Target: Dennis Sprung, President & CEO of the American Kennel Club
Goal: Recognize the unique breeds of mutts at the American Kennel Club to increase the rate of mixed breed adoptions
In a progressive attempt to increase the rate of dog adoptions in Costa Rica, a private organization called Territorio De Zaguates has successfully changed the way its citizens view mixed breed dogs in the country. Instead of promoting the allegedly undesirable breed of “mutt” or “mongrel,” they have created new names for mixed breed dogs and thus have increased their desirability among prospective dog owners. Urge the American Kennel Club, another influential organization, to follow suit and recognize the unique names of these specific mixed breed dogs in the United States.
For ages, wealthy and privileged dog owners have viewed purebred animals as superior to ones of mixed breeds. Unfortunately, the vast majority of adoptable dogs in the United States are not purebred and are grouped together in the ambiguous group of “mutt.” Nonetheless, they make happy and loving companions. While efforts to integrate homeless animals into families have increased over the years, the desire to adopt mutts and mongrels have not. This owes to the simple fact that prestigious American dog owners prefer to know the history and origins of their unique purebred animals in a world where mutts are outnumbering their pedigreed peers.
But owning mixed breed animals, especially dogs, has its perks. Dogs descending from a variety of breeds, thereby possessing of genes from a variety of pools, are better immune to inherited congenital diseases that affect purebreds in great frequency.
Costa Rica has recognized this incongruence and is now attributing new titles to mixed breed dogs in order to better market them to a society that desires a recognizable breed. A Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, and Cocker Spaniel mix, for example, is given the charming title of Fire-Tailed Border Cocker. Other creative titles are just as appealing and accurate in description. The unique dogs of these new breeds can even compete in Costa Rica’s prestigious canine competitions previously reserved only for purebreds. Their adoption rate has also increased by 1.4 percent.
American consumers similarly desire a recognizable breed when they seek to adopt dogs, and the American Kennel Club has the power to cast these mixed breed dogs in a very positive light. Urge this influential organization to follow suit and recognize the unique breeds of our beloved mutts and mongrels to better appeal to American consumers.
Dear Mr. Sprung,
A private organization in Costa Rica called Territorio De Zaguates has successfully changed the way its citizens view dog adoptions. Mixed breed dogs, previously viewed as inferior to purebred ones, are now becoming popular because this organization has given them their own unique breeds. By giving these animals names based on the purebred dogs from which they descend, they become more valuable in the eyes of consumers.
I urge you to follow suit. While all animals should be valued by humans, it is a fact that many privileged dog owners prefer an animal whose breed is known and perceived to be more reliable. Your organization has the power to influence the American public to value mixed breed dogs for what they are: exceptional additions to already diverse planet. It is time to give them names that reflect their unique and special contribution to our society.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons