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Columns: No Limits, No Kidding!



by Virginia O’Connor


Virginia O'ConnerI've been ranting about this for years.  Do you think one reason they arbitrarily stopped publishing the Stud Book is to help hide the increasing fraud contained therein? Could someone please tell me how they can justify "keeping" the Stud Book according to their Charter, while not making it available to dog owners for purchase?  

Two Registries? Isn't there some way we can take them to court - they are possibly a worse monopoly than Microsoft, if not as rich. They should be forced to be split into commercial registrations and show breeders registrations - like the phone company breakup. Since the goals of the two are diametrically opposite!  I wish there were a viable alternative registry.

My friends don't even mention AKC to me any more, for fear of getting me started! I've never had any real problems with them myself, it's just the principle of the thing that bugs me. I see where they are going and just hate it. Starting with the home invasion inspections a few of my friends were subjected to - doesn't matter that they had no problems and passed with flying colors, it was the very idea that I found abhorrent. As far as I know, even the IRS can't just show up on your doorstep and demand to see records without probable cause and a warrant. All they can do is call you in for an audit, and then one can make an appointment, have an opportunity to get organized and can have an accountant or attorney present. AKC, like many corporations, seems to think we have signed away our constitutional rights by participating in their registry.

Personally, I can't see why we should even have to keep complete registration records - we pay AKC to do that every time we register a litter or dog, or enter a show! Not that they do a very good job of that, it now seems.

Arrogated Rights!  Not only do they monopolize the Stud Book and registry, but they have arrogated many "rights" unto themselves that properly belong to the parent clubs, such as maintaining the breed standards and even judge selection. Those functions are not in their original charter at all, to my knowledge. Now they've extended their monopolistic reach by forbidding judges to officiate at other registries shows! I'm not sure how important that may be, but it doesn't seem right.

Back to the AKC and them wishing all of us show people would quietly disappear. That is really true - they truly only want us for the glam marketing front to increase sales and now to promote their own show. Apparently, they view us as a "loss leader." In a conversation with someone who was in a high Board position at AKC for a time about a decade ago, I expressed my view that AKC should divest itself of the puppy mill registrations as a conflict of interest, and this person informed me in no uncertain terms that it was never going to happen. I was told that show dog income would never be enough for AKC to survive on (!) and that we show people "consume a disproportionate amount of the revenue stream" compared to what we bring in. I knew the writing was on the wall then.

Now they've gone into every profit center they can find, selling toys, art, jewelry, supplies, microchips, etc, etc, not caring what impact that may have on the small businesses that cater to their true customers. All they care about is the bottom line. And yet they still call themselves a non-profit "club of clubs".

If I were incredibly rich, I would make it my mission in life to keep them tied up in court, see them broken up into two separate companies, and stripped of their non-profit status, and maybe start an alternate registry.

There are still many good solid dog people at AKC, don't get me wrong.  But the general consensus seems to be that small show dog breeders are not AKC's real focus any more. They spend more time litigating against us than helping us, while extending discounts and perks to the high-volume puppy mills. Gone are the days of the full page AKC ad in the 1885-1934 Anniversary Book of American Fox Terrier Club, which encouraged one to:

"Bring your problems to THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB whose privilege and duty it is to serve all, owners of pure-bred dogs."


Unfortunately, the only way we will ever take back AKC is to use the tactics of the animal rights organizations - infiltrate. We'd have to get real dog people slowly in to positions of authority, as delegates, as vice-presidents and directors, until we could vote out the policies we deplore. But that can take decades, and I think we may not have that much time before the sport we know is gone, not only due to AKC neglect of the Stud Book and other abuses, but because of the legislative onslaughts and the general aging of the Fancy.

Virginia O'Connor


For More Articles by Virginia O'Connor:

An Overview on the AKC/Petland Contract


For More Information on AKC Corporation go to:

Scot McNeal's - And Still MORE on the AKC Corporation


Read short blurb in Miami Herald re: Buying dog/puppy with AKC papers and why.

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