The last thing the world needs is another dog breed, by Teresa Chagrin | Columnists

A German Shorthaired Pointer poses at the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog during the 2019 Most Popular Breed Announcement in New York City. Many purebreds suffer from debilitating health problems throughout their lives.

Johannes Eisele, AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Teresa Chagrin Tribune news service

The unfortunate addition of two more dog breeds by the American Kennel Club (AKC) is reported as airy as if it were an announcement for a new car or smartphone. But dogs are not fashion objects. They are living, sentient beings – and the increasing demand for “purebreds” is having dire consequences for dogs.

Many people, thinking they need the latest breed, acquire dogs on a whim, only to have them abandoned or neglected when they find they bark, shed, walk, make a mess, and need daily grooming and attention , like all dogs.

PETA’s field staff regularly encounter dogs – including purebred dogs – that were acquired without much thought, if any, about the care and dedication they need. Many have been relegated to a lonely, miserable existence in a box, on a chain, or in a backyard pen — where they have no choice but to eat, sleep, and relieve extreme weather on the same tiny patch of earth day after day.

When they found Murphy, he hardly looked like a dog. Trapped in a filthy wire cage in a darkened hallway, he had been neglected for so long that his tiny 7-pound body was engulfed in 2 pounds of heavily matted fur encrusted with litter. Winnie, a 15-pound Lhasa Apso, was kept in a filthy outdoor enclosure and, like Murphy, was also covered in tight, painful mats. PETA was able to get Murphy and Winnie to surrender, foster and adopt into a home where they are now treated with love and respect. But not all dogs are so lucky.

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