Written by Michelle Kretzer
pomp and pageantry of the Westminster
dog show is over. Many of the
dogs have been shipped back to their breeders after living in their
handlers' crates for years. Now, the females will be forced to bear litter
after litter of puppies, only to have them all taken away to be sold. Every
year following Westminster, there is a rush to buy dogs of the winning breed and other "designer
dogs" who appeared on the
screen. And breeders and pet
stores are happy to oblige,
taking as many orders as they can get and raking in money hand over fist.
an industry in which dogs are viewed as commodities, their health and
well-being matter less than the bottom line. To minimize expenses, breeders and
puppy mills commonly warehouse breeder
dogs in tiny, filthy cages; deny them veterinary care; and repeatedly get them pregnant,
until the dogs can no longer produce puppies—at which point, they are often
auctioned off, discarded at shelters, or killed.
this month, in yet another horror story, authorities raided a breeder and dog-show judge's home
and found 38 dogs
living in small crates that were caked with feces and fur. The cages were piled
on top of one another in the dark basement, and a radio blared to drown out the
sound of barking. Many of the dogs were malnourished and suffering from eye
diseases and severe periodontal disease. They were so sick that 13 of them had
to be euthanized immediately.
People who buy dogs
from breeders or pet stores keep these puppy pimps in business. They also kill a shelter dog's chance at a
home. Please, urge anyone you
know who is considering buying a dog to adopt instead.
You may recall the protesters who took
to the center ring at the Westminster
Kennel Club dog show a couple of years ago. Well, it happened again earlier
today just as the judge stepped up to announce which dog was "Best in Show."
Two animal advocates rushed toward the ring with signs reading, "Breeders
Kill Shelter Dogs' Chances"
and "Have a Heart: Adopt, Don't
The protesters' point? Members of the
Westminster Kennel Club continue to promote and breed "purebred"
dogs, while millions of
wonderful mixed-breed dogs die
in animal shelters every year simply because they don't have a home. Every
purebred litter takes homes away from other dogs waiting desperately in
shelters as well as increasing the homeless population because one-quarter of purebreds
will also be abandoned and end up in shelters.
As long as shelter dogs are dying for
lack of a good home, there is no such thing as a "responsible breeder."
Written by Jeff Mackey
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show may have gotten wind of
our plan to take over its Facebook page because the puppy pimps quickly shut
the page down. Were they afraid that people would learn exactly how the annual
spectacle's shameless promotion of purebred dogs encourages people to support
breeding and deters many
from adopting wonderful mixed-breed dogs
from animal shelters? Yep, I'd say that was it.
Never ones to be easily silenced, we've created an album of
beautiful mixed-breed dogs on our own Facebook page
that everyone can share to spread the message that rescued dogs rock.
Given America's reputation as a melting pot, there's
something very off-kilter, elitist, and, well, un-American about Westminster's relentless pushing of purebreds.
Millions of American mutts die in our nation's crowded pounds and animal shelters
every year because of a lack of good homes—even though they're every bit as gorgeous,
sweet, and loyal as (and generally healthier than)
their purebred cousins.
If you're the proud guardian of a Great American Mutt,
we hope you'll tell the world about it by sharing photos of your best bud and
these other American originals on Facebook. And if you're considering adding a
dog to your household, please think "mutt." Like the guardians of these stars,
you'll be glad you did!
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
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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.