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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