By Linda Beane, Editor, Animals in Print
In a shocking move this year, the Westminster Dog
Show denounced and removed from their program any reference of abandoned and
homeless shelter animals. Obviously they have finally lost all their empathy
and compassion for the abandoned souls that grieve and die in sterile and
dank backrooms, forgotten and terrified. So caught up in their fairy tale
world of ego, glitz and commercialized pooches, they allegedly don't feel
the public should be viewing the heartbroken, miserable and needy dog. Those
who suffer a lone in deserted and impersonal pounds with minimal hope for a
new family and love.
How is it that such a mindset has evolved out of what is presumed to be a loving, warm and fuzzy group of humans humbly displaying their beloved, albeit designer dogs, for praise, adulation, coveted trophies and monies?
Let's take a closer look at the behind scenes changes embraced by Westminster. Pedigreed, a long time sponsor had been given their walking papers, replaced by Nestles Purina. It has been noted that Westminster wasn't happy with Pedigrees' commercials which focus on rescuing and adopting impounded dogs. They didn't want their viewers observing the pathetic and bedraggled dogs in shelters where millions of animals lose their lives. They ignored the fact many of these animals have pedigrees equal to Westminster's overly robotic, designer pooches. They dismissed the reality of today's' excessive pet population and lost the opportunity to advocate for these forlorn animals and acknowledge all dogs are worthy of a loving home.
I am not questioning or implying that these animals on display and in competition with others of their breed aren't loved or are mishandled, I am merely pointing out that all dogs are equals, ribbons, trophies and prizes mean nothing to these Show Dogs. The accolades serve more to exalt the owners as they live vicariously through their registered canines.
Death row animals aren't inferior products, they are just as deserving of a loving home, family, a safe haven and proper health care. This new and unfortunate change of venue of Westminster placed somewhat of a pall over the event with many viewers outraged and furious with this callous decision and disregard for shelter animals
Quote M.S. Temple: " WE ARE REMINDED DAY AND NIGHT of the shelter animals and our hearts break. There is never enough help. We NEED help. People NEED to be reminded! Many dogs die daily, thousands nationwide and we beg for help for them. Westminster has no concern for these dogs and eliminated them from the show's commercials. My rescued dogs have the best lives possible and they always will be very special and loved unconditionally. They are from death row, from abusive and tortured circumstances. My dogs are as deserving as any dog on the planet and if abandoned dogs facing death in shelters are not worthy of being on commercials to remind people that they are there, I don't know what dogs would be."
I am sure many of you enjoyed watching this competition and the variety of animals displayed like commodities as they went through their rigid routines. This show was entertainment even though it may not have been extremely enjoyable for the animals.
While we can all admire the wonderful canines shared with us these past two days, please don't forget the shelter animals. Dogs aren't usually adorn with ribbons but they do wear their hearts on your sleeves. While you enjoy the superficial bling of dog shows remember, there are pulses that will stop beating without your loving arms and tender touches. These are your shelter animals. They are the dogs without tiaras, they are the reality.
Please pause a moment and think of those animals that died forgotten in Kill Shelters these last two days as the Westminster Dog Show prevailed.
Here is an interesting video from the Colbert Report and their opinion of the Westminister Dog Shows decision to drop Pedigree and dismiss shelter dogs' commercials: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/408346/february-14-2012/westminster-kennel-club-dog-show-2012?redirect=true
Next there is a petition protesting this change, please take a moment and sign it. Shelter dogs do matter and their lives are equal in value to that of show dogs.: http://forcechange.com/14306/boycott-westminister-kennel-club-for-not-supporting-the-adoption-of-shelter-animals/
on the link to see photos and bios)
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