The last thing the world needs is another breed of dog

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(TNS) The unfortunate addition of two more dog breeds by the American Kennel Club (AKC) is reported with as much lightheartedness as if it were an announcement for a new car or smartphone. But dogs are not fashionable objects. They are living, sentient beings, and the increased demand for “purebreds” is having dire consequences for dogs.

Many people who think they need the latest breed acquire dogs on a whim, only to then abandon or neglect them when they discover they bark, molt, need to walk around, do messes, and require care. daily care and attention, as all dogs do.

PETA field workers routinely encounter dogs — including purebred dogs — that have been obtained without much, if any, thought about the care and commitment they need. Many have been banished to a lonely, miserable existence in a crate, on a chain or in a garden paddock – where they have no choice but to eat, sleep and relieve themselves on the same tiny patch of land , day after day, through all extreme weather conditions.

When they found Murphy, he barely looked like a dog. Trapped inside a filthy wire cage in a dark hallway, he had been neglected for so long that his small 7-pound frame was engulfed in 2 pounds of very matted fur covered in trash. Winnie, a 15-pound Lhasa apso, was kept in a filthy outdoor enclosure and, like Murphy, was also covered in tight, sore rugs. PETA managed to get Murphy and Winnie surrendered, cared for, and adopted into homes where they are now treated with love and respect. But not all dogs are so lucky.

Some 70 million homeless dogs and cats are struggling just to survive. They starve on the streets, drink from puddles contaminated with motor oil, get run over by cars, languish with untreated injuries and contagious diseases, and succumb to extreme weather conditions. Others wait in shelters for a loving family who may never appear.


There simply aren’t enough responsible homes available for all the animals that already exist – yet breeders and puppy mills are all too happy to capitalize on the demand for “new” breeds by producing more litters. This means misery for dogs that are caged under factory-farmed conditions in breeding factories, where they are bred repeatedly; denied exercise, socialization and veterinary care; and often driven mad by intense confinement and deprivation.

It also means that many Thoroughbreds endure a lifetime of debilitating health issues because they were bred to conform to harmful AKC “breed standards.” The elongated spines of dachshunds can cause debilitating back problems, for example, and the abnormally flattened faces and short airways of bulldogs and pugs prevent them from fetching a ball, walking or even breathing. Newly added breeds are said to be prone to bone fractures, patellar luxation (dislocated kneecaps), hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and cataracts.

The greedy breeding industry cares no less about the health, welfare or even the lives of dogs. It is up to people who care to refuse to support an industry that treats dogs as objects to be produced, sold and thrown away – by never buying animals from breeders or pet stores. If you are ready to give a dog a lifetime of love and care, please visit your local shelter and adopt a companion that will hold a special place in your heart.

Teresa Chagrin is responsible for animal care and control issues in the Department of Cruelty Investigations at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; www.PETA.org.

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