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Beagle Brigade Is No Fan of Westminster

Written by PETA | February 15, 2011

People passing by USA Network’s Rockefeller Plaza headquarters yesterday were greeted by a pack of “dogs” howling against the network’s decision to air the Westminster Dog Show. PETA’s beagle brigade made sure that everyone heard the ugly truth about doggie beauty pageants and the dog-breeding industry: They kill shelter dogs’ chances. That’s because when people rush out to buy a puppy like the purebred they saw prancing around on TV, a lovable pup in an animal shelter loses a chance at a good home.

The message is getting through: PETA’s “dogs” got plenty of thumbs-ups and “go get ‘em’s” from passersby, and one woman even cheered, “Yay, PETA! Keep doing what you’re doing—great job!”

This year, Westminster added six new breeds to the dog show, while an estimated 4 million animals are still being killed in shelters each year. We can help spread this lifesaving message by reminding our friends and family members that people who really love dogs save lives by adopting their canine companions from animal shelters.

Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post

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  • Mara says:

    This is attacking the wrong source. Yes, breeders are a major problem with shelter dogs, but these dog breeders are not the ones you want to attack. The people who make it to Westminster are part of the 1% of the small percent of breeders that work their entire lives improving the breed. The dog show world tends to be fanatics about ALL dogs lives. Their dogs ten to have better lives than most people and the dogs love the show. Now, the problems are the breeders who do not focus on standards, health or performance, one of those fake show people, or the people who just breed to breed. THAT is what you should focus on. And the general education of people to keep animals long term.

  • VinDC says:

    I agree with joe_thomas. I love watching the Westminster, and I have two adopted cats. There’s already a Beagle Brigade. Since you mention shelters, don’t forget to mention the numerous dogs that serve our Nation. The DHS Beagle Brigade has beagles that retire from service.

  • PETA says:

    Jade, eradicating companion animal homelessness entirely may seem a tall order, but we encourage all potential guardians to consider that the breeding industry pumps an endless flood of animals directly into an already oversaturated market. Every dog and cat deliberately bred and sold takes a home away from one of the many millions of animals – both purebred and mixed – still waiting in vain for a loving home. Regardless of how well the animals are treated or how “reputable” the breeders may be, they continue to fuel an industry that drastically exacerbates the overpopulation crisis, with devastating consequences for many animals.

  • Jade says:

    Let’s see if PETA will publish this this time around. PETA needs to get at the heart of the problem and that is educatingg people about the long term dedication of having a pet, and preventing unwanted litters. Even if every animal was adopted from shelters, there would still be animals in shelters as some of them would be returned (I volunteered at a humane society and I saw it happen) so it is NOT a breeders problem (yes there are irresponsible breeders but that falls under educating people)but education and dedication. And no I do not support these dogs showws as they have become more of a popularity contest/beauty pagent.

  • PETA says:

    Michelle- Twenty-five percent of dogs in shelters are pure bred, many of them initially purchased by well-meaning guardians who then discard them when the reality of late night walks and incessant barking sets in. Every year, 6-8 million animals of all types pour into animal shelters, and 3-4 million of them never find homes. In light of these appalling statistics, it’s impossible for us to consider any breeding of dogs and cats “responsible.” Many breeders begin with good intentions, but all of them contribute to the overpopulation crisis by producing still more animals while millions already languish in shelters.

  • joe_thomas says:

    The owners of animals who participate in shows like Westminster are among the most caring and responsible pet owners that exist. Celebrating the beauty of each breed has nothing to do with animals in shelters. Plenty of animal lovers appreciate the Westminster show. BTW, is it necessary to be arrogant and rude to people that may have the “audacity” to disagree with you?

  • Shari says:

    Mean while, thousands of dogs have just been killed all over The USA as we are reading this blog. God help the animals, and All breeders should be put on halt until all animals have homes and the killing of homeless animals are stopped. And I love those cute “beagle brigade” they get a two paw salute from me!

  • Michelle says:

    As a breeder I will tell you the real reason people choose pure breds over mutts in a shelter. 1. Health Reasons they have to get a current breed because health issues, and 2. The buyer knows what they getting on temperment, size, and life style the pure bred will fit in. This what mutts can’ts give and you don’t know the temperment and the mutts will add to people’s medical. There are very good breeders out there, don’t compaire them to bad breeders or breeders that breed designer mutts. You also saying people should pick a mutt over a pure bred,.. is also saying it’s OK get mutts from breeders that do breed mutts like Labadooles, Bugs, Puggles and Etc mutts that are called Disigner breeds aka just a MUTT WITH A FANCY NAME AKA DISIGNER MUTTS FROM DISIGNER MUTT BREEDERS! You are in a way promoting these Mutt Breeders,.. by saying don’t buy from pure breds and Mutts Rule and get a Mutt! This also a way saying don’t buy pure breds, but it’s OK to buy a Mutt from a mutt breeder! Also, You not really adopt a dog from a shelter because a Shelter is a business that makes money from adoptions and by Fedal Business ORG. Adoptions are listed as a SALE! So a shelter dog is indeed is SOLD AND BOUGHT ITEM! So shelter dogs and breeder’s puppies are no more diffrent,.. because they are SOLD AND BOUGHT ITEMS!!!!

  • Rex's Mom says:

    Did any of you actually watch the Westminster dog show? I did watch and I was happy to see the Scottish Deer Hound win. Finally a big dog won and not one of those little ones. They were all beautiful dogs but I am tired of little ones always winning. Anyway, if you did watch, you would have seen that one of the sponsers was Pedigree dog food and ALL of the Pedigree commercials during this dog show were about ADOPTING a shelter dog. Pedigree also contributes money to help shelters all over. I happen to love mutts more than pure breeds and my German shepherd/Huskie mix is 90 pounds and will be 12 years old in May. That is pretty good for a large dog. So before you criticize the dog show, just remember that all of the Pedigree commercials during this dog show advocated adoption!

  • Jesse says:

    Laura, you are absolutely right. REGULATED. Not eliminated. Savannah, breeders do not hurt shelter dog’s chances. People have the right to pick whatever dog they think is right for their family, purebred or not. Amy, think of the consequences of the elimination of breeders. When all of your spayed and neutered shelter dogs die of old age and PETA has stupidly eliminated all breeders, dogs are GONE. Spayed and neutered mutts can’t reproduce. Breeders are an essential component to the existence of dogs as a species. The real bad guys in this whole breeder vs shelter issue are those who don’t keep their dog from accidentally breeding with the neighbor’s dog along with those who are too ignorant to successfully keep and train a dog and decide that the easy way out is to dump their dog into a shelter.

  • Melmac says:

    I find it immensely funny though that they relegated you to the sides of the building and not the front. Doesn’t harm the people who actually need to see the option of adopting from a shelter.

  • JohnE says:

    What PETA and everyone else seems to forget is every dog has a BREEDER.  Dogs are domesticated animals.  Shelter dogs are someones responsibility, the BREEDERS. Whether mixed breed or purebred.  So going after Westminster is isane. Should picket the shelters when someone dumps an animal and passing off their responsibility.  This is about as logical as saying no one should have children until no orphans are left.

  • Emily says:

    PETA should start a dog show for mutts!!!!

  • Tilly says:

    Well, I have to say I agree with Amy and Ted. It is supply and demand, cause if there are no breeders, there are just shelters, which leaves us with the only choice to adopt. After that, there will be no more homeless pups (and others too!) out there, and their won’t be anymore euthanizations and killings. And there’s nothing wrong with shelters, either! The best dog in the UNIVERSE could be in a shelter, yet people still want “that puppy in the window.” Honestly, you have the choice to save a life, so why get another animal, Tom? Huh? Why wait for another breeder to come along? Sure, they could get another animal, but if they REALLY cared, Tom, if they REALLY had wanted that dog from a breeder, then they would have adopted. The only difference is another forgotten soul and a saved life. Two, in fact, one for the cage you’re freeing. What would you choose, Tom? A murderer or a hero? Oh, and Ted..I KNOW! So many mutts out there that are capable of showing, why not? The Mutt Westminster!! They seem to have no problem showing purebreds, what’s the difference with a mutt? It’s all the same in the end, people. The mom was a dog. The dad was a dog. The pup is a dog. I’m done. :P

  • Gala says:

    Here’s an idea. Maybe the show could feature animals from shelters, have them get pranced around in front of cameras, and then have a sort of adoption drive or something like that.

  • Aneliese says:

    Good job PETA! Haters gonna hate – I’m glad you were supported on the streets. At my first protest for my country’s seal slaughter, a middle aged women told me to get on the ice and die instead – I was 15.

  • nancy says:

    4-5 million cats and dogs are euthanized yearly in shelters. Anyone who cares about animals does not support breeding more cats and dogs.

  • Michael Essi says:

    Listen up, Tom & Savannah. We are in a pet overpopulation crisis! PETA is making it a point to inform people that when they choose a purebred dog from a breeder, or most often from a puppy mill (try to keep up with me, Tom & Savannah), they are blatantly overlooking a problem in our society and choosing to support those in the business of making this problem worse. Yes, there will be those of you who will wail and moan about your right to do whatever you please and I agree that you should have this right. However, as an intelligent species (this applies to some within our species), being mindful of our current crisis and making informed decisions based upon that intelligence is being considerate of not only animals in shelter, but our economy as well. Sometimes you have to look beyond your own nose to see that there is a bigger picture that will enlighten you. I applaud PETA for being able to inform us, in a very entertaining way mind you, that being armed with information is a winning situation for all of us….including the animals existing in animal shelters. Do what you will. The next time you place an item in a recycling bin, maybe you will recognize that you are doing something that is beneficial to yourself and others. Bringing attention to the pet overpopulation crisis, and encouraging people to adopt, is based on the same precipice.

  • ted katsampes says:

    no, PETA is not gong too far. of all those who buy purebred dogs after a dog show, not all, but some, perhaps many, perhaps most would buy a shelter dog were it not for the dog show. the dog show indirectly results in many dogs not being adopted and instead killed. no tv show is worth the death of thousands of dogs. they should have a dog show for mutts.

  • Amy says:

    If there were NO breeders available people would have to go to shelters. Even one lone breeder amidst a sea of shelters is no good. Breeders are there only because someone buys from them- it’s called supply and demand, look it up Tom.

  • rottsrus says:

    If there weren’t so many breeders, there wouldn’t be so many homeless animals. Breeders dump whatever isn’t good enough to show on pounds and shelters. There are very few reputable breeders, most breeders are nothing but puppy millers and the AKC cares about nothing but the almighty dollar. They will register anything, healthy or not.

  • Cocofalla says:

    I agree with Savannah. I normally support PETA’s causes, but this one is just ridiculous. Leave dog shows alone. Try getting a dog from a dog show person. It’s difficult and very expensive. Most people get their purebred dogs out of the newspaper, over the internet, or from puppy mills. Irresponsible people don’t spay and neuter their pets and we end up with more and more unwanted dogs. It is not the fault of dogs shows, it’s the fault of the morons who are causing the overpopulation and those that dump their unwanted pets. Even if everyone adopted pets from the shelters and there were no dog show breeders, the unwanted dogs would still fill the shelters. Be real. Go after the real villains, PETA.

  • laura says:

    The dog sledding led to slaughtering many dogs… these things all need to be regulated.

  • Savannah says:

    Okay this is really pissing me off. I usually support PETA, but the Westminster Dog Show is doing NOTHING to hurt shelter dogs chances. Its only a competition, what do you have against pure-bred dogs!? I’m not saying that people should not adopt from shelters, but you guys are taking it too far. First you try and stop dog sledding, now this!! Just leave the dog shows alone.

  • Tom says:

    Just because someone buys from a breeder doesn’t mean if the breeder wasn’t available they would go to a shelter. They might get another kind of animal.

  • Tom says:

    Just because someone buys from a breeder doesn’t mean if the breeder wasn’t available they would go to a shelter. They might get another kind of animal.

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