Protesters Disrupt Westminster Dog Show Just Before ‘Best in Show’ Announcement

PETA Supporters Decry Event for Promoting Breeders and 'Purebreds' While Dogs in Shelters Die

For Immediate Release:
February 18, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

New York – Tonight at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, two PETA supporters rushed toward the main floor at Madison Square Garden as judges were about to begin announcing the “Best in Show” finalists. The protesters brandished signs reading, “Shelter Dogs Lose Today” and “Breeders Kill Shelter Dogs’ Chances,” pointing out that animals in shelters lose their chance for a home—and therefore their lives—every time someone buys a purebred dog from a pet shop or breeder. The protesters were lifted and dragged away by security and detained before being escorted from the building.

“When millions of lovable, healthy ‘mutts’ around the country are literally dying for a good home, breeding and glorifying purebred dogs is both heartless and irresponsible,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA wants every potential dog guardian to know that buying a puppy from a breeder or pet store sentences a lovable dog in a shelter to death.”

Nearly 6 to 8 million dogs and cats end up in animal shelters every year, and half of them must be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough homes for them. Buying dogs and cats from pet stores or breeders encourages further breeding—and it imposes an early death on homeless animals. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages everyone with the time, resources, and ability to care for an animal companion to adopt one from a local shelter.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind