- Sean W. McCarthyPresident, Westminster Kennel Club
- Dennis B. SprungPresident & CEO, American Kennel Club
- Florence FotiDirector of Operations, Westminster Kennel Club
Kennel Clubs: Establish Healthy Breed Standards
Dog clubs like Westminster & American Kennel Clubs continue to perpetuate the idea that "pure breeds" are better dogs than mixed breed dogs. Because of this, many dogs are born from breeding standards that focus on the color of their coats or the pointiness of their ears rather than the health of their hearts or the sharpness of their minds.
As a result, many breeders mate fathers to daughters or even brothers to sisters to retain traits that have nothing to do with a dog's welfare. Healthy puppies are euthanized when their physique differs from the norm. And let's not forget the hundreds or even thousands of dogs bred in puppy mills that are no healthier -- and often sicker -- than their mixed breed counterparts -- and abandoned when they're too old to be sold.
If this continues, we will be breeding dogs to their extinction — inbreeding dogs eventually leads to sterility.
If you believe that breed standards should be based on a dog's health and not solely on appearance, please sign this petition. All dogs deserve better.
Watch the video above to learn more.
I will hand deliver every signature to the Westminster Kennel Club and American Kennel Club.
- President, Westminster Kennel Club
Sean W. McCarthy
- President & CEO, American Kennel Club
Dennis B. Sprung
- Director of Operations, Westminster Kennel Club
Please establish breed standards based on health not looks.
Too many "pure breed" dogs have health issues, lower quality of life and shorter life spans because of arbitrary breed "standards" developed by dog clubs like the American and Westminster Kennel Clubs.
These standards diminish the perceived value of healthy mixed breed dogs and perpetuate an unhealthy obsession with unhealthy dogs.
The suffering of many dogs has been well-documented. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are almost all born with Syringomyelia and Mitre Heart Valve disease. Bulldogs are incapable of breeding without assistance and have chronic respiratory problems. German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, beagles are prone to epileptic seizures. Toy breeds like shih-tzus have wobbly kneecaps that can pop out easily. Boxers are prone to cancer. Dachsunds have chronic back problems. Great Danes can die of bloat. The list goes on.
Never mind the unfathomable grief the owners of these dogs endure and the medical costs of dealing with illness and disease.
You have the power to reduce this suffering. Take a stand for dogs. They are not toys for our amusement. For many people, they are our best friends and they deserve the chance to live long, healthy, happy lives.
In the pursuit of healthy dogs, we ask that the American Kennel Club and Westminister Kennel Club :
1: Create a public database that any owner of a registered pure breed dog can access to document illnesses and hereditary disease.
2. Deny registry to any dogs bred from a coupling of dogs that are siblings or from the same lineage (parent to child or grandchild).
3. Demand all show dogs submit to testing of all common hereditary diseases affecting more than 1% of that breed and disqualify any dogs who test positive for those diseases.
4. Re-evaluate breed standards in consultation with a peer board of veterinarians and animal welfare experts that expand the gene pool of each breed instead of shrinking it.
5. (Optional) Create a talent round in the judging where dogs perform a special trick. Just like in beauty pageants.
Kate Bryant started this petition with a single signature, and now has 249 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.