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The Pedigree Dogs Bred For Looks, Born To Suffer

Talking Points
A new study from the RSPCA reveals that many people still think all pedigree dogs and puppies are healthy, quality animals that come from good breeding stock.

The animal welfare charity says:

"We are concerned that people are continuing to buy puppies that are prone to serious health and welfare issues because they are choosing dogs for the way they look, such as the current trend for toy breeds and 'handbag dogs' and aren’t doing enough research before they buy."

In the RSPCA commissioned survey people were asked what they associate with pure-breed or pedigree dogs. The top six responses were:

1. Expensive

2. Well bred

3. From good breeding stock

4. Quality

5. Responsibly bred

6. Healthy

But these aren’t always true the charity claims.

RSPCA senior scientist, Claire Calder said:

    Everyone needs to be aware of the serious health and welfare problems affecting pedigree dogs and that dogs bred for looks are born to suffer.

    A cute-looking puppy or dog can be hard to resist, but the result of not looking beyond this can be thousands of pounds spent on vets bills and a pet with long lasting health and welfare problems. This is one of the biggest challenges facing dog welfare in the UK today.

Victoria Stilwell, presenter and dog trainer from the hit TV show 'It’s Me or the Dog', agrees that dogs shouldn’t be bred solely for the way they look.

Victoria said:

    I have nothing against dog showing and nothing against responsible breeders, but what I do have something against is breeding animals just for the way we want them to look, even though that animal is compromised both physically and, a lot of the time, mentally.

    So we have to change. Why are we destroying these animals just because we like the way they look?

The RSPCA is launching a new campaign, Bred for looks, born to suffer, in order to raise awareness of the issue.

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