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PETLAND CONTRACT COMMENTS

Adhering To The Highest Journalistic Standards

 

Letters from Clubs, Delegates, Judges, Breeders. First, a letter expressing feelings of betrayal regarding the AKC's Petland Contract by Golden Retriever Club of America President, Chris Miele. Following letters on this page is an Insider copy of a mass mailed AKC letter to the puppy mills, offering cut-rate deals.

 

September 2006 | TheDogPress.com

 

Letters in defense of AKC were well meant but only serve to prove the ultimate deceit that was in store - development of AKC's PRIME Software for Petshops...


To: Ronald H. Menaker - Chairman

American Kennel Club

 

Dear Mr. Menaker:

 

     The Membership and Board of Directors of the Golden Retriever Club of America is stunned by the actions of the AKC with respect to the Petland contract.  Providing a stamp of approval by facilitating the registering of the "purebred" dogs they sell is contrary to all the work of the Parent Clubs.

     The GRCA feels betrayed by AKC, an organization that has cheapened its brand so that it no longer has any meaning. As a Parent Club we can find no justification for this partnership.

     The GRCA National Association for Rescue is very familiar with the "quality" animals sold by Petland. We see a great many in rescue programs throughout the country. Usually the surrendering family can't afford the surgery needed for quality of life. What heartache when they notice their puppy can barely stand on its legs or realize they have to deal with multiple medical problems.

     In upstate New York Petland charges $1200 for a Golden puppy although you can get one "on sale" for $900. Just last month, one came into rescue, born at the Hunte Corporation in Missouri. After femoral head excision surgery and $1200.00 the young Golden is doing well but we paid for that surgery.

     Is it ethical for the AKC to expect the Parent Club rescue groups to accept and pay for these animals simply to increase AKC revenue? Perhaps this is a prime example of AKC passing on their dirty laundry to the parent clubs. A $75 registration fee is a bargain in comparison.

     Our Club, with over five thousand members, has an extensive education program to educate owners, breeders and potential owners regarding the breeding and care of our beloved dogs. We have a program of nationwide newspaper ads to draw people to our website for information. We have been aggressive in our information campaign because we know, as a popular breed; we are subject to charlatans and breeders interested only in the money without the best interest of our beloved breed at heart.

     Our contributions and support of the AKC with respect to AKC sponsored activities (conformation, field, obedience, etc.) speaks for itself. We have been major contributors and have provided leadership to the AKC-CHF as well as to breed and performance activities with the AKC. We have promoted a Code of Ethics and encourage responsible breeding and ownership in every way possible.

     The membership, Board of Directors and Delegate of GRCA is unanimous in requesting that AKC rescind the contract with Petland that was developed without the knowledge or approval of the Delegate Body.

     Sincerely, Christine Miele - President, Golden Retriever Club of America


Refutes AKC on Petland: I'm sure many of you received the e-mail from AKC with their "reasons" for registering puppies through a pet shop chain.  However, and this I remember distinctly, a while back a handler friend of mine had a client come in with a black puppy, asking her to put it in a puppy trim.  She was understandably puzzled as it was a Scottish Terrier puppy.  However, he had proof that it was a pure-bred Poodle as the pet shop had given him the papers.  Then not too long after that I was part of a suit as an expert witness when a darling little dog had papers from a well-known pet store chain listing it as a Shih Tzu.  Definitely not!  In fact it looked more like an oversized long coat Chinese Crested, which at that time probably very, very few people in the entire country had ever heard of then!   When the courts decided against them, they wanted me to sell them a Shih Tzu puppy so they could give it in replacement.  I refused to do that because by that time, the little girl loved her “whatever” breed and did not want to give her up.  I suggested they refund the purchase price and whatever damages.

    I do NOT believe that any pet shop chain is going to have such expert clerks that they can always differentiate between one breed of puppy and another, plus if there are several litters of the same breed, who guarantees what papers will go with what dog?  And spay and neuter contracts, whatever else?

    Perhaps AKC naively believes they have a foolproof system, but unfortunately I already see serious holes in it - there just may be more. Evelyn Koch


Petland & Future Purebreds: I personally decided when attending AKC shows over the last 5 years that Showing & registering AKC is a farce due to political agendas & good ol’boy attitudes. I Have cross registered & now show my dogs UKC where it IS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF PUREBRED DOGS. I am doing my level best to educate the public on this. I also fill in all of my puppy buyers what is going on and discourage them from registering AKC any puppy they don’t plan to show or breed. It is a shame that the public does not realize that registering with the AKC does not mean the puppy/dog is of good quality, personally I do not believe there is any guarantee that it is actually purebred unless every sire & dam is DNA’d before producing a litter. Without DNA there is not even proof of true lineage. So hey everybody, exactly what is the point of Registering AKC??? To sell puppies is why & that will change quickly very soon. Please withhold my name as I don’t want the AKC Gestapo on my doorstep. (E.C)


Why Petland, Why AKC? Time to take back our pedigree registries. The organization we've trusted to guard them has shown callous negligence in the past and now admit what they are really after. The money.  Time to hire a good outside accounting firm to keep our pedigree rolls, arrange our own DNA tests to verify authenticity of those pedigrees. Time to "fire" the AKC. Our own dog clubs already plan, finance and execute conformation shows and performance trials. From soup to nuts all breed and breed clubs do the WHOLE job, giving AKC their pound of flesh in event fees.  We've bent over backwards reworking our Standards of Perfection to put it "in line" with AKC whims. We've watched them devise a torturous route to judging which rewards the wrong people and scorns the thoughtful dog expert. It's time to ask ourselves WHY?!?

     The American Kennel Club used to be respected by dog fanciers and pet owners alike as the gold standard of dog registries.  It held a rich and long history in the dog fancy which it has now tarnished perhaps beyond cleaning. What should we all think!?! At worst many think it's a "cash cow" for some prospering immensely over and under the table. At best it is seen as a wreck of mismanagement, cronyism and ineptitude of the first order. Don't forget to add arrogance.  The rotation of our planet must be unbalanced by the thousands of bodies spinning in graves representing forefathers in our sport who could never have imagined this day!

     While the average fancier in the average all breed or specialty breed club has toiled and paid, the AKC has grown into a bloated despot, spewing proclamations made by a carefully groomed core of megalomaniacs and their yes men. The elected club delegates are being pushed completely away from the table.  More and more it is becoming obvious. Our input is not wanted and now we are being told we are not needed!  Susan D.


AKC & Puppy Mill Contract: re "AKC and Petland (Puppy Mill Contract) etc., etc.." When someone is unhappy with a business they take their business elsewhere.  Since AKC refuses to listen to its members, we can show them we mean business by doing a few very simple things...

     1. DO NOT REGISTER ANY DOGS WITH AKC

     2. REGISTER ALL YOUR DOGS WITH UKC OR ANOTHER VENUE

     3. NEVER SHOW DOGS IN AKC AGAIN

     4. SHOW ALL YOUR DOGS IN UKC OR ANOTHER VENUE

     Pretty simple isn't it!  Can you imagine the impact that would have on AKC?  Can you imagine how successful this would be?  One can only assume that people who continue to support the AKC have no conscience.  AKC counts on you to continue to show and register with them because they know people, by nature, are unwilling to change and stand up for what is right unless it bites them personally in the butt.  Well..........consider yourself bitten!  You are being led like lambs to the slaughter. Dee Mapley kylee59533@gmail.com


AKC Needs Us: I know most of us keep AKC registration for several reasons...dog shows, convenience, and the public's recognition of its Logo.  So, I have a couple of solutions...

     First, let’s tell the public about what the AKC is doing and how we feel. This could be done relatively easy.  If our breed clubs are against the Petland contract, then let them write a letter such as the Golden Ret. club did, only informing the public instead. We all could copy it and send it to our local newspapers. I'm sure if the papers receive dozen's of letters from people of all different breeds they will print the letters and possible do a story.

     Second, our show superintendents do much of the work in putting a show together in the first place. Then the kennel clubs do the rest. What if the Superintendents were to turn the show results over to the breed clubs instead?  Yes, the breed clubs would have to be organized and someone would be needed to tally points and award titles, but this isn't impossible.

    For example, I belong to the American Miniature Horse Assoc.  In order to show and register foals I need to belong. My membership is $45, yearly. For that I get a bi-monthly magazine. Just like the AKC, I have to pay a fee to register a new foal, transfer ownership, and enter shows etc. BUT, they tally points and award certificates.  Why couldn't our Show Supers and Parent Clubs do this?  Our kennel clubs would still be a kennel club and have shows, just no AKC delegate, as would our specialty clubs.

    The AKC forgets it needs us to promote the breeds, but if the kennel clubs dropped their AKC membership who would they have? I'm sure there would be a few who wouldn't, but do we need them?  JMO - Arcturus Arcturus@dejazzd.com


Does AKC realize that they are making the Biggest Joke of Themselves in front of the whole world???? Have they totally lost their self respect and integrity?  The problem is they don't care. Because think they can get away with it and because greed seems to be above everything.....

    How very sad. Please keep up the good work and don't ever give in, and you will have the support of the whole world behind you!  Regards, Keith & Erika, Aiko Kensha - aiko@tiscali.co.uk


Petland - Shame I agree with Karen M, I am keeping my dogs at home and not showing them at all. Am sure my handler will be upset and will also be losing part of her income and for that I am sorry but my conscience will not allow me to support and organization that to our faces says they support the ethical showing and breeding of dogs and behind our backs thumbs their noses at us and enter into contracts taking the AKC in the exact opposite direction.  Shame on every board member. Merrilee Slaton mylees@msn.com


Petland For Real: If this AKC / Petland contract is for real, I suggest a grassroots movement of educating the puppy buying public (and how I hate the term "buying". Puppies should be adopted NOT bought!!).  Groups of responsible breeders should set up informational pickets at ALL Petland stores.  The picketers should hand out information about the differences in health and longevity between puppies coming for responsible breeders who breed only to advance the quality of their breed and those puppies that come from commercial breeders who breed for the sole purpose of producing puppies for sale.  The picketers should ask the puppy buying public NOT to buy any puppy produced by a commercial breeder.  We should also work with our state legislators to enact pet lemon laws in ALL states that do not currently have them.  Buying from a pet store will not appear to be nearly as good a deal once the commercial breeding operations have to raise the price of their puppies to cover what I'm sure will be MASSIVE losses from the reimbursement of vet bills incurred by people that have BOUGHT their poorly bred dogs sold by Petland or any other reseller of puppies.  A pet lemon law will also take care of all the back yard breeders and kitchen kennels that turn around and breed that POOR QUALITY (AKC) puppy they bought from the pet store. Showboat Bichons


Questions AKC & Petland Contract: I did read the email from the Irish Setter Club delegate supporting AKC’s decision to begin working with Petland. There are a couple other posts on some of the lists that agree with it too. My question relates to this statement:

     When AKC began to put into place care and conditions, DNA identification and the Frequently Used Sires programs those commercial breeders who would not comply left AKC.

     First, those same care, condition and DNA programs would still be in place I assume. Why then would the commercial breeders supplying Petland now comply? Would the AKC be expecting compliance from them and how would compliance be verified. I thought I read that the AKC had something like 85 inspectors in the field. It seems impossible to me that that number could inspect very many of the suppliers to Petland... and if they did and there was no compliance, then what would happen with Petland?

    On the other, would AKC just hold Petland to the compliance clauses and ignore the suppliers of these puppies? If so, how does that work for dogs and what AKC says they stand for?

    In each of the supporting letters I have seen, the authors have emphasized that as long as the conditions are met, we should not be opposed to this contract. I must be missing something in their logic. I don’t see commercial breeders suddenly complying and I don’t see the financially strapped AKC hiring enough inspectors to check. And I certainly don’t see the suppliers and Petland going along with this contract if the AKC did shut down those who didn’t comply. Diane Ryan zoedeco@verizon.net 


In response to Diane Ryan:  Particularly as AKC will suspend show breeders in a nanosecond for non-compliance. No, I think they will turn a blind eye to Petland's marginal or non-existent DNA compliance as they have to Hunte and the others all these years. They will do nearly anything to keep the volume registrations. Hypocrisy is a fine art at AKC these days, sadly.

    What AKC stands for these days is $$$, and little else. We show breeders cause a lot of trouble and "consume a disproportionate amount of resources for the revenue we bring in." With neither large amounts of cash nor clout, home show breeders are pretty much reduced to the level of peasants with brooms and pitchforks storming the castle. Virginian O'Connor vmoc3@laurelton.net


I am deeply disturbed by the joint venture, as are many people who visit our Mastiff board. Some of us have purchased mastiffs from Petland and other pet stores.  If there is anything we can do to assist - please sign in and rally the troops...I'm sure there are many of us across the US, and even Canada that would gladly lend a hand. Lora Myroup suprheroz@hotmail.com

     PS: English Mastiff Owner - Angus and Maggie (Maggie is from a PuppyMill that was operating in Missouri until last October)


AKC TOLD HER... First, THANK YOU FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL EDITORIAL/ARTICLE!  When I got wind of this unethical debacle last week, I immediately called the AKC and spoke with a very rude individual who told me the following:

     1.  I was "misinformed" about the new contract regarding Petland and I do not understand the facts. This is business as usual as the AKC has registered dogs for commercial breeders and pet shops for 70 years and will continue to do so because if they don't another registration group will.  The AKC refuses to lose 300,000 - 400,000 registrations yearly by not registering commercially bred dogs or by rescinding any contract with Petland.

     2.  The Hunte Corp. has immaculate mills, which the individual I spoke with claimed he has visited and would feel comfortable eating food off of the floor. I questioned the validity of this statement because I have been involved with rescue groups that have rescued dogs from both auctions and mills, and every time these dogs are in deplorable conditions. 

     3.  If the AKC does not register commercial bred dogs etc then they will be losing money and will be forced to charge $50 per entry fee for competitions, and $75 to register a dog/litter.

     4.  The AKC informs the public on a daily basis not to buy dogs from mills and pet shops, but the consumer will only read this information AFTER he/she registers his/her dog because then this consumer gets put on the AKC mailing list. So only AFTER the consumer financially supports a commercial breeder and only AFTER the consumer gives money to the AKC for this commercially bred dog does the consumer get notified not to purchase a dog from these people.

     5.  The AKC does not feel the need to educate the public that a AKC registered dog does not necessarily make this dog of sound body and health.

     I sent out the above to my breed club email ring.  A few breeders were floored, yet others felt that what was stated simply was not plausible.  Not only do I feel validation after reading your article, but am very pleased to know that there are a lot of people with a lot of experience and knowledge feel the same as I do.  I really wonder 20-30 yrs. down the road after all the HVB and AKC acceptance, what the new breed standards will look like; how many more inherent genetic defects will be more prevalent, and what will happen to the individual breeder who breeds because they love the sport and the dog.  You summed it up very eloquently - "It's not about going back to “the good old days.” That's never possible.  It is not about gold and glory, not even "old glory."  This is about respect for the true purpose of breeding and exhibiting dogs - a love for dogs and what they mean to mankind."    Thank you very much!  Audra audra03@earthlink.net


September Delegates Report - Today I called the AKC 919-233-9767. I spoke to a gentleman by the name of Dan. I expressed my concerns regarding Petland and the Hunte Corp, and their latest venture. I also used points that I received via email regarding the latest delegate meeting. I was told the following:

     1. I was also "misinformed" about the new contract regarding Petland and I do not understand the facts. This is business as usual as the AKC has registered dogs for commercial breeders and pet shops for 70 years and will continue to do so b/c if they don't another registration group will. I argued that the AKC is ultimately forcing competition between breeders and the commercial corporations, and that it does not put breeders on a level playing field. Per Dan, the AKC refuses to lose 300,000 - 400,000 registrations yearly by not registering commercially bred dogs or by rescinding any contract w/ Petland.

     2. The Hunte Corp. has immaculate mills, which he has visited and would feel comfortable eating food off of the floor. Hunte Corp. takes great care of its dogs and the pathetic dogs up at auctions and the incident w/the truck and 60 dead dogs was propaganda; that the Hunte Corp. had absolutely nothing to do w/ neither. He went on to say that there have been several occasions where dogs have died "on the road" and all were just tragic accidents.

     3. If the AKC does not register commercial bred dogs etc then they will be losing money and will be forced to charge $50 per entry fee for competitions, and $75 to register a dog/litter.

     4. The AKC informs the public on a daily basis not to buy dogs from mills and pet shops, but the consumer will only read this information AFTER he/she registers his/her dog because then this consumer gets put on the AKC mailing list. So only AFTER the consumer financially supports a commercial breeder and only AFTER the consumer gives money to the AKC for this commercially bred dog does the consumer get notified not to purchase a dog from these people.

     5. The AKC does not feel the need to educate the public that a AKC registered dog does not necessarily make this dog of sound body and health.

     6. The AKC also will not force their staff to take any pay cuts because this would not help change their budget or their bottom line.

     7. Furthermore I was told that the majority of the Breed Clubs were behind the AKC in this venture.

     8. When I commented to Dan that maybe if the AKC were more part of the solution vs. enabling the problem then I was told that I was delusional and had no concept of the facts or knowledge of common business practices.

     I thanked Dan for his time and we have a difference of opinion that will not be rectified. Regards, H Eiden


I wonder if the AKC spokesperson can look at himself in the mirror, as he practices his rhetoric, almost down to the breath between words, the lying words he spews and keep a straight face?? Delilah Penn


AKC & Petland Solution: I finished reading the article about the Petland arrangement with AKC. There is little that the author explained about what can be done but went into a tirade about our constitution and founding fathers which took the article off the focus of what breeders can do to fight back.

    I would like to see an article written saying that all breeders should be disgusted enough to stop all registration through AKC and not use the pet insurance they offer either or purchase anything or use their AKC credit card -as an alternative, register their dogs with their private breed clubs and not register or show under AKC for several years. If cat and dog breeders are going to make any change there has to be a time when all breeders band together.  Sarah West furkids@wavecable.com


Puppy Mill Country: I had to consider the implications of this action, because my first reaction was a very emotional one of "sleeping with the enemy".  I live in puppy mill country "Lancaster County, PA.".  I have a friend who does rescue of puppy mill dogs and my son has done volunteer work for this cause.  I also own and show at AKC conformation shows.

     I am taking the position of holding your friends close and your enemies even closer.  Puppy mills exist because they sell a cheap product (at least up-front) and people like cheap. 

     What AKC did, at least gets the foot in the door, to try and monitor some of these breeding operations. AKC has no legal power to stop them, but, once in the door they can report unhealthy conditions to the proper authorities.  I do believe that this action is a step in the right direction.  If you make the public aware that an AKC registered dog is a better choice, and, make the public start to require that as a part of the purchase it gives the AKC more power to influence these breeders. 

     What we as responsible dog owners should be doing is pushing our state legislative folks to get serious about cleaning up puppy mills.  Also, contact the AKC, see what is required to become an inspector, to actually take action to help combat this type of establishment.

     Volunteer or donate some money to help these groups that are doing rescue work.  We need to reach out to the buying public and sell them on the idea of a pet from a responsible breeder is going to give them a lifetime of joy with that puppy. 

     Come on now, how many of you know breeders that want more credentials than if you were adopting a child, plus paying a premium price.  If that is the way we operate we keep puppy mills alive and well, think about it. Debra Phillips


I am terribly disappointed in "YOUR AKC", as the many emails and mailings from the AKC identify themselves. (Perhaps their bottom line would improve were they not doing repeated mailings of information that better serves the general public - "pet" people per se - than the fancy?) To ally themselves with Petland and Hunte Corporation and sugarcoat their reasoning in order to get us to swallow it is insulting.

    Quoting from the delegates quarterly meeting: "Working with pet stores will widen the pool of AKC registered dogs and provide the opportunity to improve the lives of dogs, educate owners, and enhance their pet ownership experience via AKC programs and services."

    Okay, WHY "widen" the pool to include ill bred dogs with a myriad of health issues? We all KNOW that the dogs sold at Petland and the like are bred indiscriminately, at best, and certainly without benefit of hip, heart, eye, thyroid, etc. testing... Please tell me how this "improves" the lives of dogs? As to educating owners, if they in fact KEEP the dogs purchased from Petland for any length of time (I've lived it - we had a Petland in our city and as a professional trainer, I dealt with the temperament and health issues seen with those dogs) many of them believe that having "AKC Papers" is a green light for breeding and "making our money back and then some." I, and my colleagues as well as rescues, have seen the results. The "education" that the AKC provides in the form of flyers and brochures mailed with the registration documents is largely ignored. (Adding yet again to that big bottom line they are so concerned with...) Another quote: What sets our registry apart from others is our comprehensive inspection and quality control programs." Oh, if that were only true. I personally have been involved in attempting to get the AKC to do something about a terrible situation in my own state - we (my attorney and I) have provided to the AKC sworn statements taken in a deposition of the "breeder" whereby she admits to being totally out of compliance with AKC rules and regulations, as well as state and township laws, (not to mention neglecting to pay federal income taxes since 1992), yet she was able to register her kennel name (did it before the AKC required proof of event history - this "breeder" is verbal in her disdain of dog sport and the fancy). She recently had her 15th litter since January with several more due, breeds underage dogs and bitches, has been unable to produce promised AKC papers to buyers, and has been known to use invalid AKC numbers and numbers of altered dogs as sire and dam numbers. Among other concerns, it doesn't appear that the AKC finds this to be problematic. So much for the integrity of the stud book!

    Reading the delegates meeting minutes made my eyes glaze over. What to believe!?! "We're poor - we're losing money, we needed to court the PUPPY MILLERS!" But, WAIT! Now I read a paragraph stating "our investments continue to turbo charge our bottom line. Again, these investments generate a gain of two and a half million dollars for the first eight months of the year.”

    What has happened? It is becoming hard to determine whether the AKC is a dog club or an investment club. Just what DOES "not-for-profit" mean? Laura Salvatore


Do you like the idea of the AKC supporting the sale of "pet shop puppies"?  If you are angry and feel that as a "responsible breeder", you have been sold out, here is a link to an online petition to AKC protesting their partnership with Petland - please sign it and pass it on to your dog lists, dog clubs, and doggy friends. PetitionOnline.com/akcptlnd/petition  I got this from a Friend!!! Maybe it will help???? Carol M


If you are not aware of what this about, go to  TheDogPress.  The September 20th issue is the one that has a copy of AKC's statement as well as a response letter about AKC having a contract with Petland Pet Shops to "register" (?) AKC puppies sold from their shops. 

    Since I personally do not believe their staffs are adequately educated to necessarily know one breed puppy from another, which papers from which litter necessarily go with the correct puppy, nor is there any statement about the breeder having any sayso in who can and cannot buy them - I can go on and on as you can well imagine!  But if you are not familiar with what it is about, read or ask questions of those delegates who were there and found that it was already a "done deed" when they were told about it.

    When I read of this petition – see link above, I was delighted to see it and gladly signed it, together with a few (for me!) comments. Evelyn Koch


This is sad day as the ACK breeders I know have worked so hard to breed the best dogs the can .Now the AKC going to help out the puppy mills we people will have no idea were their puppy came from, or if the dam and sire on the puppy's papers are the real parents of the puppy.It all about the money that the bottom line with AKC.Make think if the AKC has been get kick backs for all the testing the breeders have been asked to do on their breeds before breeding them.As for me I really am think about changing my dogs papers from AKC to UKC. Thanks for letting me vent on this matter. Jane Stephens


This has been the topic of discussion on the KCA list. Thought I would share this with you. This came from a person who was at the Delegate meeting. I have some real concerns about AKC now.  Sharon

     Letter: I am just back from the fall Delegate meeting. It began with the normal committee elections and a vote on the first proposed amendment. That was an amendment limiting outside activities by delegates. AKC said it was to assist us if we had to remove a delegate for conflict of interest but it was really setting a stage of sorts. The existing restrictions were enlarged to keep people out of the delegate body who didn't support "AKC objects". Dennis Sprung and Board members explained that we could then keep "animal rights" people from "taking over the AKC".

     After lunch came the regular reports from the Treasurer, the new archive program, etc. Buried in the Treasurer's report was a very quick mention of a "new contractual relationship" between AKC and the Petland chain of stores (120 in the US, with 20 more planned for 2007). The difference between Petland and PetSmart or PetCo is that they sell puppies at Petland.

     During the final portion of the meeting, several delegates--who were completely caught off guard by the news of the contract--brought up their concern and asked for more information. We were told that "we would never see the contract (which I heard from another delegate was just signed last Friday)", it is necessary for AKC to meet the bottom line, and that it was the wave of the future and we should get on board. At one point David Merriam, the attorney for AKC actually said he had not seen the contract (great boos and laughter ensued) and that if we don't work with Petland to get more dogs registered we will be looking at $75 entry fees and become an "elitist organization". NOTE: you will be able to read the full details in a couple of days on the AKC website so excuse me if my quotes are not completely accurate. They may not be 100% correct but very, very close.

     From what we could gather from the very sketchy info parsed out by the AKC staff to the delegates, the Board of Directors and the "Management Team" have signed a contract with Petland endorsing the sale of puppies under the AKC banner, with the Petland sales people encouraging people to register the puppies with AKC. Needless to say, all will be sold with no conditional breeding paperwork, as is done by breeders who sell directly to new owners.

     You will see when you read the minutes on the website that the discussion went on for a couple of hours. I was in line to speak but everyone had covered my thoughts and I stepped out. Main concerns were the breeding of these puppies, the fact that we have always put AKC above "puppy mills and puppy sales at stores", the fact that these puppies will be the rescue dogs of the future, etc. A motion was made by the Golden Retriever club delegate that the delegates vote to let the board know we want them to rescind the contract. The AKC staff kept saying that it was a "non-binding, sense of the delegation vote". It carried nearly unanimously.

     The delegate body is stunned. Of course, by the vote earlier in the day, we are not "supporting the AKC object" but I, for one, think it is critical that if members of RCKC do not agree with this sudden and secret action taken by the AKC without any notification of the general population it supposedly supports, we must make our voices heard.

     I suggest letters be sent to Dennis Sprung, to every member of the Board of Directors, and every single higher-level management person. Alternative ways to obtain additional funds (which does have an $8M reserve) we might consider release of the expensive NYC property, a pay cut by AKC staff (often done in private industry to save a business) cutting Board expenses, reviewing every expense line by line, etc.

     If you so direct, and if I am elected your delegate to the AKC (a position I would like to hold in the upcoming year), I will vote against every single member of the Board of Directors on this issue alone, no matter how fabulously they may have served the fancy in the past. I will carry any message to the next meeting on this matter.

     If this is not a concern, we can move on to other issues. If the anger expressed by delegates is representative of the anger of concerned breeders and members of RCKC, I urge everyone to act. The contract has been signed and none of the delegates is sure if any action can change anything but we can express our outrage and the new direction AKC has taken. It began with our new embrace and acceptance of "large volume breeders"--some might say puppy mills--and this seems to be the final nail in the coffin to separate legitimate, concerned breeders from pet shop suppliers. Sally N, AKC Delegate, RCKC - 9/13/2006


This is disturbing news to me.  Do any of you know more about it?  I have received one e-mail, saying that the information I forwarded to this mailing list is not correct.  Also, I have heard from another person who has checked with three AKC delegates who were present, and who acknowledged it DID happen and is a done deal.   This person will be checking with other delegates who are acquaintances to get more info.  I tried to look it  up at AKC.org, but I could find nothing yet on that particular meeting.


This is disturbing...and it's not like we can boycott AKC???  I don't know what recourse any of us has...other than to complain to them.? Patti B


This is NOT true. Misinformation is being spread. Yes a proposal was read at the Board meeting but no action was taken on it and NO contract was signed.  All it was proposing was that puppies could be registered on line by the pet store if eligible and AKC educational information would be available.  I hate the idea, but actually something that is available to anyone registering an AKC dog now. Linda H


I got this letter from one of our TSCA members and I think it's appalling what they have done. Makes me want to switch all my dogs to UKC or CKC or someplace. Maybe just get out. Ruth D


No Help From AKC:  I Contacted AKC about a new puppy mill outlet in Kalamazoo that opened over Labor Day. I was told that unless they broke a rule they were not interested (exact words). I responded "you mean I have to go in there and purchase a puppy and then report back? The response was "we have a set of guidelines on the Website that must be followed before we will take any action."   I replied" how do you know they are following the rules unless you check?" Then I said "if I can't do anything, our local KC meeting is in two weeks we will see what a letter from them would do!"  Her response was that a letter from the kennel club will not necessarily receive any more attention from AKC.

     So it looks to me like dogs will be Factory Farmed just like cattle and pigs. I am glad I'm getting older and will not live to see the day when small home reared puppies are of no value to the world. And dogs are just another commodity. (Yes you can send this back to AKC for what good it would do.) Now their response makes sense. Sadly, Pamela B


How about this turn of events?????!!!!!  The AKC Board is selling the organization down the river.  It's unbelievable.  MAYBE the delegates are beginning to wake up and smell the roses or could we say aroma? Dot


Three marketing ideas that could never be approved by corporate management:

     1. A brand of beer, promotes with slogans like "It's the water" and "Brewed with pure mountain spring water" could contract with the local sanitation authority for recycled water. "A cold refreshing brew will cost you a penny less!"

     2. A fast food chain might reach out to the community with an aggressive program to hire ex-convicts. "Behind bars to behind the counter." Paired pictures in the stores, one taken in prison garb, one in the store's uniform.

     3. The AKC could sign a contract with a chain of pet stores under which they would strongly promote AKC registration of new puppies in the store.

     OOPS! Scratch #3 from your 'could never happen' list, because according to today's list emails, it HAS happened.

     What's wrong with all three of these ideas is the same. In each case, the core of the corporate image and good name would be badly damaged by the marketing action: The idea of purity and clean tasting beer by using water that came from a sewer, no matter how well purified and sanitized; the safe, wholesome family image of a fast food restaurant by knowing that your burger was being served by a felon; and the AKC's image of puppies lovingly raised in a home setting, by a well-known link to pet store sales.

     In all three cases it isn't the fact that causes the problem, but the endorsement and giving of publicity. All water is ultimately recycled, there are surely ex-cons working in many restaurants, and pet stores already sell AKC registered puppies. It's the organizational ENDORSEMENT of the idea that does the damage.

     We need to be clear that not only is commercial breeding and pet shop selling of puppies perfectly legal and appropriate, but the AKC has for years registered such dogs and should continue to do so. There will always be people for whom a pet shop dog is a better 'fit' for one reason or another and if the breeders meet AKC standards for care and conditions and for registry integrity then their puppies should be registerable just as any others.

     But when the AKC is seen as specifically endorsing pet shop sales, then the AKC's name -- which depends primarily on home breeding and is its second most important asset -- is damaged. Damaging the corporate name is the worst possible business sin and this marketing decision is right up there with the worst ever made. Someone -- or maybe a couple -- of people at the top of the AKC ought to be looking for new jobs about tomorrow.

     Beyond that, we see again an AKC board that can't locate any part of its anatomy. AKC management has been floundering for a decade, unable to identify its customers and TREAT them AS customers, rather than as serfs who smell bad and don't pay enough taxes to support the fetes and banquets at the castle. Yet the board has never (that I know of) replaced any top officer. Most policies and even major changes of direction are simply decided by leadership and handed to the board with "This is the way it's going to be, so get over it." And the board has nodded and gone back to sleep, seemingly unaware of its duty to set direction, make major decisions, and supervise the performance of management.

     With maybe two or three exceptions, that board ought to be replaced. The toadies, the AR-lites ("Puppy mills are THE problem!") and the just-in-it-for-what- they-can- get folks need to go, and they should be replaced by people who care about the future of purebred dogs and who have enough business sense to do their jobs as board members.

     The tone of what has been coming from the delegates today suggests that they may be ready to start cleaning house. A lot of the anger over this issue comes from the arrogance with which PAWS has been handled, the judges' conflict of interest policy, the change to the AKC mission statement and other recent issues, in which it became clear that AKC leadership simply didn't care about the fancy, or -- seemingly -- about the future of purebred dogs.

     A housecleaning can't begin too quickly. HOWEVER it's important for clubs and delegates to remember that as bad as the current board of directors is, there are far WORSE people out there. Animal rightists, and AR-lite types are found in most kennel clubs and some are influential in the show world. These people would very much like to take over the AKC and the result would be disaster. We could wind up with an AKC that not only didn't support the fancy but actively promoted more laws regulating home breeding because "WE HAVE TO FIGHT PUPPY MILLS."

     Delegates will need to consider board candidates with great care, looking for a positive view of what the AKC should support and do, rather than a list of things it should be against, for business common sense (with experience a plus), and for a genuine love of purebred dogs and appreciation of the place of dogs in today's families.

     I said that the AKC's name was its second-most important asset. Its MOST important asset is the home breeder and small-scale fancier because these are the people who can do the most hands-on and generally the best work of producing quality purebreds, putting them into good homes, and making sure those homes succeed. The quality image of the AKC is supported by running a clean registry but that image is built and refreshed by home breeders in our daily contacts with our puppy owners and prospective buyers, in our showing and performance activities, in our relations with our communities, and in the planning we do for litters to minimize health and other inherited problems and to conserve our gene pools.

     A new board of directors ought to build bridges to the AKC's breeder customers. Those bridges must be two-way: there are things we need in order to promote the future of purebred dogs, and we're going to have to give the AKC the resources it needs to do the work. In a time when our need for the AKC is greater than ever, it's ridiculous that the organization is reduced to grubbing for money in all the wrong places. The money they should be spending to promote the interests of the fancy should be OUR money, not money from VISA, Cherrybrook, or Petland Discount. But we can hardly be expected to send more dollars to finance an organization that treats us with contempt and works against our interests as often as for them.  Walt H


Dear AKC:  Perhaps you need to step back and think..

     -Maybe if we had not pissed off every concerned dog fancier by supporting PAWS, they'd be more apt to support us by attending shows!

     -Maybe if we hadn't further pissed them off by telling our judges they can't judge other organizations shows, they'd come to the shows.

     -Maybe if we hadn't spent so much time patting them on their trembling hands and lying to them, they could fill out their show entries.

     -Maybe if the thought of going to an AKC show didn't make them sick to their stomachs, they'd show up with their dogs.

     -Maybe if AKC had not become such a joke, people would come to our shows....

     I have a drop dead gorgeous 19 month old Afghan that I cannot take to an AKC show...I entered the Labor Day Circuit, and I couldn't do it--I felt like I was giving in to everything I had been fighting against--AKC is not acting in the best interest of purebred dogs, and until they get their heads out of wherever they have them now, the puppy will stay home and age well.  Karen M


Editor's Note: See copy of form AKC mass mailed letter to puppy mills offering cut-rate deals

0609 http://www.thedogpress.com/ClubNews/AKC/Petland-Letter-Comments2-0609.asp

 

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