Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (U.S.A.) has fired its TV sponsor of the past 24 years, Pedigree, because Pedigree's ads encouraging adoption of shelter dogs were deemed too depressing.

“The feedback we got from our primary audience was that they were seeing commercials that made them want to turn the channel,” Westminster spokesman and USA network on-air commentator David Frei told the Associated Press. One of the spots Pedigree ran during past Westminster shows featured shots of dogs sitting alone in shelters. Most were mixed breeds, and the spot encouraged viewers to adopt dogs from shelters.

"Show me an ad with a dog with a smile. Don’t shame me,” Frei said. “We told them [Pedigree] that and they ignored us.”

Westminster, like virtually all American Kennel Club-sanctioned dog shows, features purebred dogs, and Pedigree Brand Manager Lisa Campbell, in an interview with Ad Age, suggested Westminster might have been uncomfortable with the ads’ emphasis on shelter dogs.

“Their long-term vision is completely focused on purebred dogs,” she said. “We are focused on all dogs.”

COMMENT: OCICBW... gives a big thumbs up for actually caring a bit about the animals they make so much money out of.

OCICBW... despairs of Frei and his poncey kennel club but isn't surprised - anybody who will cripple and deform dogs, by breeding for looks not health and intelligence, obviously doesn't give a shit about the welfare of dogs. I'd neuter the lot of them.

But our main condemnation, our "Biggest Bastard in Show" award, goes to Purina, Westminster's new sponsor, for jumping in and snatching the goodies so eagerly. I hope whoever sanctioned and delighted in that bit of business falls into a cesspit of dog poo in front of a whole rescue centre of homeless pooches. If I was there when it happened I'd shout, "How's that for depressing!" at the nasty little hypocrite.



  1. I’m happy to say that my adopted-from-a-shelter dogs have eaten Pedigree for years.

    These Kennel Clubs are seriously deranged. They fight against mandatory neuter/spay laws, refuse to accept dogs that are fixed, and generally show little interest in any dog not over-bred to run around a ring and pander to the vanity of a few.

    What a shame that so many people pay so much attention to them.

  2. I felt guilty for watching WKC again.* While it’s fun to watch the purebreds, rescue dogs (esp. rescue mutts!) are TRULY “Best in Show”! {smooch}

    Yay, Pedigree; Boo, Purina (& WKC).

    * I was rooting for (final BIS round) the Dalmation, but (esp. @ KJ) felt that the Dachsund could easily have won (was crowd favorite).

  3. We are a feline household (or so my cats tell me) so I perhaps do not see this sort of thing so readily. We do not buy cat food from either company.

    I do think the over breeding of “pure bred” dogs by the kennel clubs is obscene.


  4. In England they bred the pedigree German Shepherd Dog to have back legs that were diagonal to the ground. What happened? Their leg bones started slipping out of their hips. They have even managed to turn the placid Golden retriever breed into aggressive deranged dogs by constant inbreeding. These people are evil.

    Although there is now a breed quality border collie group I refuse to buy them. I buy from working stock. This means that I am not allowed to officially call them border collies and I’m not allowed to show them. I have to refer to them as working sheepdogs.

    But my dogs are strong, healthy and intelligent and always very happy. To watch them running across the beach is a delight. It is so sad to see the snub nosed dogs and the dogs whose legs don’t bend or are too short, gazing enviously at my dogs. Inside they are real dogs but we have crippled their outsides.

  5. Yeh, Miss Xena, Warrior Mixed Breed Labrador Princess of all Norwalk, and proud rescued-from-a-kennel pooch watched the working breeds with mixed feelings. (Yes, she really was watching them.) Our favorites are the big dogs.

  6. It is beyond me that the welfare of animals you show can be too depressing. It is like not showing children on TV because people will be reminded of starving children in Africa.

  7. I enjoy the occasional dog show myself, but I’d enjoy it a lot more if the dogs were just happy, well-bred specimens of their breeds, or even just mongrels.

    Our beautiful black lab, Filbert, came from a shelter. But it would be more accurate to say he chose our son than the other way around 🙂

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, Maddy, about neutering the lot of them. It might be a good idea to neuter a few of the overbred dogs too.

  8. It might be a good idea to neuter a few of the overbred dogs too.

    Not to mention the inbred “masters” of the WKC! Good Lord, a lot of the judges look like their parents had “fortune-tellers” to align their trustfunds… :-X

  9. While we have three purebreds (golden, lab, and basset), I’m all for shelter animals (dogs, cats, fowl, littles, hooved …).

    Perhaps some may consider it a failing, but appeals by CCF and similar, showing destitute and malnourished children, have absolutely no effect on me.

    However, I must either change the channel or leave the room when the humane society commercials come on, especially the one with Sarah MacLachlan. Otherwise I will dissolve into tears, often for the rest of the evening.

  10. Like Janis, I just can’t watch dog shelter commercials. Therefore, I KIND OF understand why Westminster decided not to go with that set of commercials. They could have showed happy adoption commercials and been just fine. But I really would have changed the channel have they aired those commercials. The WKC needed to look at their audience!