THE “EVIL EMPIRE”
The "15 to life" suspension of an International AKC judge is back in the news due to the AKC's forced concession that all judges are free agent professionals.
(For more on that 2010 update see Judges Are Independent Contractors!(#1 below))
July 2007 | TheDogPress Club News
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
We receive many charges of the AKC Board's discriminatory, even vengeful actions against judges. We present this 2006 case as a classic example because if Fred Lanting does not "traffic in dogs", he has been falsely accused, unjustly tried, convicted, and sentenced to a lifetime suspension.
If you conclude that indeed Fred Lanting committed the AKC crime of "trafficking in dogs" as alleged in the single incident for which he was charged, you should also know that certain well-known judges routinely arrange both foreign and domestic dog sales. Many also suggest a handler and some may even guide the dog's career. They are usually compensated by both buyer and seller for these professional services. As Independent Contractors, it is their legal (and Internal Revenue Service) right to do so although we take exception to those who "pimp" for a dog.
TheDogPress.com has ample proof of judges assisting a dog's show career so one might logically assume that some judges were/are immune to AKC prosecution whereas others have been wrongly or vindictively charged.
In most cases, the AKC' findings and sentence is accepted because the accused (A) can not afford a legal defense (B) recognizes the futility of going to AKC's court or (C) fears AKC retribution even if they should win the case. AKC is very aware of this and to discourage any rebellion, has often stated that it has "more money and lawyers" than the average breeder, exhibitor, judge, or handler.
So as AKC alleges, if Lanting is a “salesman or solicitor … whose primary source of income” is from dog-related publications; what about the numerous judges who write books and magazine columns? Do judges have to produce income tax records to prove it is not “primary” income? If the CEO of AKC awards BIS to a dog owned by someone whose Board Of Directors he sits on, is that a conflict? Obviously this has happened and TheDogPress.com has reported it.
This is indeed a grey area and it should not be. Addamo Asks more questions in the Lanting Interview(4) which will also interest you.
Here's what Fred Lanting, scholar, author, world-renowned GSD authority and international judge says about the charges.
"The following deals with AKC’s unfair and malicious suspension of my judging privileges. Darrell Hayes in his March 6, 2000 letter asked for an explanation of “advertising” at the Plum Creek show in Colorado in February, because I had left a note where exhibitors picking up armbands could see it. In that note, I tried to help a friend get a good dog for the betterment of the breed and the sport in his far-away country (Pakistan). I had absolutely no gain possible except knowing I had done my charitable duty, and I have been wrongly punished. I am positive it is an excuse for long-standing animosity toward me because of articles I used to write years ago, critical of AKC policies.
"The “Canine Consulting service” an AKC letter referred to is my long-time activity on the lecture circuit. Similar to Quentin LaHam and other judges. There is nothing in the guidelines or rules that indicate AKC’s policy on seminars has changed. I don’t consider my books, lectures, or seminars to be “commercial use of judging approval” any more than Carmen Battaglia does with his lectures or books, or any number of others do. Nor do I “trade or traffic in dogs” in any way. I had no idea that a note on the table asking for breeders’ help here in America in finding a dog could be perceived as objectionable under any rules or guidelines.
"Trading or trafficking in dogs" may be an infraction of AKC rules but it does not pertain to me. I am also innocent of any charges relating to “occupational ineligibility”. The only income I have besides social security is from my seminars (HD, Gait-&-Structure) and a part-time consulting job in the polymers industry from which I had retired three years ago to devote time to my love of the dog sport.
"AKC staff misunderstood the word “client” that was used at one point in my correspondence appealing the suspension. My consulting clients in the area of orthopedic disorders have nothing to do with the accusation upon which the suspension was based. That one of these clients coincidentally happened to be a person who asked me to pass along his need for a couple of Hip Dysplasia-free foundation bitches has apparently been misunderstood by both staff and board. He asked me to help him after my seminar on orthopedic diseases in Pakistan January 2000. He wrote a letter to AKC to explain this need for good brood bitches. He was ignored.
"The fact remains as it was then: I am not a person who would “buy, sell, and in any way trade in or traffic in dogs as a means of livelihood in whole or in part” (Chapter 7, Section 1, Rules, March 2001). I never got any favors or money for trying to help people find each other in a search of their needs. Yet, because the person I was trying to help in this instance was a non-paying “client” (only in the connection of my consultation on orthopedics matters) and I had used that one word in one communication regarding this situation, I have been accused of being a dealer or broker even though it does not resemble the Rules quoted above. AKC is using the “occupational ineligibility” rule, even though I am NOT a “dealer or trafficker in dogs” or a “broker” or anything of the sort.
"I did not have Internet access at the time, which is why I made the mistake by putting my friend’s request on the table where I was judging in Colorado. A Rottie exhibitor who did not win BOB was told by the dog’s owner to turn that note in to the reps who then reprimanded me and said they would have to send it to AKC. On that basis, I was accused of “dealing in dogs.” I feel there is no difference from a veterinarian-judge who puts his clients’ “wanted” and “for sale” notices on his lobby bulletin board. We are only trying to help people and indeed he derives direct income as a result of helping his customers sell their litters. Not only does that breeder become his regular customer, so do the owners of the puppies, etc.
"AKC's responses have been repeated denials of my appeals and an extension of suspension until they can be pretty sure I've died."
Read Part Two; Evil Empire Takes Revenge, Lanting's Letters to AKC say it all!
Get more information and dig for gold below:
Judge Boulton Defeats AKC or did he? Plus the $90,000 AKC/CHF settlement.
The Purloined Poodle, WKC Group winner, some say it's a judge "trafficking in dogs".
Crime & Punishment judge gets a lifetime sentence.
AKC Teaching Judges? No, Judges own what they know and have learned.