COMMENTARY | The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has a winner: Malachy the Pekingese, who resembles a pocket Wookie, was crowned Best of Show, says Time magazine. As pundits searched for aphorisms for the puffy Peke, there's another bone of contention.
The WKC has severed ties with Pedigree dog food company, the show's longtime sponsor. Why? Because during the purebred-only dog show, Pedigree's ads touted adoption of shelter dogs and that depressed some people. The WKC claims the ads weren't in keeping with the purebred focus, says the New York Daily News.
The WKC says the Pedigree commercials, showing dogs looking for adoption, made viewers want to turn the channel. I'd say bury their heads is more like it. According to Humane Society of the United States stats, 6 million to 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters every year. Half don't come out alive. Sorry that makes you uncomfortable, WKC, but muzzling the ads isn't going to stop the killings.
Not in keeping with the purebred theme, you say? What about the fact 25 percent of shelter animals are purebred dogs? Buying a dog, even paying large sums of money for the animal, is no guarantee pet owners can or will take care of their animals.
The WKC is all about pets, yet sadly, pet owners are allowing their animals to be euthanized by droves in shelters each year. Viewers of the WKC Dog Show need to see that along with the lovely purebreds, adoption in an option. Purebred and shelter pets aren't mutually exclusive.
Actually, "euthanize" is an inaccurate euphemism. According to Merriam-Webster, "Euthanasia" is Greek for "good death" or "mercy killing." I fail to see how sucking in poison gas in a sealed chamber, the method the American Humane Association says many shelters use, can be called merciful. At least at the vet, animals who are ill are put to sleep with a nonpainful lethal injection. The most humane option is adoption, and that's what the Pedigree commercials were about.
Sure, the Pedigree shelter commercials are depressing. But maybe the WKC and all of us need to be disturbed. Maybe it's the wake-up call for us to be more responsible pet owners.
- Pedigree dog food