Mad Enough Versus Tired Enough

15 02 2012

I am mad enough to want to do a blog post RIGHT NOW.  And I am tired enough to actually fall into bed and sleep.

What to do? what to do? what to do?

How about a short and crappy blog post?  I just typed short and crappy dog post – and, well, that is actually what this is going to be.

The Westminster Kennel Club dropped Pedigree as a sponsor because, according to their PR spokespeople, the Pedigree ads that promote adopting shelter dogs are “too sad” and their viewers do not want to see them.

It is true – believe it or not – that sad ads are actually less successful at promoting adoptions then people would think.  However, that is clearly NOT what Westminster thinks.  Because, let’s be honest… the Westminster Dog Show is one GIANT advertisement for purebred dogs and the reason they don’t like the ads is they are afraid the shelter dogs might cut into their market share.

I want to be clear, I have no problem with purebred dogs.  I have owned two as an adult, and will probably own more.  They were ADOPTED FROM SHELTERS, but they were purebreds none-the-less.  And some of the things I liked most about them had much to do with their breed characteristics.

And here is a little, tiny secret – I am not 100% opposed to people breeding dogs for certain characteristics – which in most cases means purebreds (although not always).

However, I am opposed to Public Relations professionals lying (as a former PR specialist, I believe it gives us all a bad name and is actually not what we are supposed to do.)

Wait, that is about my ego and not the real issue, which is, obviously, Westminster Kennel Club is acting pathetically (more pathetic than the shelter dogs featured in the Pedigree ads.)

I have noticed that American Kennel Club (AKC) has branded lots of awesome looking pet products lately.  From dog collars to treats, the AKC logo is everywhere.  I will NOT buy anything with the AKC logo on it.  When you see AKC think Westminster.  When you see Westminster, think liars who are afraid that by saving shelter dogs they risk the sales of the purebred dogs they exist to promote.

In case you have an AKC registered dog and don’t understand why some of us might have an issue with that particular organization – I will just name my TWO biggest pet peeves.

(How tired am I?  I didn’t notice this terrible and woefully understated and therefore inaccurate pun.  The definition of a pet peeve is a little issue that bothers a person and probably shouldn’t.  These are actually two big issues that most compassionate people probably also will disagree with if they have a moment to think about it).

Do over:  I will just name my TWO biggest concerns with AKC policies…

The AKC still requires things like tail docking and ear cropping for certain breeds to be shown.  In many countries these barbaric procedures have actually been outlawed.  Giving a puppy a spinal amputation with no pain-killers or sedation to meet some idea of breed standard is more-than-a-little disgusting.  Finally, the AKC policy that is the most difficult for me to swallow (and I have no idea if they STILL do this – but they used to not too long ago), is providing pet food to people who want to breed their AKC registered dogs to make reproducing animals in an over-crowded world both cheaper and easier.

While millions of dogs still die in shelters every year, let’s, by all means, make it cheaper and easier to breed puppies for those who really want to make some cash off of their backyard companion.  Please be clear, these are not dogs who have won awards for saving lives, are particularly good at anything useful like tracking, or even actually demonstrate the “breed standard.”  No, these are not the “best purebreds.”  These are the dogs of any person who wants to breed their AKC registered dog and doesn’t want to shell out the cash for extra dog food lest it cuts into their profit margin.  (And, by the way, last time I checked more than 25% of dogs in shelters were purebreds.  So if you are looking for a particular breed but it doesn’t have to be the “gold standard” of the breed – please start at a shelter.)

I may not be a fan of Pedigree foods or their parent company (Mars), but I do appreciate what they are trying to do for animal shelters.

Something stinks about the Westminster Dog Show and it isn’t just the poop buckets.

Me and one of the purebreds I adopted from a shelter. Please look away if this photo is too sad for you to handle.

* disclaimer – written in a rage – expect typos and grammatical errors – pretend it was written by a dog.

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7 responses

15 02 2012
Karen

I’m with you 100 percent!

15 02 2012
ariesanna

Love it- I agree.
Please advertise http://www.petfinder.org
Its the easiest way to find a forever friend. I have a Papillion, a pug-chihuahua mix and a pit bull all from shelters.

15 02 2012
Semi-Feral Mama

I actually know the person who created PetFinder fairly well. What an amazing, amazing, amazing website. I could tell you story after great story about pets adopted specifically because of PetFinder. One example – my parents live in a small, tourist town in northern Michigan. Last year they used PetFinder to find a great dog in another small, rural town about three hours away that they had never heard of (despite living in Michigan for 74 years.) (This is the first time anyone in our family was ready for a pet, that I wasn’t working at a shelter.)

15 02 2012
Lynn

Thanks for the reminder. I almost watched part of the damn thing when I saw the Boxer. But the cropped ears made me mad so I kept flipping.

15 02 2012
Amanda

Well said. ACK should be ashamed.

16 02 2012
Melanie

This is why I like you. Because you care about dogs as much as I do. I adore pure bred dogs because I love very specific characteristics of certain dogs (Newfies, Berners, St. Bernards, you get the idea). But I will never, never ever buy a bred dog. Ever. I am against breeding 98% of the time. I think it’s done completely indiscriminately, I think it’s dangerous and I think the goal is profit, which I vehemently oppose. I hate the AKC for your first reason: mutilating an animal for the sake of some arbitrary reason based on an antiquated purpose is just plain cruel.

Most breeders aren’t bad but I’m not a fan. And if I know you bought a bred dog, I instantly judge you and it tells me all I will ever want to know about you.

16 02 2012
Erin

Good to know. (I had to look up the AKC logo)

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