AKC's refusal to honor co-owner contracts or Registration Certificates as ownership titles results in contract disputes and AKC acceptance of fraudulent litters.
March 2011 update | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
The AKC Registration Department said if they get an application to register a litter or dog believed to be out of AKC registered parents, they will register it, despite any contract between the seller and buyer. Whoa!
Here’s the simple stuff that makes simpletons out of us all. In mid-March I was about to send a registration certificate to the new owners of a pet puppy that had gone oversized.
Problem was, I had already named and registered him, knowing he would be my next BIS winner! Okay laugh, the joke’s on me. There was no way to “limit” him on the certificate and I hadn’t thought to have a contract ready when the out-of-state family arrived. Sure there was a quick solution, I called AKC Registrations and finally worked my way up to the very nice supervisor who said if they owned him, they could breed him. Period. I should have known better than to ask. Here's the bottom line:
We receive dozens of emails like the one below. Hundreds of documents on file but first, let me prove the point with a perfect score; three out of three personal examples.
In the extensively documented Haddad case, no amount of pleading or threats could stop AKC from registering an Akita litter allegedly from a puppy bitch we had sold to Mexico. When a prospective buyer contacted me for background on the dam of the litter in Mexico City, I learned the AKC registration on a puppy I had sold to Jorge Haddad had been used to falsify an O’BJ litter. The bitch was too young to have whelped a litter and in fact, she had been returned to me at 11 months of age on the grounds that she was "spooky." Having previously sold a dog to Jorge Haddad that he showed to #1 dog All Breeds in Mexico and Top Ten ranking here, I accepted her return. As it turned out, she was head shy and very obviously abused. We took her straight from the airport to be vetted so it was a matter of record that she could not possibly have whelped a litter.
My reaction to the news, which I confirmed through another source in Mexico, started a chain of events which revealed major differences between the Mexican and the American Kennel Club.
I called Thelma Von Thaden, President of Mexico’s Federacion Canofila Mexicana, who in turn worked with Pamela Mathews, a department head in AKC Registrations. The Mexican Kennel Club Board Of Directors cancelled registrations on the litter even though the attorneys representing Haddad and litter purchasers were “lined up in the hallway” that morning when Thelma called me before the board met.
But don't you know, AKC registered the litter. When I challenged the registration department, knowing Ms. Von Thaden had worked closely with Ms. Mathews, one pompous, sputtering, VP actually blurted out the excuse that “AKC has no reciprocity with Mexico”!!
In another case, a co-owned bitch was bred without my knowledge, the litter registered and advertised in his local newspaper. A friend mailed me a copy of the ad. I called AKC. The blue slips were so obviously forged, the lady in registrations took it upon herself to check for a previous litter. Sure enough, there was a previous litter and the microfilm showed even more preposterous forgeries plus a terrible lapse in AKC oversight for having ever registered the first litter out of a 12 months old puppy bitch!
April Fool! Both litters stood as registered even though AKC acknowledge that my signatures had been forged over a dozen times. Why am I sharing this? It just seemed like the right time of year to do so. And because the following email is so well-stated and representative of those received from readers.
“I learned a good lesson 10 years ago when I sold a male puppy on a neuter contract that specified the puppy was to be neutered within 2 months of the sale and withheld the papers. Four months had passed, and the owner's veterinarian directed his staff to not discuss the matter with me on the phone, so I hired an attorney and sent a letter to the vet advising him that legal proceedings would include him for attempting to violate the terms of a written contract. My attorney sent a letter to the owner threatening to file for court proceedings within 10 days for failure to comply with the written sale agreement. She had the dog neutered and sent confirmation to the attorney.
“Since that time, I will never send a puppy or adult out to a new owner until I have first had the dog spayed or neutered first and allowed sufficient time for recovery. While AKC's provision certainly opens the door for contamination of a genetic pool with dogs that may carry serious genetic defects, and they should know better, frankly WE SHOULD ALL KNOW BETTER than to assume that John Q Public will honor an spay/neuter contract or even cares if they ever get papers.” Sig: Patricia McCann
The message is clear. He who depends on AKC to honor a Buyer/Seller or Co-ownership contract is a Fool. See AKC co-ownership and contract information below.
AKC strongly discourages co-ownerships. According to this cautionary warning on the AKC website, http://www.akc.org/reg/contract.cfm (sorry AKC has moved or changed their page) current as of 3/26/09, if you enter into any kind of contract with a dog person, you’re on your own. Here’s what AKC says about contracts.
“Many AKC-registrable dogs are bred, sold, or transferred on the basis of certain conditions, restrictions, or understood agreements between the interested parties. Some breeders sell their puppies on Spay-Neuter Contracts, which require that the dog be spayed or neutered by a certain age. Others enter into co-ownership contracts with new owners or into Stud Contracts with the owner of a male dog. Some dogs are sold with the agreement that they will be shown to a certain level of achievement in AKC events.
”The AKC does not and cannot enter into arbitration when an understanding between buyers, sellers, or co-owners goes wrong. The AKC will abide by the decision of the court if the case is litigated. We advise that all contracts be thoroughly examined and understood before the transaction is completed. For more information, see our Procedures for Registration Matters.”
First Published April 2009
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