As Hasbro has announced it plans to replace a monopoly token with a symbol that is "more representative of today's monopoly players," PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) are stepping in with a request.
The request is to replace the traditional Scottish Terrier dog token with that of a rescued mutt. "Including a mixed-breed dog in this iconic board game would remind players that these canines are just as lovable, loyal, and deserving as any 'purebred' dog and that every time someone chooses to buy a dog from a pet store or breeder, a homeless animal loses his or her chance of finding a good home," says PETA Associate Director Chris Holbein. "For millions of dogs in shelters, there is no 'get out of jail free' card."
PETA sent a letter to the Pawtucket based toy company with a formal request to replace the token.
The letter reads:
January 16, 2013
Eric Nyman Senior Vice President Hasbro, Inc.
Dear Mr. Nyman,
I'm writing as a lifelong Monopoly fan and on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world's largest animal rights organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. We're happy to see that it seems likely that our favorite Monopoly token, the dog, will get to stay on the Boardwalk. Now that you are updating the game's tokens, we encourage you to make the dog "more representative of today's Monopoly players" by changing the token's look and referring to it as a "rescued mutt" instead of a purebred "Scottie dog." Everyone wants a rescued dog these days, not one from a breeder.
Including a clearly mixed-breed dog would remind players that these canines are just as lovable, loyal, and deserving as any "purebred" and that every time someone chooses to buy a dog from a pet store or breeder, a homeless animal loses his or her chance of finding a home. For millions of dogs in shelters, there is no "get out of jail free" card. Approximately half of the 6 to 8 million animals who enter them every year are euthanized, largely for lack of good homes.
Also, as you probably know, mutts are invariably healthier than their purebred counterparts, who are prone to debilitating conditions and painful hereditary disorders, such as respiratory problems, bone disease, hemophilia, retinal degeneration, cataracts, and hip dysplasia. Scotties, for example, are often affected by a hereditary disorder called "Scottie Cramp," which can significantly impair a dog's ability to run or even walk normally. German shepherds are plagued with bad legs. Pugs are an anesthesia risk. Because they are not bred to conform to highly specific physical traits, mixed-breed dogs are at a lower risk for health problems.
In 2013, breeding and buying purebred dogs is increasingly seen as pointless, out of touch, and thoughtless, like buying a fur coat. We do hope you will update this Monopoly piece while simultaneously helping to reduce the companion-animal overpopulation crisis and encouraging your players to give mutts in shelters a chance by making the dog token a rescued mutt.