Sheridan Smith’s new show Pooch Perfect is facing allegations of animal abuse. The RSPCA (Royal Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) asserts that this show is not good for the featured dogs. Representatives cite the use of hair dye as the reason for the allegations. The BBC is defending itself and the dye utilized in the competition.
The show Pooch Perfect premiered on January 7, with 16 groomers competing. As Smith explains, their livelihoods are at stake if they do poorly or give a bad cut. She has six dogs and a large number of donkeys and was under strict orders not to adopt more pets during filming. Smith admitted that this was a tough rule to follow. Smith is known for her work in Inside No. 9, the short-lived musical comedy Galavant, and the sitcom, Two Pints of Lager & A Pack of Crisps.
The RSPCA took issue with the fact that a trailer revealed a dog’s ears, which had been dyed blue for the canine-centered competition. They believe that animal fur should never be dyed, even if the tinting is safe. The BBC retorted that the groomers take extreme care of their furry charges and that they had an RSPCA-approved array of consultants on call during filming. These consultants were an Animal Welfare Consultant, a Grooming Consultant, and a veterinarian.
Groomers have indicated that there are ramifications when it comes to dying canine fur. Pet owners often use human dyes on dogs, which have toxic chemicals. Such substances may include ammonia, artificial fragrances, and peroxide, and these elements can damage fur permanently. As for pet-safe dyes, they are best when not applied on a regular basis, and some groomers do believe that dying a dog’s fur for vanity purposes is unacceptable.
In the end, it comes down to the type of dye, why the dog is being tinted, and whether the process will be repeated, especially if the dog is a rescue. There is a gray area because the whole point of Pooch Perfect is to show off dog grooming skills throughout eight episodes. Unless the dog received a permanent new look i.e. the dyed ears, there may not be a clear-cut case of animal abuse. The other question is why the RSPCA representative was all right with the change if the organization has been protesting the usage of dyes on pets.
Such a charge is serious if proven true, but the BBC has a strong defense, as it hasn’t had in other controversies, such as one involving Caitlyn Jenner. If RSPCA representatives were on the set, it depends on how the representatives responded to the issue. It is highly possible that Pooch Perfect took precautions when it came to using the dyes in question, and intended to use them for just one challenge.