By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
Full disclosure: I was invited to attend the Westminster Dog Show in NYC. I declined because this blog focuses mostly on shelter cats and dogs. I admire many different breeds. Organizations, like Westminster and American Kennel Club, are in the business of promoting breeding. I have a hard time justifying breeding dogs when between three and five million shelter pets are euthanized each year in the U.S. I just can’t support an organization that promotes breeding and wants no part of helping shelter dogs.
Westmister’s decision to drop Pedigree as a major advertiser because its ads had become too focused on adoptions struck a nerve. Pedigree was “surprised and disappointed” when it was dropped by Westminster, senior brand manager Lisa Campbell says. “Westminster has been a great platform for us. We were able to tap into a dog-loving audience.”
That dog loving community on Facebook and Twitter is deeply angered by Westminster’s decision. Many are pledging their support to Pedigree. And many of you have sent me personal e-mails alerting me about this unwise decision to drop Pedigree because of its commercials.
“Our show is a celebration of dogs. We’re not promoting purebreds at the expense of non-purebreds. We celebrate all dogs,” says David Frei, Westminster spokesperson. “When we’re seeing puppies behind bars, it takes away from that. Not just because it’s sad, but it’s not our message.”
Purina Petcare steps in as the new advertiser for Westminster, and Westminster will have input into the Purina commercials.
The reason for Westminster dropping Pedigree is sad. I don’t see how they cannot know that almost 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebreds. However, that is not the point. Westminster is in the business of supporting breeders. I was interviewed on National Public Radio’s Marketplace Morning Report about this decision. Click here to hear the report.
A Contest to Benefit Shelter Dogs and Cats
The contest to help Bideawee, one of my favorite animal centers, runs through Friday. Up Country, makers of pet supplies, is generously donating collars and leashes to Bideawee. Click here for the contest.
Back to Westminster
And please leave a comment about your feelings about Pedigree’s commercials and Westminster’s decision. Thanks!