The other day, celebrity gossip site JustJared posted a photo of Justin Bieber’s new puppy,
an English bulldog an American bulldog named Karma, purchased from Ruffin’s Pet Centre.
Very sweet looking pup. I sincerely hope Karma has a full and happy life with Justin —
as much as she can, given the myriad of health problems English bulldogs have — but I have to ask: given his history with “pets,” who let Justin Bieber get a new one?!
Around the spring of last year, Justin was the brief owner of a baby capuchin monkey named Mally. Mally had been taken from his mother at around nine weeks old, and then given to Justin as a gift by music producer. The media picked up on the story when Justin illegally and irresponsibly brought Mally into Germany via his private jet without his health and ownership papers. Without that documentation, Mally was seized at customs and put in quarantine, where the poor monkey sat and waited for Justin. Mally sat in quarantine for a month, before Justin finally decided he wasn’t going to bother with him anymore. Can you imagine? Ripped apart from his family, only to be abandoned again — the experience was described as “traumatizing” to poor Mally, who is now living at a zoo.
What kind of life would Mally have lived, accompanying a pop singer? Not a very good one:
“[T]he baby monkey needs company and to be with other monkeys at this crucial age in its life … [He] was never going to be suited to be on a world tour, even if he is travelling by private jet. He should be out in the wild climbing trees.” — http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/apr/24/justin-bieber-gives-up-on-mally-monkey
Quality of life is just one reason why exotic animals do not belong as pets.
Besides the issue of Bieber not seeming responsible enough to take care of a pet (after all, who abandons their companion animal, monkey or otherwise, at an airport?), there is also the issue of purchasing an animal as a pet. Here’s what PETA had to say about Bieber’s new dog:
“[W]hen you buy a dog or cat from a pet store or breeder, you sentence an animal in a shelter to death. Six to eight million homeless animals enter shelters every year, and half of them must be euthanised for lack of a good home, so there is no excuse for buying an animal, no matter who you are.” http://www.contactmusic.com/story/justin-bieber-criticised-by-animal-rights-activists-for-buying-dog_4007676
Following the news of Bieber’s purchase, many people took to the facebook page of Ruffin Pet Centre and inquired as to the source of their dogs:
While I appreciate the Centre’s honesty and prompt response to the concerns, I’m still upset. Am I supposed to be okay with the fact that their dogs aren’t coming from puppy mills, just local breeders? No, because the Pet Centre should be promoting animal adoption and helping support local shelters: given pet overpopulation and “euthanasia” rates, breeding animals is irresponsible and inexcusable.
Hopefully this controversy will illuminate problematic pet purchasing to Bieber’s fans who are unaware of these issues.
EDIT on 1/2 5:03 PM: The original post incorrectly stated that Justin’s new dog was an English bulldog, not an American. Additionally, I found out that Justin also abandoned a pet hamster — he gave it away to a fan.