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Newf Friends Newfoundland Dog Rescue is a volunteer run, foster home based rescue group for Newfoundland Dogs in need in Ontario, Canada.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Make your voice heard, stop irresponsible breeding!

On the October 5th, 2011 episode of the CBC television show Dragon's Den, Ingrid Johansson and Raf Khoury presented their request for financial investment in their company, Matchmaker Pet. This company is promoted as an "online dating service" for dogs. Members pay a fee to profile their dog in an attempt to find a mate. The intended result is a litter of puppies which the pet owners will then attempt to sell to the public.

In a society where dogs are euthanized at alarming rates, shelters are overflowing with unwanted dogs and rescues are overwhelmed by both purebred and mixed breed dogs, it is beyond comprehension that this concept was granted airtime, let alone investment dollars.

Last week, the city of Toronto banned the sale of dogs in pet stores in an attempt to curtail the activity of puppy mills. We, in rescue, celebrated this milestone only to be confronted this week by the irresponsibility of a television show, on a publicly funded network, promoting the irresponsible breeding of dogs. We are appalled and infuriated by both the decision to present the concept on the show and the decision of one of the dragons to invest in this business.

Responsible dog breeding is the result of years of careful study, medical tests on breeding stock, puppy follow ups and health guarantees. It is a science, not a whim. Responsible breeders stand behind the animals they bring into the world for their lifetime. The idea that a website with bios and cutesy photos of potential mates will help promote the health and welfare of a breed is absolutely ludicrous! Specific breeds are susceptible to certain medical problems which can be inbred. Responsible breeders try to breed these problems out to in order promote a healthier, stronger breed of dog. Helter skelter breeding only increases the incidence of these issues. There are too many dogs being bred every day in Canada. This notion of a doggy dating service will serve to encourage misinformed people, looking to make a fast dollar, to bring more dogs into the world.

We, in rescue, are confronted by the results of irresponsible breeding on a daily basis. Back yard breeders and puppy mills account for the majority of the purebred dogs that end up in rescue. Clearly the concept of Matchmaker Pet was the brainchild of two people who have not contemplated the horrible fates that often befall pets conceived in such a haphazard manner. Every day, those of us who are passionate about animal rescue, are in the trenches cleaning up after the likes of people like Ms Johannson and Mr. Khoury, and now Ms Dickinson. We are disgusted by the lack of foresight shown by all involved - this sort of idiocy must be stopped.

We encourage the CBC to publicly retract its support of the Matchmaker Pet Company. We encourage Arlene Dickinson, who invested in the idea, to withdraw her investment support. We invite her to educate herself on the issue of pet overpopulation. Perhaps spending a day in a shelter will open her eyes to the problems that the promotion of this concept can cause. We are certain that armed with the proper information, the concept of this company will be as repellent to her as it is to us.

Finally, we encourage the sponsors of Dragons' Den, Scotiabank, in particular, to contact the CBC to express their disapproval for this venture. To make your voice heard, please contact the CBC at:
http://www.cbc.ca/contact/ or Arlene Dickinson through Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arlene*-Dickinson/184707952460?v=wall
Read what others are saying:
http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/2011/09/matchmaker-pet.html