~ Unaligned News For The Dog Fancy ~
AKC - HSUS
Here's how both non-profit's income,
expenditures, management and strategies compare in marketing animal welfare or
September 16, 2008 | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
I tip my hat to HSUS CEO Wayne
Pacelle. He has moved the HSUS into the #1 spot as the nation’s most powerful
organization soliciting money under the supposed pretext of helping animals. To many, that's fraud, but apparently it is not criminal fraud under U.S. law
and IRS tax code.
PETA also does very well financially but let's just compare the
hated HSUS to our beloved AKC.
When Pacelle became the
Humane Society CEO, HSUS reported
$100 million income on IRS form 990 as compared to AKC’s $60 million for the
same year. Since 2006, HSUS not-for-profit income has shot skyward, thanks to
Hurricane Katrina and Pacelle’s fund raising skills. See
AKC Executive Salaries
Revealed (below) for more info on comparative expenses.
HSUS’s Wayne Pacelle is the most
recognizable Animal Advocate on TV. He is the media’s talking head for animal
(rights) welfare. Notably, “consultant” or “contributor” TV appearances are
handsomely paid. Perhaps Pacelle donates his expertise. We’re not sure.
By comparison, no one, including AKC’s
CEO Ron Menaker is seen or consulted. The significant result is that AKC has
steadily lost registration income during the same period in which HSUS has grown
like a cancer cell.
That happened because AKC's lost
registration income from long-time show breeders has not yet been offset
by puppy mill registrations. I predict that will soon occur.
the financial facts with HSUS's growing visibility on TV advocating for animal welfare
(implying that AKC purebred dogs are raised in horrid conditions) coupled with PETA's strategy which says breeders kill animals and urges families to adopt
from a shelter.
Wayne Pacelle and Ron Menaker are
rumored to be, if not personal friends, at least respectful of each other. AKC
seems to have borrowed the HSUS playbook and under Menaker's leadership,
developed many of the marketing strategies that are employed by HSUS.
Pacelle is a brilliant manager and
strategist. I might see his AKC counterpart as a dismal failure except for the
fact that Menaker has kept AKC afloat through other financial strategies, even
though many such financial finaglings are not well accepted by AKC
traditionalists. Despite being an AKC judge, Menaker is either unaware of or
ignores the basic concept on which his organization was founded. Pacelle does
Pacelle raises over a hundred million per year in donations. Menaker bleeds
the foundation of AKC's existence with higher fees for less results.
American Kennel Club CEO's implementation of AKC credit
cards, gadgets, toys, etc. and selling the name and endorsement of the
organization generates untold $millions. And not to be outdone in the donation
department, AKC created satellite non-profits to suck more money from dog lovers. The AKC/CHF is perhaps the best known due to honorable intent and unfortunately,
recent scandal. There’s the AKC Museum and, borrowing from the HSUS playbook,
the Disaster Fund.
Then, seizing the opportunity to
capitalize (no pun intended) on the presidential election, AKC created a PAC
(Political Action Committee). Menaker wants to represent all dogs and all dog
owners. So does HSUS, except Pacelle makes it pretty clear that the last thing HSUS supports is purebred dog breeders. Ahh, now we're getting to
the core differences between AKC and HSUS.
HSUS net income is significantly higher
due to a much lower executive pay scale than AKC. According to a May 2008
report, AKC pays its CEO and Executives over twice as much as does HSUS. I leave
you to ponder the implications of that fact. But don't despair for HSUS execs
because they make millions from satellite companies.
Serious financial issues threaten AKC
even as HSUS becomes richer and infinitely more powerful. Looking at the
difference in how the two not-for-profit organizations spend income, we see that
HSUS spends most of its income marketing, developing, and soliciting for yet
more income from animal lovers. HSUS is the media's #1 source
for facts, statistics, animal care, and animal related legislation.
the AKC's public service announcements (PSA), animal care advice,
advertisements, and promotions for purebred dogs?
is perceived as being for animals, loving and protecting them, etc. We know
better but it is public perception that puts money in the till!
AKC touts itself
as being "for dogs" but when it has incredible opportunity to nationally promote
the purebred dog on Westminster and other well-rated TV broadcasts, the
American Kennel Club
forsakes its core constituency for dog food sponsorship showing mutts or for
promoting an alleged "animal rights" humane society (AHA) and thereby alienating
its core support.
Where are the ads encouraging purebred
dog ownership and the wholesome family competition known as "dog shows" which
was in fact, the sole reason for AKC's formation?
In this publication, we examine the good
and the bad about AKC. If we learn a little heavily on AKC's shortcomings, well,
where else are you going to get that information? AKC has an excellent public
relations staff whose job it is to dress everything up in tinsel, golden light,
and a bit too much B.S. Our job is to balance that with thought-provoking
So how can AKC regain the confidence and
support of show and hobby breeders? More to the point, does AKC want that
market? Many feel we are just a thorn in AKC's side, an impediment to making the
big bucks from the puppy mill market. There has been much angst on the AKC Board
Of Directors over the loss of puppy mill income, or as it was so well sanitized
and cleverly termed, High Volume Breeders.
Most long-time breeders, Judges, and
dog clubs are still devoted to the American Kennel Club and what it once represented. Historically, the AKC has never had to advertise to the public; it was the only
game in town and had no AR groups with which to contend. Times have changed!
HSUS now has vastly
more support and public acceptance than does the AKC. HSUS now generates nearly
double the income of AKC despite the required (non-voluntary) monetary support
of breeders via registrations.
So what can show and hobby breeders do
to support AKC? Offer a fair trade. They stay with the American Kennel Club and
quit running off to other show and registry venues and in exchange AKC will support and advertise the purebred
dog, the advantages of purebred dog ownership, and the family sport on which the AKC was
The bottom line is this. With groups
like HSUS and PETA better known and better funded than the American Kennel Club,
we need to decide whether to cash in our chips or invest more to protect our
stock (pun intended this time). The purebred dog fancy has no SEC or Federal
government to bail us out and our existence is at risk!
Since this was published there's more recent information on the AKC Board Of Directors
in these links. You may also want to catch up on the intrigue of the
Lois-Lerner Scandal as it relates to HSUS.
Also see related information for a complete financial picture
AKC Salaries 2005 thru 2010
AKC Salaries 2011 thru 2013
ii AKC 2013 revenue, pension, and retirement summary
2014 Salaries and Other Compensations
2015 Salaries and Tax Filings not yet available
AKC's 990 Tax Returns 2005 to Current
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