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Rehoming reality show draws complaints

AN AMERICAN ‘reality’ TV show is under fire from dog owners around the world due to its aim to rehome a dog to one of three participating families – after just 24 hours with each family.

The Animal Planet channel is currently 'casting' for the new 'reality' show called "Who Gets the Dog?"

The basic premise, as outlined on Animal Planet’s website is that each week, they pull a dog out of a rescue shelter, shuffle it around for three days by placing it with three different families for just 24 hours each at a time, and then somehow the dog is supposed to ‘pick’ which family it wants to live with.

Animal Planet makes great store of the fact that the show is strictly monitored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who approve all participating families. The only other safeguard it offers the dog is that (quote): "You must not have been convicted of: (i) any crime that includes cruelty to animals, or (ii) any felony under any jurisdiction in the United States or any other Country".

Also participants are warned: "You must be ready, willing and able to adopt and care for the dog involved in the production of the series."

The programme’s plans were highlighted on the Internet by Sarah Carey of the Leicester-based animal charity Wiccaweys Rescued Border Collies and Working Sheepdogs. Carey told OUR DOGS: "I’m urging all dog owners to please send a comment to Animal Planet them to let them know what a stupid idea this is in the name of so-called ‘entertainment’, and how inhumane it is to put a dog - particularly a shelter dog with who knows what having happened to end him up in a shelter in the first place - through this kind of stress and confusion. Can you imagine the health and behaviour problems something like this could cause the ‘lucky dog’, as they say on their website."

"I wonder if they would do this to a four year-old foster child?" adds Carey. "And we all know that it's not likely to be dog savvy people who would do this. What happens to the dog after the show and the novelty has worn off with the family ‘required’ to adopt the dog? And not being ‘convicted’ of an animal crime is little reassurance since most animal abusers are never caught, much less convicted. This is just one step way too far for a stupid reality TV programme!"

*If you wish to make your feelings be known about this programme to Animal Planet, fill in the feedback form at:

http://extweb.discovery.com/viewerrelations

*The "Who gets The Dog website may be found at:

http://www.lmnotv.com/whogetsthedog/