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McDonald’s Apologizes for Pit Bull Slur

This graphic, posted on Facebook, includes the radio ad that McDonald’s was airing in the Kansas City region.

Stung by nationwide outrage on the part of pit bull guardians, McDonalds has pulled the radio ad it’s been airing in the Kansas City area.

The supposedly humorous commercial said that eating a Chicken McBite was less risky than petting a stray pit bull, shaving your head, naming your son Sue or giving friends your Facebook password.

One dog lover, Rachele Lizarraga of Sacramento, who owns a pet-sitting business and is social media coordinator for Chako Pit Bull Rescue, started a Facebook page called Pit Bulls Against McDonald's (including the graphic above).

The animal protection group BADRAP received hundreds of e-mails and Facebook photos from people wanting to tell McDonald’s what they thought of the ad:

America's Bark Off to McDonald's from BADRAP.org on Vimeo.

A detailed report by the Associated Press about the ad and its fallout can be found here.

McDonald’s jumped in quickly to defuse the bad PR.

"The ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We apologize. As soon as we learned of it, we tracked the source and had the local markets pull the ad immediately. We'll do a better job next time. It's never our intent to offend anyone with how we communicate news about McDonald's," Ashlee Yingling, spokesman for McDonald’s, said Monday, quoting from the written apology.

But this was hardly a one-off mistake. Blogger Sammantha Matula noted that in the last few days alone, many people with dogs have come forward with stories of direct pit bull discrimination by McDonald's. For example, a certified canine good citizen and Therapy Dogs International dog, Buster Blue, and his guardian were denied an interview with the Ronald McDonald house in St. Petersburg, Florida simply based upon the fact that Buster Blue is a pit bull.

We should not be surprised that McDonald’s treats dogs and their guardians in such an off-hand, insulting manner. What else should one expect from a corporation that has, for years, done business with the most abusive of factory farms? Last November, McDonald’s was forced to drop one of their biggest egg suppliers, Sparboe Egg Farms, when undercover video, shown on ABC’s 20/20, revealed the horrors that are a routine part of that facility. And this followed hard on the heels of another undercover video, this time from the Humane Society of the United States, showing the wanton abuse of pigs at the huge Smithfield Foods factory that supplies McDonalds for its McRib – a sandwich that, according to Time magazine, also includes an additive that’s banned in Europe and Australia and is “most commonly used in the manufacture of foamed plastics like gym mats and the soles of shoes.”

A company that shows such disregard to the animals at the core of its business is unlikely to have any higher regard for other animals – least of all pit bulls.

What You Can Do: It's very simple: Don't go to McDonalds. You'll be doing your dogs a favor, your health a favor, and all the factory farm animals a big favor, too.

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