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PETA to compare the AKC to the KKK in Westminster protest

February 6, 2009 |  6:01 pm

When dog show exhibitors and fans from across the country gather at Madison Square Garden for the Westminster Kennel Club dog show next week, PETA plans to make a big statement.

The group has announced plans to demonstrate outside the Madison Square Garden main entrance on Monday, the first day of competition.

With them, of course, will be picket signs.  Those signs, they say, will read "KKK and AKC Support Pure Bloodlines."  PETA blogger Alisa Mullins writes:

We'll show up dressed as Klansmen to point out some of the eerie similarities between the AKC and the KKK. Pure bloodlines, master race/master pedigree, woeful lack of fashion sense. Creepy, isn't it?

As we've previously reported here on Unleashed, PETA originally requested that the USA Network drop its coverage of America's biggest dog show, arguing that "dogs suffer painful cosmetic surgeries and millions of wonderful dogs die in animal shelters because of the AKC's inhumane policies." 

When that tactic failed, the group took on the show's sponsors, asking representatives from Pedigree Dog Food, LifeLock, TransUnion, Intuit and others to "pull your company's sponsorship of this event until the AKC revises its breeding standards" as the British Kennel Club did last month.

Of its newest attempt to discredit the dog show, PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said, "The AKC's fetish for body image causes dogs health problems that mutts don't usually have...The AKC is directly responsible for the promotion of purebreds, which means money for breeders but creates sick dogs and vet bills for their guardians -- and leaves pound pups homeless."

Reacting to a PETA ad -- aimed at TV audiences but with a similar KKK theme -- last year, Newsday's Denise Flaim wrote:

Where to start? First, if you're going to make a correlation between the closed canine gene pools and unfortunate moments in human history, eugenics concepts put forth in Nazi Germany is the better fit. Steve Budianksy does an excellent recap of this in his book, "The Truth About Dogs."

As for the AKC aversion to mixed-breeds, PETA must have missed the memo about the AKC considering opening up performance events such as obedience and Rally to non-pedigree pooches. Cynics opine that this is as much an economic imperative than a moral one, and they'd be right. But I'll take a Boss Tweed over a Grand Wizard any day of the week.

PETA also staged a demonstration at last year's Westminster, with body bags and signs reading "Breeders kill shelter dogs' chances" in tow.

--Lindsay Barnett

Related:
Kennel Club addresses ills of selective breeding
BBC announces it won't air Crufts dog show
PETA to USA Network: Don't air Westminster!
Dog show fans to PETA: Leave Westminster alone!
BBC documentarian: "PETA is a bunch of crackpots"
PETA responds to BBC filmmaker's "crackpots" comment

PETA's vice president: We don't want to take your dog away
Breeder of Westminster winner Uno has a few words for PETA
Britain's Kennel Club announces sweeping reforms
BBC documentarian comments on Kennel Club reforms
PETA asks sponsors to drop Westminster dog show

Image: PETA.org

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