Reporting Beth Fisher
DETROIT (WWJ) - Some animal rights activists are upset that Skecher’s plans to run a Super Bowl commercial that they say depicts Greyhound racing.
Theresa Boostron is with Michigan Retired Greyhounds as Pets and says the dogs are treated inhumanely.
Boostrom owns two former racing dogs and says she wants Skechers to pull this commercial.
“It depicts greyhound racing, which we find unconscionable because of the way these dogs live at the track and they’re confined in crates,” said Boostrom. “They are notoriously injured. They end up with broken legs, lacerations. They die on the track of broken backs, broken necks, heat stroke.”
The president of Skecher’s Fitness Group, Leonard Armato , says protestors haven’t seen the ad.
“None of the protestors have ever seen the commercial, so they’re sort of protesting in the abstract and, you know, we’re a sensitive company. We would never support, you know, cruelty to animals in any way,” says Armato.
Armato says the commercial features a French Bulldog, an underdog that does something remarkable. The ad promotes Skecher’s GoRun running shoes.
He says that Skechers will not pull the ad: “Skechers is not involved in the debate of greyhound racing – there are a number of groups that like it – there are a number of groups that don’t like it, and all of them are dog lovers and greyhound lovers.”
“The American Humane Association was at the filming of the commercial and vouched for it. No dogs were harmed,” said Armato.”We think people are absolutely gonna love the commercial and by the way, dogs in the Super Bowl is like bread on butter … I mean … it’s something that happens all the time, so we believe once everybody sees the commercial, all of this will die down.”
Some members of the Michigan Retired Greyhounds as Pets planned a protest outside the Skecher’s store at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, but security was so tight they didn’t want to risk being arrested.