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Uninvited Guests at the Westminster Dog Show

Written by PETA | February 12, 2008

I talked a bit yesterday about the ad we have running during the Westminster Dog Show, which is like a great big frat party for dog breeders, but what I didn’t mention was that we also had a team on the ground waiting to greet attendees, and inform passersby exactly what the breeding industry means for animals. The demonstration—which involved body bags to symbolize the millions of homeless animals who won’t be getting a mention at the dog show and signs reading “Breeders kill shelter dogs’ chances”—was a big success, and the pics are really striking. Here’s what PETA VP Daphna Nachminovitch had to say about the protest:

“Breeders churn out puppies for a buck and go so far as to oppose spay/neuter laws that can save animals’ lives. All dogs are created equal, but millions of wonderful mixed-breed dogs across the country are paying with their lives because of purebred mania.”




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  • Patricia Giurleo says:

    Thank you PETA for being so brave dedicated and for sticking up for shelter dogs!

  • Dilli Thapa says:

    I like to make 2 comments if I may. First when I read the news about how the cow was slaughtered for kosherI was thinking is this a news even?. I was in Pakistan for 8 years this is how they slaughter millions of animals everyday. Second about the abuse of dog?I am not a vegeterain but I love my dog cat and bird.I can’t see someone abusing animal.After 15 years my dog died and my wife brought a dog from Human Society and the dog was so abused that around her neck there was badly infected wound allover. we treated and now she is fine. I am asking why would some one do like that?. Well this my story comment. Thank you

  • Dee says:

    Is there anything PETA won’t protest? Get a job and a life people! Feed starving children instead of worrying about stray dogs!

  • Beth says:

    HELLO PEOPLE the Problem is not BREEDERS the problem is IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE PEOPLE are the reason dogs are dying in shelters PEOPLE are the reason there are dogs IN shelters. Responsible people make sure that their dogs have homes for their entire life. Responsible people spay and neuter dogs that are not suitable to be bred due to numerous problems or the fact that they do not have the ability to be RESPONSIBLE for any puppies they produce. RESPONSIBLE people do not let their dogs or any dogs they have produced go to a shelter. IRRESPONSIBLE people do not get their dogs spayed and neutered irresponsible PEOPLE do not take responsibility for their actions that may lead to unwanted pets. Irresponsible PEOPLE are the reason there are dogs in shelters!!! WE are all at fault here. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US! IF you are NOT responsible for your own pets then you are just as much to blame as everyone else. YOU can not single out any single group or association. There are people in either that are responsible or irresponsible. Stop blaming breeders…. why don’t you stop the problem at the start!! Blame the PEOPLE WHO ARE IRRESPONSIBLE OWNERS!

  • Michele says:

    First off I am poundshelter dog person. I prefer the mutts I find in the pounds or shelters to purebreads. They just seem happier to be alive and running about to me. I tell everyone I know that is looking for a dog to go to a shelter or pound and save one of them. My dogs so far? Lab huskey mix britneyspringer spaniel mix Dalmationfrom the pound set to be euthanized yellow labsaved from abusive owner german shepardchow mix labchow mix. We have a Dobieshepard mix that we got at 6 months that still acts like a puppy to this day 6.5 years later. That being said not all breeders are evil. I used to work at a kennel owned by 3 ladies who also bred and showed dogs. They didnt breed them often but when they did the ones that were not “show quality” were were quickly determined and fixed to prevent unnecessary breeding. I am not saying all breeders are wonderful I am just pointing out that not all are evil incarnate like you guys are making them out to be.

  • Brandon Becker says:

    Two reasons why breeding is wrong 1. There are millions of animals already killed in “shelters” due to lack of homes. If someone buys an animal from a breeder it is one less home for another animal to be adopted. 2. It treats animals as commodities to be bought and sold as any other object. Regardless of what our speciesist legal system says animals are living beings not property.

  • Diana says:

    RescueaLab…well said. I came close to buying a baby boxer from a petstore at one time. I felt so bad for her. She was so small and she had snot running down her nose. I felt so bad I couldn’t bring myself to buy her Just by looking at her I knew she wouldn’t make it once someone bought her. More then likely she’s no longer alive. I too have seen the documentry on “The Science of Dogs”. And it’s so true.

  • MIchell says:

    The most important thing is to teach not preach spay neuter the joys of adopting not buying from petstores etc. I like dogshows and go every year. I meet others interested in rescue and who also love a certain breed. It is the USDA that inspects not AKC Why not spend the time and energy changing USDA and all the harm it does to ALL creatures? I love all you do PETA yet sometimes you go WAY over the edge it ends of pushing people away instead of drawing them in. Yes it is important to get people’s attention but MORE important to keep it!! Comparing the KKK to AKC is insulting to me. I do not want to see a picture of white robes or see a mention of them ANYWHERE EVER! Shame on you. There may be alot I do not agree with concerning the AKC but lumping every breeder in one large group and comparing them to the KKK? Really. Shame.

  • RescueALab says:

    Although I have always rescued my pets and never wanted to purchase any animal from a pet store I did. The puppy was in such deperate straits I broke down and did it. Was her life not worth saving because she was in a shop? I contacted the AKC within months to find out how the rules went for breeders because the puppy had hip dysplagia in both hips and I was told without surgery she would have to be put down. At $3000 per hip how many of her brothers and sisters are now dead? I was pissed off only to find out that AKC breeding of 2 healthy dogs is done only “on your honor”. My purpose was for the breeder to be ordered to never to breed that dam and sire again. Not going to happen! They will do what they wish and continue all for the dollar. Face it the dog show people are the MINORITY more “breeders” just do it for the money and do not care what the health of the pups will be in the end. I would like to see PETA take them on and demand they make STRICT breeding standards in some way. If you get a chance please watch Science of the Dogs on National Geographic. Humans have genetially “made” the dog what it is today and humans are responsible for most of the genetic defects that are being passed down generation to generation. The term “purebred” is ludicrous! You go PETA I think the protest was right on!!

  • kelly says:

    Suzan your deceits about AKC finances are the usual from the usual. But it is despicable to lie about AKC’s socalled inspections. They are WORTHLESS. Some of the most horrible puppy millers brag that the AKC inspector is on their side and helps protect their business. And lies for them. The AKC colludes with these people to massproduce puppies raised in cruelty and suffering.

  • Jacquie Nielsen says:

    Good good good for you! Wonderful protest and I believe it got the point across!

  • Dedrick Tucker says:

    diana you are about the only one that is making any sense on this site you understand both sides of it. cuz i breed my rottie has absoulutly nothing to do with a maltse mix or a lab mix dying in the shelter once again feel that we need to adress the real problem which is the housing authorities to stob being so anal about dogs “especially big ones” then when more people can have dogs the more they can be placed but to control all off it for one parties favor is purely communist

  • Dedrick Tucker says:

    to me dog lovers are apporoaching it the wrong way completley instead of people jumping down each others throat about pure bred or mixed dogs we need to try to talk to the real estate agents and housing owners to try to strike a deal with them because the problem is not finding people who like dogs and can properly care for them its the real estate and the housing authorities who wont allow dogs in thier buildings that ruin shelter dogs and any dogs chances. we need to look at the real problem instead of this rivalry because dogs were made to better the lives of humans and some were bred for spesific tasks and that is what makes the dog so fasinating the fact that it is the most diverse mammal on the face of the earth physically and behaviorlly and to ruin dat wit sensless propoganda is simply ignorant because just like people like mutts and mixed breeds people also like pure breds so lets not make the problem into something bigger than what it really is lets tackle the main problem the real estate companies

  • Dedrick Tucker says:

    Once again peta is taking an extreme measure on a matter to a simple problem. Let me first say that i am an employee at pet smart and i am fortunate enough to see a lot of shelter dogs which is good alot of people are adopting animals which is very positive so thats good. but there are also alot of dogs that are bought and they are bought for a number of reasons either because the buyer trusts the breeder and knows exactly what they are getting or they want a specific breed of dog for a particular reason or they want a dog do or act a certian way. me in particuluar i am in law enforcement and i am a college student so i have to have a dog that i know will do the work i need it to do the really good breeders do something that shelters cant and that is garentee health and behaviors shelters arent giving ofa screenings and geneticly testing for hereditary diseases good breeders are and they are doing that to better the canine world. so to say and tell people to never buy from a breeder is being just what you are speaking out agaist a “master race” of people who just want you to get your animal from a shelter. Peta knows good and well that people will not stop breeding dogs becasue thats what they love and thats how they make a lagitimate living and there is absolutley nothing wrong with that. it is selfish for peta to ask people who invested most of thier lives and a large portion of time and income to just “stop” becuse shelter dogs are not being placed. the majority of shelter dogs are mixes and are not coming from breeders who show thier dogs. if you have good stock you wont ever have to worry about placing your dog because people will be lined up to buy them soon as a litter is welped so peta needs to rethink its aproach and take into consideration the the whole dog world and not just the shelter or rescue aspect of it

  • rojo says:

    vegancakes dogs aren’t all the same if you want one to carry in your handbag you’d want a small one chase sheep a medium one and for a police dog a nice big one.

  • Suzan Adolph says:

    Kelly you need to get your facts straight I have belonged to Performance clubs Specialty clubs AllBreed clubs not once in 30 years have any clubs received money from AKC to put on shows or for any reason As a matter of fact Clubs are currently required to pay to AKC $.50 for each dog entered Recording fee and $3.00 per entry dogs can be entered in more than one class for an Event Service Fee. Check your facts The only show sponsored by AKC is the annual Invetational Dog Show held each December and most of the costs are born by the entry fees the exhibitors pay As for the comment that AKC makes most of it’s money from Puppy Mills True but AKC spends a great deal of money each year inspecting these mills reports substandard to the local athorities Legally they can not do more except to revoke the owners AKC priviledges Please get your facts straight

  • Claire says:

    What I have not heard mentioned is the lives these “Perfect” dogs lead. From what I understand Uno has 4 different owners! Is this some kind of doggy commune where the love is flowing or is Uno seen as an investment or a fancy car? I have seen documentaries where these show animals are kept separate from families in crates and to be fair animals that were family and show pets too. It starts at events like this Westminister dog show where an animal is rewarded for what it looks like what it represents and it works it way down into society with pets kept locked up on chains in backyards isolated.

  • kaddy says:

    we have 2 dogs that we got from breeders. both we set to be put down because they were the scrawny little runts. i know ill probably be called cruel but i think by us taking the puppies that we saved them from an undeserved death. and they funny thing is our little runts are now bigger then their litter mates. and i wouldn’t give them up for the world.

  • Kelley says:

    Leitabreeders are all greedy irresponsible people. They send puppies out into the world with worthless SN contracts. If they really cared about pet population control they would have the puppies altered themselves. But they don’t because this cuts into their untaxed profits. Any way you slice the pie there are only so many homes for animals in this country and every time someone buys a dog from a breeder there is one less home for a shelter animal.

  • caitlin says:

    i agree with ana also!!!!!!! i dont think ANY animals should be bred! i totally forgot about cats being bred. PLEASE ADOPT FROM SELTERS!! there are wonderful animals waiting for loving homes!! please give shelters a chance!! oh and susannah maybe the breeders you got your dogs from are nice and the dogs are great but there are dogs in shelters being put down because they need homes and ALL breeders even if they are nice are killing there chances!!! but i do agree with some of what you said at the end!! diana i totally agree with you!!! oh and there are some purebreeds in shelters though so you could check in there daniel. and fuck you daniel! p mixed breed dogs are great!!! oh yeah how could i forget!!! i LOVE the commercial you made PETA!! you guys ROCK!! keep up the good work!! oh and i agree with a lot of others who posted here too!!! oh yeah like nutmeg asked does anyone know how the protesters were met!?!

  • rebecca says:

    um…you can get a pure bred PUG from a rescue society duh.

  • Vegancakes says:

    yes all breeders are evil. whoever says they aren’t either IS one is RELATED to one or is a canine breedist kind of like racism. please don’t justify breeding by saying it helps advance certain breeds of dog. DOGS are just DOGS. just like humans are all the same race so are dogs. p.s. breeders bith nasties

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Dear Suzan Adolph Get your names right. As you have made a real nut out of yourself. You must calm down and read a little slower. Also this is not an email this is a post. Please get your names and facts straight! Peace!

  • Maya, C.V.T. says:

    Susannah Hi! Your comments are thoughtful and well spoken as usual. I always find your words nicely said. I know what you’re saying and many breeders have good hearts and really do take great care of their animals. I think we are focusing waaaaaay too much on “whose fault is it” and “this dog from a breeder did not go to a shelter”. We should be looking at the big picture. The big picture is that 30 to 40 percent of cats and dogs in shelters are purebreds given up by people who bought them from breeders. Breeders can’t possibly predict which adopters are going to wind up surrendering to shelters so every time they adopt out a cat or a dog to someone they are gambling with the lives of shelter animals. No disrespect intended Sadie is a very lucky girl and bless you for giving her a great home!!

  • kelly says:

    susannah your “little home family breeders” are selling unaltered dogs that some buyers don’t get fixed. Then guess what happens? More litters and accidents. And your breeders and their lobby OPPOSE things like anticruelty laws puppy mill licensing and inspections and anything that might mean that fewer dogs suffer and die.

  • kelly says:

    Suzan Adolph don’t lie for the AKC. The AKC SPONSORS DOG SHOWS AND PAYS THE BILLS. And puppy mill registration income provides the cash for your dog shows and other activities. But it interesting to see that you as an AKC breeder don’t even care that the AKC makes most of its income from puppy mill registrations. What a disgrace. Shame on you.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Mya You are a wonderful human being. And I hope you have warmed up by now. Peace to you!

  • Suzan Adolph says:

    I know that this email will not posted as I oppose most of PETA’s stand. But I cannot let some misinformation stand Judith stated ” The AKC makes most of its income from puppy mill registrations and some of the worst mills in the country. That is what pays the bills for dog shows breed club activities lobbying salaries ” Each dog show is supported by the show giving club not AKC. AKC does not send any money to local breed clubs performance clubs or any other dog club. Please get your facts straight before posting inflaming commentsa

  • Daniel says:

    Thanks Peta you are bunch ass holes I don’t want a mixed breed dog such as puddle mixed with a pug I want the damn damn pug so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

  • Susannah S says:

    OK. I know I’m going to take some flack for this one. It’s true that there are numerous and I mean NUMEROUS unscrupulous breeders puppy mills etc. and that the AKC does not regulate the breeders or what they do to the degree that they should. But it’s just not in me to condemn ALL breeders or to say that they’re all shysters and crooks and puppy mill types because they’re not. The two breeders from whom I got my Cairns were the most wonderful families anyone could meet and they had very few litters and took care of all the animals in their homes loved them and couldn’t have provided better for them. And the dogs are great friends and great dogs. My third dog Sadie is a rescue from the pound. She too is a marvelous dog and if I hadn’t brought her home she would have been killed. But to say that the breeders are TOTALLY responsible for Sadie’s BEING in the pound is absurd in my opinion. The people responsible for Sadie’s care mistreated her neglected her and let her starve almost to the point of death before they surrendered her. I think that blaming ALL breeders is wrong. I think dog “owners” have to step up too and take responsibility when they take a dog home. All dogs NOT meant to be “show dogs” should be neutered not culled or killed. And THAT’S a crime that breeders definitely need to answer for or at least the bigtime breeders of the sort that furnish the dogs for shows like Westminster. But the little home family breeders like the ones who whelped my Cairns are NOT responsible for the carnage in the pounds and shelters. The dog “owners” who refused to assume responsibility are the culprits there. Or at least that’s what I think. Sometimes in our zeal to protect our animal friends I think we paint with too broad a brush and lose the very valid points we’re trying to make. Good job though PETA in bringing the “breeder problem” to the public’s attention!

  • Diana says:

    Does anyone thinkfeel it’s a little ironic the dog to win “best in show” is the Begal? The most popular dog used in labs through out the world. My only opinion would be that since PETA made awareness outside the show. The people higher up in the Westminsterare are aware of this and figured people would do their own research after seeing the demonstration that was made. Attendees would come to know the ugly truth behind animal testing. So maybe the people higher up were trying to glorify the Begal? Trying to cover up the ugly truth of animal testing. Which they are in on to fattin up their pockets. Umm…I wonder where Uno’s brothers and sisters that could not be sold are? Possibly New Jersey in a lab somewhere? Breeders and Dog Clubs are all in on it.

  • Amber Lear says:

    Well both of my dogs are purebreds. I have a german shepard a chihuahua. But i would have been just as happy if they were mix breeds. My chihuahua Cheewa was found roaming the streets in Johnson County.only a couple days old. She is currently 12 or 13. My german shepard Mieke Michelle was found near a post office tied to a pole. she was very skinny sick and malnourished. nobody cared about her. I LOVE her! She gets all her proper care and is pretty large now. we have a HUGE backyard for her to play in shes very happy. We had acutally wanted a German Shepard and my stepdad was gonna pay a breeder one thing But my cousins dog Spot is a mix breed and i love himm….

  • CARSON says:

    I wish I could have been there

  • Ana says:

    Please don’t forget the cats. Cats are being bred with short legs pushed in faces so extreme they can’t breathe well the wedge head is extreme for the siamese cats and the list goes on. Cats and kittens die also because of irresponsible breeders. MEOW!

  • SwissDogMix says:

    I Love dog shows because my spayed and neutered dogs and I compete in Agility Obedience Tracking Herding and Carting. I train them and then get to be judged against others based on how well I trained them. It is such a bonding experience! And the UKC shows allow mixed breed dogs to compete in performance events as well! Westiminster HELLO is a show for Breedable dogs just like livestock shows. Not all breeders are bad!!! Poo Poo to PETA for getting the facts wrong again!!!!

  • Leita says:

    I would just like to say that it is backyard breeders that cause animals to end up in shelters. Responsible breeders only sell on a spay nueter contract and have very few litters. A responsible breeder also sells on contract that the dog is to never end up in a shelter. Before you blast breeders please get your facts straight. It is the people who buy from pet stores and backyard breeders that put dogs in shelters not responsible breeders.

  • Teresa says:

    Great job! I was wondering if protester would be there. Awesome. I need to do the same thing at our local dog shows and pet stores.

  • caitlin says:

    this is so awesome!!!!!!!!!!! GO PETA!!! i wish i could have been there!!!!!!!!!! keep up the good work peta!!! dog shows SUCK!!!!!! I HATE the dog breeders! they kill shelter dogs chances. i would NEVER buy a dog. only adopt. the breeders say they care about the dogs but if they really did they wouldnt breed them. i hope people start adopting. i hate it when people buy their petS!!!!!!!! PLEASE THINK ABOUT ADOPTING A PET!! my dad rescued our dog off the streets and she is one of the best dogs you could ever ask for! DONT SHOP ADOPT!

  • Mya says:

    Thats me 3rd from the left It was so cold out but I was more then happy to be there…

  • Kelley says:

    Fox sports has a lively dog show chat going on. You can find it through MSN’s story about Uno the beagle. I sugest all PETA members sign on and discuss the realuty of dog brreding there. I did yesterday. I have to check and see if my comments are listed today.

  • marsha says:

    While I appreciate the desire to see no animals ever die in an animal shelter I would hope that others could also see a reason to have animals reproduce not merely as a matter of chance. Not every dog ever born should be an accident. There is a place in our culture for intentionally bred animals. To prevent intentional breeding would still do nothing about the deaths in animal shelters. Only responsible pet care can prevent that. But not every puppy born should be the result of someone’s carelessness or of the unnaturally high sex drives to be found in many urban strays. I’m not trying to defend puppy mills I am trying to defend people who breed members of their favorite breeds as a matter of furtherance of that breed’s abilities. Because there ARE differences in different breeds.

  • Brandon Becker says:

    I’m happy that PETA is confronting the breeders and the breeding industry. Everyone must learn that there is no such thing as ethical breeding. They breed you buy animals die. We can stop this cycle of oppression. Please never buy from stores that still sell live animals advocate spayandneuter to everyone you know and always adopt!

  • NutMeg says:

    good job everyone does anyone know how the proteters were met?

  • Mke says:

    Thanks to the protesters!

  • kelly says:

    While these freak dog breeders fool around here countless dogs emprisoned in puppy mill cages are suffering so that AKC can pay the bills for these lame shows. And these dog breeders could care less. The AKC makes most of its income from puppy mill registrations and some of the worst mills in the country. That is what pays the bills for dog shows breed club activities lobbying salaries.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Jack Jack Jack It doesn’t get much better than this. This was brilliant amazing well thought out call it what you want. What an amazing group of activists. Bless them all. I so hope that people will change their minds after walking by these Angels holding signs. Please folks adopt a shelter dog they will give you all the love they have and believe me thats a lot. Great job PETA. Great job.

  • Aleasha says:

    That’s so true. I hate dog shows and breeders. They kill dogs in shelters! Not to mention the dogs of theirs that end up in shelters and the cruelty of dog shows in general. How would you like to have your tail cut off your ears cut and a choke yanked around your neck just to show how pretty you are? The show dog world is evil! The breeding industry is the reason there are hundreds of thousands of pets dying in shelters. Its the breeder’s fault that these dogs are dying! They should be ashamed! So should Westminister! And the AKC who opposes spayneuter laws! Westminister should be ashamed at what its doing to shelter dogs!!!

  • Thomas Olsen says:

    Awesome demo! Breeding animals are really bad I hope people will get the idea and adopt animals from shelters istead! Great blog Jack!

  • John Carmody says:

    This demo looks amazing! Well done………..

  • Stacy P says:

    Bravo! Love how interested the passerby look! Love the new commercial Buy One Get One too maybe it will wake a few people up. Thanks PETA