Written by PETA
No dog guardian wants his or her best canine friend to come down with a debilitating, terminal illness. But when they buy a purebred dog, that’s what many dog guardians can expect.
Researchers at the University of Georgia looked at the causes of death for tens of thousands of dogs over two decades and discovered that certain diseases are more likely to afflict certain breeds. For example, they found that Bernese mountain dogs, bouviers des Flandres, boxers, golden retrievers, and Scottish terriers have extremely high mortality rates caused by cancer, while Chihuahuas, Doberman pinschers, fox terriers, Maltese, and Newfoundlands are plagued with deadly cardiovascular disease. This is in addition to the defects that were already known to afflict specific breeds, such as hip dysplasia in German shepherds, spinal disc disease in dachshunds, and epilepsy in beagles.
So, when people pay breeders and pet stores to churn out purebred puppies, who are often the product of inbreeding, they could be sentencing additional dogs to a lifetime of chronic illness and an early death.
That's not to say that mutts don't get sick, but their more diverse genetic makeup lowers the chances that they will suffer from the inherited ailments that often befall purebred dogs. When you adopt a homeless mutt, you not only save a life but also help lessen the demand for more purebred puppies, who may suffer from chronic, painful, and ultimately lethal illnesses.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
People visiting Birmingham, England, to attend the world's largest dog show, Crufts, now have something to think about, thanks to a provocative new PETA U.K. ad at a bus stop in town.
Dog shows like Crufts encourage people to breed and buy purebred dogs even in the face of the companion animal overpopulation crisis. Every time someone buys a dog from a breeder or pet store, a shelter dog loses a chance at a home. Making people realize this might make them squirm, but if it encourages someone to adopt an animal instead of buying, it saves a life.
And shelter mutts aren't the only ones in peril—widespread inbreeding ensures that many purebred dogs are plagued by painful and deadly health problems. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the U.K. dropped its support of Crufts, calling the breeding of deformed and disabled dogs "morally and ethically unjustifiable." Agreed.
San Francisco Animal Care and Control is so overrun with abandoned Chihuahuas that the dogs are being flown across the country by Virgin America to an animal shelter in New York. The little pups are traveling de primera clase in the main cabin, but they wouldn't have to make the journey at all if it weren't for people who acquire animals on a whim, only to discard them after they realize that they require more than occasional pats on the head and doggie treats.
Celebrities like Paris Hilton, who portray "purse pups" as accessories instead of living beings who require a lifetime of care, are largely to blame, as are movies like Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which also cause a rush on the "dog of the moment."
Compounding the problem are the people who purchase puppies from breeders and pet stores (which usually obtain their dogs from puppy mills), instead of adopting any of the millions of dogs waiting in animal shelters for a home.
Hopefully, the media buzz created by the Chihuahua airlifts will inspire more people to give shelter dogs the buenas familias that they deserve.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
A survey conducted by the U.K.'s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that one in five purebred puppies purchased from a breeder was given up before his or her second birthday. Not only did many of these puppies end up in already crowded animal shelters, but 36 percent had health problems and 3 percent died.
Purebreds make up at least 25 percent of all animals in U.S. animal shelters, and virtually any breed can be found at a shelter or through a breed-specific rescue group. So there's no excuse for patronizing breeders, who profit from contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis. When you're ready to add a new a new member to your family, please remember the 4 to 6 million animals who are euthanized in animal shelters every year, and consider opening your home to one—or two!
Every year, following the broadcast of the Westminster Dog Show, breeders and pet shops do big business, which leads to more breeding—and to an overpopulation crisis that costs millions of animals their lives each year. That's why the always fabulous Jane Lynch, one of the stars of the Fox hit Glee, sent an urgent letter to the USA Network, which airs Westminster, asking it to run a darkly humorous PETA ad that asks the provocative question, "If you buy a dog, what will you do with the shelter dog you kill?"
"Although I played an ambitious dog trainer in Best in Show, in real life I wouldn't go near the Westminster Dog Show," Jane writes. "That's why I'm asking the USA Network to please air PETA's 'Everyday Dogs' public service announcement (PSA) during your Westminster coverage so that viewers will know the real consequences of buying animals rather than adopting from shelters."
If a dog show is coming to your community, get the word out about the deadly side of breeding and pet stores and the importance of animal birth control, just like a group of concerned folks did outside the Golden Gate Kennel Club show in San Francisco over the weekend. Let's all keep it up, for the love of dog!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Here's yet another good reason to give breeders a wide berth and adopt a mutt: Some of the most common breeds of dog are the most prone to cancer, if you go by claims filed with the companion animal insurance company Trupanion. Boxers rank first on the cancer scale, followed by German shepherds, golden retrievers, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers.
Many other health problems plague "purebreds," including crippling hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, epilepsy, difficulty breathing (in pugs, bulldogs, and other breeds with unnaturally short noses), and screamingly painful disc disease (common in dachshunds, who have long spines). Breeders' common practices of mating dogs who are related and breeding dogs for specific, distorted physical features are to blame. We can lessen our chance of losing a beloved companion too early (and save a life!) by adopting a hardy Heinz 57.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
OK, we confess. Our area of expertise is registration papers for dogs. And dogs shouldn't need documentation to have a place in our homes and communities. That's the point we're making by displaying our new billboards in the Copper State in the wake of the controversial anti-immigration measure there—though it could apply anywhere else in the good ol' USA.
You know the kind of papers we mean: The ones that the AKC gives out to prove that a dog has "pure bloodlines." Every year, breeders produce more and more purebreds even as millions of wonderful, healthy, loving animals must be euthanized in animal shelters because there aren't enough homes for but the tiniest fraction of them. We hope that you will join us in decrying registration papers for dogs!
Written by Jeff Mackey
And, this week's 10% Wool "Tag and Release" winner is ... Beth Ann! Congratulations.
Don't forget to check out the archive of past 10% Wool comic strips here. Get more information on the series and the writer here, and learn how to get Jeff's other comic, DeFlocked, into your local paper here.
When she was found running loose in the streets of Clear Lake, California, the newly crowned "World's Ugliest Dog," Princess Abby, was suffering from a variety of ailments, including malnutrition, parasite infestation, and dental disease—but her worst problems were likely caused entirely by humans. Celebrity vet Karen "Doc" Halligan, one of the judges of the contest, says the Chihuahua's freakishly curved back (caused by hind legs that are nearly twice as long as the front ones), mismatched ears, and missing left eye may be because of inbreeding. "She's a poster child to spay and neuter your pets," Halligan said.
One might add that Princess Abby and other previous "World's Ugliest Dog" contestants such as the one pictured here are also poster children for refusing to patronize pet shops—which are notorious for being fronts for puppy mills (i.e., Inbreeding Central)—as well as "hobby" breeders, whose purebred pups are also prone to genetic defects.
Abby's defects may make her less than beautiful in some people's eyes, but the truly ugly ones are the people who churn out puppies just to make a buck.
Written by Alisa Mullins
In case anyone needed another reason never to spend a cent at Petland or other stores that sell live animals, Animal Planet is airing a special report tonight showing how puppies suffer even before they end up in Petland stores. According to Animal Planet, an investigation of puppy mills that supply animals to Petland uncovered "more than 140 dogs housed in chicken-wire kennels, water bowls encrusted with mold and containing green water, … and one breeder's confession that she kills healthy dogs because of their less-than-stellar looks."
This appalling cruelty is business as usual at the hellholes that supply animals to Petland. At Sun Pet Ltd., a PETA undercover investigator recently found that animals were crammed en masse into tubs and that a worker bashed hamsters against a table in an attempt to kill them, among other horrors. At U.S. Global Exotics, another Petland supplier, PETA's investigator found that hundreds of thousands of animals were cruelly confined for days or weeks in pillowcases, shipping boxes, or soda bottles and that sick and injured animals were left in freezers to slowly die.
The only reason why animals continue to suffer for Petland and other stores is that people continue to buy them, so let's all get our friends and families to watch this important exposé with us on Animal Planet tonight at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT!
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.