Friday, December 18, 2009

Dog News Editorial

There’s an article in the most recent issue of Dog News. It’s by the editor himself, who should know better. Of the four subjects he discussed, three made me see red.

First, he praises the AKC/Eukanuba show to the rafters as the biggest dog show in the world. Having attended several times (although not this year, so I only saw the horrendous treatment of the agility competitors on youtube -, my very first thought was a stronger variation of “bullpucky.”

First of all, it’s not even a dog show, much less the biggest. OK, so this year they allowed class dogs to compete – well, of course. People came at first because their egos responded to the honor of being in the top 25 of their breed, but they were getting wise to the fact that it’s just a huge commercial for AKC and Eukanuba dog food, and the exhibitors and their dogs are the unpaid cast. And that they were paying airfare, hotel, food, etc., for a show where the likelihood of winning anything was next to nil, but the promotional value of you and your dog being there was huge for AKC and Eukanuba. If you’ve ever been to the show, you can see that it’s one big moneymaker, just like Disneyland. An incredibly expensive catalog (with ads that also cost a fortune – I had one the first year), an annual poster (free to AKC, WITH all rights, by holding an art contest), elaborately decorated Meet The Breeds booths (also free and put together by breed club members at their own expense), vendors who pay exorbitant fees to be there (over two grand), and so on. Bottom line – AKC wanted the money that rolls in to Westminster every year, and on top of everything else, they went to great lengths to pretend the WKC show never existed. It vanished overnight from the AKC site, where it used to be on the front page, replaced by promos for the world’s biggest and only important dog show, before the damn thing even started. They threw all their advertising money into promoting their own show, knowing Westminster couldn’t compete. Money they got from breeders and dog owners who probably think it goes to the promotion and health of the purebred dog. Sound familiar? As in, a bit like HSUS?

Then, the writer waxes on and on about the importance of US shows vs. those in other countries. He bases his opinion on the fact that

“our numbers dwarf the worlds.”
Well, let’s see. Using his figures...1534 all breed shows a year, at an average of 1000 entries a pop. Total of 1,534,000 entries per year. Compared to the UK, which has 32 shows a year and a total of 576,000 entries. Well, hold on a minute. Those 32 shows pull 18,000 entries each. When has the US ever come close to those kind of numbers at an individual show? It would take the US 18 shows to get the numbers the UK gets in ONE. Or look at it another way. The population of the UK is 60 million. US population is 308 million. Given the numbers above, the UK pulls twice as many entries as the US. And that doesn’t include the rest of Europe, where the FCI has something like 83 member countries.

On to subject three, puppy mills. The writer’s first sentence:

The good news is that there is a large grass roots movement which is intensifying a battle against puppy mills.”
You would think that the editor of a top dog show magazine would know that “puppy mill” is a derogatory term invented, along with other terms, “guardian” being the most obvious, by animal rights activists such as HSUS. In actuality, there are very few genuine puppy mills in the U.S., and most are centered in Missouri and surrounding states, but HSUS propaganda has convinced people that a puppy mill exists around every corner, that any breeder with over ten, twenty, or any arbitrary number, dogs is automatically a puppy mill. But that’s old news. What’s happening now is that the definition is being expanded to include ANY breeder, along with the presumption that anyone who breeds a dog is contributing to that non-existent pet overpopulation. This terminology is designed to kill us all, and by blatantly declaring, in a leading dog fancy magazine, that we are overrun by puppy mills, the writer is giving a huge boost to the very groups that are leading the slaughter.

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