Animal Writes
From 17 November 2002 Issue

Televised National Dog Show
By Jim Willis - [email protected]

The Tiergarten Sanctuary Trust
The Purina sponsored National Dog Show will be televised for 2 hrs. immediately following Macy's parade, on Thanksgiving Day:
and will include: "features on dogs as pets, canine athleticism, service animals and pet health."

But much as we all love dogs, do we want to show an impressionable public a bunch of beautiful dogs at the very start of the Christmas shopping season? Did we learn nothing from the puppy buying frenzies started by the Disney Dalmatian films, the recent pug-craze after Men in Black II? Do we want to give anyone the idea that by putting any two dogs "with papers" together, there is money to be made? Do we want the buying public to assume that the well-bred, healthy, well-groomed dogs on TV are the same quality they can buy at their local mall petshop? Is showing the cream of the crop, of dogs, of breeder-exhibitors, indicative of the true nature of the dog fancy in America? Of course not, and I'll be very surprised if their features cover those issues.

A better use of this sponsorship and network TV time: That approx. 25% of dogs taken in by America's shelters are purebred, some relinquished because of reasons (many correctable, of course!) that derive from how they were bred and raised (e.g., sold too young, undersocialized, inexperienced buyers). That mostly volunteer rescuers and breed rescues work to exhaustion and near bankruptcy to keep dogs out of shelters and pull dogs from facilities where they often face a death sentence. That "mutts" are just as "valuable," as any other dog and make wonderful,
loving companions, and by virtue of their "hybrid vigor," may often be healthier than some purebred dogs. That nobody should ever buy a pet from a petshop! And that the holidays are usually a terrible time to add a puppy to your life.

Send the TV cameras instead to the puppy mills and large commercial kennels of Missouri, and then ask them to televise the "euthanasia" of a purebred animal who ran out of time and hope in a shelter. Talk about the facilities that don't use lethal injection, where animals often die horrible deaths. Talk about the 6-8 million animals killed in America each year. Talk about the states that have "Puppy Lemon Laws," to protect buyers, and those states that do not. Talk about the backyard breeders and puppy mills that don't report income and sales taxes on their sales. Talk about all the "free to good home" and "puppies for sale" classifieds in every Sunday paper, and how they contribute to America's growing animal welfare crisis. Talk about everything the registries and breed clubs are doing (or not) to improve this situation and the number of revocations of breeding privileges, and the number of breeders in the news lately who have been charged with animal neglect or cruelty.

For more info on all these issues, and what you can do to stop the killing, please see the links page of the below KWK site. Download "How Could You?" from this link, and ask your local media to publish/broadcast it along with info about local animal adoption and rescue resources, and to urge the public to consider carefully before adding a pet to their family:

Maybe a better idea than watching something televised on Thanksgiving Day, spend those two hours with a dog!
"Killing With Kindness" - An Act of Compassion
One campaign. One goal: A U.S. FEDERAL law for the HUMANE euthanasia of
surplus, homeless companion animals. One result: Putting an end to the cruel killing! For more information and a sample letter, please see:

Go on to Canned Hunt Bill Clears Important Hurdle
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