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PETA to Obama: wanting a purebred dog is elitist

July 29, 2008 | 12:29 pm

Lizzie_a_goldendoodle_2 It's no big secret that Barack and Michelle Obama have promised their daughters a dog once the presidential campaign is over. But with the family reportedly considering a hypoallergenic goldendoodle (Lizzie, at right, is one), animal groups have been offering loads of advice on what breeds they should buy--or adopt--instead.

The American Kennel Club has asked Americans to vote on list of five "hypoallergenic" breeds, and the Best Friends Animal Society wants the Obamas to adopt that dog from an animal shelter, saying that to buy an animal from a breeder would be unethical while millions of animals face euthanasia in animal shelters.

The latest to weigh in is Ingrid E. Newkirk, President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who wrote a letter to the Obamas today, urging them to adopt a mutt and saying, "This country is proud to be a melting pot, and there is something deeply wrong and elitist about wanting only a purebred dog."

"Millions of Great American Mutts—the dog that should be our national dog—are set to die in our nation’s extremely overcrowded pounds and shelters for lack of good homes," she wrote. "Compassionate people nationwide are choosing to adopt a homeless pound puppy—a grateful refugee from a society that has not always treated the true 'underdog' kindly—rather than cater to special interests who do not have dogs’ interests at heart."

So it looks like PETA is trying to appeal to Obama's pledge to keep special interests--in this case, dog breeders--out of politics. Which is interesting, considering PETA is a special interest itself. We'll probably have to wait until after the election to find out if the group's tactic worked.

The full letter after the jump....

--Tony Barboza

July 28, 2008

The Honorable Barack Obama and Family

John C. Kluczynski Federal Office Building, Ste. 3900

230 South Dearborne

Chicago, IL 60604

Dear Senator and Mrs. Obama:

We hope you are well. We understand that greedy dog breeders are panting and drooling over the prospect that prominent figures may unwittingly promote their business and may try to “sell” you on the idea of getting a purebred dog. I’d like to give you some important information before you make your choice.

Senator, no one needs to tell you that this country is proud to be a melting pot, and that there is something deeply wrong and elitist about wanting only a purebred dog. Millions of Great American Mutts—the dog that should be our national dog—are set to die in our nation’s extremely overcrowded pounds and shelters for lack of good homes. Compassionate people nationwide are choosing to adopt a homeless pound puppy—a grateful refugee from a society that has not always treated the true “underdog” kindly—rather than cater to special interests who do not have dogs’ interests at heart.

Adopting an animal not only saves a life, but demonstrates compassion, and the companion animal overpopulation crisis deserves attention from all Americans. Every animal purchased from a breeder or a pet shop takes a home away from a needy animal at an animal shelter, waiting and hoping for a chance at the American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness Please let us know if we can assist you. I can be reached at 757-622-7382, extension 8302. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

President and Founder

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