quietly steal toys, socks, tea towels and put them in her bed.
Noelle will now approach every person she meets and expect to be touched. You should see
the look on her face if they walk by her! She loves to meet other dogs.
In September, Noelle moved to Nova Scotia to her forever home, where she lives happily with
her Keeshond sister and her parents
Sherman started his trip to his new life on February 14, 2013. He and 5 of his kennel mates
took a 5 day trip from New York to Seattle . His mom said her heart broke seeing the
vacant, frightened stare in each of the dog’s eyes.
He had a matted coat and yellow spots on his fur from urine. This was the first of many
baths it took to neutralize the odor. We were told that the rancid smell was from a poor
diet and that would it improve with a good quality food. It took several weeks before the
Sherman did not stand straight but went around the yard with his hind quarters at a slant.
His patellas were weak, which made his hind legs appear unstable.
Sherman progressed in his foster home and was adopted in March.
Then came Sherman’s Horrible Awful No Good Day when a wind storm blew the gate
open and Sherman ran. Thankfully, the Keeshond community and the town, after several
harrowing days on the run, Sherman was rescued for a second time.
Sherman returned to his original foster home, where he is thriving. He has been adopted
by his foster parents. He plays often with the other dogs from Marjorie’s Kennel that live in
Seattle at Camp Fuzzy Butt. He is starting on training to be a therapy dog.
In May, Sherman had to have one of his toes amputated, as he had suffered from frostbite
living outdoors and unprotected while at Marjorie’s Kennel.
Sherman and his extended family entertain us regularly with Talking Pet videos describing
When Kirby arrived at his home in January, his new home said, “I realized how bad he
was, how scared he was, how sad he was, and how sick he was. He was like a feral
animal. Just terrified of everyone and anything. I approached him and he ran away
in fear. His tail made me cry, it was tucked up under his body so tightly.”
Kirby had a tough 6 weeks, but his family (human and Kees) rallied to help him. His fur
family taught him to play and acted as his security blanket. His parents took him on a
series of adventures, starting small and getting him used to new things. In March,
Kirby let strangers pet him at a local Pet Expo.
On his eighth weekend at his new home, he went on a trip to the family beach
house. His first day in a different house was good, and he had his first lunch date. He
walked the harbor for hours listening to his Mom talk. After that day, it was if someone
stole the old Kirby and a new Kirby emerged! All of a sudden everything was great
with him. This was the first day he stayed with the family all day, sat on my lap, and
wagged his tail when I so much as looked at him.
He now loves the world, is joyful and happy, and is a wonderful companion to the
Marjorie Went Back on Her
Agreement in March 2014
Marjorie refused to release any more dogs, even though she continued to fail
or barely pass the inspections by the New York Department of Agriculture.
Even though she had agreed to release all of the dogs, retire and stop
breeding, more than 50 dogs remained at the kennel.
We tried for months to get Mrs. Ingraham to honor her commitment and
her signed release. We asked her to honor her word, retire from breeding
and release the Keeshonden to us as she had promised.
Our efforts fell on hardened ears. Mrs. Ingraham has again begun to breed
Keeshonden. She is now adamantly opposed to releasing or even selling
any of the more than 40 adult Keeshonden still suffering at her kennel.
However, she is breeding and selling puppies.
We Went Public
On July 8, 2014, our efforts became public for everyone, everywhere to know. We began with a
campaign geared toward the leaders of New York state government, asking them to enforce their own
We are writing letters, mailing them, emailing them, faxing them. We are making phone calls. We are
tweeting. We are utilizing social media and traditional media. We have called on people everywhere,
throughout the world, to help us, to sign our petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo, of New York, to hear
the cries of the Keeshonden still imprisoned at the puppy mill known as Marjorie’s Kennel.
We have contacted news organizations, written articles, conducted interviews. We have contacted
others in the state of New York who are working to eliminate puppy mills, helping to formulate legislation,
trying to make a difference in the lives of animals in New York. We are seeking help from all media
sources to make the public aware of the plight of our Kees stranded in Marjorie’s Kennel.
We have asked for historical information from the New York Department of Agriculture regarding their
kennel inspections. Since we know the dogs that have come from Marjorie’s Kennel, we have many
questions regarding how this kennel remains in business, operating under New York laws, and still remains
in compliance, or barely outside compliance. The Department of Agriculture has not been cooperative
about providing information that is supposedly available to the public by law. We will not allow this lack
of cooperation to go unnoticed.
We have learned through this past year that people have purposefully been untruthful to us, have
diverted questions, have said what they felt we wanted to hear, in order to get us to cooperate with the
plans that they have had, which is to keep Marjorie’s Kennel in business. That has not been and never will
be our desire. Our goal, our mission, from the very first day has been to rescue all of the dogs imprisoned
at the puppy mill known as Marjorie’s Kennel.
Our Continuing Mission
WE, the worldwide Keeshond community, will NOT be deterred from our
mission. We will not retreat, no matter the roadblocks, the stone walls, the
lies, the attempted manipulations.
We are united in our commitment; we are dedicated to our goal; we have
promised the dogs at Marjorie’s Kennel that they are not forgotten. We
have heard their voices; we have heard their cries. Their brothers and sisters
who are free and in recovery will not allow us to stop our efforts.
We are coming. We will not fail you.
Links to other Info on Free the Kees
http://issuu.com/dognews/docs/072514/103?e=1543084%2F8792306 (begins on p. 102)