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Dog show fans to PETA: Leave Westminster alone!

A poodle competes in the Westminster dog show Back in December, the BBC announced that it wouldn't air the Crufts dog show because of concerns over purebred dogs' health.  Earlier this week, we told you that PETA is asking the USA Network, which broadcasts the Westminster Dog Show every February, to follow the BBC's lead and discontinue coverage of America's most prestigious dog show.

We suspected a lot of you would take issue with PETA's premise: that breeding dogs for the show ring locks in genetic defects that, it argues, plague "as many as one in four purebred dogs ... with a serious genetic problem."  But we were surprised by just how vocal you were: More than 300 of you have commented on the story so far

Some of you agreed with PETA.  Christine said, "I think it would be great if the USA Network dropped this show. Let's do a special on the USA Network about all the adorable shelter dogs available!"  And Carl S chimed in, "PETA is spot on. The AKC is about money and human arrogance, not about what's in the best interest of dogs."

Most of you, though, said the show must go on.  "It is a total misconception that mixed breeds are more healthy than purebreds. Responsible breeders routinely screen for health problems. A mixed breed dog has no such testing and can inherit problems from many ancestors," said Janet.  And Purebred dog lover mused, "We are now in an era with the animal rightists trying to destroy and discredit breeders of purebred dogs. It must be duly noted that there are no health statistics kept on mixed breeds, just on purebred dogs. Who knows how many mixed breeds die of disease or breed problems gotten genetically from their mixed parentage?"

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: USA Network

 
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As a former Dog Handler, (Mainly toy breeds) I know first hand what the Dog Show business is all about. It's a Family, You will meet some of the friendlist people, You will also meet people that aren't so friendly, but over all going to a dog show is an amazing experience, Adults and children alike. There is shopping, food, and best of all All these amazing beautiful dogs, you can see agility, and obediance, they come in all shapes and sizes just like the people that own and show them. As a daughter of a purebreed dog breeder, and professional dog handler I know first hand the love and care that goes to these dogs, but i also see the love and care for any animal, no matter the breed. So leave our Westminister Alone, It has been a fear that binds us, worrying that someone will come in and let one of the dogs out of their crates or pens, seeing the protesters outside, I don't see how doing those things is good for any breed mixed or pure! I love the dogs shows and the people involved!!!!

I have been involved with showing dogs for five years. I cannot believe how much misinformation is passed around to the public. Sure, there are problems in the sport, just like there are problems in the NFL. Problems exist where ever there is competition. I can tell you this, reputable breeders do not make money. They rarely even break even. I bred my first litter last year, I have a total of 9 purebred dogs, one of them is from that litter. I placed the other pups with people that I interviewed in person and had come to my home to visit with the pups. I also checked the environment in which my puppies would be living. Fenced yards are a must, spay or neutering is required, a 3 year health gurantee is provided, vet check and first shots are done before placing the pups. The sire and dam are checked each year for heart, hip, eye, and other various problems by certified specialist. Just getting the hips and knees certified can cost upwards of $500 to $600 per dog. If for any reason the people are unhappy with their puppy I will always take it back into my home.
Not only do I live with 9 pure-bred dogs, I also have 4 rescue animals, two dogs and two cats. I picked up the rescue puppy from a home I was visiting on a business call. The "owners" had caught and killed the other other pups in the litter. The puppy I rescued had over 200 ticks on her, she was nearly dead from blood loss. She was in the animal hospital for 10 days, then I brought her home. Can you name the problem here? No, the sire and dam still are not spayed or neutered. PETA, here is someone you shoud be talking to at length.
I digress, Westminster shares with the world the hard work and process of bringing out the best in any breed. It is hard, hard, work, but very exciting for both the dog and the owner. PETA, we are not the bad guys, but there are bad guys out there. Put your energy there.

Carolyn, Athens, GA

PETA needs to concentrate on the real issues. Why not use their time and energy on the homeless, hungry, etc. Responsible dog breeders pay close attention to genetics and if there is anything genetically wrong that particular dog is not bred. Can we say the same about people? May humans have medical conditions and they continue to have children with the same conditions but who are we to tell them to stop having children and to assume that they don't care. How many PETA supporters out there have had children with medical problems and they still had several others after that.

Many of these comments illustrte the abject ignorance of many of the posters. First and foremost, the purebred dogs in the shows are not from for porfit puppy mills. Bone up on your terminology before spewing ignorance. Secondly, breeders of purebred showdogs are for the greater part NOT irresponsible. Just where do you think the millions of unwanted pound puppies come from? It is not from highly regarded pedigreed dogs. Again, THINK!!! You are falling into the Svengali spell of peta (lower case spelling intentional) of replacing logic with emotion based on nothing. Inform yourselves before reacting.

I think it's very sad that the general public still chooses to blame anything and everything wrong with purebred dogs on "inbreeding". A simple study of genetics would reveal this not to be the case. Due to a stigma of inbreeding among humans, serious ignorance has led to this widely believed, taken as fact, misinformation! In reality, inbreeding does not "create" genes that are not already present. Inbreeding and linebreeding are valuable tools that allow breeders to lock in desirable traits and our job is to uncover less desirable traits at the same time so as to breed away from these, when possible, with future breedings. When buying a companion animal, our main concern as a consumer lies in the areas of health and temperament. This is why is is critical to deal with an honest, concerned, knowledgeable breeder and meet as many relatives to the puppy under consideration as possible. As far as health concerns go - I tell people that at a time when your doctor can guarantee you a healthy baby, that will be the era when a dog breeder can guarantee you a healthy dog. No responsible breeder intentionally ignores health-related matters when planning potential matings. However, dog breeders are dealing with life and death issues, and with complicated genetic puzzles and health problems can and will happen. You will ALWAYS have more likelihood of having a healthy dog when buying from a responsible knowledgeable purebred SHOW breeder than when buying from a backyard breeder, pet shop, or puppy mill or when adopting a shelter dog.

Westminster Dog Show is an opportunity to see some of the finest specimens of purebred dogs. Responsible breeders do MANY tests to ensure the health of their dogs. Pedigrees are carefully researched. What do the people who produce "designer dogs" do to ensure the health of their dogs?
We had mixed breed dogs growing up and I have rescued dogs myself. I loved them dearly but were they any more healthy than my purebred dogs? I doubt it.
Breeders are being penalized because they are testing their dogs and records are kept. How many mixed breed dogs are tested? How can you compare their health to pedigreed dogs' health? What is the claim that they are healthier than pedigreed dogs being based on?
There are mixed breed dogs that never even see a veterinarian. There are others that are euthanized as soon as they get sick.
PETA's ultimate goal is for humans not to own ANY animals. Do not allow this terrorist group to stop the Westminister Dog Show from having the opportunity to educate the public about pedigreed dogs.

The odds of a mixed breed inheriting the "bad" genes from its parents are just likely as it inheriting "good" genes.

I have known several breeders who are very responsible. They are out there, just need to visit with them, check out their dogs and the human's brain to see how responsible they are. You need to do your homework. I think the dog shows should be aired.

Not only do RESPONSIBLE breeders ---who are not back yard breeders or puppy mills --protect and improve the health of a breed, they also provide rescue services for abandoned dogs that would otherwise be euthanized and crowding our already packed animal shelters. I have been part of two clubs for specific breeds. These people love their dogs and want only to protect and keep the breed healthy. They use genetic testing and selective breeding to eliminate congenital problems and mitigate breed-associated health concerns. It is not about looks - it is about the dog's health and breeding the healthiest and brightest dogs.

PETA's efforts in this area are misguided, unwarranted and unwelcome.

I use to agree with things that PETA stood for and gave them money, until I went to a dog show in Cleveland these FANATICS came into the arena late at night and started to let the dog's out of their crates (because it is cruel) needless to say the dog's were running out-side and one of them was killed by cars, we spent a long time getting the others back to the safety of their crates.

WHY DO WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THE MINDLESS MINORITY WHO WANT TO TAKE OUR FREEDOM AWAY

Peta folks have only their twisted sense of caring for animals is to set them all loose !! Here we have horses that are a great expense to keep ,shoe , and vet, for us it is a way of life and a commitment to caring for these critters even when they get to the age of being barn ornaments; this is serious money at times, dogs & cats that we've had & have get the same commitment. I'd hate to see some of these critters loose and on their own , they'd not survive for long out without shelter, food and proper vetting when they need it. ... Peta's view that there are no responsible animal owners is absolute nonsense.

If I have the right to bare arms... Then, why can't I have the right to own a dog of my choosing? I have had both rescues and purebreds. I would hate for all the dog breeds we know and love, and their diversity to die out... especially since some of these dogs pre-date Christ... because of one activist group, that doesn't take into account ethical owners, and ethical breeders.

I have the freedom to choose Westminster, and they have the freedom to change the channel.

It is a mystery to me when the public is going to understand that the ultimate goal of PETA is to eliminate dogs! Yes, that is true. Instead of going after the Puppy Millers that produce 2.5 million puppies per year, PETA goes after purebred dog breeders. Instead of educating the irresponsible backyard breeders, they use their money to advertise and promote their goal. Instead of using the vast wealth they have at their disposal to fund spay/neuter clinics, they lobby politicians to pass unreasonable laws. When will it stop.....

Most dog show participants breed for the love of the dog. Most do testing for genetic problems. The joke among these breeders is that if they were as careful about the genetic history in their breeding stock as they were in a spouse they would never have had children. This meaning they are not looking for every inherited problem that can happen with the person they married. So, yes promoting the dog as a loved companion is a great thing. Alot of these dogs also enjoy agility and obediance competitions so they spend alot more time with their owners than most dogs. Dog shows promote the enjoyment of your dogs and exibits that they should be cared for and loved. This is a great example of how the bond of animals to humans should be. This does not promote dogs being tied out in yards where they are not kept healthy and properly groomed. The bond to most people and their pets is sometimes stronger than toward humans. PETA members are the extreme of this. How can anyone on that side of the fence think the dogs in a dog show are not well kept and provided for. If the dog is not having fun it shows and he will have a short career. Watch a show and tell me that the dog is not loving the applause as much as the people injoying the show.

Everyone else has touched on my feelings of this issue, It's a shame...

Don't see any statistics in the pro Peta input.Ask your non doggy neighbor if they watch Westminster--majority do and thoroughly enjoy it and provides an opportunity to see
breeds they are not familiar with.
Safey, health gneral maintenance of non-purebreds can be questionable--eg PUPPY MILLS
Westminster, is a long standing tradition and should we capitulate and not broadcast the show, just to satisfy the
minority. I say no!! Stand up and be counted and defeat
this issue. Bud ( Canada)

Talking about misdirected "concern!" PETA needs to get a life, and focus on the puppy mill mutt breeders where PETA could actually do some good. The pure-bred dog breeders can tell you more about various breed problems than some vets... they are familiar with the lines where certain negative traits/genes, such as hip dysplasia, are dominant. And these pure-bred breeders generally will take a dog back if the buyer family can't keep him/her. PETA reflects symbolism over substance, in my opinion. Probably alot of the same do-gooders that would cancel Christmas or Hannakuh! Westminster?? No way!!

Everyone here who voted against the airing of Westminster is playing into PETA and H$U$ greedy little hands. Have any of you even been to a dog show? Watched a PLANNED litter of pups grow up. Wait YEARS to get a PUREBRED dog of your own. How about cried buckets of tears because your friends got the hip scores on her bitch back and decided against breeding her so that she WOULD NOT make bad hips a big problem in the breed. Have any of you gone to a seminar or talked with the likes of Dr Ron Schultz, Dr Jerold Bell, Dr Jean Dodds and other experts in the field of canine health. They will tell you that mutts are just as likely to get genetic problems that pure bred dogs do because its genetics. that you are just as likely to double up on a gene making it a homozygous trait instead of heterozygous. My Golden Retriever/Cocker Spaniel mix died of the same kind of cancer her pure bred Golden father did. My Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers behavior problems are directly related to his first 8 months living with a family unprepared for a dog, ANY dog, not because he is a terrier. And both of my English Setters are sound with sweet wonderful easy going temperaments and personality. Because their breeders took the time to breed good tempered, sound parents and grandparents together and socialize the puppies during their first 8-12 weeks and My family continued the job.
Most of the dogs you would see at Westminster, Eukanuba, Philadelphia or any of the other televised dog show haves passed their Canine Good Citizen Test, they are Therapy dogs, and in general all round good companions with owners who love and interact with their dogs. they plan a breeding far in advance and if the dog fails the known heath tests OFA OVA Penn Hip etc for that breed then they will not breed them. remember these people that you so vilify Love and care for their breed, they want healthy dogs. So just leave us and the animals we love alone. You know not of which you speak.

Unbelievable. I seriously hope USA Network doesn't listen to them!

And the bologna about mixed breeds being healthier? Please. Take a mutt that has dysplasia and breed it to another mutt that has dysplasia and you'll get pups with a good chance of dysplasia. The big difference? the GOOD breeders, people that breed to improve the breed will TEST their dogs, shelling out $1000s of dollars on all kinds of health testing to try to ensure their pups are as healthy as possible.

Ever hear of a mutt breeder getting their dogs tested for hip and elbow dysplasia, eyes, ears, blood panels, patellas, heart and all for genetic issues? I think not. Not even the people selling expensive designer mutts (poodle crosses for example) do the much needed health testing. I have only seen one that did in all my work in rescue. and that was ONLY getting both the sire and dam OFA for hips.

I have been involved in rescue for over 20 years. I have helped rehome hundreds of dogs I have volunteered at shelters. I know WAY to much about the pet over population issue. But it's NOT good responsible breeders causing the problem.

NOT airing the dog show will NOT change the problem. All it will do is piss people off and then they will watch something else.

We have been breeding and showing dogs for over 14 years. Our dogs are pets first and show dogs second. We have never put our dogs in a situation where their health and well-being is jeopardized. As it is our policy to have our dogs screened for health issues, we do not breed our female dogs or allow our male dogs to become stud dogs without the appropriate health clearances.

It is unfortunate that an organization like PETA, the fund-raising arm for the animal liberation front that uses violent acts in an attempt to sway public opinion, provides such "misinformation" to the public. There are "puppy mills" that house and over breed without proper care and health clearances in an effort to make a financial gain--those are the dogs you find in pet stores across the country. It does surprise us that the Los Angeles Times would take the time to seek the truth on this issue, but we are appreciative that they have given us this opportunity to demonstrate that responsible breeders, working hard to provide quality animals to quality homes, are not lumped in with abusive, commercial puppy mills. Any responsible breeder or breed organization would gladly support tighter controls over the pet shops and commercials dog producers. Thank you for inviting our input; we hope that future articles will reflect our commitment to the sport that is showcased at the Westminster Dog Show. We are certain that the AKC will gladly respond directly to any inquiries that your paper may have.

Sports llustrated reported that PETA wanted to kill all 47 of Michael Vick's pit bulls as opposed to rehabilitation, and The Humane Society of the US agreed with them. PETA has finally showed us it's evil underbelly and HSUS, they're selfish, self serving ways.

I am not a fan of the AKC because their breed standards are completely arbitrary and have nothing what so ever to do with the health and well being of dogs. Breeding to meet the standards to win dog shows to sell puppies has caused many breeders to perpetuate considerable defects in dogs and the AKC has done precious little to right this wrong. To do so they would have to admit there's a problem and they are way to pompous and self righteous for that.

Westminister sensationalizes purebred dog ownership and gives it credibility without disclosing that AKC registration does not guarantee a healthy dog, and in many cases guarantees disease by virtue of the standard. PETA is a radical group that has never been of direct benefit to a single, solitary animal.

I agree that Westminster should not be broadcast at all, but my opinion has nothing to do with PETA. I am vehemently against them as well.

When you consider PETA, take a look at their latest bit of stupidity- they have decided to call all fish "sea kittens" so that people will not eat them or go fishing. http://www.peta.org/sea_kittens/about.asp is the link to their campaign site, which also says they want to protect all plants as well. I can only guess that they have decided not to eat anything any more. PETA is a menace; they collect money under false pretences. Please do not let them win this one!

I've been breeding and showing Poodles for over 40 years and am disgusted at the way the people in Government listen to some radicals (like PETA) think they 'know everything' and have to "govern" our hobby. We have Kennel Clubs and a Controlling body who have done a pretty good job without their interference. We already have a Code of Ethics, we're not to breed our bitches until they are over 12 months - most of us don't breed until they have their Title, or at 2 yrs or over. We can breed twice in 18 months, and should only have 6 litters, but most of us leave more time in between and might only have 2/3 litters. It's called RESPONSIBLE BREEDING. All my new owners have to sign a contract & I guarantee to be available to answer any questions and give advice. Sometimes I have to 'place' a dog/bitch because I am limited in the number of dogs I can keep (Council Regulations). Not all of us live on a large property! I will offer older dogs/bitches to elderly people who cannot afford to buy a pure bred dog but want a companion, and are unable to cope with a puppy. The dog/bitch is 'fixed' up, health checked and in most cases given to the new owner free or for a small donation. The new owner checks in regularly and if there is a problem advice is given. Should the dog outlive the owner it is taken back and finishes it's life at their it's birth place unless a younger member of the family wishes to care for it.
I have been to Crufts and a Poodle National in the USA. I wish I could go to Westminster but have my "family" to think of. I WILL watch it on TV though, I'd better not be denied that privilege!

There are far more so called "designer" dogs (mongrels we used to call them) in the RSPCA than pure bred dogs. Most pounds or dog shelters contact the breed clubs if a pure bred dog turns up. All dogs also have to be micro-chiped - by law now; the backyard breeder doesn't do this - he/she is not regulated!

PETA needs to study the history of kennel clubs. Through Worl War ! and World War 2, kennel clubs saved breeds from destruction. Most breeders try to improve the breed. PETA should concentrate on real issues, like puppy mills and cruelty.
I was at a dog show where PETA let dogs out of their crates and one womman's beloved collie got hit by a car.
Most of us don't show dogs that don't enjoy it.
Please let us see our dog shows. It's a wonderful thing for the most part!

it is a real shame that PETA is trying to stop an American traditon as Westminster. It used to be that it was the Puppy Mills that were the greatest problem in purebred dogs. Now, it is the "breeder" of designer dogs that think that anything with "oodle" in it is worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars so they can make a quick buck.
As responsible breeders of large breed dogs, Alaskan Malamutes" for the show ring AND for working, we take extreme care in selecting our dogs that will be bred. Eye checks, hip xrays, heart checks, thyroid checks are but a few of the genetic testing our dogs go thru before they are bred. AND our dogs can do what they are originally bred to do---pull a sled!!! In 25 years, we've had 3 cases of mild hip dysplasia. While this is not a perfect record, it must certainly be better than most mixed breed dogs of similar size and shape.
It is really sad that a few totally uneducated people are trying to stop an American tradition. GET A LIFE.

Why doesn't PETA rescue the adult dogs that will be shot if not taken by someone who cares, or how about even try with all their powers to stop Puppy Mills! The wretched conditions those poor dogs have to live in is outrageous and cruel....all for a buck.
Us responsible breeders breed with all health clearances before breeding a litter, sell with contracts when we do have a litter and are always there for the lifetime of the puppies to assist in any problems and often sell our babies with a no re-sale contract and spay and neuter. These dogs that we show are often our babies, they sleep with us, and are in our homes with us and deeply loved and cared for. We support dog shows and the quality dogs that are being shown.
And I love Westminster KC Dog Show. And the promoting of responsible breeding and dogs that assist people.

I personally am tired of worrying about PETA people coming to dog shows and releasing our beloved pets from their crates, sometimes running out a door and into traffic. And just what is their thinking on doing such horrendous acts?

We at Kalstorm Collies have been responsibly breeding rough collies for over fifty years and have exhibited at Westminister. In every sport there are people who engender the best and the worst of the sport. In my personal experience with purebred dogs, the responsible breeders outnumber those who are irresponsible. In our kennel, we strive to see that every generation is finer than the generation that came before it. We breed, perhaps, one litter every two and a half years. Our puppies are carefully placed and if, for any reason, a buyer is dissatisfied, we will take the puppy back. Our puppies come with certified eye checks and certificates of health from our veterinarian. Those dogs who remain with us on our place live to ripe old ages, watching STAR TREK re-runs on the couch or snoozing on orthopedic dogs beds in front of the fireplace. We are Westminster exhibitors.

PETA is a bunch of Hippocratic animal killers. enough said.

How about this to stick it to PETA? Maybe USA should not only continue to show Westminister, but also take over the taping and showing of Crufts. Wonder what PETA would do then?

If PETA are all about animal protection how about they focus their attendtin and money to real matters of the world such as species heading towards extinction and destruction of habitats, when all the worlds creatures are safe how about then focusing more on such irrelevant issues as domestic pets.
The other scope here is the majority of purebred breeders DO test for health problems in a bid to decrease these.
Peta is just an extreme group of people who I feel do more for attention than the good of the planet.

This is ridiculous.

All the dogs in shelters are there because of irresponsible breeders and people who don't spay/neuter their dogs.

Westminster brings the top of the line dogs for the world to see what they should look like, and tell about them.

PETA does not see the difference between ' backyard breeders ' and ' responsible breeders '.

Responsible breeders check their puppies, adults, and older dogs REGULARLY into the vet's office.

Responsible breeders are sure where their dogs come from, and know what they're giving out as pets, and make SURE that it's a good home.

Breeders of 'tend to be agressive' breeds, I have known to put down puppies/adults at any sign of severe agression, not so with other places.

I've seen shelters let animals go, and the animal ends up attacking another dog, or a human. ( I've witnessed this first hand. )

This is absolutly ridiculous, and I guarantee, that if Westminster does get taken off, the attendance will drop dramatically.

We the breeders of Pure bred dogs need to keep hammering PETA - they attack us and our dogs at every opportunity, so we need to remind the world that PETA is less than ethical in all it does and says. We need to list their objectives to all

PETA has a legitimate point. Also, as for the notion that purebreds are as healthy as mutts, NOT!!!!!! Genetically speaking, mutts do not hve the concentration & level of dominant genes that have become too concentrated in the DNA of purebreds.

Anyone with an ounce of brain can easily see that most of the medical problems in the purebreds is simply due to their pure lineage and pedigree, whereas mutts have too many variations which spread dominant genes to non expressive levels, thereby reducing chances for medical/ congenital mishapps resulting from inbreeding.

Even in humans, the inbreeding and purebred actions cause medical problems among the offsprings. Look at the royal families with hemophilia prevelance among their male offsprings. Thisis simple genetics, and anyone with adequate intelligence who has studied basic genetics should be able to grasp the idea, unless they are fooling themselves!

the bottom line is, people will justify any stupid, idiotic self serving act as long as it benefits them irrespective of the exploitative or selfish purpose behind it. Example: Rodeos, bull fighting, purebred dog, cat, bird breeding. Also, it is a well known fact that it is a lot more difficult to clone a dog than other animals, which is testimonty to the fact that we have utterly screwed up the dogs' genome for our own selfish idiotic purposes. I have adopted many sheter dogs in the past, AND THEY ALL BEHAVED A LOT MORE WELL ROUNDED THAN ANY PUREBRED I EVER OWNED!!

Wake up people, this is 21st century, and you need to get your heads out of your **** and see the stupidity of our exploitative traditions, which involves all kinds of idiotic rituals in the name of culture, tradition, or "responsible" pet ownership"!!

I believe that Westminister should still air. MOST dogs that participate at this level are well cared for and free of genetic problems. Most breeders here are responsible and have contracts that state a dog or puppy can be returned at ANY time with no questions asked!!!! Also alot of breeders do a co-ownership. . .In my opinion you should reasearch something fully before making a decision on it. It someone wants to stop something then go after the people that sell these puppies to pet store and the puppy millers. Also go after the people that don't spay or nueter their animals. That is where the problem is. That is why the shelters are over crowded and thousands of aniamls are put down every day. Leave the responsible breeders and these dog shows alone!!

I have recently learned of PETA's campaign to stop the Westminster broadcast.

The Westminster Kennel Club, as well as all serious kennel clubs and dog breeders in America, represent (despite PETA's views) the best hope for dogs. These breeders cultivate only the best in their breed, making sure to breed out any genetic or other related health issues. They spend large amounts of money on testing and diagnostics, making sure that the dogs they breed will live healthy lives. Responsible breeders only breed when they know they can guarantee loving families, who have been screened, for their dogs. They make sure that families know exactly what they are getting into, and offer guidance throughout the life of the dog. These same breeders are passionately involved in breed rescue, and often take in unwanted dogs to avoid seeing their beloved breed(s) in a shelter.

The Westminster Kennel Club and Show also strives to emphasize the cause of adoption, and to focus national attention on the plight of dogs suffering from irresponsible human choices. Additionally, it displays the best of dogs to a national audience - dogs loved and cared for by their people, and dogs - like the Angel on a Leash program - that are spreading love and hope in the human community through services like canine therapy in hospitals.

For two nights in February, Wesminters brings national attention to what responsible dog ownership and care looks like!

Finally, shall we discuss the errant ways of PETA? When breed rescue organizations went in to save the pit bulls brutalized by Michael Vick, PETA CONDEMNED their efforts, saying it would be "more humane" to simply euthanize all the dogs! Unfortunately for PETA, the efforts of the dedicated breed rescue groups have paid off, and all but 3 of the dogs have been placed in families and have made remarkable progress, and now enjoy loving homes. PETA clearly needs to get its facts straight - in a misguided attempt to publicize the plight of dogs in shelters, it is abusing the very group of dedicated people who are trying to keep dogs OUT of shelters in the first place!

PETA is ridiculous. The dogs love showing and the people love to watch them show. Why doesn't PETA do something constructive with their time and energy?

The AKC first and foremost is a registry, A census taker, second they are the archives of the parent clubs for all breeds in this country. They promote things like responsible breeding, health etc but they do not write the breed standards. That is the sole responsibility of the Parent Club for each breed. Each parent club for each breed is the Guardian of the Breed Standard, and they are responsible for maintaining the records of the breed, the mentors for newcomers, the teachers on how to be responsible breeders and they are responsibile for treating their breed with the respect it has earned over time.
Think about each breeds history - the dogs were designed for certain things - some were saved from extinction and redesigned to become domestic pets.
But the AKC does not have the right nor should it ever have the right as the Kennel CLub in England believes it has to arbitrarily change a breed standard without the information being supplied by the parent club - PERIOD.
As far as PETA goes - why is it that even when the President of PETA and the Human Society for that fact, makes it very clear to the public that their goal is to relieve the AMerican people of their God given right to own domestic Animals - that the people of the US don't comprehend what exactly that means to us all. If you do not like animlas - that is fine - but you clearly do not have the right to tell me what to like or dislike and whether I can own a dog if I so choose.

What needs to happen here is people need to wake up and smell the coffee - put the activists where they belong - in jail - leave me alone and allow me to love and care for my pets in a responsible mannere.
You don't need a license to have children - and heaven knows there are tons of kids dumped in orphanages every day - children with severe genetic diseases - but no one is telling the American people to stop having kids and these kids are not the product of line breeding. So where is the distinction???
Genetic problems are inherent in everything, humans, dogs, cats, horses, plantlife etc. To date we cannot control genetics, we can research and make educated decisions about our breeding programs, remove the visibly defective progeny from the breeding programs. However, here's the rub - these poor little tykes who have these genetic issues need homes too - and guess what - as long as all parties are educated about the issues what's wrong with placing them in a loving home - spayed or neutered and allowing them to live a long healthy life with a family who cares for them.
There are many issues here: the biggest are the puppy mills who don't take the time to breed wisely and pass themselves off as responsible breeders, these are the folks who sell thru pet stores and sell defective enailams or dump them on the sidewalks because they are past their usefulness as breeders. The backyard breeder who is only out to make a buck. Or the pet person who has to breed their bitch just once so she can have the experience and the breeders who have been doing it for so long that they think they know it all and have stopped being careful.
It is the AKC's and the legal system and the animal wardens job to stop the puppy mills. It is the responsible breeder's job to place puppies wisely and on spay/neuter contracts to prevent arbitrary breeding and it is the Parent CLubs responsibility to police their own and file sanctions instead of being complacent.
In a perfect world we wouldn't have to be fighting for our rights yet once again!!! However, the world is not perfect, it's how you manage the outcome that makes a difference.
KAthy JAcobsen

As many of you have commented, ethical and responsible breeders of purebred dogs perform health checks on all their breeding stock, to screen for health problems. Puppies are lovingly cared for, and when sold, are sold with guarantees, and on the condition that they are returned to the breeder if they no longer fit into the family's environment FOR WHATEVER REASON!. Responsible breeders do not make money, as they spend more on the upkeep of their dogs than on the sales of their puppies. They do it for the love of their chosen breed. Responsible breeders do not let their puppies EVER end up in shelters.
Some how, breeders have become the "bad guy", where it is really "the producers" ( those who randomly produce puppies for a profit) who are to blame. Those individuals that are trying to make a quick buck selling crossbreds ( yes Labradoodles are nothing but crossbreds folks!) promote the idea that their puppies are healthier than purebreds. This is false!
Do you think that veterinarians would be able to sustain a practice if they only saw purebreds!

Responsible breeding practises, puppy placement, training and ownership is what keeps dogs out of shelters. It has nothing to do with Westminster. In fact, the Westminster telecast commentators always comment on a breed's needs and temperament. Often the commentators will say "this is not the dog for....."

How can this group of idiots called PETA , ever rationalize that pure bred dogs are not healthy? Do the shelters do genetic testing? Register pups so as to keep track of the breed lines and health and living conditions?
These are the same people that let dogs out of crates at functions on the pretense of "releasing" the animals from duress..they do not think about what happens if the dog gets lost or cannot survive in the foreign area it is released to!
Furthermore how can any NETWORK ever agree with wishes of these few fools who had their place only when they were rescuing animals from puppy mills etc\
To all the Networks out there ,Westminster is the "WORLD SERIES" of Dog Shows, "The SUPER BOWL" if you will of the K 9 world. Would you cancel any of those major events on the whim of a few unsubstantiated complaints against one or more of the athletes?
The competitors who reach Westminster did not get there by abusing their animals. On the contrary, we are privileged to see all the various breeds at their best.
This is a non issue! Tell these people in no uncertain terms to FLOCK OFF!

I am passionate about the humane treatment of all animals! I do not agree with PETA. I had a beautiful collie that became a Champion and the highlight of my life was to be at Westminister when he was shown. He never went anywhere without me. Having been involved with Obedience and Conformation showing for many years, I can say that I never witnessed any mistreatment. As long as the "human animal" is involved, there will always be the potential for mistreatment. PETA should concentrate on irradicating puppy mills as should we all!

PEOPLE MAGAZINE had a story of the woman who was attacked by a bear, who would have died, had it not been for her two PUREBRED DOGS...a bull mastiff, & an Irish Wolfhound...
These dogs did what they were BRED!!!! to do...If PETA & HUSUS were to be successful in their efforts to eliminate Purebreeds, this woman would possible be dead.
Service dogs...seeing eye dogs are purebreeds, from a line that is known to be excellant in these jobs..
PETA is a terriorist group..if they care so much about animals, why are they releasing dogs from their crates @ dog shows, which endangers the dogs life??

I am a breeder of labrador retrievers and I enjoy watching the Westminster Dog Show. Please do not knuckle under to animal rights groups like PETA who speak with forked tongues. While they bash breeders and spew vile untruths about people who truly love their animals and do everything possible to produce happy, healthy pets, they put to death animals that are enlisted in their care because they do not truly want to help the animals (http://www.petakillsanimals.com/). They do not speak for mainstream America as is obvious from this poll. Breeders of purebred dogs do everything in their power to produce animals that will live long and healthy lives. Talk to any national breed club. Every breed has a battery of genetic tests that they perform on any dog they consider breeding to work towards breeding out any genetic health issues that have cropped up in their breeds. PETA does not deal in facts. It misleads people to get them to empty their wallets so they can further their animal rights agenda.

PETA clearly states it's mission and mandate to eradicate companion animals and domestic animals. They have euthanized thousands of animals in their care (with no accountability or legal consequences). Their actions are deplorable and millions of dollars in their own pockets while using gullible celebrities who support them yet they are in violation of everything that PETA stands for. How can they promote this group when the group doesn't want them to own any animals. Including shelter animals. Do they know that PETA doesn't want them to have any pets, ride horses, live on farms, do away with animal husbandry completely. No domestic animals and all wild animals to be released where (their habitat has been destroyed). They will end up being poached or dragged in nets and hunted because not every country has the same laws to protect wildlife. Unfortunately these animals can never reenter what little habitat is left in the wild and would be destroyed. Along with probable extinction. Of course PETA doesn't care about that. Starving third world countries that rely on a goat or a rabbit, chickens or cow for survival. Well let them die. PETA doesn't want them to own any animals. Even if they die. Blind people should just buy a cane and too bad so sad that you can't see, same with epilepsy, seizures and other disabilities that require service animals. Tough luck for you folks. PETA doesn't care. Every time an idealist group decides they want to run things because the rest of us are too stupid to have the basic human rights of choice and freedom - well what has history showed us. GENOCIDE - HOLOCAUST -The destruction of all purebreds or certain breed of dogs/animals is genocide and racist. So I guess PETA doesn't really value animal's rights if they can just go in and lump all purebreds as undesirable and unworthy of existing. It sounds like ethnic cleansing to me. There are just as many diseases and genetic problems in mixed and cross breeds too. There is no documentation. When did one organization become judge, jury and executioner! Somewhere good intentions have taken a very bad and dangerous direction. Where are the Michael Moore's and other Americans who aren't afraid of tackling such a controversial topic and demanding accountability and truth. I thought that America does not negotiate with terrorists yet there is no one brave enough to say "wait a minute - this is going to far?" I would like to see another Bowling for Columbine, called Bowling for Canines or Bowling for Golden Retrievers. Someone should shine the light on PETA (warts and all).

I'd rather watch a dog show with beautiful dogs than half the crud on TV these days...
This is PETA being pests...let the show be seen...My kids and I love it!

It erks me how PETA is completely ignorant about the sport of dogs. It seems to me that they can not differentiate between puppy mills/backyard breeders and responsible AKC breeders. The dogs participating in shows are generally spoiled rotten, not abused as some seem to think. Also it would make absolutely no sense for a showdog to be abused because they have to be in perfect condition and have stable temperaments. Also the nonsense about genetic deformities is mostly false. It is true that their some breeds that have unhealthy characteristics (German Shepherd, Bulldog, etc) But hopefully in time this practice will disappear. Already the UK has altered many breed standards for healthier breed characteristics and this should eventually effect AKC standards. It should also be noted that most breeders put their dogs through stringent health tests before they breed in the hope of warding off genetic disease such as hip/elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and cataracts.

It would be a shame if the Westminister Kennel Club show was not televesed, as a dog breeded we work hard to produce good dogs and the whole world shoukld be able to see them, not everyone can go to New York

Don't take Westminster off the air!!! What next?
Somebody doesn't like football, so we should cancel
all broadcasts of football?! What about baseball?
Where will it end. We enjoy Westminster and would
wonder about a powerful network that would allow
itself to be bullied by a suspect organization.

Keep in mind, PETA is the same group that wants to rename fish "sea kittens" so that people won't want to eat them.

Enough said.

While it's true that there are some unscrupulous breeders in the show circuit and sub par, genetically-defected inbred canines are a sad consequence, it is worth noting that there is a HUGE difference between the majority of fancier breeders and puppy mills.

I strongly believe that shelters are worth some consideration when it comes to bringing home a new companion. However, people should have the right to choose to bring home a purebred puppy if they so desire. And really, purebreds vs. mixed breeds is not the issue here. It's RESPONSIBLE OWNERSHIP. If more people made sure they were financially capable to take on dog ownership and spayed and neutered, we wouldn't have overcrowded shelters.

It's time PETA shut up. As a vegetarian and a relatively level-headed animal rights enthusiast, PETA makes me cringe. These people are not for the animals. They're a corporation with the money and the means to spout off their useless rhetoric with slick marketing schemes and celebrities. And if you take a closer look at their policies, you'll find that they're really not for animals at all. They agree with breed specific legislation and they run one of the biggest kill shelters in the nation. http://tinyurl.com/94dpsp

Get a life, PETA. People who are truly for the ethical treatment of animals know there are plenty of better ways to better the animals' plight than to protest Westminster.

I am an owner of a purebred dog and also compete in obedince.
PETA has no right to tell anyone what type of dog they should have. I live in America and it is my right to have any breed of dog of my choosing.
I am also passionate about abuse of animals and think there should be very harsh consequences for anyone that abuses a dog or any animal. .
Most breeders are responsible and take great care not to pass on genetic defects and will take back a dog if there are any health problems or if a person that bought a dog from them can not take care of thier dog.
If PETA has it's way no one will be able to own any pet.
I would like to see the studies that show purebreds have more genetic defects than mixed breeds. I have owned in my life 6 Brittanies and 2 Golden Retrievers. The Brittanies lived to be upwards of 15 years and my Golden lived to be 14. I have a 5 year old Golden and compete with him now. NO genetic defects here. Let's see 1 out of 4 dogs have genetic defects.... kind of ruins that theory.
Purebred dogs are used as service dogs... what kind of dogs are service dogs...Goldens...Labradors...German Shepards and other purebreds if PETA has it's way there will be no service dogs. German Shepards aid police, Dobermans are search and rescue dogs.
A Golden Retriever helped find survivors of September 11th and aided in bringing them to to safety. A man with a Golden rescues people from avalanches. A woman was saved from choking on an apple because her Golden jumped on her chest to save her from choking to death.These are all documented.
My dogs are my family,having dogs has changed my life,if you want true love then get a dog.Most AKC people feel the same way about thier dogs.
PETA needs to stop and think about the big picture and do something useful, concentrate on helping dogs that have been abused find homes and maybe aiding shelters and closing down puppy mills.

 
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