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The American Kennel Club

 June 2005 - The AKC is committed to maintaining the freedoms we deserve and are fortunate to enjoy when it comes to owning, breeding and showing dogs. We are firmly opposed to any unreasonable infringement on the rights of hobby breeders who are dedicated to nurturing our beloved breeds and responsibly enjoying our sport.

With this in mind, the interest generated by the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) of 2005, introduced by U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) on May 27, comes as no surprise. As is often the case with controversy comes confusion. In past weeks, fanciers have raised a number of concerns and I would like to take this opportunity to address them.

At the heart of this bill is the USDA's ability under the authority of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to regulate individuals who breed and sell large numbers of dogs. Keep in mind that the bill applies to those who breed seven or more litters per year and sell more than 25 dogs per year. Both conditions must be met before a breeder comes before the USDA, thus, if you produce less than seven litters, you are not subject to regulation, even if you sell many more than 25 dogs. Similarly, if you sell fewer than 25 dogs, you can have in excess of six litters and not be covered. I believe, if enacted into law, PAWS will not have a detrimental impact on the fancy's ability to breed dogs for the show ring or performance events, or to provide dogs as pets to carefully selected buyers.

All of the bill's provisions are focused squarely on the welfare of dogs and to a large extent will affect puppies that do not have responsible, dedicated breeders like ourselves to protect them. We owe it to the dogs to consider how this legislation can help safeguard them, not only how it may impact us. We believe the bill will only apply to less than four percent of our customers who register litters, the majority of whom are already subject to USDA regulations.

Some have accused the AKC of reversing its stance, but in reality nothing could be farther from the truth. While it may appear that this bill was introduced out of thin air, it is the result of years of behind-the-scenes legislative work. The majority of the bill reflects provisions advocated by the AKC since Sen. Santorum's original proposal, and represents a victory over animal rights extremists who sought to have their views represented to the exclusion of others. It is an example of the proactive spirit which the AKC has embraced in recent years and which I am intent on pursuing, as I believe our actions in matters such as these are fundamental to the future health of our organization and to our dogs.

Like a fine breeding program, your ideal dog will not be whelped in your first litter. It takes years of dedication, crafting and combining bloodlines from many sources to create a dog that best represents the ideal standard. The same is true with legislation. Working closely with Sen. Santorum and other legislators to impact the development and content of this bill is the single most important thing we can do to ensure that our rights are maintained. To be left out of the discussion entirely would be tantamount to breeding two stray dogs and hoping for a Best in Show winner. The saying "you have to be in it to win it" truly applies here.

Just like there is no perfect dog, there is no perfect bill. That said, I wholeheartedly feel that, as it is now written, this bill is worthy of our support. And by supporting it from the start we will be part of the entire legislative process, from drafting to passage to the writing of the regulatory language. The latter is where our impact can be most beneficial to the fancy. You can be reassured that we will be closely watching this bill to ensure that it progresses in a way that is reasonable for our constituents and effective in protecting dogs.

We have a unique opportunity to take a proactive stand on this issue something the fancy has encouraged AKC to do more of. Let's not be "kennel blind" about the benefits of actively engaging and cooperating with our lawmakers in Washington for the benefit of the future of our sport and the welfare of our dogs.


Ronald H. Menaker


AKC's new relationship with Cherrybrook expands online store

It sounds great for everyone except other catalog and online stores trying to make a living selling the same products.  AKC announced the debut of its new Online Store at  It will feature "nearly 11,000 new items including full lines of grooming and training products, as well as a complete redesign of the valuable reports & information section, which offers AKC certified dog pedigrees, DNA test kits and Canine Good Citizen materials."  That's a bountiful amount of goods.  AKC claims its store is "already a favorite shopping destination for dog lovers around the world" which does make one wonder about shipping rates but one thing is for sure, Cherrybrook is and has been a great name at ringside for a long long time.  Wayne Ferguson is a good dog man who started Cherrybrook out of the trunk of his car and built it into a tradition.  We always admired him, and well remember his magnificent Saint Bernard shown by Alan Levine.  Was it "Dexter"?  whatever, a most impressive Saint! 

Wayne is a mover and shaker, from the Canine Health Foundation, Morris & Essex, to many other charitable and worthwhile organizations.  We understand Wayne sold Cherrybrook, but we wish AKC and Cherrybrook well in the new alliance while at the same time, we empathize with other retailers. 

The AKC Online Store has always been a popular place for the fancy to purchase key reports and information items such as dogs defeated statistics, Canine Good Citizen materials and progeny reports, said AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung.  Through our relationship with Cherrybrook, we will now offer thousands of products that will not only appeal to the fancy, but to all pet owners.  All dog lovers can come to our website and find not only the most pertinent information about the sport of purebred dogs, but can purchase many of the necessary products required to be a responsible dog owner.

MARY DUKES new AKC Field Rep

Popular handler Mary N. Dukes, of Riverside, CA, has been appointed to the position of AKC Executive Field Representative.  She replaces Peter Gaeta, who recently left the position to become AKC Director of Judging Operations.  With more than 30 years in the sport, Dukes will cover all shows throughout the southeast beginning Aug. 15, 2005. She will be based out of Charlotte, NC.  Everyone knows her as a most accomplished professional handler and a master breeder of Whippets, kennel name "Delacreme" and there's no doubt she will represent AKC well.  Mary breeder/owner/handled the top-producing sire of all-time in the Whippet breed.  According to COO John Lyons, Mary Dukes brings a wealth of experience and talent to the Field Representative position.  Her background in the Sport and her professional reputation are a formula for success.  We are fortunate to have her on our team.  That is probably an understatement.  She brings great rapport to the position and no one can say Mary hasn't "been there, done that."  A good move for AKC and for Mary.

  April/May Comb. 2005 Chairman's Report and comments on great progress with Canine Good Citizen program as outlined in Mr. Menaker's report.

  March 2005 AKC Board - Chairman's Report, followed by news of Strategic planning, roadmaps, initiatives and competing registries. Charlotte McGowan receives deserved Awards.  Director of Companion Events goes to Curt Curtis.   Read and Reference AKC Mission Statement.

 Feb 2005 AKC Board Canine Health Foundation - club and individual donations has dispersed twelve million to help fund canine health studies.

 Jan 2005 AKC Board summarizes 2004, great financial year, another million to CHS, hurricane help, AKC products, Registration stats for 2004,  it's all right here

Research/Reference previous Board Business and news in Archives

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