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There's no such thing as 'responsible' dog breeding

To the editor: Meghan Daum misses the reason People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, speaks out against the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the cruel breeding industry. ("The Westminster Dog Show's bark doesn't deserve PETA's bite at Meet the Breed day," Op-Ed, Feb. 18)

There is no such thing as "responsible breeding." Common dog-breeding practices, including inbreeding and selective breeding for the distorted physical features required by the American Kennel Club's "breed standards," cause many purebreds to suffer debilitating, lifelong and even life-threatening health problems.

What's more, all of the puppies that breeders produce rob lovable, friendly and healthy dogs waiting in shelters of their chance at a home. Other purebred puppies end up homeless themselves: One in four dogs in shelters is a purebred.

People who care about dogs — all dogs, not just the ones who can win them ribbons and trophies — would never sacrifice dogs' health for appearances or bring more animals into a world where so many suffer and die for want of a good home.

Daphna Nachminovitch, Norfolk, Va.

The writer is senior vice president, cruelty investigations department, at PETA.

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