Last night on "Live at Five" there was a piece on "Golden Doodles" - 1/2 golden retriever and 1/2 poodle puppies being bred up in New Brunswick by this woman who was selling them for $1,000 and she couldn't keep up with the demand so many people wanted them and how wonderful they were and blah blah blah. It was absolutely awful. It was so uninformed, unnecessary and potentially dangerous that I had to write in today. I heard that they got more emails and phone calls about that one story than they've gotten about any other story in the history of "Live at Five". I can understand why. I wrote 2 letters - one after last night's story and one after their follow-up story tonight:
This is my one that I wrote this afternoon:
Dear Mr. Keller, I am an avid watcher of Live at Five - I watch itevery night in fact and know that you are trying to reach the broadest base of audience possible and I have no doubt that you take great pride in the fact that your news cast is the #1 nightly new cast inthe Maritime provinces (and rightly so!)
So it was with dismay - and trepidation - when I saw the teaser for the story last night about "oodles of doodles". I knew the story wasn't going to be good - that it was obviously going to be a fluff piece about those dreadful cross-bred dogs that people are calling "designer dogs" but are none-the-less still dogs of uncertain lineage and doubtful outcome. And most certainly being offered at outrageous prices - can you imagine if a shelter charged $1,000 for a mixed breed pup - which is what these labradoodle and goldendoodle dogs are?
They are just like every other mixed breed dogs I'm sorry to say -they can have the best part of which ever breed they are mixed from - or they can have the worst part of which ever breed they are mixed from. So they can have the delightful playfullness of the poodle and the stalwart friendliness of the retriever or they can have the flighty stupidness of the poodle and the clumsy mouthiness of the retriever - with all the genetic flaws that go with each breed - like all the cancers that are common now.
Designer dogs are no better than any other dog - and at $1,000 a dog think of how many shelter dogs are dying for the cost of one of those dogs. It is absolutely disgraceful. I can think of many more educational and interesting ways for you to fill up your air-time if you're looking for happy dog stories Mr. Keller - go to a REPUTABLE CKC breeder - they'll be more than happy to talk about their dogs and puppies. Go to a shelter and highlight some of the dogs available there. Go to a dog park and have your camera and crew hang out for
shenanigans that you wouldn't believe - a dog park is one of the happiest places on earth.
But don't interview and legitimize back yard breeders who are doing nothing but hurting the world of dogs and putting a further strain on the shelter system. Shelters are full of labradoodles and goldendoodles and shepherd-doodles - I myself am the proud owner of 2 sheltie-labbies, a dobie-weiller and bitchie-oodle - my own version ofthe designer dog craze! All snatched from the hands of death - for much less than a $1,000 each!
And then tonight a more balanced piece was on that included members of the CKC and the head of the Oromocto SPCA which is the SPCA closest to the Goldendoodle woman so I wrote another letter thanking them:
Dear Mr Keller: I'd like to thank-you for your stories tonight on Live at Five following up on the "oodles of doodles" story from last night.
Your representatives that you chose to interview from the dog community were an excellent representation from different segments of the population - purebreed and rescue - and they both gave valuable insights to your audience.
I think Ms King answered a very big question for me when she said that the only people who were important to her were her "customers". That says to me that she views her puppies as commodities - as "livestock"- as items to be sold - not as living, breathing, feeling sentientbeings - which they are - and which ethical breeders like Lee Steeves and Amanda Kelly - view their dogs. They DON'T breed their dogs to make their "customers" happy - they breed their dogs to better their chosen breed. And they certainly don't view their dogs as livestock -it's when you start viewing your companion animals like a factory farmer views cows and pigs that the animal starts finding themself in jeopardy. I fear for Ms. King's animals.
I hope anyone who saw your story last night also saw your stories tonight. What would also be super would be if you talked about pet stores and where the animals sold there come from. Do you know where they come from? 90% of them come from the most horrible, deplorable conditions that you could imagine. Places where the humans DO treat the dogs and cats like livestock and have no care whatsoever for the wellbeing of the animals and when a dog is born with a defect that makes them unsellable but they still live to maturity - they keep them and use them for breeding stock - that's how little they care about the genetics of their breeding stock! And those are the quality of animals you are buying when you buy your lifetime canine companion in a pet store. And then you wonder why they start acting funny 2 weeks after you've bought them.
I'm sorry this email has been so long - I'm sure you've gotten tons of very long emails today - dogs are like children to 1000's of people here in the Maritimes just like everywhere. We in the rescue community and the purebreed/show community see SO MUCH sufferingcaused by puppy mills and back yard breeders that when we see a major news organization doing a fluff piece on what we believe to be a known puppy mill/back yard breeder - we have to do something about it. Perhaps you didn't know that Ms. King has a website called petseller.ca - she is well known, at least within the rescue communityas being of a rather unsavoury character. I would think that anyone who had a website called "petseller" would bring up red flags for a person doing research on whether a person is a good and ethical breeder - since no ethical breeder is in the business of "selling dogs" - they are only in the business of "breeding dogs". Just an fyi for future stories!
Thank-you for taking the time to follow-up today!