While Malachy the champion Pekingese was dining on chicken at the posh Sardis Restaurant in midtown Manhattan yesterday, 800 other Pekes and Peke-mixes were sitting in shelters or foster homes waiting for adoptive families.
The Westminster Dog Show this week - in which Malachy, of East Berlin, PA took top honors - highlighted the pampered purebred pups who are the best of their breeds.
But not all purebreds are so lucky.
The folks at Petfinder.com want to remind people looking for a new companion that purebreds make up 25 percent of the dogs in shelters. Thousands more mixed breeds are in need of homes, including the so-called "designer" breeds whose popularity has encouraged random breeding and questionable registries that fuel backyard breeders and puppy mills.
Malachy beat out six dog group champions to take the title.
A quick check on Petfinder shows there are many more like them too in southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey: Dalmatians (56 within 100 miles of Philadelphia), German shepherds (375), Doberman pinschers (53) , Irish setters (4), Kerry blue terriers (1) and wire-haired dachshunds (175).
“Petfinder.com has just about any pet you can imagine; whether you want a four-legged friend who will snuggle up on the couch with you or a running partner,” said Betsy Banks Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com.