A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Today Show Investigates Puppy Mills

Westminster: a Pageant of Pornography

The Westminster Porn Show
A pageant of objectification and commoditization.

Best in Shoes, 2016
The judge’s blue, knee-length skirt really showed off the muscle tone of her legs.

The Freaks of Westminster
No, not the dogs, but the people who turn them into deformed shadows of their true canine nature.

Best in Glow, 2011
Big Mama Jubilee, a rescued pit bull mix, takes our prize!

Westminster Dog Show Nixes Adoption Ads
Dog food company gets axed for promoting adoption.

Today Show Investigates Puppy Mills
Their interview with the AKC’s communications director is priceless.

The BBC Investigates Dog Show Breeders
How spaniels, bulldogs, pugs and others are deliberately bred for distorted features that cause lifelong sickness and pain.

… and just for fun:
Top Ten Signs You Got a Bad Judge at Westminster
10: He keeps saying, “There’s hardly any meat on this one.”

The Today Show‘s investigative piece on commercial dog breeders doesn’t offer anything new about the puppy mills themselves. But it does highlight the relationship that these dreadful businesses have with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

And the interview with the AKC’s communications director, Lisa Peterson, is priceless:

“If you had to grade your inspection program, what grade would you give yourself?” we asked.

“I’d give us an A,” Peterson told us. “In fact, our inspection program is more than 98 percent in compliance.”

Critics say that’s just smoke and mirrors: Breeders pay the AKC registration fees for every dog, yet the AKC has no idea what goes on at many of those kennels.

“Nationwide, how many breeders are there that have AKC-registered dogs?” we asked Peterson.

“That’s a great question,” she said. “We don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“I don’t know. No, I’m sorry.”

“What percentage of breeders that do have AKC-registered dogs end up getting inspected?”

“We do thousands of inspections annually,” Peterson said. “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”

“But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?”

“The percentage changes because it’s a balancing act,” Peterson said. “It’s–”

“Ballpark,” we interrupted.

“I don’t have that figure,” Peterson said. “I’m sorry.”

“How many inspectors do you have?”

“We have nine inspectors,” Peterson said.

“That cover the entire country?”

“That’s correct.”

“Do you think that’s an adequate number?” we asked.

“That’s the number that we have,” Peterson said.

And there’s more. Animal rights groups say the AKC is actually protecting bad breeders, fighting laws that would regulate breeders based on the number of dogs they have, and require new standards or inspections.

“You have opposed laws in several states that would crack down on breeders. Why?” we asked AKC’s Peterson.

“We oppose breeder limit laws, because it’s not the number of dogs that you own, it’s the care and conditions in which they’re kept,” she answered.

And then we’re treated to more shocking video of what Peterson calls “the care and conditions in which they’re kept.”

The report notes that the conditions in which the dogs are kept are so horrific that the Humane Society of the U.S. and the ASCPA are condemning the AKC. Except that for years the ASPCA has had a Faustian relationship with the AKC, accepting money from them at the Westminster Dog Show in exchange for a seal of approval. Former ASPCA President Roger Caras even wrote a book, The Roger Caras Dog Book – a Complete Guide to Every AKC Breed.

The Today Show hosts give a nod to the animal protection world at the end, reminding people that they can “buy a rescued dog” and that “there are groups that even specialize in purebreds.”