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AKC AND DOG CLUB PRESIDENTS SUED
AKC judge files $1.8 million lawsuit against American Kennel Club President Dennis Sprung and American Toy Fox Terrier Club President (and judge) Roger Pritchard.
November 17, 2009 | TheDogPress Club News
Press Staff Report
American Kennel Club/Dennis Sprung and Toy Fox Terrier Club/Roger Pritchard charged with collusion, corruption, libel, unfair trade practices. Lawsuit background, details, filings, result.
The lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court, is considered a landmark case in the sport of dogs. Plaintiff is Barbara Quast, a member in good standing of the American Toy Fox Terrier Club. Quast is an AKC judge (#59) and over the past 38 years, has been an officer of over a dozen national breed and kennel clubs. She is a registered nurse, specializing in psychiatric and emergency room nursing. Barbara Quast is active in missionary work for Valley Grace Community Church, organizing children’s group activities, working with pre-teens and young people, including driving and chaperoning on their annual mission trip to Mexico.
The lawsuit challenges AKC judge Roger Pritchard’s permitted, long-time use of the AKC trademark as part of his email address. AKC President Dennis Sprung and Roger Pritchard are charged with unfair trade practices (see how that affects judges) as well as defamation, libel, and severe emotional and professional damage.
Plaintiff's Attorney Of Record is Nancy Guttenberg, whose practice includes intellectual property and dog law among other areas.
Footnote by Barbara (BJ) Andrews, Editor-In-Chief, November 18, 2009: I avoid covering any story with which I am personally involved, thus absolving myself or TheDogPress.com from charges of biased reportage. Details and filing of the $1.8 million lawsuit were given to TheDogPress as the best way to accurately inform the most people. We agreed to cover the case because history has shown it would have been covered-up even though it affects every person who breeds, shows dogs, or is a member of a dog club.
Toy Fox Terrier Club background: prior to November 14th 2009, I had never communicated with plaintiff Barbara Quast. I had no prior knowledge of the lawsuit. I do however have knowledge of the obstacles the club has faced since Rick Beauchamp asked me to support formation of the American Toy Fox Terrier Club in 1994. I have never sought office in the ATFTC but I did offer to pay for a club newsletter. The offer was repeatedly declined and the club has continued to deprive members of pertinent information.
Update: as of November 2014, 5 years later, I agreed to run for Vice President but despite my best efforts to provide the few remaining members with a regular newsletter NOTHING HAS CHANGED. As VP, I am outvoted and therefore I provide Club news and Board information directly to members through use of my company's mail server.
Also in the interest of disclosure, I challenged the Toy Fox Terrier club election process and offered to pay for ballots to be sent and received by an independent CPA or auditing firm. That offer was refused and as of November 2014, NOTHING HAS CHANGED except that our balloting was done by a parliamentarian hired by the previous (Pritchard) administration. A majority of the current board were Pritchard's board and are still in control balloting and all club business.
I voted for Roger Pritchard because even though I knew him only as a judge I rarely saw, I believed he would salvage the club. Instead, the problems accelerated and in fact, the Toy Fox Terrier club suffered its first AKC reprimand under Roger's leadership.
Dog club politics trouble every club at some point. TheDogPress agreed to cover the lawsuit because it is a precedent-setting legal action which therefore, affects everyone who breeds and/or shows dogs.
Some dog publications curry favor by implying a special connection with AKC and that advertising in their publication will assure bigger wins and favorable nods from the AKC hierarchy. In certain instances, that may be true. Some people claim close friendships with the leadership of AKC in order to aggrandize themselves, control and intimidate others, or gain more assignments. In certain instances, that may be true.
TheDogPress.com claims none of the above. Our company considered the risks, consulted with our Advisory Board, and re-read The Constitution. We decided to cover this story.
At this time in our history, when Breed and Kennel clubs are failing across the country, losing valuable members is the last thing a dog club can afford. Note: as of November 2014, dozens more kennel clubs have folded, most breed clubs are struggling, and dog show entries continue to decline.
(2017 update: see below, landmark dog fancy Survey Why Dog Shows Are Failing)
The Quast Suit was filed as a result of personal damages inflicted by Roger Pritchard but as an ATFTC board member, AKC judge Barbara Quast also saw the damage inflicted on the club and to the Toy Fox Terrier breed. With an unshakable obligation to the sport and to the ATFTC membership, most of whom were unaware of the behind-the-scenes politics, Quast took appropriate action.
We believe that presenting this case is of value to all Breed Club members and officers.
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related coverage: Roger Pritchard's alleged judging panel setups
AKC & ATFTC Lawsuit Details - Access all the Insider details that initiated the lawsuit. Get a grasp on the ramifications of this legal action as it pertains to judges and other dog clubs. Get a copy of the NY State Supreme Court Filing, Charges & Damages.
click the little dog and give him 3 seconds to fetch your key to all Insider information files!
AKC & TFTC Presidential Lawsuit Results AKC settles, Pritchard refuses, Parent club pays the bills?
Judging Panel Setups It happens every weekend but you can put a stop to it with this survey report.
Why Dog Shows Are Failing Exhibitors and Judges respond to landmark 2017 survey.