Protesters who disrupted the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to contend such competitions involving purebred dogs hurt shelter dogs are wrong, according to local animal advocates.
Such shows often cause people who are on the fence of adopting a dog to do so, said Terry Carlisle, executive director of the Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals.
“When people see pets, they want them,” Carlisle said. He added that when he brings animals to events he rarely leaves without one being adopted.
On Tuesday night, two women walked into the center ring at Madison Square Garden and held up signs that said “Mutts Rule” and “Breeders Kill Shelter Dogs’ Chances,” the latter a slogan popularized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
PETA contends the focus on purebreds leaves many mutts homeless.
Carlisle points out that both mixed breeds and purebred dogs fill shelters, so the attention that Westminster brings helps both types of homeless animals.
“Right now we have greyhounds, beagles and boxers that were lost or turned in due to foreclosures,” he said.
Sue Rancurello, a veterinarian and director of Second Chance Rescue of Bellbrook, said the majority of those who participate in dog shows are devoted to dogs and conscientious on how they breed them.
Rancurello thinks a more appropriate breeding concern is puppy mills that turn out purebred dogs to sell without concern for the dogs’ health.
Like SICSA, Rancurello’s group looks for homes for both mixed breeds and purebreds. And she expects that to continue. People often think they want a certain type of purebred dog but decide they cannot deal with the dog’s temperament or grooming requirements and it ends up with Rancurello.
“There are always going to be purebred dogs out there and bred and sold as purebreds no matter what we do,” she said. “Never will there be a point in society where there is no breeding.”
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2216 or kmargolis@DaytonDailyNews.com.