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Can dog clubs put DNA teeth into AKC’s Breeder Of Merit and take a bite out of puppy mills through certified inspections and educated puppy buyers?


April 2017

Sherry L. Shivley, Journalist Award Winner


Did your dog sleep inside last night where it was safe and warm? Did he or she have enough good food to fill the tummy? Maybe he cuddled with you on the sofa? Does your dog get Veterinary care when needed, regular baths, nail trimming, walks or car rides with the family? Not all dogs have a life of luxury.


Just like auctioning off cattle, horses or other livestock, dog auctions operate all over the U.S. The dogs are brought in, assigned a number, then poked and prodded by puppy millers looking for cheap breeding stock.


The auctioneers will rattle off information about each dog, i.e. “high producing male, pregnant female, young female in heat…” Imagine the panic those dogs suffer-away from the safety of their cage, the noise, smells, loudspeakers blaring and strangers poking at them. This used to be a “mid-west” problem but the Amish have also found a gold mine breeding dogs. Unlike livestock dogs, auction dogs can be in small cages stacked on top of each other.


Puppy mill dogs never know what grass or sand feels like under their feet. They never know “human” kindness.


These are not mongrel dogs- they are AKC REGISTERED DOGS. Because AKC does not put any restrictions on how many litters a year can be registered by a kennel or person, they just keep producing puppies. Many bitches have had mastitis, lost a nipple, or suffer from breast tumors. Yet they keep producing for the puppy mills.


If, by some miracle a bitch is rescued and spayed before being placed, veterinarians have said their uterus falls apart in their hands from being bred every heat cycle.


People pay just as much for commercially bred “puppy mill” puppies as they would for one raised with a family, with parents that were health tested and shown in public in dog show rings. Is there a solution or a way to impact puppy mill abuse?


Did you know that an “AKC BREEDER OF MERIT” can be the world’s worst puppy mill? If they meet the simple requirements, they can easily slip under the radar because no inspection of their facilities is required. Here is another thought. Show catalogs are cheap and are like a gold mine for an inventive puppy miller. So AKC requires DNA tests after so many litters? No big deal, just change the dog’s name.


I propose that each National Breed Club start their own adjutant Registry - requiring DNA of parents for Parent Breed Club (PBC) litter certification. The parents must also be shown and titled in some way - either conformation, performance, or obedience. Parent Breed Clubs could put restrictions on how many litters can be produced by each kennel or person a year. And most important, the national breed club can have a club member or designated and impartial person pay surprise visits to those kennels, perhaps as a potential puppy buyer. I know, finding the physical location might not be easy but then that is a red flag…


If evidence of participation in auctions or puppy mill activity is confirmed, send written documentation to the AKC and demand an onsite inspection, especially if that person is listed as an AKC Breeder Of Merit. Send a copy of your letter to the National Parent Breed club. Then follow up to see what determination and action followed.


Changes can occur and they need to. Purebred dogs are becoming like the Arabian horse was a few years ago- all beauty and no substance. The Arabian breeders took matters into their hands and required that the horse had to be shown in performance, not just halter, in order to be eligible for awards and honors. Dog Breed Clubs should do no less.


I understand that AKC income depends on litter and puppy registrations, or at least that used to be the case. AKC now has other income sources but they are still the face of purebred dogs so they should not put profit before the welfare and sourcing of their “product.” There could be a small extra charge for DNA litter certification.


If enough caring dog breeders demand changes in the care and production of “puppy mill produce” we can make a difference. Are you a Parent Breed Club Member or Officer? If you have suggestions, comments, or problems in your area, please step up and let us know. Email PBC CERTIFICATION and let’s take the first step to changing where and how the public buys purebred dogs.


Dog Bless ~See ya around the ring~ EST 2002 © 1704






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