British Documentary Exposes The Dark Side Of Pedigree Dog Breeding

A controversial documentary called “Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” about the dark side to pure breeding of dogs, airs tonight on BBC America. This morning on “Today,” they showed a clip from the film, focusing on how pure breeding of Cavaliers has resulted in many of them having a painful genetic disease where their brains are too large for their skulls. This is just one of many ways humans are “breeding dogs to death.” Dog breeding is one those issues that really gets me angry. Breeding pedigrees not only can be harmful to the dogs themselves, but also stops people from adopting dogs that already are in desperate need of homes. I adopted my dog Lucca from an animal shelter as a puppy, though really she adopted me, because the second she sat down on my lap, she seemed content and smiley and I melted. Even when the shelter workers told me that they suspect she was part Labrador and would grow to be about 40 pounds — a size that was much larger than I thought I could handle in my small New York apartment — I could not NOT adopt her. It turns out that she probably doesn’t have any lab in her, because she never grew past 20 pounds. When I walk her down the street I am constantly stopped by strangers, oohing and ahhing about how cute she is, dying to know her breed. “She’s a mutt,” I always say, and it’s true. I suspect Lucca could have anywhere from three to 10 dog breeds in her blood, and as a result, she’s adorable, healthy, smart, and most of all, utterly unique. She’ll never be in the Westminster Dog Show, but I don’t give a f**k. I saved her and in many ways, during rough points in my life over the last three years, she’s saved me.