Wally Conron, the man considered responsible for setting off the “designer dog” craze by breeding the first Labradoodle, recently admitted that creating Labradoodles was one of his “life’s regrets.” In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Conron said, “I opened a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein’s monster.”
With all of the sweet, affectionate dogs waiting in animal shelters for good homes – about 25 percent of which are purebreds – there is never a reason to breed more animals. In a previous interview, Conron spoke out against bringing more Labradoodles into the world, reminding people that “there are a lot of unhealthy and abandoned dogs out there.” He also said that “instead of breeding out the problems, they’re breeding them in,” referring to the many genetic disorders that purebred and “designer” dogs are prone to.
Breeders’ routine practices of inbreeding and selective breeding for distorted physical features cause many dogs to suffer from epilepsy, blindness, heart defects, difficulty breathing, crippling hip dysplasia, cancer, and many other health problems that diminish their quality of life.
The kindest thing that anyone can do for dogs is to adopt them from a shelter – and make sure that they are spayed or neutered.
Note to readers: Paula Moore is a writer with the PETA Foundation.