Friday, August 29, 2008
ENDANGERED AKC BREEDS
Have you seen the “Save The Polar Bears commercial“? I, like all animal lovers, am distraught that many animals that were once plentiful are now in danger of becoming extinct in the wild.
This commercial is narrated by some vaguely familiar actress who once was on a program only remembered by people dedicated to the preservation of 80s night time soaps. I do what I can to help endangered species (animals, not out of work actresses), but I wonder why some of the celebrities, who are rabid about the dwindling numbers of bears and various marine mammals, aren’t concerned about the possibility that some of our most interesting and charming dogs may disappear.
I once owned a Sealyham Terrier. She was one of the most endearing dogs I ever owned. Sealies are small enough for the most compact apartment. They are loving and friendly to family and friends, but woe be upon the burglar that trips over one in the middle of the night. Yet they are in danger of becoming extinct. There were only 68 Sealyham Terriers registered in the US in 2006, the last year for which we have complete statistics. In most parts of the country you can go to shows on six consecutive weekends and never see a Sealy. When one does show up, it inevitably causes a stir. There has been a Sealy in the Top Ten Dogs for the last three years. Memorable appearances include BIS at the 2007 Eukanuba National Championship show by CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice. Charmin is owned by Margery Good & Richard Good & Sandra Middlebrooks of Cochranville, PA and was bred by France Bergeron.
Twenty percent of the breeds recognized by the AKC had less than 200 registrations in 2006. That’s 30 separate breeds in danger of vanishing from our world. The conservation group Polar Bears International estimates that there are 15,000 Polar Bears in Canada alone. Now, I am one of those guys that is depressed for weeks whenever I hear that another animal has been placed on the endangered species list, but I am also one of those guys that thinks that we need to solve the poverty and disease in US cities before we increase our donations to the United Nations. I’m going to keep supporting politicans that protect the environment and defend endangered species, but only if they also support the rights of dog lovers to protect our homegrown endangered species. Personally, I would miss the Sealyham Terrier way more than the Polar Bear. After all I never shared my home with a Polar Bear for twelve years.
If you are thinking about adding a purebred dog to your home consider one of the rare breeds. There are small ones and big ones; hunting dogs and guard dogs; short coats and long coats. You can start your own conservation project.