Some of the Most F*%#ed-Up Family Trees From Last Year’s Crufts Winners

I don’t normally write 4 blogs posts in rapid succession on the same topic, but that’s just a measure of my heartache at the thought of those thousand upon thousand unwanted dogs in shelters in the UK, not to mention the 5,000 strays put down every year. I rescued my own gorgeous girl Holly from Manchester Dogs Home. She has been my loving, sweet, gentle companion for 15 years.

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This is Holly enjoying Lake Coniston two years ago.

Multiply the UK numbers by a factor of thousands in the US. Approximately 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters nationwide every year, with approximately 1.2 million dogs euthanised.

The Westminster Dog Show, the biggest in the US, takes place at pretty much the same time as Crufts and is plagued with the same kind of problems.

Another petition to sign about Crufts

Some of the Most F*%#ed-Up Family Trees From Last Year’s Crufts Winners

We took a look through the family trees of some of the dogs who won “best of breed” prizes at last year’s Crufts. Here’s what we found.



Supporters protest in Birmingham about inbreeding among pedigree dogs ahead of this year’s Crufts.

We knew that inbreeding was rampant in the pedigree dog world, where “purity” of bloodlines is valued above animals’ health. But even we were surprised by the amount of incest we found in the recent histories of these animals whom the Kennel Club judges to be model examples of their breeds.

1. “My grandfather is also my uncle.”
– Marbelton What a Guy at Zobear, pug


This “champion” doesn’t just have an unusual name – he also has a very close family.

Inbreeding makes pugs like What a Guy likely to suffer from severe breathing problems because of their squashed-in faces. It’s actually considered “routine” to perform surgery on these dogs to clear their blocked airways. Their wrinkled skin often harbours painful infections, while their bulging eyes are prone to injuries and ulcers.


2. “My grandmothers are cousins, and my daddy and granddad are half-brothers.”
– Samhaven Wired for Sound, collie (rough)


There is a tangled knot at the centre of this dog’s pedigree – and it’s bad news for her gene pool.

Ninety-five per cent of purebred collies like Wired for Sound have or carry the genes for an eye disease called “collie eye anomaly”, and they’re also prone to cataracts, skin problems and autoimmune diseases. What’s more, they’re one of the breeds most likely to develop bloat, a terrifying condition in which their stomach swells and becomes twisted, often causing death within hours or even minutes.


3. “My mum was conceived when her mum had sex with her brother.”
– Gunalt De Ice at Stridview, Weimaraner


We’re more than a little disturbed by some of the goings-on in this dog’s immediate family.

Weimaraners like Gunalt are often born with deformed hip sockets, or “hip dysplasia”, which can cause crippling pain and lameness throughout their lives. Bone disease, cancer and bloat are just a few of the other conditions that humans’ obsession with breeding inflicts on these dogs.

4. “My dad was conceived when my granddad had sex with his granddaughter.”
– Edglonian Singing the Blues, Shetland sheepdog

Yes, this would most certainly be illegal if they were human.

Shelties like Singing the Blues are at risk of some seriously nasty illnesses, including von Willebrand disease – a blood-clotting disorder that can cause excessive bleeding – as well as epilepsy and Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, which causes the disintegration of the hip joint.

Dig back into pretty much any “purebred” dog’s family tree, and you’ll discover similar patterns: creepy incestuous relationships and an unhealthily tiny gene pool. With such a lack of genetic diversity, it’s not surprising that so many pedigree dogs suffer from debilitating inherited diseases and usually die young.

Crufts and the organisation behind it, the Kennel Club, give these sickly dogs prizes and encourage breeders to create more animals just like them – often by breeding from the same “champion” dog over and over again.

Dogs don’t need a fancy pedigree to be beautiful. Please don’t buy into “breedism” – boycott breeders, and don’t tune in to Crufts next year.

Written by Ann for PETA

The RSPCA’s Ruff Competition Winners

Crufts Comes Under Fire Again

Following on from Six Good Reasons to Pass up on Crufts, the biggest dog show in the world is getting more bad press.

Crufts has come under fire for awarding a “deformed” German Shepherd the “Best of Breed” title. The dog, named Catoria, has an abnormally sloped back and a painful-looking limp. According to the RSPCA, “Many other dogs at Crufts showed visible signs of poor health and/or discomfort,” including the winner of the Toy Breeds, a Pekinese who was “panting heavily and struggling to breathe.”

The motto of the Kennel Club, organisers of the event, is “Making a difference for dogs”. Yet their flagship show, where dogs are treated as fashionable prized possessions, rewards breeding practices that severely compromise health and welfare – the exact opposite of its declared aim, “to look after the health and welfare of dogs”.

The prestigious show, in what I call The Crufts Effect, fuels the market for pedigree breeds, a market ruthlessly exploited by the unscrupulous with no regard for even basic animal welfare.

Soaring demand for designer dogs fuels the brutal £100 million industry

The aggrandization  of pedigree breeds leads directly to the situation we have in the UK where 75% of dogs chosen for pets are pedigrees. With the result that 14 strays are euthanised every single day and dog lovers choose to overlook the many thousands more languishing in shelters up and down the country.

Please sign this petition urging the Kennel Club to put an end to this misguided show and start promoting welfare for all dogs.

Sign petition here


The Crufts Effect – Dead Puppies Dumped Like Rubbish in a Ditch

This illustrates perfectly but tragically my previous post 6 Good Reasons to Pass up on Crufts

RSPCA continues campaign against illegal dog farming – the Mirror March 14 2016


RSPCA investigators say the tiny animals were just six – eight weeks old, too young even to have been taken from their mothers. They fear the ditch is being regularly used to dispose of sick pups. They also found decomposed remains of many more dogs at the spot. The puppies were filthy, showing signs of having been kept in their own waste.

The discovery comes after the Mirror revealed nearly 200 sick puppies are being trafficked into Britain every day as soaring demand for designer dogs fuels the brutal £100 million industry.

soaring demand for designer dogs fuels the brutal £100 million industry

The harrowing images of a dumping ground for dead puppies, discovered in a quiet country lane on Feb 27, were released by the RSPCA to highlight the cruel trade.The RSPCA said 70,000 of the vulnerable creatures were illegally transported here by Irish and Eastern European gangs last year – a massive increase from 1,800 reported in official figures five years ago.

The pups are often inbred and kept in horrendous conditions, making them susceptible to fatal diseases, before being sold to unwitting animal-lovers.

The RSPCA has told people to be on their guard when buying pets after this horrific find cast new light on the illegal farming and trafficking of puppies, and has launched a campaign, Scrap the Puppy Trade, calling for new legislation to better protect dogs and puppies being bred for sale, and for dog breeders to have to obtain a licence.

Read more

Sign petition to Scrap the Puppy Trade

6 Good Reasons to Pass up on Crufts


The Kennel Club not only put on this world famous dog show, they also lay down in writing the physical standards each breed must conform to, and keep the pedigree register.



No 1  The way pedigree dogs are bred induces diseases that are breed specific. Or as PETA  so succinctly puts it, “Purebred is a euphemism for inbred.” Here is a handy list.

No 2  We’ve all heard the heavy labouring breath that goes with the squashed faces of Pekes and Pugs. Pedigree dogs are bred to have certain exaggerated features that are actual physical deformities. The RSPCA lists 11 examples that seriously affect the dogs’ health and quality of life.

No 3  Fickle fashion dictates which pedigree dog is today’s status symbol. Whether it’s the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a modest £9000 a pop, or should I say, a pup. Or the very top drawer Tibetan Mastiff – one of these beasties  recently sold at auction, yes at auction, for £1.6 million. Do we seriously want to turn man’s best friend into a designer accessory with a price tag?  The Telegraph

No 4  Why be complicit in lining breeders’ pockets? The stud dogs and breeding bitches are being used as cash cows. As profitable puppy machines, the bitches in particular have poor quality of life.

No 5  Now this is the one that makes me angry and sad in equal measure. Every year here in the UK we have approximately 110,000 strays, nearly half of those abandoned by their owners. Many that simply stray out of the garden or on a walk do get reclaimed, but many many more languish miserably in rescue centres waiting and hoping for a new home. Worst of all, roughly 5,000 dogs, unlucky, unwanted, unloved, are put down. That is 14 innocent dogs put to death every day of the year. Dogs Trust Stray Survey

No 6  75% of the 9 million dogs kept in the UK are pedigrees. I defy you to visit any dog rescue shelter in the country and not come away crying.

Blue Cross Adoptions

RSPCA Adoptions

Dogs Trust Rehoming

Crufts show is just a breeding ground for canine cruelty – Belfast Telegraph

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On Long John Silver’s Shoulder

The video of this parrot is super cute and made me laugh out loud.


But then I wondered if this is really something I should be sharing. A while back, not longer after I started this blog, I wrote a post called  On Long John Silver’s Shoulder  And I think it’s worth revisiting because for the parrot, as with most species of animals with whom humans interact, there’s a darker story beneath.

Recent research offers a postscript to this: findings are that the beautiful intelligent parrot is the most endangered of all bird species.