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This is a sad and distressing decision by the Westminister Kennel Club.

For the past few years Pedigree (would that their food was as good as their advertising) has promoted the adoption of shelter pets during the broadcast of the WKC annual show. This is a fine example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2xe73iyg3U

The commercials stressed the dignity of shelter dogs, not their neglect: "Do not pity shelter dogs. Adopt one." They were beautifully filmed and very moving. Very different from the disturbing ASPCA fund-raising commercials that show the victims of hoarding Sally Struthers style.

WKC spokesperson David Frei should know better: "Show me an ad with a dog with a smile; don’t try to shame me,” he says. I wonder how many German Shepherd Dogs suffering from genetic hip dysplasia or English Bulldogs who can't breathe in the heat are "smiling."

The ads were obviously effective: "In 2007, Pedigree received $500,000 in pledges (for its adoption drive) after its graphic ads were broadcast over the show’s two days." I know I contributed.

So is this one more feeble attempt by the AKC to prop up its sagging registration numbers (supported mainly by puppy mill papers) by turning their back on the real need to find homes for *all* adoptable dogs?

Does Pedigree actually make a product I could give my dog? I'd love to boycott the AKC and support Pedigree. Note that when "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" aired in the UK, Pedigree pulled its advertising from the Crufts show and the BBC dropped its broadcast. Is the WKC's decision to drop Pedigree in favor of feel-good Purina ads part of a conspiracy on the part of the dog show mafia to revenge themselves on those who promote healthy purebreds and adoptable rescues?

I'm pretty disgusted right now. If you agree you can show your support for Pedigree by contacting them here.
 

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Mr. Frei said the switch was also partly for economic reasons. But Melissa Martellotti, a brand communications manager for Mars Petcare US, which makes the Pedigree brand, said that Westminster had initiated the split and that dog show officials told the pet food company that its decision involved concerns about the ad campaign.

“They’ve shared with us, when we parted ways, that they felt that our advertising was focused too much on the cause of adoption and that wasn’t really a shared vision,” she said. The kennel club, she said, is “focused on the purebred mission,” including the adoption of pure breeds as opposed to mixed breeds.
Bleh. That just makes show people look like jerks who think mutts are inferior, which is not the case for the MANY purebred breeders and owners who support the rescue of all dogs. I don't like this decision at all.
 

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LOL, it's funny how the same story can have a different spin just from different wording. I read this story: http://www.app.com/article/20120210/NJLIFE06/302100059/Westminster-replaces-Pedigree-adoption-ads-Nestle-Purina-PetCare and thought "meh, so they changed sponsors" but then I read the NYT story and thought "oh noes, the kennel club hates shelter dogs!". So now I'm not sure what to think. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

As for the actual principle in question--are guilt-inducing ads necessary?--I'm also not sure. I don't think people should be led to think that everything is hunky-dory in doggie land. The truth is that millions of dogs end up in shelters every year and about half of them leave in a blue bucket. And it's worse for cats. It's surprising how many people aren't aware of this even with the commercials being shown. On the other hand, for those who do know about the situation, the repitition of the commercials can be distressing.

Although I thought that Pedigree had done a fine job of showing shelter dogs in a positive light without being too sappy or guilt-inducing. Like the little scruffy dog whose idiot owner dumped him. That was a cute commercial. I don't know why that would make anyone feel guilty. . .unless they had dumped a dog at some point. And then they deserve to feel guilty.
 

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I will probably get a lot of flack for this. BUT ---- Here I go. Somewhere along the breeding line, purebreds were once mutts. When looking at the breeds history it is a mixture of breeds that ended up making a certain breed. My beloved doberman was created by the town's dog catcher. Herr Dobermann took a little of this and a little of that to create a breed to go help him do his other job. He was the town's tax collector and he wanted a fast, loyal protection dog.
As for shelter dogs- not every dog in a shelter is a mutt.
Willowy I agree with you. I have worked for a shelter before. A very high kill shelter. At that shelter about 60% of the animals were euthanized. The other 40% made up for reclaims & adoptions. We would be called dog killers. Had people rant and rave at us that we did not love animals. Which is far from the truth. The people who work for a shelter are there for their love of animals. Very distressing for the workers. Dogs are luckier than cats to be adopted. The hardest one I ever saw was the gentleman who signed over his 14 yo dog to find it a home. When asked why he was giving up his dog this was his reply. "The dog is getting old and no longer wants to play with the kids. I am on my way to go pick them up a puppy to play with." The guy turned around and walked out the door without ever looking back. The dog was barking and whining and jumping to the end of the leash wanting to follow his master. What I said to the guy's back would surely get edited so I will not post my reply, But what a jerk.
Maybe AKC will rethink it's decision. Many voices can overturn a bad decision.
 

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I'm of the opinion that guilt is very useful in some situations. I think that every shelter should get a piece on the local news and local commercials shown during the daytime judge shows and during primetime and have a list of every animal killed in the shelter that day/week. With pictures and names, like the tributes they do when a lot of people die. Preferably some video of the animals being killed (only on the news piece, not on the commercials). "And a big thank-you to the people who dumped their pets on us to be disposed of; without you this never would have happened".

I also think that people who surrender a pet to a shelter should be given a call when the shelter kills their pet "just thought you'd like to know that we killed your cat today. She was terrified. Wet all over the tech. Cried when we injected the poison into her veins". So I don't think that a few commercials are such a big deal. But then I'm a big fan of personal responsiblity.
 

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This
WKC spokesperson David Frei should know better: "Show me an ad with a dog with a smile; don’t try to shame me,” he says. I wonder how many German Shepherd Dogs suffering from genetic hip dysplasia or English Bulldogs who can't breathe in the heat are "smiling."
Wow, talk about bashing, I find this stereotyping highly offensive! WKC has no affiliation with Puppy mills and in fact campaigns against them constantly. People also forget that the AKC is ONLY a registry, it is not the breeder ethics police. Yes they've (WKC) broken affiliation with Pedigree, however they are MAJOR donors to Take The Lead, Animal Medical Center, ASPCA, Angel On A Leash, Greyhound Friends, The Seeing Eye, and Guide Dog Foundation For The Blind. as well as awarding verinary school scholorships for the last 21 years.

There are many other ways to support rescues with or without Pedigree onboard, cutting off WKC is not one of them nor is insulting someones breed of choice!
 

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Maybe AKC will rethink it's decision. Many voices can overturn a bad decision.
Am I the only one that finds this laughable? This is the AKC we're talking about. Never. Gonna. Happen.

Even the language and assumptions of the person writing the NYT article rubbed me the wrong way: "Nestlé Purina PetCare, with its peppy ads featuring bounding athletic dogs that are more Goofy and less Droopy, the depressive cartoon character, replaced Pedigree, the show’s sponsor for two dozen years."

Really??? That statement affirms everything that the decision reflects: all shelter dogs are "droopy" and "depressing", while the bounding athletic goofy dogs featured in Purina's ads are ideal for every owner. *Grumble*

Here's my bounding, athletic, goofy, smiley SHELTER MUTT:



To me, the most moving ads would show happy, healthy shelter dogs and then inform people that these dogs are being euthanized for no reason. We don't need to be portraying shelter dogs as droopy and depressing, or guilting people into adopting them.
 

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Wow, talk about bashing, I find this stereotyping highly offensive! WKC has no affiliation with Puppy mills and in fact campaigns against them constantly. People also forget that the AKC is ONLY a registry, it is not the breeder ethics police. Yes they've (WKC) broken affiliation with Pedigree, however they are MAJOR donors to Take The Lead, Animal Medical Center, ASPCA, Angel On A Leash, Greyhound Friends, The Seeing Eye, and Guide Dog Foundation For The Blind. as well as awarding verinary school scholorships for the last 21 years.

There are many other ways to support rescues with or without Pedigree onboard, cutting off WKC is not one of them nor is insulting someones breed of choice!

Agree 100%

Also, I think Pedigree does a lot of good with research and the "being a voice for shelter animals" but I wish they would also focus more on making a food that dogs don't get constant gastrointestinal distress on.
I don't see why it is so bad for the AKC to break ties with this company for another. MOST (not all) of the breeders at dog shows are COE breeders and they are not contributing to the animals in shelters. For the day that they are at the show, I can see how they do not wish to have the "dogs are dying in shelters while you are breeding" argument. Many breeders also help in rescue so.. can't paint them all with a broad brush of irresponsibility just because they appreciate a purebred dog.


The hardest one I ever saw was the gentleman who signed over his 14 yo dog to find it a home. When asked why he was giving up his dog this was his reply. "The dog is getting old and no longer wants to play with the kids. I am on my way to go pick them up a puppy to play with." The guy turned around and walked out the door without ever looking back. The dog was barking and whining and jumping to the end of the leash wanting to follow his master.
I had a situation just like that while I was volunteering at the shelter. Since I was a volunteer the employees would often sic me on these types of people. I DID have some words with the person and they did leave without a puppy. No doubt they got one somewhere but I hit them with all kinds of guilt trip and flagged their name for adoption at the shelter. That worked until the new manager took over and started the "anyone can have any dog/cat" policy. No care of concern for the pet once it was adopted.

I'm of the opinion that guilt is very useful in some situations. I think that every shelter should get a piece on the local news and local commercials shown during the daytime judge shows and during primetime and have a list of every animal killed in the shelter that day/week. With pictures and names, like the tributes they do when a lot of people die. Preferably some video of the animals being killed (only on the news piece, not on the commercials). "And a big thank-you to the people who dumped their pets on us to be disposed of; without you this never would have happened".

I also think that people who surrender a pet to a shelter should be given a call when the shelter kills their pet "just thought you'd like to know that we killed your cat today. She was terrified. Wet all over the tech. Cried when we injected the poison into her veins". So I don't think that a few commercials are such a big deal. But then I'm a big fan of personal responsiblity.
I can't believe I am going to say this but I kind of agree with you. Maybe not quite as harsh as you in that I think that there are a FEW people who have legitimate reasons to drop a pet off. Lost their homes, can't afford to feed themselves due to unseen, uncontrolled situation. Owner dies or is mortally ill or injured. Those people should feel no guilt over a no doubt, difficult decision but others... Oh yeah, they should know how it ended for their animal. Maybe send them a video.

I know there are those that think me harsh when it comes to things like this but... If you saw what I saw and held as many animals as I did while they died, you would likely feel the same. I have NO tolerance for those people.
 

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Inga and willowy well said. I have thought that many times while I worked for our local AC. I so wanted to let those jerks know of the outcome. Not for the owner who lost a job, their house, but for the idiot who casually think the dog/cat is a disposble item. Inga I know where you are coming from about the show people. Have many friends who show and do not mass produce pups. I know of one lady who just goes and gets champions on her dogs and then spays/neuter them to sell them to pet homes. She is retired and she likes to show. Very expensive retirement habit but who cares. She is enjoying life!
Gottalupets- AKC does listen to many voices. The biggest change right now going on with AKC is allowing mutts to compete and even earn points in certain activities. AKC decision was based on dewindling revenue and many mutt/shelter dog owners complaining. I am watching the outcome on this one.
 

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I think it would help if during the WCK broadcast, they profiled some hobby breeders. The ones who have the whelping box in the living room, a year long waiting list and health clearances, and make it very clear they will always take the dog back and NEVER sell to a pet shop. That would do much more good IMO than anything. So many people have it in their head that the dog they buy at petland with papers is the same quality as the well bred dog, or that all breeders have 30 dogs in their house and kennels full of puppies for sale year round.

I'm guessing it wasn't so much what was in the ads as who paid the biggest bucks for the spots. Money money money.
 

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Eh, it's a business that made a business decision. I'm not sure I can drum up a lot of outrage over a purebred-focused event choosing to air positive, purebred-focused commercials. But emotionally manipulating or guilting people into making choices about where to get pets is a big pet peeve of mine anyway.
 

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I think it would help if during the WCK broadcast, they profiled some hobby breeders. The ones who have the whelping box in the living room, a year long waiting list and health clearances, and make it very clear they will always take the dog back and NEVER sell to a pet shop. That would do much more good IMO than anything. So many people have it in their head that the dog they buy at petland with papers is the same quality as the well bred dog, or that all breeders have 30 dogs in their house and kennels full of puppies for sale year round.

I'm guessing it wasn't so much what was in the ads as who paid the biggest bucks for the spots. Money money money.

I also agree with that 100% There are people who think the show people are bad for breeding. They don't wish to see them as a different entity from the mills and byb. I still believe that education is the key and though I love that they put a word in for rescues and shelters, I think that showcasing what a good breeder is will be just as important. Show people the difference between a good breeder and a "make a quick buck" breeder. Some people don't care but others just simply do not know. If they did, they would look to a good breeder for a dog, rather then a byb and that would help immensely.
 

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inga I think people would be flaggergasted to know of the money that is spent by a good breeder. Progesterone testing, brucellosis testing, ofa testing, eye testing, stud fee, having semen shipped, AI cost, surigical implantation, c sections, x rays, ultrasound, and so on. Feel sorry for the breeder who does everything right and ends up with only one pup. A lot different than just throwing two dogs in the back yard and 2 months later coming home to a dog house full of puppies.
 

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If it was just a matter of them wanting happier commercials, I could completely understand. Adopting an animal should NEVER be something done based on guilt. But that's not the case. Maybe it's not the message they are trying to imply, but essentially what they are saying is shelter mutts are depressing and inferior. There's nothing depressing or inferior about Charlotte, who is a Pit mix of Lord knows what. They want a commercial with athletic, happy dogs. Why can't a shelter dog be portrayed as that? Charlotte is by far one of the most athletic, healthiest dogs I've ever seen, part of that is due to us having her on a good diet and giving her lots of exercise, and the other part because that's just how she naturally is. We do personal agility from time to time with her and a few select doggie friends that she get's along well with, one being a pure bred Border Collie from a reputable breeder. Charlotte blows that dog out of the water when it comes to agility. I would LOVE to get her into more serious stuff, and the only reason I don't is because her unpredictable dog aggression and inability to totally focus around strange dogs prevents us.





GOD SHE'S SO DROOPY AND SAD.
 

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This is a sad and distressing decision by the Westminister Kennel Club.

For the past few years Pedigree (would that their food was as good as their advertising) has promoted the adoption of shelter pets during the broadcast of the WKC annual show. This is a fine example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2xe73iyg3U

The commercials stressed the dignity of shelter dogs, not their neglect: "Do not pity shelter dogs. Adopt one." They were beautifully filmed and very moving. Very different from the disturbing ASPCA fund-raising commercials that show the victims of hoarding Sally Struthers style.

WKC spokesperson David Frei should know better: "Show me an ad with a dog with a smile; don’t try to shame me,” he says. I wonder how many German Shepherd Dogs suffering from genetic hip dysplasia or English Bulldogs who can't breathe in the heat are "smiling."

The ads were obviously effective: "In 2007, Pedigree received $500,000 in pledges (for its adoption drive) after its graphic ads were broadcast over the show’s two days." I know I contributed.

So is this one more feeble attempt by the AKC to prop up its sagging registration numbers (supported mainly by puppy mill papers) by turning their back on the real need to find homes for *all* adoptable dogs?

Does Pedigree actually make a product I could give my dog? I'd love to boycott the AKC and support Pedigree. Note that when "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" aired in the UK, Pedigree pulled its advertising from the Crufts show and the BBC dropped its broadcast. Is the WKC's decision to drop Pedigree in favor of feel-good Purina ads part of a conspiracy on the part of the dog show mafia to revenge themselves on those who promote healthy purebreds and adoptable rescues?

I'm pretty disgusted right now. If you agree you can show your support for Pedigree by contacting them here.
Oh, lord, here we go again. More AR unsubstaniated claims. Westminster is about purebred intentionally bred dogs. There is nothing wrong with them promoting the dogs they serve, and people shouldn't have to feel guilty if they want a purebred, intentionally bred dog as well. Pedigree doesn't make ANY product I would feed my dogs. The dog food I use spends money on product, not pumping millions into sappy advertising. Now that they aren't sponsoring Westminster, maybe Pedigree can use some of those advertising funds for shelter dogs if that is what they want to do
 

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Maybe AKC will rethink it's decision. Many voices can overturn a bad decision.
I don't think it's a bad decision. Westminster is a celebration of a certain group of dogs (purebred show dogs) Pedigree should be allowed to make the commercials they want to make and WKC should be allowed to choose advertising that goes along with their message. I'm sure Pedigree can find another venue for their ads and their crummy product (isn't it interesting that their name is "Pedigree"?) Or if they are really interested in shelter dogs, they can spend some of the advertising bucks on that instead. But that wouldn't make clueless people buy their product.
 

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To me, the most moving ads would show happy, healthy shelter dogs and then inform people that these dogs are being euthanized for no reason. We don't need to be portraying shelter dogs as droopy and depressing, or guilting people into adopting them.
Oh yeah. No guilt in that one.
 

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As far as those sad commercials about poor dogs that are abused and scarred with the sad faces and the sad music, I change the channel EVERY time one of them comes on. I simply don't want to see such things. I have three healthy happy dogs and I don't need to adopt another one, I just don't have the time nor the room for another dog.

I also agree with you that say that guilting people to adopt a dog is absolutely, undeniably wrong. No choice like buying a dog should be made out of guilt.

That said, if Purina wants to put happy purebreds on their commercials who am I to say they cant or shouldn't?
 

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Oh yeah. No guilt in that one.
I'd rather someone adopted a shelter dog because they want a happy, healthy, lifelong companion and there are plenty of those in shelters. I rather not have people adopting because they feel sorry for the shelter dogs who will be pts otherwise.

Informing people that their decision to adopt will save a life is not guilt-inducing. It is just a fact.
 

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If it was just a matter of them wanting happier commercials, I could completely understand. Adopting an animal should NEVER be something done based on guilt. But that's not the case. Maybe it's not the message they are trying to imply, but essentially what they are saying is shelter mutts are depressing and inferior.
I agree - I think there is a bit of snobbishness and superiority in Mr. Frei's statement. Considering the health problems in some breeds, I admit that I just don't understand the sentiment.

What I find funny is the people saying that Pedigree is garbage food - well, honestly, Purina isn't much better. Not much of an argument, IMO.
 
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