NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It seems members of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are about to make their presence felt at the most prestigious dog show in the world.
Starting Tuesday, PETA will be staging a protest outside of Madison Square Garden, where the final day of the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will culminate with live coverage of the Best in Show award. It staged a similar demonstration last year.
In a release, PETA said it is protesting the event because the Kennel Club encourages the breeding of purebred dogs when millions of homeless animals have to be euthanized in animal shelters every year. Supporters plan to hold signs that read, “Breeders Kill Shelter Dogs’ Chances,” and will stand behind what the group said will be a mound of “blood”-soaked “dead dogs.”
“Large-scale breeding farms, puppy-mill brokers, auctioneers, and pet-store owners all cash in on the demand for purebred puppies, who are produced en masse after a Best in Show win,” PETA added in the release.
“At a time when overrun animal shelters are prompting forward-thinking states such as California to ban the retail sale of dogs, the Westminster Kennel Club is still encouraging breeders to churn out litter after litter of purebred puppies,” PETA Senior VP Daphna Nachminovitch said. “PETA urges everyone who cares about animals to support their local animal shelter, skip the dog show, and never buy an animal from a pet store or breeder.”
Breed judging began Monday at the illustrious show in New York. More than 2,800 dogs in 203 breeds and varieties were signed up to compete over two days.