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Westminster, Interrupted

Written by PETA | February 17, 2010

Last night’s crowning of the Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show was bested by two protesters who informed the crowd that every time a dog is purchased from a breeder, another dog dies in an animal shelter:

The 15,000 audience members collectively gasped at the shock of the unexpected interruption, but the facts are much more startling: People who are deliberately breeding animals even when U.S. animal shelters must put 3 to 4 million dogs and cats to death every year are callous, profit-hungry, cruel shoo-ins for worst in show.

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • Asia says:

    While puppy mills are a terrible problem the other problem with pure bred dogs is that too many owners do not spay or neuter their purebreds in the hopes of “breeding them”. How many mutts were born to such foolish owners? I have always believed that owning pure bred dogs is a way for the poor to feel rich or think they can get rich but it is the unwanted dogs that are killed every day that pay the price. My 2 dogs who were adopted from shelters are living proof… MUTT’S RULE! Kudo’s to the 2 ladies for trying to get the message out there!

  • Jessy says:

    I love PETA dearly! But I will have to agree with Jenny on this one. Some breeds are specifically needed. When that is the case it is up to you as a responsible adult to find a responsible breeder. Not just the first one you find but doing a thorough search and getting to know them and their practices. I have a purebred I donate to shelters support PETA and very consciously make my decisions on products and services. You have to take the time to educate yourself with proper and accurate info. I don’t object to what the 2 ladies did because I strongly believe in Freedom of Speech and the right to have your own opinion. But I simply will not believe that ALL breeders are bad and I love my purebred just as much as I have loved my mutts.

  • beth blagg says:

    Those 2 chicks rule! I wanna be just like them when I grow up!!!

  • Christian Wade says:

    I wish I could have seen that!!! I am totally antibreeding now that I know the true cost of this practice. I work with a lady who is totally proanimal rights and we plan to pound the pavements for the Spay Day. Look for stuff on it. I can’t wait. I had no idea about AKC and puppy mills. I think I’ll look that up myself. As someone said earlier kudos to those ladies that took a lot of guts. And I also agree that PETA rocks. Ms. Newkirk is awesome too. I’m reading a book that she wrote and it’s been an eyeopening experience for me. Keep up the good work!!!!

  • yvonne says:

    The one comment here says breeders take very good care of their dogs well What about the dogs that don’t make the cut from a litter? where do they go?AKC is bogusYou always know who going to winsame dog breeds most of the timeI worked at Petland in Pa in the 80’s for all of 2 weeks There were 8 puppies that came inall of them died from Parvo.My heart nearly broke from seeing them suffer.I quit and got involved in rescue.have been doing that ever since.Peta at Westminster was awesome I was clapping my hands when I found out I love peta

  • Karen says:

    Thank you PETA Eloquently stated and well staged.

  • Robert Anderson says:

    I used to go to dog shows have pure bred champion Labradors. But now after becoming informed I am ashamed of my ignorant past. There is no reason whatsoever to breed animals when so very many are in need of homes. Breeders are greedy and ignorant humans.

  • Jenny says:

    I’m not a breeder yet but I own a rare breed of dog. I’m having trouble seeing how anyone can profit off show dogs. Yes you get money for the puppies but that usually doesn’t cover all of the medical expenses for the puppy and the pregnant mother. If there weren’t breeders breeds like the one I own would be extinct. I have nothing against shelter dogs I donate food time and money to the local shelter and try to promote buying from a shelter whenever I can. But if you need a dog for a specific purpose hunting like I did a responsible breeder is the best way to go. You know what kind of dog you are getting. I can’t stress enough the word responsible in the last sentence though. I don’t agree with puppy mills and I try to do whatever I can to inform the public about them. Any responsible breeder will not breed a dog if there are medical deficiencies nor do they overbreed. I think if people are going to state that they need to inform the public of the “facts” that they should have them all as well. Also what pays for shows like this are the exhibitors themselves. There are entry fees for each dog and vendors have to pay to rent space. These fees go into costs to rent the space and pay the judges.

  • Karen says:

    I love the statement that breeders are concerned with the health of their breed HA HA following the genetic issues with “pure” breeds never has so many “pure breeds had so many issues how do I know I am a rescurer of pure breeds all pure breeds with MASSIVE genetic issues the reason “you” don’t hear about it as breeders cull unfit puppies but continue to breed until they get the “perfect” pup for the showring and the AKC is the ring leader in this breeding perfection supidity don’t let them fool you and instead of “giving this “unfit” pup to someone as a pet it is culledand hidden from breeders recordsand they think WE don’t know

  • Lulu says:

    For the first time ever I’m sorry I didn’t watch Westminster. FREAKIN’ AMAZING. Love. Love. Love!

  • Natalie says:

    I am a pretty peaceful person but some people make me angry here. This is a money making business full of conceited selfish money hungry people using their pets for profit instead of just loving them and letting them live a carefree life. We have turned animals into a multibillion dollar industry in the form of meat circuses show animals etc. Why? Are we that full of greed that we need to profit or win awards at the expense of animals? How about these people use the money they pay to buy thorough bred show dogs the money they fork out for grooming and training the money they fork out to travel to these shows and enter them and instead give that money to a local shelter or start a non profit benefiting animals for once instead of benefiting ourselves. For those that question the FACT that millions of animals are euthenized each year due to the excessive breedingpurchasing of purebreds well you are just either ignorant or just a mean person. Any one with a brain can figure out that if you purchase a puppy mill dog the puppy mill gets more money to operate and produce more overbred puppy mill puppies which then means fewer puppies will be adopted from the shelter. That is obvious. And yes there are tons of purebreds at shelters if you just do a little searching maybe you have to look outside your small town shelters but they are out there. And to Janie duh PETA is advertising “Mutts” so that people get over “must have purebred” mind frame. By changing that mind frame…the demand will go down the puppy mills will hopefully not profit and will not continue to produce pure bred puppies that then end up in shelters because they grew up and aren’t cute little puppies anymore. Simple supply and demand Janie…just supply and demand.

  • Jay says:

    I’m sure that the breeders and their audience never thought about taking shelter dog’s chances to survive before. Well done!

  • Muffin says:

    I hope you DO know that throughout the entire show there were commercials saying you should adopt from shelters because millions of animals die every year. sigh PETA I agree with a lot of the things you guys do but this is too much. I’m very dissapointed.

  • Denise says:

    I could see them doing it maybe outside or something but going into the ring where they show the dogs. My mom’s friend owned a female Great Dane that won a Westmister dog show some time ago. This was way to far they shouldn’t have been stupid and just walked right in there like that. What more is it going to do then just make the rest of the world think they’re nuts?

  • Ralph says:

    Janie answer me this if “Shelters are full of purebred dogs” then why is PETA advocating adopting “mutts” at a shelter? Sounds kinda funny if you ask me. As Mark said a dog is a dog and they should be loved not in a shelter.

  • Kelley says:

    What brave ladies! Well done!!!

  • Paula says:

    I LOVE THESE GIRLS! THANK YOU PETA volunteers for doing this! You are brave and strong and I admire you so much! You are making a difference and your efforts are recognized and appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  • Marissa says:

    Breeders can make up as much excuses as they want but the bottom line is when you breed animals or support breeding animals in shelters die. and to Mark I dont think Peta met to say pure bred dogs are bad because there are pure bred dogs in shelters I just think Peta met to say its not what the dog is made up of but its personality and where it comes from shelters are always the way to go.

  • Danny says:

    Ironically mandatory spay and neuter laws only serve to promote puppy mills. In addition to being shown to be innefective at reducing stray animals in the cities in which sn laws have been enacted they send a message to potential pet owners that mutts and other street breeds are disfavorable leading such people to make their purchases from pet stores and internet pet boutiques. Rather than making spayingneutering mandatory subsidies and education are far more effective at reducing stray animals and the value of mutts and hybrids can be emphasized along with encouraging adoption from animal shelters. Specialized breeds had their place once in this world but not any longer. Most modern breeds are nothing more than fragile vanity pieces developed to generate income from the ever fickle pet buying and discarding crowd.

  • Shari says:

    These brave women are heros! Thank you so much!

  • Niranjan says:

    Here in India Dog Shows are PATHETIC! If the dogs don’t “win” they just dump them on the road or abandon them! These breeders are loosers!

  • Kenn says:

    Who is the hot blond? Nice

  • John says:

    Without the money from the puppy mill business THERE WOULD BE NO DOG SHOWS! Puppy mill cruelty pays the bills for AKC dog shows and other activities. Without puppy mill registration business the AKC would have gone bankrupt long ago.

  • Janie says:

    Mark Biggs I WAS a breeder. You are WRONG The people in these dog shows do NOT do rescue. They “rehome” unwanted breeding stock. Shelters are full of purebred dogs. And the breeders oppose anticruelty laws and any kind of legislation that could help animals. The breeders support abuse and animal torture. They ARE the problem in so many ways! The breeding world is criminal and what I have seen and know could fill a book that would make you cry.

  • John says:

    A simple google search for “akc puppy mills” is a start AKC has a business relationship with the biggest puppy mill broker in the country Hunte Corporation and with Petland who sells ONLY puppy mill puppies And the list goes on too much info to list here The AKC actually has a High Volume Breeder Committee. High volume breeder means puppy mill. That is the committee that sets up the registration business with the puppy mills and puppy mill brokers. Here is a newspaper article about why AKC does business with puppy mills httpwww.bogartsdaddy.combouvierBouvPagesarticleinquirepuppymillsAKC.htm

  • John Carmody says:

    MUTTS Rule and so does PETA!!!!

  • D. C. says:

    Hooray for PETA!!!

  • Allie says:

    I really love this. It’s a shame they are facing charges now but the message was recieved loud and clear.

  • Marissa says:

    THANK YOU Peta. When I heard that the show had begun I felt really sad because I think of all the shelter dogs that had to be put to sleep. I also wish I could have been there to protest. Good job to Peta and to the girls. you guys rock!

  • Andre Inglis says:

    John said it all or perhaps he had only started!

  • Mark Biggs says:

    I am behind PETA in most cases but I have to say that you are off base on this issue. I run a private animal rescue in Georgia. I currently have thirty four dogs in my care. Of these thirty four dogs there are three pure breeds. They are just as much a dog as the mutts. The love the same they are just as loyal. How can we avocate one type of dog over another? A dog is a dog no matter what his breed or lineage. Most of these people in dog shows avocate rescue and they take very good care of the animals in their keep. Let’s focus on the real problem facing homeless dogs and that is overpopulation and owners you treat their animals like poorly. Let’s focus on police departments and animal controls that don’t look into reports of abuse. Dogs ALL DOGS rule!

  • Tony says:

    Can you provide me a resource that states that breeders kill sheltered dogs? Or information that the breeders at the show are profiting from puppy mills. I need to support this view point for a debate paper at school.

  • austin says:

    Wow wish I could have been there…

  • John says:

    AKC equals PUPPY MILLS! The AKC makes most of its money registering puppy mill puppies. That is what pays for these dog shows the dog sales promotion and the lobbying FOR cruelty and suffering in the mills. The AKC actively supports PUPPY MILL CRUELTY. They are partners with puppy mill breeders and puppy mill brokers. Without the puppy mills the AKC would go broke. And AKC breeders would not be making fat incomes selling genetically flawed dogs. And EVERY SINGLE ONE of these show dog breeders is profiting from puppy mill blood money. They couldn’t have the dog show without the money from puppy mill abuse. These breeders also are notorious for running illegal breeding businesses and not reporting income on their dog breeding businesses. It’s a lucrative business and no taxes are being paid. That’s why they fight so hard to oppose breeder licensing. So most of those “show dogs” have also been involved in tax cheating in states all across the country.

  • J D Allinder says:

    Thankyou PETA.