As evidence of just how commoditized the dogs were, Meadows said, many vendors decide it's not worth it to cart their unsold dogs back home after the event.
"We found out that a lot of the dogs - if they don't sell - they're abandoned after the sale," she said, noting that animals were often found wandering around the site after the flea market was over. "Because we requested police reports from after the sale."
The conditions were similarly brutal for the other animals at the fairgrounds, where livestock as well as pets are sold. It was particularly bad for the chickens and other birds, who were packed tightly into cages with no room to turn around.
"In one cage it was so horrible," she added. "One of the chickens was in a corner and had no way to get away and the other chicken was cannibalizing it. It was plucking bloody pieces from its back, but there was nowhere for the other chicken to go."