Chuck’s Mummy here! I don’t often write long ranty posts, but I’m going to, to stand alongside every dog show handler, breeder, and dog. I don’t really care if anyone agrees or disagrees but this article makes me absolutely FURIOUS… and here’s why:
1) You cannot compare the cruelty of a bullring to Crufts or indeed any dog show at any level. If you’re going to stand up for animal rights, go and tackle illegal dog fights. Go and tackle puppy farming, animal testing, the ivory trade, hunting, game sports… go and tackle real abuse. Not a dog show where people put their dogs first.
2) “breeding dogs for their looks” – that’s an incredibly shallow scratch on the surface of what we do. We breed for temperament, health and type. Judges are judging against these qualities, they don’t go “ahhh, cute! First prize!” Many dogs are indeed bred for their looks – look at all the “designer” cross-breeds around. You know what? The KC takes a dim view of breeding for looks. They just don’t shout as loud about it as maybe they should. “Being bred with “pushed-in” faces and weak hips is what puts them at risk” – this isn’t actually what Crufts is there for at all… you need to tackle the general public on this one, and the irresponsible breeders who will happily not test their dogs, not pay attention to Inbreeding COI scores and general disregard everything in pursuit of cold hard cash. If there’s a market, they’ll sell to it. Lots is being done to promote healthy stock by the KC, more than ever before, but this is a long multi-faceted marathon to improve, so many of these “deformed” dogs are being imported from abroad now, because UK breeders are taking a stand. It’s a bigger issue than dog shows themselves. Notice that none of these “deformed” dogs were put through to the show you disrupted. Things are moving forward, and you would do better to help promote welfare than protest against showing.
3) In a world where people are in a heightened state of paranoia over terror attacks, what the bloody hell did you think you were doing, storming the show ring? Do you know the panic you caused? It wasn’t helping your cause. You looked irresponsible. You say “my aim is to give audiences pause, to get them to stop and consider” – yeah, do you know what they paused to consider? If they were about to get blown up. Idiot.
4) Do you really know the organisation you’re “speaking” for, with these acts? PETA euthanise perfectly healthy dogs and other animals because they simply can’t be bothered to rehome them. They’ve even admitted to this. Why?
5) “I was no threat to the animals in that arena, but undoubtedly they did feel threatened by the thousands of people, bright lights, music, and loudspeaker announcements in the ring and by being yanked around by the neck, even while wearing choke collars.” They’re not wearing choke collars, they’re literally on the flimsiest of strings… Look at the canine body language of the dogs in that ring, did they look threatened, scared? No. Nobody would take a threatened, scared dog into a show ring like that – they’re well-acclimated to being in this sort of environment. Do you know what threatens them? A crazy person storming the ring and running at them.
6) “when they weren’t being forced to perform, they were being sprayed with products or confined to crates – all weekend long”. Incorrect on many levels, they’re not there all weekend long, you’re there for the time you’re showing, that’s all. You wander around, you go outside, you eat, you snooze… and when did crate training become abuse? Yes, some (but certainly not all) are sprayed with products – most of which carry fewer toxins than the things humans use on themselves. Nobody can force a dog to perform. Have you ever tried getting a Newfoundland into a bath when he doesn’t want to go? Good luck with that one… The steward wouldn’t even let you in the ring if they saw distress.
If I had been in that ring, and you had come within a metre of me and my dog, I’d have taken you down (and Chuck would have probably got to you first). How dare you put me and Chuck in the category of “animal abusers”, you misinformed, camera-hungry fanatic.