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It’s not just the dogs making headlines for Westminster Kennel Club this year. This year’s WKC dog show is “dogged” by controversy since Westminster ended their 24-years long sponsorship by Pedigree in favor of the more fun and happy Nabisco Purina Petcare brand. This decision has us wondering, is Westminster dissing shelter dogs?
WKC spokesman, David Frei, told reporters that Pedigree took the wrong approach with their advertisements.
“Show me an ad with a dog with a smile. Don’t try to shame me,” Frei said. “Our show is a celebration of dogs. We’re not promoting purebreds at the expense of non-purebreds. We celebrate all dogs. When we’re seeing puppies behind bars, it takes away from that. Not just because it’s sad, but it’s not our message.”
Pedigree’s focus has been on the rescue and adoption of shelter dogs. Apparently, WKC doesn’t want the heartfelt messages tainting their perfect, pure-bred image. Giving shelter dogs a home isn’t a shared vision between Pedigree and WKC, so the relationship was ended.
While the ads might not have been favored by the Westminster Kennel Club, they were certainly effective. In 2007 alone, over $500,000 was pledged to help shelter dogs during the 2 days of the WKC Dog Show that the ads aired.
Despite losing their sponsorship agreement with Westminster, Pedigree continues to fight for shelter dogs, holding their annual Pedigree Adoption Drive at the same time as the famous dog show. In fact, Pedigree has pledged that any time anyone interacts with their facebook page, they’ll donate a bowl of food to a shelter as part of their “Every Dog Dog Show” event.
Although Westminster may be dissing shelter dogs, we’re in big support of Pedigree’s continued efforts to promote adoption.
Here’s an example of the type of commercials that WKC didn’t want its viewers watching during their dog show:
Have you ever adopted a shelter dog? Tell us about your four-legged family member(s) below!