Special Edition *TODAY SHOW PROMOTES HSUS, SLAMS AKC* 05/08/13


TheDogPress HEADlines

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Was the TV show a boost for HSUS and clever block for AKC in a contest to win the USDA/APHIS contract to inspect hobby breeder’s homes and private records?


TheDogPress.com | May 8, 2013


Read the comments extracted from the broadcast, view the background info, watch The Today Show Ref #1, then send your comments to the editor to be included in next week’s follow up.

American Kennel Club not protecting dogs” was a strong visual and the voice-over “dogs living in filthy inhumane conditions” equally titillating. The promos were guaranteed to have viewers calling their friends to “turn your TV to NBC.” The Today Show promoted the Rossen Report with sensational leads including “new accusations that one of the country’s largest organizations dedicated to dogs, the American Kennel Club, may not be doing enough to protect animals.


Whelped in the 20s, many viewers consider NBC as the runt of the litter when weighed against competitors in the news business but the Today Show garnered a lot of internet buzz among both dog fanciers and animal rights activists as Rossen intones “This morning we have discovered disgusting conditions and sick dogs at AKC registered operations.”

Some in the business are asking how much it cost HSUS (in cash or quid-pro-quo) to get that 5 minutes of promotion. The Today Show was palpably slanted towards ASPCA and the Humane Society rhetoric, filled with tasty morsels of negative images and content such as “AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth.” The voice-over says it is so disturbing that “Two of the country’s largest animal welfare groups, the ASPCA and the Humane Society (both logos flash onscreen) are condemning the AKC” as the AKC logo is shown.


Next visual is an officer carrying a big malamute to presumably a better place. The subliminal message in dim text at the top of the screen is Humane Society Of The U.S.


Cut to handsome, soft-spoken Wayne Pacelle, HSUS President and CEO, who says AKC registration is “just a piece of paper without any practical value for dog welfare.” From there the Today Show goes on to stress that AKC breeders are “AKC Inspected” leaving the viewer to assume all AKC breeders are inspected. The American Kennel Club explanation on the finite number of breeders inspected is not included in that segment.


Next scene is a sweet lady who ordered a Dane from an online “puppies for sale” outlet. Opportunity to mention that the lady didn’t know the right questions to ask the seller is ignored. For that gross educational failure, TheDogPress blames the American Kennel Club. The lady was intelligent, loves her dog, and exposed to the right information, she could have bought a wonderful pet from a conscientious hobby or show breeder. Unfortunately, AKC makes no distinction between the worst puppy mill and the career show breeder.


Segue to AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson on a dramatically different “stage” for the equal-time-for-AKC segment. In contrast to the relaxed setting in Pacelle’s study, the Today Show opened the segment with Peterson on an empty sound stage, facing high intensity lights as though she were a criminal. This reporter has a long personal relationship with Lisa and I agonized as she struggled to defend her employer.


Rossen fires the next round “Nationwide, how many breeders are there that have AKC registered dogs?” Peterson doesn’t know. In this reporter’s opinion, she was a lamb sent to slaughter. She does no better on the next question “What percentage of breeders that do have AKC registered dogs end up getting inspected?” She has no idea but states that AKC does “thousands of inspections annually” but then diminishes that statement by clarifying “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”


With rapid-fire questions, viewers learn that AKC has 9 only inspectors to cover the entire country. Point made. Over visuals of filthy, deformed little dogs as Rossen states “Animal Rights groups say the AKC is actually protecting bad breeders” fighting laws that would protect dogs. Like a well-prepared prosecutor, he says “You have opposed laws in several states that would crack down on breeders, why?”


Peterson’s defense “It isn’t the number of dogs you own, it’s the care and conditions in which they’re kept” is weak when contrasted with more Humane Society video footage background and a cut-away back to Pacelle himself who states “They (AKC) should be helping the Humane Society in its efforts to crack down on these awful breeders. But they’re protecting them.”


Viewers are then told that “breeders pay the AKC” and “yet the AKC has no idea what goes on at many of those kennels.” We cannot dispute the implication that AKC income is provided by the most prolific dog breeders. TheDogPress has revealed multiple instances of AKC protection for the most horrific breeders who were in fact, favored and protected by the American Kennel Club. Ref #2 The Big Bad Wolf, Michael, whom competitors claim was an AKC pet.


Switch to host who says, with no credit whatsoever to AKC says, “if you are looking to buy a puppy experts say to always visit the breeder first…” After cleverly pushing the HSUS legislative agenda, he then gives a plug for shelters and “groups that specialize in rescue dogs that are purebred.


USDA stated over a decade ago that it could not budget enough manpower to adequately inspect commercial breeders. Ref #3 Was the Today Show promo a marketing move for something TheDogPlace postulated in 2008?


Readers got the picture as presented in TheDogPress blog Ref #4 in 2012: AKC or HSUS under contract to enforce USDA/APHIS Proposed Regulations?


Ref #1 Watch the Today Show Slam AKC runtime 5 minutes, 19 seconds

Ref #2 Big Bad Wolf Busted

Ref #3 HSUS or AKC AS USDA Inspectors?

Ref #4 USDA/APHIS Proposed Regulations


TheDogPress.com invites readers to send a short comment to the editor. We will publish them in next week’s edition of HEADlines so don’t delay. We have selected a few already received from readers on this subject which is what prompted us to ask for your opinion to be published next week.


Dog Wouldn’t Understand Today Show:

As I write 6 dogs are under my desk keeping my feet warm, one is on my lap and I have a soft paw on each forearm. I cry as I remember the one I had to release from old age just a few weeks ago. I was privileged to be present when she drew her first breath and her last. A place where truth to be known, is often praying for the money to pay all the bills. A place where some of her own puppies were given to needy adults and children for companionship and for the magical fur which absorbs tears when life kicks them in the face. A place where dogs sprawl willy nilly on the bed and the 'bad breeder' has to find a place to lay in between them. A place where there is always kind words, loving hands and a warm heart. A place where a litter was born every year or three and gave her the chance to be a 'mama' again. A place where leaving for 5 min. meant coming back to an ecstatic welcome home. She would have been shocked to know her home was considered a 'backyard breeder' or a 'puppymill'. A place where the Today show was ignorant enough to call bad and unhealthy. She wouldn't have understood how people throw away constitutional rights, such as the right to own property or bear arms. She wouldn't have understood the fear her breeder feels, the unreal feeling of being hunted for producing......her. She wouldn't have understood. Teresa Crisman tiffanymorningstar@msn.com


Questions For HSUS

I sent the Communications Dept at AKC a copy of the letter I sent to NBC, and they almost immediately sent me a thank you for writing to NBC, AND thanked me for all the good information I had in it. … I then wrote them back telling them that if after all our letters to NBC, SHOULD they ever get a chance to have equal airtime for rebuttal, they need somebody in there that knows what they are talking about, knows HOW to get at Pacelle, and is a good debater… to ASK QUESTIONS of Pacelle. Like...

  • Mr. Pacelle, the name of your organization is very clever. The first two words IMPLY that it is a "humane society", is that right? Well, if the answer to that is yes, then can you list for me a few of the shelters HSUS owns and operates across the country?

  • The last words "of the United States" IMPLIES that the organization is an arm of government. Is it a government arm that systematically trickles donations down to local shelters that do all the hands-on work?

  • If not, how do your donations get to the animal-care level?

  • What percentage of your intake is dedicated to direct animal care, as per your recent tax returns?

  • What percentage of the funding is given directly to animal care for pets, as opposed to wild animals?

  • Your income tax return shows that you give just one percent or less of your annual intake to direct care of animals. How is the rest of your ---x--- million in intake used?

Pacelle was ready for this, AKC wasn't. Judy Kelsey jkdiy@yahoo.com


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