Refreshing perspective on PETA and Purebreed dogs

A professional colleague of mine recently posted the following on her Facebook profile. Permission to crosspost was included. I believe this is a must read for any dog lover.
Here is the article in its entirety.

A Veterinarian speaks out on PETA & Westminister

Permission to crosspost:
Thank you Libbye Miller DVM for stating:

“Adorable mixed breeds” get cancer, epilepsy, allergies, heart
disease, and orthopedic problems just like purebreds. I see it every
day in my veterinary practice but mixed breed dogs aren’t tracked like
the purebreds so they have a reputation as “healthier” that is actually
undeserved in many cases.”

It is so sad that a lot of folks, including young veterinarians these
days, buy into the “hybrid vigor” baloney. The vet schools have been
infiltrated by the Animal Rights Extremists, who are teaching them this
junk science in order to push their agenda.

All animals have a certain amount of genetic load, which is to say
there is absolutely no animal without some genetic problem of some sort
of another. Know anyone who wears glasses? Has allergies? Thyroid
problems? Weak knees? Flat feet? A skin condition? Arthritis? A gap
between their front teeth? These are all genetic imperfections.

No human is genetically “clean.” Neither is any individual of any
species on earth. So this idea that dogs should not be bred because
they might have a genetic problem, and that breeders are somehow “evil”
for breeding them, is ridiculous. Every single individual of every
single species has at least a few genetic conditions.

To use PeTA’s logic, all breeding of all kinds (including having human
babies) should halt immediately. And to be honest, Ingrid Newkirk (the
woman who founded PeTA) does believe exactly that. She thinks that
humans should become extinct, along with dogs, cats, etc. This
ridiculous scenario is precisely what she would like to see happen.
So folks, if that is what you want…if you agree with Ingrid
Newkirk’s whacky views, send your hard earned money to PeTA. They will
help to ensure you are not able to own a dog or cat or hamster or any
other pet in the future. They will see to it that you can’t eat meat or
fish or eggs or any type of animal-based nutrition. They will work to
shut down places like Sea World, the zoos, etc. so you cannot observe
the many wonderful animals on the Earth. Eventually, once they
accomplish these things, they may turn their efforts to making it
illegal for humans to procreate.
If you don’t agree with their extremist views, wise up and start
supporting those who truly do love, care for and enjoy interaction with
other species here on our little blue planet.

The fanciers of the breeds, those you see exhibiting their dogs at
Westminster and other dog shows, work very hard to eliminate serious
genetic conditions. They screen their breeding stock with every
available test. They research pedigrees before breeding into other
lines, to check for similar clearances in those animals. They
contribute money to research organizations to further the work being
done to track down genetic problems. They contribute blood, cell
samples, etc. from their own animals to help with DNA and genome
studies. They have made great progress so far, and they continue to
work hard at it.

Are there unethical breeders? Certainly, there are. Just as in any
group of humans, you will find the good and the bad. United States VP
Elect Joe Biden, for example, managed to find a not so good one when he
got his new German Shepherd puppy. I don’t know who did his research
for him, but they obviously didn’t do their homework if they were
looking for a responsible breeder. Joe has the right to get his dog
from whomever he wishes, but if he was trying to set an example of
purchasing from a responsible hobby breeder he went off the track this
time. That’s too bad, but it was his choice.

Unfortunately, breeders like that may be a lot easier to find because
of their high volume and high profile. If you are looking for a nice
family pet from a breeder who will be there for you forever, you need
to do due diligence. You won’t get that from a pet store. You won’t get
that from the guy selling dogs out of his pickup truck in the WalMart
parking lot. You won’t get that support from a high-volume breeder,
either. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort to find someone who
really cares and does all the work to breed the healthiest, happiest
puppies possible and then stands behind those puppies.

This is a living being that will be part of your family, hopefully,
for many years. Isn’t it worth a bit of effort to find a breeder who
will be there for you and that puppy forever?

And guess what? Shows like Westminster are a very valuable resource
for finding breeders who do care and who use the best possible
practices, as well as for learning more about the various breeds.

Bravo to USA Network for broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club show
all these years. May they enjoy continued success through the ongoing
inclusion of such programs. I will be eagerly watching this year’s