DELEGATES FORCE AKC BOARD TURNOVER
Reflecting the mood of the country, the Delegates essentially and overwhelmingly voted to change the AKC Board Of Directors by keeping Term Limits.
Sam Harper and Barbara Andrews
TheDogPress.com | September 17, 2010
In a rough count, 250 Delegates voted to keep term limits which was the amendment from the Bylaws Committee chaired by Judy Daniels, former AKC President. Approximately 150 voted against term limits which was far short of the required 2/3 majority.
Under heavy fire, AKC delegates stood up for the clubs and the dog fancy. Make no mistake, it was not easy. My daughter said they were under pressure from the clubs who elect the delegates and from the Board that controls a judge-delegate’s future.
The Sunday meeting between the Delegates' Coordinating Committee, Chairman Menaker, Vice Chair Tom Davies, President/CEO Sprung, and COO Lyons had little effect on the outcome of the Delegate vote regarding term limits.
The AKC Delegates marched on towards breaking a decades-old strangle hold on the sport. Under Term Limits, Ron Menaker will be off the board in 2012 and will have to sit out at least one year. Menaker has served as Board Chairman since 2002, during which time, the sport of purebred dogs has been greatly diminished.
I'm still trying to get a handle on American Kennel Club politics and so I have done a lot of board research. The hallmark of the Menaker Board may well be AKC’s alliance with HSUS and DDAL in order to pass the anti-hobby breeder legislation known as PAWS.
The Chairman had hardly warmed his seat when we were “alerted” about the PPA (Puppy Protection Act) which any old soldier would see as only a distraction meant to fail and make AKC look good. While pretending to side with show and hobby breeders to fight PPA, AKC secretly supported PAWS (ref #1), donated large sums of money to Santorum (ref #2), went “neutral” on CA 1634 at a critical moment, and in general was so deceitful that had it not been for exposure in TheDogPress, those in the know believe PAWS would be law today. PAWS would not have affected licensed, regulated puppy mills or even backyard breeders but it would have meant the end of show breeders.
Besieged by animal rights, show and hobby breeders, (many of whom are judges, club members, or delegates), looked to the American Kennel Club for solutions. None were forthcoming. None. The current Chairman’s report enumerates many problems but still offers no solutions. (ref #3)
In retrospect, the figures speak clearly. 1981 registration revenues accounted for 96% of AKC’s revenue. In the years just before and during Chairman Menaker’s reign, registrations slipped to less than 50% of income.
In 2002, immediately following Ron Menaker’s election, the push to make puppy mills acceptable began with the HVBC offensive. The High Volume Breeders Committee, headed by Patti Strand. (ref #4) was announced with great fanfare. Even Patti’s persuasiveness failed to sell the idea and dedicated show breeders were highly offended.
By 2006, the damage done to AKC’s integrity, Mission Statement, and registration income was calculable. From a peak of over 1,500,000 in 1992, by 2006 registrations had dropped 50% to only 870,192. Clearly, “the economy” was not in play in 2006. The in-your-face changes in AKC philosophy were beginning to be seen as nothing less than sabotage! The Petland Contract (ref #5) and uncorrected Stud Book corruption (ref #6) hit below the belt and was followed by a left hook – (ref #7) a 300% increase in 2008 show costs!
Still paying itself “Presidential Salaries” (ref #8) while bemoaning a loss in registration income, AKC plunged ahead with the new “Register Anything” (ref #9) policy to recapture lost puppy mill income. It only made bad matters worse. The fancy rebelled. Even delegates and judges were going on record for the press - and they were saying “goodbye!”
In 2009, the delegates elected four board members and the dog fancy held its collective breath during those first 100 days (ref #10). We trusted AKC would finally address our biggest challenge; Animal Rights. It did not. TheDogPress predicted that many more would leave the sport rather than leave their homes or face more fines, fees, and the farce of AKC help!
In 2010 the Delegates said “enough” and voted on behalf of the people and the dogs we love. If they remain steadfast, over the next two years we will see the full financial and political power of our AKC at work. New board members will address legislative issues on behalf of dog owners. It will spend a big chunk of AKC’s $100 million in reserve funds for the PR we counted on talented ad man Alan Kalter to implement. New board members will be true to the AKC Mission Statement.
And the dog fancy will come back. We will never generate as much AKC income as the puppy mills but every dollar will be made with honor. Thank you Delegates! The editor has assembled a lot of background information in the links below.
ref #1 AKC Supported PAWS, all the facts and tracks lead to...
ref #2 AKC Board Donates To Santorum pictures don’t lie.
ref #3 Chairman’s Report Sept 2010
ref #4 AKC’S High Volume Breeder Committee fails to convince
ref #5 The Petland Contract sparked outrage
ref #6 Stud Book & Pedigree Fraud corruption ignored by AKC
ref #7 AKC Raises Event Fees 300% Exhibitors say “forget it!”
ref #8 Presidential Salaries as other corp. officials take pay cuts
ref #9 Register Anything Service offends every show breeder
ref #10 First 100 Days defined the Animal Rights success.
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