The American Kennel Club can not survive in its
present form. Judges and show breeders are deserting as AKC puts
dollars, deals and puppy mills first.
Barbara J. Andrews,
The American Kennel Club of
today is all about MONEY and MARKETING. John Q. buys from a pet
shop that is of course, stocked by the puppy mills AKC so
desperately courts. Televised AKC events carry dog food ads
showing cute mutts, not purebreds. AKC’s failure to promote
“responsible breeders” combined with PETA’s very successful
anti-breeder campaign, have caused shelter “adoptions” to
Sure we want to help homeless dogs but show breeders who devote
their lives and resources to create the best purebred dogs need
AKC support, not sabotage. AKC flat-out refuses to say that Show
Breeders produce purebreds with dependable, predictable
advantages over Designer Dogs or Mixed Breeds. Well that figures
– AKC now allows “crossbreds” to compete and win AKC ribbons.
How will you vote in March?
For the five-year breeder or handler, it’s no big deal. You’ll
survive. For others, it’s heart-breaking. Like watching the
company you worked for all your life go up in smoke. There went
all those years of learning the trade. You’re not even left with
bragging rights because achievements in the AKC mean nothing to
anyone else. They can’t relate to those Best In Show Ribbons or
photos of you judging the National. So you had a nice dog? Big
deal, they just bought a papered puppy at Wal-Mart. How will you
vote this March?
If the American
Kennel Club wants to stay on top with show breeders as a
valuable commodity, it must market its position and
restore the concept of buying from an AKC SHOWING
breeder instead of Petsmart or backyard breeders. You
can demand that with your vote.
Public perception can be
changed. Through aggressive AKC marketing that relates “AKC Show
Puppies” to owning the best car instead of a clunker, we could
change the public’s buying habits. Or get ready to be a
has-been. If you’re having fun, what AKC doesn’t do won’t bother
you. Not until you smell smoke and realize your playhouse is on
fire... Is this about proudly breeding “the best” dogs and
proving it in the show ring? Or are we just being used to market
the “brand”, peripheral deals, credit cards, dog toys, etc.? At
one time, “AKC registered” stood for something. Talk to your
club delegate and officers. There’s still hope but only if you,
the showing fancy, demand a return to AKC Board values of the
How you ask? Simple. Member Clubs poll the membership, achieve a
consensus and then command their delegate to vote the member’s
wishes. How original is that!!?? I know, I know, but it’s
possible IF each club does due diligence and IF the delegates
insist on a certified ballot. Two “ifs” could add up to a
positive change of direction at 51 Mad Avenue.
There are some realities here. Contracts can’t be broken and
may, with proper oversight, be good for the sport. See the
Hartford deal below. But deals with our competitors? Chasing
after the Weapons Of Mass Production, otherwise known as Puppy
Mills? Making back room deals with Petsmart? Cutting
registration deals with foreign countries just because a club
backer has a sack full of money? It’s like a coach selling out
his team. Barney Madoff running Wall Street. Where is the FBI
when you need ‘em?
Get involved. Under the AKC bylaws, we hold the power. We just
don’t use it. Did the AKC board ask you before they spent
millions developing PRIME, the pet shop software?? Guess not. We
reported the super secret PRIME and you were outraged. The AKC
board controls the purse strings but WE control who sits on that
board! So how will you vote this year? Your votes do count IF we
can be sure they are counted. I don’t think Petsmart votes in
AKC elections but what if they help count ballots?
If AKC must accept Mixed
Breeds and puppy mill puppies to stay afloat, okay. We
understand economics but AKC must put Show Breeders first if it
is going to cut lucrative deals on the back of our
accomplishments! Club members can force the great American
Kennel Club to promote “the fancy” as breeders of the best dogs.
Either that or we register and prove the quality of our
“product” in another system, one that supports and will promote
the value of a carefully created, genetically cleared,
beautiful, sound purebred dog.
But we shouldn’t have to go elsewhere. After all, AKC used to be
that way. Some of you are nodding. You’ve been around long to
enough to remember those days. TheDogPress hears you. It is
strong enough to back your play and broadcast your voice to
mainstream media. Yeah, that’s right. We don’t have AKC’s
bankroll but we do have press connections.
Shouldn’t the richest registry in the world provide value for
our dollars? No one is challenging AKC’s not-for-profit status
or its lobbying activities as is happening with HSUS. What
TheDogPress demands is that AKC spend part of the more than $50
million it has in hidden reserves to market its original image
as the hallmark of quality dogs. Instead of robbing registration
income (which is off by estimates of over 50%) to pay
Presidential Salaries, AKC should market its
“responsible breeders.” It is for sure, what AKC is doing now is
a colossal failure! We thought Kalter, the ad agency genius,
would do so and supported him for the board. Now we say replace
him with someone who cares about the future of purebred dogs and
who knows how to market!
Read the announcement below. It’s a very lucrative deal, just
like pet insurance, microchips, etc. But what was AKC’s selling
point? Did Hartford do the deal based on our adherence to Breed
Standards and genetic health – or on the millions of pet shop
puppies AKC registers?
Let TheDogPress know your feelings. If you are a Club
Officer, call (800) 776-0754 and share your concerns and tell us
how your members feel. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong.
Street Journal, December 7, 2010 The Hartford and AKC join to
offer exclusive Auto and Home Insurance Program to American
Kennel Club Dog Owners. Hartford will also sponsor the AKC
Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy programs. “We are proud
to align with the AKC, a well-respected organization dedicated
to responsible dog ownership," said Andy Napoli, president of
Consumer Markets at The Hartford. "The AKC has a strong brand
recognized by millions of loyal dog owners. We look forward to
meeting their insurance needs."
the release also states:
breeds historically ineligible for coverage may be
eligible if they meet specific conditions demonstrating
obedience and responsible dog ownership. This includes passing
the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
"We are pleased that The Hartford is leading the way to
providing insurance for responsible families that own purebred
dogs," said AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung. "By promoting
the AKC Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy programs, The
Hartford is also helping AKC stay true to its mission of helping
families have positive relationships with their dogs."
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
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