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Child Pageant Plans Illegal Puppy Giveaway

Written by PETA | November 18, 2010
petrusia1/CC by 2.0

UPDATE: As a result of PETA’s complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (DOA), the office of Susan West, director of the DOA’s Dog Law Enforcement Bureau, has advised Heavenly Angels and Dreamland Divas Director Grace James that the planned puppy giveaway is a violation of Pennsylvania law and has assured PETA that puppies will not be given away as prizes.

Just when you thought kiddie beauty pageants couldn’t get any creepier, PETA has learned that children’s beauty-pageant company Heavenly Angels and Dreamland Divas is planning to give away free puppies as prizes to the winners of a competition in Pennsylvania next weekend. Hello? How out of touch are these people?

Giving away live animals as prizes is against Pennsylvania law, and for good reason. Puppies need constant attention, expensive veterinary care, patient and gentle guidance, and someone who will commit to caring for them for life. Not every family is willing or able to do this (let alone those who are busy traveling to pageants), and puppies who end up with people who never really wanted them are often turned over to shelters, passed along to anyone who will take them, chained up in a backyard, or even abandoned on the street.

Let’s remind the pageant’s director to comply with Pennsylvania law—which the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture itself has advised pageant officials on—and cancel plans to give away animals as prizes.

Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post

Commenting is closed.
  • Susan says:

    First of all….animals are NOT PRIZES. Second… these “pageants” are stupid and exploitative of children and should be outlawed as well. Let kids be kids and stop dressing them up like little whores. Since they’ll never outlaw these pedophile pleasing pageants, STOP GIVING AWAY ANIMALS.

  • Adrienne says:

    Being that you are all SO far out of touch with how this really works, I expect many of the comments above. My daughter competes at pageants, of her OWN choosing, and we have won a kitten as a prize. We were given the OPTION of getting a cat before everythign started. Those that don’t WANT animals are given a CHOICE, that is what life is all about after all. I do not want a dog, therefore, I will not sign the LEGAL document vowing to take care of the animal offered. If you knew anything about the families that have taken puppies home, they are all spoiled and cherished members of the family. Further, the director is being wrongfully chastised. She is charged with irresponsibility, however, you didn’t mention the dozens of strays she takes in every year to help find permanent homes for. There are two sides to every story, and this article forgets to mention the hundreds of threatening emails that she received. Finally, we are all entitled to our beliefs, right or wrong. The Rev’s beliefs about pageants are far off base of what really goes on (MOST of these young ladies are top of their class, talented singers, and fierce athletes), but that’s a different argument for a different day.

  • jenn says:

    my opinion on the puppies being givin away is why would people take them if they didnt want them like i have heard before what is the difference if someone goes to a pet store to buy a puppy they dont do back ground checks there to buy one my daughter has been in heavenly angels since she was 9 months old and she will soon be 6 i dont see anything wronge with puppies going the girls that want the puppies

  • Betsey says:

    You have no idea what you are talking about. You don’t know anything about the Director and the great things she does for her community, people in need and yes animal shelters. You assume ALL pageants are bad and this one mistreats animals. That’s like saying ALL PETA people are crazy animal freaks. Yes some are but the majority of you are animal lovers that are concerned about the treatment of animals- just like the director of this pageant! So maybe you are against making children and families happy and proud to be pet owners—- it really doesn’t make sense when these same families can go to any pet store or breeder and just buy a puppy. Puppies are PURCHASED everyday by anyone…. Could be a loving family or sick people who use them for fighting or experiments etc. You never know. At least at this pageant the families want them and are willing to open up there homes and make them a part of their family. So don’t judge something you know nothing about. How many of you have been involved insomething that continually runs benefits for animal shelters, childrens hospitals and toys for tots and finds homes for animals on such a large scale ?

  • Wendy says:

    As the mother of a winner from the “creepy child pageant” and the winner of a puppy at said pageant I have to say that until you KNOW the facts you should not throw stones. Rather than blast this kind hearted person you should focus your EXTREME energies on people and programs that are ACTUALLY abusing animals. Not a single contestant or their families had puppies forced upon them and they have gone to loving, caring homes where they are given far more attention and care than the average house pet. My daughter won a puppy and as I type this he is cuddled with her on her bed. He has care from a loving vet, friends to play with, a large yard to stretch his legs and nutritious food. Until you know the true facts I suggest you refrain from your ridiculous letter writing campaign against this kind woman.

  • littlelamb3 says:

    I know Grace James and she screened everyone who adopted a puppy, even more so than shelters and pet stores. You also did not have to get one if your child won, you signed a contract saying yes or no. I resent people like you who claim you are concerned about animal welfare, because you obviously go after the wrong people. Personally, I think it is your hatred towards children’s pageants that made you post such nonsense. People who “hate” childrens pageants do not know a thing about them, so unless you investigate that, you need to keep your mouths shut. That woman who reported Grace obviously has some serious problems, as anyone can see on her facebook. I am all for animal rights, but please leave the people alone did nothing wrong and go after the ones that do.

  • Don't judge others says:

    I understand your concern but we live in a world where people judge others way too quickly. If you got to know Ms. Grace you would see that those ‘weirdos’ at her pageants also raise money and donated animal supplies for the SPCA; collected school supplies for families who couldn’t afford them; collected over 16,000 toys for Toys For Tots this winter; and also raised $3,000 to help a 9 year old participate who suddenly lost her mother. All within four months. People are people and just like the animals you strive to protect, they deserve respect as well even if they are different from you.

  • molly gogun says:


  • Jill says:

    Dear JayM: CONGRATS! It’s about time we all have those lightbulb moments…but each person is different. I didn’t have mine until I purchased a parrot at Petco about 5 years ago and started research on how to take care of her. I found out how parrots are captured in the wild (with nets placed through out the jungle or ‘glue’ stuck to limbs of trees – with no regard for the injuries they inflice on the parrots). I saw photos of Macaws stuffed in to boxes being shipped the US for breeding. It was shocking and horrifying. One link led to another and I couldn’t sleep for a year without first crying about all the animals that are suffering at the hands of people…the only thing I could do is not participate in any of the industries. Including No leather too. Good luck JayM.

  • Marissa says:

    Good for you JayM. Hope you try many new veg foods and just know you truly are making a difference by the way you eat now.

  • JayM says:

    Just came to the PETA site for the first time today. I was walking to get a coffee one morning at a lightbulb went off in my head. I seriously couldn’t bring myself to eat another peice of animal flesh again. Not sure what set the trigger off. It just happened.

  • Pet Products says:

    They are shameless people. Government should take strict action against them.

  • Barbara Rea says:

    Dear Sir I urge you not to do this Giving live animals as prizes is wrong! Do you know what can happen to an animal thats not wanted? It can not only end up in a sheter it chould also end up being sold to a lab! A lot of loving animals that should have been placed in good homes end up being sold to labs instead Please dont treat animals like things and cancel the give away before its too late

  • parakiss25 says:

    Amazing. How do these IDIOTS come up with these things?

    I actually knew a family who bought a pedigreed puppy to be one of those ‘All-American’ families with a pool, white fence, and puppy. They only let it stay in the washroom and when the dog developed problems in his hips and back legs due to a lack of room and exercise they dumped him at the shelter.

    And these are the sorts of people they want to give puppies to. Give me a break.

  • Carla* says:

    Shame on them!! Signed and delivered.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I agree that giving puppies (or any animals) away as prizes is a bad idea, but I also believe that beauty pagents for children is a bad idea altogether.  Beauty pagents teach children that what is on the surface is more important than what is inside, when the reverse is true.  I don’t care for adult pageants either, but at least the women in those have made their own decision to participate in them.