AKC’S PET SHOP PRIME
This is the first public information on the pet shop software program for instant point-of-sale AKC Registration, inventory management, puppy returns, puppy mill suppliers, etc.
AKC’s super-secret Puppy Registration & Inventory Management Extranet (PRIME) online pet store software is “designed to add puppies to inventory, view puppy information, and sell and return puppies.” Like a giant wind tunnel, the new AKC software sucks in pet shop registrations and turns the numbers into $$$.
When the Delegates rebelled against AKC’s contract with Petland in 2006, TheDogPress cautioned against complacency, predicting that another financial alliance between the American Kennel Club, pet shops and puppy mills was in fact, not off the table.
PRIME was copyrighted in early 2009. The cost (paid to an outside firm) must have been staggering. Development quietly took place despite the fancy's complete rejection of pet shops and retail sales. Dedicated dog breeders immediately rebelled because PRIME robs the buyer and the puppy from knowledgeable, caring support. The pet shop doesn't care about that puppy "after the sale". Neither does the puppy mill breeder and obviously, neither does AKC, "the dog's champion". A win-win for all, except the ignorant buyer and the helpless puppy.
Unable to find any mention of PRIME on the AKC website, this editor called David Roberts, VP in charge of Registration.
As in the past, he cordially refused to answer any questions without the approval of AKC President, Dennis Sprung. We called Mr. Sprung who refused the call. We can assume that AKC is not one bit happy that we are revealing the pet shop program. Fair enough, TheDogPress is not happy about exposing PRIME but our readers expect and deserve the facts.
Following those phone calls, opportunity to justify or further explain PRIME was offered to the AKC President and the Registration Dept. Vice President as follows:
We would prefer to include a response from AKC along with information on the program. Everyone is painfully aware of the drop in registration income and speaking for myself and our readers, we want AKC to continue as the nation’s number one registry. We can report the news but providing rationale for the program would be better done by your offices.
1. Was PRIME developed before or after the Petland contract fell through?
2. Is it currently in effect?
3. Is the software or service available for show breeders?
4. Can any HVB or pet shop access and use it?
5. Where is the PRIME program published on the AKC website?
We received this emailed response from David Roberts, Monday, 12/28/09
Your questions refer to an internal business matter. Because of the competitive nature of our business, we are unable to provide you with confidential information regarding this, or any other business process.
VP Registration Services
American Kennel Club
Therefore, as a duty to our subscribers, we present the complete AKC program "What PRIME Does For Pet Shops & Puppy Mills" ref #1 and how it works. The software is designed to "manage inventory" (puppy mill puppies) and capture the registration market by point-of-sale registration at time of purchase. This also adds the buyer's information to AKC's database for follow-up marketing to that person. A very good business plan.
Contrary to the Delegates vote in 2006, full breeding AKC registration can be purchased at the store. If not purchased at the time of sale, buyers receive a “Simplified AKC Dog Registration Application” for a flat fee of $29.95 which may be submitted online or by mail.
Pet shop customers have 21 days in which to return the puppy and that too is easily handled through the PRIME program. Gone is the breeder commitment to a new puppy. Gone is the traditional breeder support. The sales-enhancing return policy will lead to unnecessary stress, mismanage, or abuse of puppies.
We were unable to determine what happens when a puppy is registered and named at the store. If returned, does it keep the name “Bowser” or is the next owner allowed to re-name the dog?
Is that why, after 200 years of maintaining a Stud Book, AKC recently announced that new owners can change a dog's name - for a fee. Was AKC's new name-change service an inventive solution for complications of PRIME puppy returns?
Non-registered breeding stock. “Dogs can also be added to the general inventory by the AKC based on the AKC’s assessment of the dog’s pedigree.” The store has only to fax pedigrees (plural) for non-AKC dogs and the AKC staff will determine if such dogs are eligible for AKC registration within two business days. Now that’s service! Eligible dogs will then be automatically uploaded to the inventory. More on the implications of registering non-AKC litters later.
The puppy’s microchip number and/or store number can also be added. It appears that microchips are inserted by puppy mill employees at a very young age. That way there’s no need to keep puppies in litter lots while they are trucked across country. Properly inserted microchips make it possible to I.D. breed and ascertain pedigrees from mass-breeding operations. Or so they say.
The buyer’s information is entered into PRIME online, all of which provides a permanent record of who bought what, including the transaction amount which was previously unknown to AKC. We assume the buyer's private info is adequately protected and not shared with any other agencies.
TheDogPress understands that the American Kennel Club has always registered puppy mill puppies, and why that must be so. We do not however, accept the purported AKC financial crisis as an excuse for actively seeking to corner the "High Volume Breeders" market, AKC's new acronym for puppy mills. If AKC were to do as other large corporations have done, i.e. cut their Presidential Salaries ref #2, stop discounting to puppy mills while raising fees for show breeders and clubs, and most of all, promote the concept of buying a well-bred purebred puppy from a show breeder, the American Kennel Club could continue to show a very profitable bottom line.
It is reasonable to assume that many of the dedicated show/hobby breeders whom AKC lovingly describes as it's "core constituency" will desert the pack. Perhaps that is the goal. The American Kennel Club doesn't need us. Our dedication to genetics, health, and breed type has become only window dressing.
TheDogPress is not proud to have uncovered and released “the hottest story of the year.” We sought counsel and guidance, struggled with tarnishing the symbol of purebred dogs. This was our decision and if you care about quality purebreds and the future of the sport, stay tuned, there’s more to come.
This letter The New AKC ref #3 appears to have been sent in 2009. It was addressed to “valued breeders” announcing special offers, assistance with “registration paperwork and pedigrees of dogs that are currently not registered the AKC”, “breeder education/support at seminars and on-site visits" and other inducements for high volume breeders such as “registration coupons” and assistance “with the DNA costs.”
Show and hobby breeders did not receive The New AKC letter. Show and hobby breeders did not receive the cut rate invitation letter." No, of course not, only Puppy Mills, re-named by AKC as "Commercial Breeders" got those incentivizing letters.
ref #1 What PRIME Does For Pet Shops & Puppy Mills (be patient, huge file, with images)
ref #2 Presidential Salaries
ref #3 The New AKC
ref #4 Cut Rate Invitation Letter