Each year the Westminster Dog Show rolls into Madison Square Garden in New York. It’s the pinnacle of dog shows. Only the purest of breeds are entered. Only the cutest or most impressive gain any recognition. And while those dogs are competing on the big stage, others are being euthanized all over the country.
Westminster dogs are primped, primed, and pampered like toddlers in a pageant show. Standard poodles have their curls carefully coiffed into springy dreadlocks while Yorkshire terriers have their bangs teased and combed. It’s expected that their lineage will extend further than that of the British royal family. Because they are champions, we want champions.
But our desire for champions and lineage comes at the expense of all the mixed breed dogs sitting in shelters all over the country. Our desire for champions is killing these dogs.
When you buy a purebred dog, you are getting a dog from one of two places: A reputable, certified breeder or a puppy mill. Sadly, most dogs come from puppy mill-like conditions. That in itself is deadly. Dogs are crammed into tiny spaces. They are underfed and receive no medical treatment (because all that costs money, don’t you know). They live in abysmal conditions, exposed to the elements with feces everywhere. Disease is rampant and puppies routinely die before they are weaned. Buying a purebred dog only supports these operations.
Many times, even if you purchase a puppy through a pet store, you are buying a dog from a puppy mill. Supporting puppy mills means supporting the deaths of thousands of puppies each year. And what about those four million shelter dogs that are euthanized each year? For every purebred dog you buy, that’s one more shelter dog that faces death -- a death you could prevent.
This year the Westminster Dog Show introduces six new breeds. That’s six more breeds that will skyrocket in popularity, enticing new pet owners to purchase a puppy, support the vicious dog breeding system, and condemn a shelter dog to death.
Do you think the Westminster Dog Show has the best interests of dogs at heart?
Image via greg westfall/Flickr