Tails: The truth behind the ribbons

I did a short rant on my fb page today, but I feel the need to write more.  You don’t spend 7 years fighting for better legislation for puppy-mill dogs and then, feel at peace when watching a dog show.

I have loved dogs all of my life.  I feel rather competent when it comes to identifying breeds and have always enjoyed watching the dog shows.  People who know me, know that I could love any dog at any given time.  From Shih Tzu to English Bulldog to Great Dane to Chinese Crested.  The dog show is like a candy store for me so many to choose from.

Sadly, after attending my first dog auction 7 years ago, I find it hard to watch the shows without feeling complete heartache.  Sure those dogs prancing the ring are beautifully groomed.  Their teeth glisten and their tails wag.  But, what goes on behind the ring, behind the ribbons is anything but bright and shiny.

Let’s make the assumption, as huge as it may be, that the breeders of the dog show dogs are good breeders.  I won’t lie.  There is proof floating around now that many of the best in show dogs have found themselves abandoned when they grow old and unworthy.  There are pics circulating of past winners now emaciated and left for dead.  So, my assumption is weak at best, but to keep things simple, let’s go with it.

The dog shows fuel mass breeding.  Beautiful dogs big and small grace the stage and send ignorant people into pet stores to buy one just like the one they saw on TV.  Mark my words… the pet stores will begin stocking up on Beagles now that Miss P took “Best in Show.”

This means two things: puppy-millers will get rid of some of their other breeds to make room for Beagle stock.  By get rid, I mean kill, abandon, whatever… Those breeding dogs have such little value to them.  They will bring in lots of Beagles to make more Beagles and next year when the Shih Tzu wins the show (should have this year, I am a little biased) they will throw out the Beagles and bring in the Shih Tzu.

It is nothing more than business to them.  Those dogs aren’t man’s best friend, they are products bought and sold like canned goods and produce.

It was even said that Miss P can retire to motherhood now as her pups will bring in big dollars.  Even on the “good” side of breeding, it is all about money.  Why can’t Miss P just be a family dog now that she has earned her title.  I know that is not how it works.

There has always been a part of me who strongly believes that there should be NO more breeding until every homeless dog has a home.  Yet, the other part of me does see value in having so many different breeds to choose from.  Not everyone wants a Chihuahua nor does everyone want a Mastiff.

But the whole thing, ALL of the breeding, is fueled by greed.  Whether it be the backyard breeder or the grand champion breeder, it always comes down to money.  Is there anyone doing it ONLY because they love the breed?

I think the only ones doing it for the sake of the breed are the rescues.  They take in countless animals on death row and find ways to pay for their vet bills and adopt them into loving homes.  Breed rescues are the only ones doing it for the breed.

Why haven’t breeders (at least the good ones) fought harder for better legislation to protect the breeds they say they love?  Why is it that the American Kennel Club (AKC) has fought nearly every bill that attempted to improve the lives of breeding dogs.  It is all about money.  For every dog registered to the AKC there is $50.  Imagine if there were less dogs being bred… less money for the AKC.  Simple math.  Simple greed.

The rescues are the only ones fighting to protect the breeds.  No money there, just love.

As I type this, I look across the room and see my AKC Shih Tzu and my AKC Chinese Crested.  I bought both dogs at an Amish dog auction.  They were matted and sick and afraid of humans.  When I watch a glamorous dog show, they sit next to me, a constant reminder that behind all the shiny ribbons is a business that  profits from cruelty and neglect.


One thought on “Tails: The truth behind the ribbons

  1. Sharon

    You nailed it! I think there are a few breeders who breed to better the breed, but 99% of them are fueled by the prospect of making money from their endeavors. I really wish AKC would change their ways and try to help dogs instead of breeders, but I don’t think it is going to happen any time soon. AKC is also fueled by the pursuit of profit on the backs of a dog.

    I operate an online pet supplies business, that donates all profit to Rescues and trying to help dogs in need. I also run a breed rescue. It is a labor of love, but sadly it only makes a very small dent in a very large problem. We need to continue to push our legislators to change the laws that allow this abuse. Thank you for listening, and thank you for writing this blog to bring greater awareness to the plight of companion animals. I look forward to reading your book.

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