A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Jun 27, 2010

A Dog Dyed Any Other Way Is Still A Dog

What is the obsession of decorating live animals about? Painting turtle shells, and dyeing Easter chicks (illegal in California) are practices that have fallen out of style and/or been outlawed as cruel and wrong. After many years of humane education and the evolution of a society more inclined towards the protection of animals, I fear we may lapse. China is featuring dogs fully dyed and painted to look like other animals, or to look like nothing else. In other words, for a few hundred dollars your dog can be a panda or a psychotic hallucination.  http://bit.ly/b2SbZJ  My fear is that the fad will catch on here with dire results. Uses of toxic dyes, untrained practitioners, and children "trying it at home", will, of course, result in pain, illness and blindness to pets. An ancillary consequence would be the devolution back to the idea that pets were things and at our disposal to paint, manipulate and harm as we so please. This would be a giant step backward in our collective sense of morality and ethics.

I am not a fan of excessive and constant regulation or of legislating behavior to our lowest outliers. I do not want to have to deal with this on any level because someone wants to have a unique "toy" i.e. a dog that looks like a giraffe.

So please - We said "yes" to China when they gave us melamine in pet food, "yes" to lead paint in  toys, and "yes" to cheap and often unsafe products. Let's say no to dyeing pets and dying pets. Instead, let us export our condemnation of this fad along with specialty pet clothing for those times a pet must stand out.

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