Rebel Wilson’s new dog grooming show, Pooch Perfect – which also features Vanderpump Rules star and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Lisa Vanderpump — premiered on ABC on Tuesday, March 30, and it’s already causing quite a stir on social media. Pooch Perfect features ten of the best dog groomers in the country competing for a grand prize of $100,000 (via ABC). But what seems like a family-oriented, fun competition on the surface has some social media users pretty angry over the treatment of the dogs on the show.
“Some dogs like it more than others,” executive producer Elan Gale said of the intense grooming the dogs undergo on the show (via TheWrap), adding, “Some find it uncomfortable. So we made sure we had the kind of dogs that were used to the entire process.”
Judge and fellow dog groomer Jorge Bendersky echoed Gale’s take on the show, saying, “Those that are chosen to become creative partners, they are dogs that love the attention. If you have a dog that is very shy, you probably won’t want them to have pink hair and walk on the street and have people taking pictures.”
Twitter and animal rights' groups slam Pooch Perfect
Viewers took to Twitter to air their grievances about Wilson’s new competition show, with one social media user writing, “Hey @ABCNetwork you know what would have been a great show? Sending these Groomers to different rescues each week to give dogs makeovers to help them get adopted. Not whatever this ridiculous mess is,” and another tweeting, “This show is horrible. It’s technicolor animal cruelty with bright lights.”
More Twitter users called on ABC to cancel the show, with one social media user tweeting, “The sad, frightened eyes of some of them going through the dye process is disturbing. I’d rather invest the time and money into rescuing dogs in crisis right now. So many homeless out there needing love, not color.”
PETA’s senior manager of animals in film and television, Lauren Thomasson, issued a strongly worded statement about the show to TheWrap, saying, “Dogs are smart, loyal individuals — they’re not here for human amusement, and unfortunately, shows like Pooch Perfect can encourage people to restrain their dog and reach for the dye, even though doing so runs the risk of causing an allergic reaction that could even be fatal, in addition to stressing the animal.”
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