LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Shelter animals need more attention than dog shows | Letters to the Editor

It was disappointing to see the Missourian beating the drums for the American Kennel Club and the Westminster Dog Show, two entities under fire for breeding practices that cause many problems for dogs.

The AKC’s “breed standards” – used to judge dogs at Westminster and other canine beauty contests – require deformed physical characteristics that can cause debilitating health problems.

The “sunken” nose, bulging eyes, and wrinkled skin that the AKC considers desirable in bulldogs and pugs, for example, lead to a lifetime of suffering, including difficulty breathing, vision problems, and infections of the eyes. skin folds.

The problem is so widespread that many countries have banned the breeding of bulldogs, and a coalition of vets in the UK are urging people to stop buying them.

Dachshunds often develop painful disc disease due to their abnormally elongated spines, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels commonly suffer from syringomyelia – a neurological condition – because the shrunken skulls they are bred for are too small for their brains.

Since “purebred” dogs are often inbred, life-threatening genetic abnormalities such as hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, and epilepsy are common.

Even when dogs are not bred to suffer in pursuit of a human standard of beauty, breeders still profit at the animals’ expense. For every puppy produced by a breeder, a dog awaiting adoption at an animal shelter loses its chance at a home and is euthanized.

In lieu of shilling for ranchers, I respectfully suggest that Missourian dedicate space to profiles of local animals in dire need of homes

Stephanie Maddux lives in Buffalo, Missouri.

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