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AKC Board approves huge yearly contributions to board member Patti Strand's Alliance as Sari and others object to raising AKC fees.


April 2002  | TheDogPress Club News

Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief


If you think breed club politics are a hotbed of intrigue, try being on the AKC Board. Over the past few years there have been some real dog people who decided the only way to change things was from the inside out. With the support of other dog people, they were able to gain a seat on the board. But make no mistake, that hard-won seat has uneven legs, broken supports, and is a lot like Musical Chairs - someone is always trying to yank the chair out from under you.


Take the AKC’s approval of a $25,000 donation to the National Animal Interest Alliance, commonly referred to as the NAIA. When I first read multi-group judge Sari Teitjen’s dissertation about the donation, I was shocked. No one does the "Pro & Con" thing better than Sari but was she really against that donation? Surely I misread Sari, a writer whom I have always respected and admired? I re-read her comments and then sat back to think about it.


AKC takes in over $fifty million a year and had a $four million dollar surplus last year, even with the big drop in registrations. In point of fact, that registration decline seems to have been handily offset by an increase in fees. And you know who foots that bill right?


The exodus from AKC, matched by increasing fees, could continue until AKC collapses in on itself. Sound impossible? Not so if we heed Sari who also said “AKC should be assessing clubs and participants more in fees” and again, “participants” mean us. Okay now I’m confused. Whose side is she on? AKC should raise entry fees and cost of other services in order to make more money, right? Why? So it can have an even larger “surplus”?


I re-read Sari’s report on the donations to NAIA. All but two members voted to contribute .0004% of AKC’s income to NAIA. A paltry sum right? The two members who abstained are on the Board of the NAIA. So? Are we to believe that the Board voted to toss a financial windfall to NAIA (over $20,000 per year) in order to gain the voting allegiance of two members of the Board{1, 2}? Gads! How could one ever arrive at that conclusion?


As an investigative journalist who watches “not-for-profit” organizations with a certain degree of skepticism, I would think that the NAIA is the dog lover’s strongest ally. The National Alliance Of Animal Interests fought the PPA (Puppy Protection Act) bill, right? Name just one group that has done more to expose the terrorist-tactics of those who masquerade as “animal rights” groups? Gotcha!


Knowing the powerful work that NAIA does, and that AKC gives millions to other charities that do a lot less tangible work, Sari’s dissertation seemed off point. She was once on the AKC staff, in fact, I think she was also the webmistress for a time. Did Sari oppose funding for the CHF or Take The Lead or any of the other 501c Corporations so generously supported by AKC? I think that would include AKC's own pension. What is it about NAIA that set her off?


Is there something we don't (yet) know?


Surely someone as well informed as Sari Teitjen would know that NAIA is in the forefront on animal cruelty. My observation that NAIA was weak on puppy mills has not changed but NAIA does fight animal rights and works on legislative issues. That takes funding. If anyone doubts this, just go to the NAIA website.


You and I keep shoving money at AKC every time we register a dog or buy from their growing list of commercial services. Maybe every time we send fees to AKC, we should match that check with one to NAIA to help fight anti-breeder legislation?


Sari is too smart and too tuned-in to be wrong. I'm confused. This is one story we will all have to watch.


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Reference Links:

{1} National Animal Interest Alliance Nov 2001 AKC Board Minutes special reserves for 2002

{2} National Animal Interest Alliance Jan 2002 AKC Board Minutes 25,000 grant approval #g01410




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