March Board Elections had pundits pounding on the AKC Delegates
and demanding a change in the Bylaws regarding Delegate
Barbara J. Andrews,
One publication suggested that the AKC Bylaws need yet another
overhaul to put those pushy Delegates back in their place. In
Delegate system was designed long before the internet (and dog
magazines) and in that respect, we agree the Bylaws are outdated. More
on that in a minute.
Results have just been phoned in. Ron
Menaker was re-elected as Chairman of the Board and Dr. Thomas
Davies was re-elected as Vice Chairman. Mr. Menaker has
been the Chairman since 2002. Nominated and
elected were Robert Amen and Steven Gladstone. Running
from the floor and elected, Dr. Carmen Battaglia. Patti Strand
came off the board due to term limits.
Media always seeks to
Influence election outcomes, from local to national elections.
But when it comes to AKC Board Elections, it is the club members
who should decide
the issues and insist their Delegate vote according to the
position of the majority of the club’s members. Dog News
did an excellent job in providing questions for the candidates.
So were you involved in who
runs the AKC? If not, why not? If you are a breeder
or exhibitor, the sport demands a big chunk of your time and
money. It's easy to turn on the
TV and be told who you should vote for in 2012
but we can be badly
misled by the media. Did you vote for unbearable debt,
corruption, and loss of freedom?
you wish you could change your vote as factories shut down, the
balance of trade shifted, and pork ran wild? So in the dog
world, who tells you the truth?
The American Kennel Club was created by and for breeders yet
very few constituents understand how it is supposed to work.
unofficial survey showed that most clubs abdicate their
vote because the Delegate “knows more about it”. Why
Have your club officers have lost track of what they were
elected to do? To leave Board Elections up to your Delegate is
like telling your Senator and Congressperson to “just vote
however the White House wants.” No, it is YOUR vote that governs
dog shows and rules because it is your Delegate that controls
that part of the sport.
In case your delegate hasn’t told you how clearly his/her job is
defined; from the AKC website: “Under the Constitution and
Bylaws of The American Kennel Club, the Delegate Body"... shall
have sole power to make the Rules governing dog shows and
trials and the clubs or associations formed to conduct them."
The Delegates can not interfere with the business end of the AKC
but when it comes to dog shows, from judges,
rules, and entry fees to extra events and innovative income
ideas, you, through your elected Delegate, hold the power.
well did you exercise that power this year? Compare our
electoral system to the Federal government. If we elect leaders
who don't - or who can't - or who can and could but instead only
serve their own interests and egos, the system collapses whether
it is our federal government, the AKC, or your local dog club.
Our national economy is in trouble but that is not the reason
breeders and dog clubs are floundering.
face it; the public isn’t interested in OUR product. People buy
more dogs than ever but THEY DON'T BUY SHOW DOGS! The public
would rather pay more to adopt a mutt than buy a purebred
from a show breeder. If they do want a purebred dog, they buy on
the internet or from a pet shop where the AKC brand means
nothing. Where is the AKC's marketing power? Does AKC promote
buying from a breeder who studies genetics and proves the
quality of their product in shows? NO! (see our report next
week on how YOU felt about the Pedigree advertising on
So this year, did you take
time to develop a
position on how to fix the sport? Did you learn anything
about the AKC Board candidates? If not why not? Did
you hold your club delegate accountable to vote the will of the
If “real” breeders are to survive we must put muscle into
changing the antiquated system that pushes you and your delegate
further away from the AKC board. Our election system is
outdated because “way back when” there were no Delegates in
Milwaukee or Houston or San Francisco! A century ago, attending
a Delegate Meeting in New York City was at most, a short train
trip away. Today it is expensive and time-consuming and more
often than not, dog clubs can’t afford to send their delegate to
NYC to keep tabs on things and vote on whatever issues are put
So incredibly, we are told the solution is to reduce the Delegate Meetings
to only twice a year? What a great way to shove YOU
and your club further out of the picture. Don’t let
“them” disenfranchise you or your club.
Sure it’s difficult to get your Delegate to NYC but wait,
today we have internet and certified mail
no longer goes by Pony Express.
Under our present system, the sitting AKC board controls us
instead of the other way around. When a hot button issue comes
up and dissenting Delegates do go to New York to actively
represent their club, they are slapped around until they cave
in. If they don’t give in to the board lobbyists, they are
pretty much ignored. Can you recall any issue over which the
Delegates and the AKC board were at odds and the delegates
prevailed in the long run? The board just finds another way
The “Petland Contract”  is but one example because although
the Delegates stood up like heroes, AKC was already working on
PRIME…  Even TheDogPress didn’t know
about it until it was too late
to stop AKC from developing the expensive pet shop software to
“inventory” stock, track sales and returns, etc. Did
your Delegate know? If not, why not? If AKC supports
puppy mills and pet
shops more than the show and hobby breeders that founded the
AKC and all it once stood for where does that leave you and
your "dog show" or "parent club"?????
So did your Delegates vote the will of their club
instead of voting whichever way will get them the most
assignments or the most support when they
decide to run for the Board Of Directors? Have you
even asked your delegate? Might not some of the newly elected
Delegates, like the Congressional newbies, sincerely vote their
As of today, you still control who sits on the AKC Board because
you elect the delegate who elects the Board. So if indeed your
club said they just “leave it up to the delegate” you need to
vote them out and replace them with officers who understand
that they are only in power so long as they serve the members.
Funny thing, voting. When you care and are informed, it works.
Nationally, locally, or in the dog world, good governance
depends on who you elect. And did I mention starting with a
certified ballot??? That means having your membership list
validated by the members, ballots then prepared, mailed,
returned-to, counted and certified by a local accounting firm
unconnected to any member.
Now, while you still have a
would very much like to hear from you on
how your club conducts
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
Get more information and dig for gold
Everything! on AKC’s Contract With Petland
PRIME – AKC’s Super Secret Pet Shop / Puppy Mill software
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