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Should adoption commercials dominate the Westminster KC show? TheDogPress surveyed 19,000 subscribers on the appropriateness of Pedigree’s 2011 advertising.


Our Reader's response was overwhelmingly against promoting adoption over purchase and mutts over purebreds. Hundreds were also put off by the bombardment of donation please.


It should be pointed out that mongrels and mutts have been renamed as cross breeds or cross-breds, presumably by AKC.  Most hobby and show breeders own one or more mutts but they take exception to the implication that they are of definable purebred descent.  (sic Designer Dogs)


“Heinz 57” dogs are of unknown background hence the nickname that has been in use since the 40s. The thorn in the side is this: As of 2005 AKC allowed mutts to compete in “non-regular classes” and by 2008, AKC Registered Anything Including Mutts.  There seems to be a strong AKC effort to change the public perception of mutts, mongrels and Heinz 57 dogs. Many suggested this represents influence of the Animal Rights (AR) agenda.

Lots of you have already decided but we’ve selected a sampling of reader comments based on originality and focus.

No, I believe that WKC & AKC should have equal if not more ads extolling the virtues of purebred dogs and … their activities past & present. Julesno []

No, WKC should manage who can buy the ad spots at WKC. The adoption-commercial used WKC and pure bred dogs to promote themselves. Angela C. Kalmanash []

No. The purpose is or should be to highlight our finest purebreds and the dedicated breeders behind them. I feel very sorry for the shelter dogs, and donate regularly to support them. As responsible breeders we do everything we can to reduce the number of dogs that end up in a shelter. The show should educate the public on responsible breeding practices and the benefits of buying a (purebred) puppy from an ethical breeder. (Pedigree) can highlight the poor shelter dogs every other day of the year. JoAnn Hetherwick []

No. The purpose of putting so much effort into producing pure breeds is to produce healthy dogs. This should be emphasized. Judy []

No. When you spotlight the best of purebred dogs everything should spotlight the best of the best. SanDee's []

No. Mutt = No Pedigree. Pedigreed = Pedigree. No brainer.

No … the commercials crossed the line when this was a time to educate the public about owning a purebred dog. Mechelle A. Stall []

No. I have always resented the promotion that mixed breeds are better choices than pure breeds. Carole Luke []

No. Westminster is to promote the best dogs. The commercials should promote our show dogs and nothing else. Jerri Miller []

NO. WKC knuckled under to the Animal Rights (AR) groups and fell right into step with the AR goal of eliminating demands for purebred dogs and therefore diminishing the number of breeders and in theory total number of puppies that will be produced. Also, I believe I've seen Betty White's name on a membership list for HSUS or PETA… I like Pedigree's program - but WKC did a HUGE disservice to those of us participating in a sport promoting and enjoying our purebred dogs. I'm disappointed in WKC authorities. Sonia Yearwood []

No. AKC should CROW about the benefits of owning a purebred dog. That is their mission statement. BONNIE HALE []

No Westminster is the epitome of dog shows--dogs produced by breeders who don't let his/her dogs go to shelters. Chip and Debbie []

No AKC is supposed to be about promotion of purebred dogs - how could it forget that? Nancy Holmes []

No Adoption of mutts will lead to an end of purebred dogs. Itıs like the analogy to MADD & Budweiser commercials you mentioned. Carole Raschella []

No There will always be mutts but … the AKC is about registrations and purebreds. Are they so into $ that they will pander to these so-called high priced hybrids that are nothing more than mutts? Just put two dogs together and call it a hybrid. It's a very sad day indeed for breeders. Bonni Bailey

No, After all their name is PEDIGREE! So where is a pedigree for the mutt? I believe in adopting but not advertising it in this venue. Peggy Stewart []

No. I kept waiting for something from AKC on the benefits for purchasing a purebred puppy from a breeder that respects the breed. Wendy Ball []

No. We are "selling out" our opportunity to showcase p/b dogs. Education solves the shelter problem not glorifying it. Katherine X. Barnes []

NO - We are the show of "CHAMPIONS" and as such should encourage the purchase of "future champions" not mutts (although still great dogs).

No. It makes it look like AKC and dog show people by association support "designer dogs". We don't. Rescue, yes. Mutts, no. Holly Horton []

No Westminster is about purebred dogs, Pedigree advertises ad nausimun on TV so they have the non-purebred scene covered. Christine Surtees []

No Purebred rescue organizations should be highlighted. If it wasn't for (us), there would be no Westminster show. John S. Fitzpatrick []

No. It’s like saying to the exhibitors, congrats on your win but your puppies are not as good for the public to own as shelter dogs are. LITTLETOWN []

No. This is the place to showcase purebreds. Why … push randomly bred dogs down everyone’s throats! We’d better change our approach or there will be very little need for purebred dogs. … the Animal Rightists have told everyone, “Every purebred puppy purchased means the death of a shelter dog!” But what if someone wants a dog with a predictable look, size, temperament, (and health)? No matter, you should only get a mutt who may be … a fear biter, diseased, etc. Andrea Georgi []

No Westminster is about purebred … not about putting a guilt trip on anyone that does not 'rescue'. Jo Stegall []

No. Also I resent the ALTERED image of the WKC logo … that pointer carried a bird in his mouth - BEFORE Peta got them to get rid of it? carol zielke []

No. To acknowledge shelter dogs is admirable, but to allow the "rescue a shelter dog" focus to hijack the show is simply too much. Mary-Lynn Jensen, Ph.D. []

No. They should NOT dominate a pure bred program. I have no problem with one or two ads but they should not dominate. Sharon Clark []

NO. Reason: Pedigree (is) shooting themselves in the foot with this message. As you say many of us will stop or never use the product and I will bet more money is spent on food from the purebred community than the mutt community. Every dog has its place in our hearts but …this was bad PR for Pedigree. Karen Skaggs []

No. A few donation requests would be ok but not this huge attempt to guilt people into adopting a mutt. Lilian Barber []

No. We were sold out. I find it hard to watch a lot of the 'family' shows now because of SPCA and others. Gay Silva []

No. Pedigree (should) go back to their old style of advertising that showed purebred champions that are raised on their food. Anne Schmidt []

No. Westminster is (about) purebred dogs. I am sure Pedigree could sponsor their product on other family type programs. Margaret Brown []

No - I got mad 2 years ago, wrote Pedigree about my disappointment with their new campaign playing toward the AR agenda and changed my dog food. I had fed Pedigree for 15 years. Sue McClure []

No. One of (our) largest viewing audiences and we do zip/nada/nothing to promote our own purebred dogs. Lynn Tweedt-Rabinowe []

No. This is a way to push unhealthy food and put down good breeding practices. Gail Jordon []

No Westminster KC is a showcase for purebred dogs. I am not against adopting … however, IMO, the adoption ads were overdone. Carol Cooke []


No. It is becoming difficult to sell our purebred dogs because of the bombardment to adopt shelter dogs. Linda B. Jarvis []

No. Balance is needed in advertising - even breed rescues would be better than promoting AR agendas. Judy Herring []

No. The purebred dog community needs to understand that there is NO ONE BUT ITSELF to get the story/message out. Depending on dog food companies and the AKC has proven to be totally useless. Tell your own story. Donna

No. it gives the impression that purebred breeders add to the problem of overpopulation. (Not So!) Sheila []

NO. Owning a purebred is frowned upon because it takes space from a shelter mutt... but many mutts are imported because it is more politically correct to "rescue" than to buy. Claudia Wolff []

No. (It’s) a showcase of purebred dogs, dedicated breeders. Ok to mention that there are dogs in shelters to acquire [not adopt/u adopt children] but the message should be getting in touch with purebred breeders. G. Curran []

No. I'd … support boycotting Pedigree (for) neglecting breeders who strive to put quality well bred dogs in their whelping boxes. Joan Krumm []

No. It should be a better balance of commercials. For starters, they should talk about WHY you should buy from a RESPONSIBLE breeder. Julie Hill []

No. I am absolutely for taking in a shelter dog or cat (but such) commercials have NO PLACE on televised dog shows. It is counter productive. It sends a very confusing message to the public. Any televised dog show should be singing the praises of the pure bred dog, nothing else. The commercials for Westminster were only slightly better than having H$U$ commercials. Dianne DMH PenDragon []

No. Rescue dogs are not for everyone. I will NEVER feed Pedigree after this! Kimberley Bass []

No I turned off the show in disgust–only watched part of my group. The commercials were too many and to blatantly AGAINST me and my dogs… and I apparently missed the picture of MY gorgeous purebred dog doing what he was bred to do – digging into a hillside after some vermin!!!!! Carol R Hamilton []

No. Westminster is …is about purebred dogs. It is ridiculous that Pedigree is allowed to diminish the purebred. Andra OConnell []

No. If Pedigree wanted to convince breeders to buy their dog food "Great" - Then they can use part of the proceeds for their Foundation. Nancy G. []

No. Dog shows are all about purebred dogs. Ads should support and promote buying a dog from a breeder. First Light Samoyeds []

No. Because the message is that except for these few "pampered dogs in the ring" the rest are suffering. A LIE and (they) know it. Peggy Gaffney []

No but I find it ironic that you are raising a fuss about pedigree (and I agree ads should not be accepted) yet your page has an ad for American Dog Breeders? I looked at that and not sure how to take it. Dorothy Christiansen []

No. With this economy--that is why we are not breeding --no buyers--what a slap in the face. Ondo, Diane []

NO. This is a venue for the celebration of PUREBRED DOGS. Savanna Skinner []

No AKC should be promoting responsible breeding of purebreds not shelter strays brought in from other countries, BYB's and Petstores/puppymills.

No. One quick reminder that shelter dogs need help might be in order but the audience was there to learn about purebred dogs. Nancy Anderson []

NO! It is a show for PUREBRED dogs. Save the adoption/shelter commercials for another time and channel:)) Bonnie West

No. It was an AKC sanctioned show. Pedigree abused their position. Tom Mahoney []

No. Give more time to what real Dog People do for dogs- canine health & research, rescue, etc. Julesno []

No. I believe one ad would be okay but not the bombardment – there should be balance in what is presented. Deborah Williams []

Yes. There are plenty of people already looking for the "purebred". Why not give the mixed breed a little extra help finding a home? Jo Anne []

Yes. You need the ads to televise the show. Better to work with Pedigree so that the message supports homes for all dogs. Joyce Miller []

Yes. My dogs are obviously purebreds but 3 of 5 came from a shelter. I got an ILP# on them-don't show in Breed-papers don't matter. Grace Truax []

Yes, because ALL dogs deserve a home with a loving human- not just "show dogs". I have purebreds that were RESCUED. Margo Gray []

Yes. Shelter dogs deserve a loving home like the purebreds. I have a rescue and a purebred and both are treated the same. Barbara McCoy []

Yes, Since the AKC permits anyone to breed anything, puppy mill dogs, backyard breeders, etc. At the expense of hundreds of thousands of innocent dogs each year. So many end up in shelters. (un-disclosed)

Yes, I believe Westminster has the best of the best but it also breeds dogs when there are millions killed in shelters yearly. Lynne Fracassi []


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