501c3 Dog Clubs
When a dog club chooses to convert to a tax exempt charity, unforeseen effects can destroy the club’s purpose and the preservation of purebred dogs.
Mar 2015 | TheDogPress.com
J. Byer, Jr., Research Editor
Becoming a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity it is very much like the fellow who found it difficult to remember his initial objective was to drain the swamp when he was up to his arse in alligators.
Organized religion was coerced into a corporate changeover that moved it under I.R.S. controls. Prior to 1954, there was no such thing as a 501(c)(3) church. Then in 1954, Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson (D Texas) sponsored legislation which brought churches under the new 501(c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue code. As a part of this legislation, churches would incorporate thus subjugating their God-given mandate to the authority of the federal government. Do you still believe in separation of church and state? Did the dog world also sell its soul to the devil for a tax exemption?
Perhaps you have noticed that in the past decade AKC parent clubs have been converting to tax-exempt charity organizations? Did you join your National Parent Club for personal prestige? Education? To help out? In short order you discovered that it’s a 501(c)(3) run by a board; a board that accepts little, if any, input from members.
As a 501(c)(3) you are no longer a dog club dedicated to the preservation of one breed; your breed. Instead your club is lumped in with a whole host of divergent organizations such as HSUS, Black Panthers , the Royal Order of Jesters, the Citizens Opposing Nuclear Arms, the Oddfellows, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, etc. With this in mind 501(c)(3) dog clubs often end up supporting diametrically opposed philosophies which results in deep divisions within the club, and it is the breed that suffers!
David Horowitz, editor of FrontPage Magazine, and director of Discover the Networks described 501(c)(3) not-for-profits thusly, "Oh, yeah, the foundation for every criminal organization."
As a further example of the degradation process, let's examine the first parent club to become a 501(c)(3); the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA). Since converting in 2001 the approximately 2000 members of this parent club NEVER, in some 14 years, had a budget, NEVER had a forensic audit, and NEVER had properly maintained club records REQUIRED of a 501(c)(3) organization.
In fact some DPCA members contend that there was no constitutionally required vote to foment the actual change over and club leadership has not yet been able to present such proof of a membership approval.
With the change to a public charity comes the loss of control of both the future of, and the specificity of club funding to benefit the breed. Instead, IRS obligations require your club to constantly direct funds to a general public benefit and while your breed may benefit, it is NOT the sole focus anymore. The registry through its charitable status no longer promotes purebreds, instead they promote themselves as a humane society for all dogs. The registry is not only concerned with purebreds but Mixed Breeds that the AKC has labeled as the "ALL AMERICAN DOG" (mixed breed) that serves as a profitable registration promotion while your club suffers. We've got to get our priorities straight.
You have to ask yourself, are our breed clubs representing a breed or do they represent an AKC agenda of funneling moneys through 501(c)(3) projects like ...
AKC Political Fund
AKC Humane Fund
AKC Health Foundation
AKC National Breed Club Rescue
AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (Meet the Breeds)
AKC Penn Vet Working Dog Conference
AKC recommended Scientists & Researchers
AKC Reunite (former AKC CAR)
AKC Canine Support and Relief Fund
The NAIA founded by former AKC Director Patti Strand
NAIA Conferences (see AKC connection above)
Seeing red yet? I'm sure it is clear that the majority of benefits from the 501(c)(3) accrue NOT to your breed or club but to the registry (AKC).
As described by a Doberman Pinscher Club of America Past-President on the occasion of achieving 501c3 tax-exempt status, “We have transitioned from a breed club to an education, health and rescue entity and the show raises funds to support these activities.”
If your dog club is anything like the DPCA, the sole source of outside monies come from a dog food company; they are not club-supporting incomes and they are NOT regular annual donations. So the premise of "tax-deductable" is illusive and misleading as to having a financially healthy club.
Further, here is a reality check to apply to your 501c3 club:
Ø Has the club membership increased?
Ø Is your breed more populous or less?
Ø How is the health of your breed? Improved or the same?
WE ARE NO LONGER IN THE PROCESS OF EVOLVING OUR PUREBRED DOGS - RATHER WE ARE IN AN AGE OF PRESERVING THEM.
I hope you have come to the reasonable conclusion that 501(c)(3) parent clubs are businesses about and for people and not dogs. The national dog organizations have moved past purebred dogs and directly to the business of making and redistributing money. Those of us who have the passion for purebreds can no longer dismiss the shenanigans of the dog world as harmless and annoying political misbehavior.
We must help ‘man’s best friend’ escape the web of corruption and lies. We must reject this faulty business model imposed upon us and use our collective power to recapture the artistry, history and excitement that is the PUREBRED dog.