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Who's Protecting the AKC Stud Book? 


Does anyone see the irony in the recently published AKC Code of Sportsmanship?


The AKC proclaims, “Sportsmen refuse to embarrass the sport, the AKC, or themselves while taking part in the sport.” Better yet, how about this, “Sportsmen respect the history, traditions and integrity of the sport of purebred dogs”? How can the AKC release this Code of Sportsmanship with a straight face? Based on the facts surrounding the AKC Studbook fraud cases, it is apparently okay for the AKC to “embarrass” and “disrespect” themselves.

I got involved in dogs in 1973. The idea of owning a show dog was very exciting. I read everything I could to learn about the sport. I studied my breed standard and learned about breeding and showing. From the beginning, I took showing and in particular breeding as a very serious matter. Actually having fun was a bonus! How naive we all were when we first got into the sport. Who would have thought that the AKC, and at least one parent club, would end up betraying us as well as the breeds we love so much?

The multiple cases of documented stud book fraud surely strips us of our initial feelings of awe and respect for the organization that is supposed to be “dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our Registry.” See (#1 AKC Mission Statement) at the end of the article.

How can any of us be truly certain that our pedigrees are worth the paper they are written on? The statement that your dog is, “as good as the breeder,” does not hold water. It is a cop-out. AKC can’t shift the blame onto US! Even an honest breeder could be an unwitting victim of fraud and unfortunately, an unwitting perpetrator by selling puppies from subsequent breedings.

The AKC’s apparent softening in their “dedication” of adhering to their Mission Statement has consequences. It is obvious that the fact that the stud book is becoming a mockery. Secondly, the AKC’s pattern of behavior and attitude will become contagious among the fancy. Those breeders who might not have crossed the line for fear of suspension/fines, etc., have now been given the green light. Obviously, the long-time Breeder who rarely goes out of their own line may not be affected by AKC’s handling of fraud cases but it can be a problem for the most honest breeder when they need to breed out of their line. Where do you go and how do you know that the pedigree you are considering is accurate? You don’t.

Perpetrators charged with studbook fraud must not believe for one moment that they are in any way exonerated just because the AKC chose not to protect the integrity of the studbook. Particularly when those charges were supported by DNA evidence. Science does not lie. The AKC, sadly, becomes the accomplice.

Unfortunately, the AKC is not just becoming the enabler of fraud. Worse, the AKC is becoming the abettor of fraud by allowing it to stand when confronted by solid evidence, and to the unsuspecting public who purchases a puppy out of these litters. These victims, if they ever find out they were defrauded, could file a civil suit, however, like the victim of fraud in the (#2 Samoyed Case) at the end of the article, knew he would win his case civilly, but he was fearful he would have to return the dog as part of the judgment. That was not an option for him.

The name that continues to pop up in these matters is Thomas Sharp. Who is this man who works for the AKC? If we accept the premise that all AKC employees subscribe and agree to uphold the contents of the AKC Mission Statement, it is safe to say that Thomas Sharp’s job description, in part, states that he should:

• “Love dogs”
• Be dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the Registry
• Be committed to the interests of dogs owners
• Uphold high standards for the administration and operation of the AKC.

We have already learned by reading TheDogPress that Thomas Sharp has had more than one case where DNA tests proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the information on record is false. Thomas Sharp chose to reject the evidence and let the fraud stand. How does Thomas Sharp’s actions reconcile with his job description? Who IS Thomas Sharp? Is Thomas Sharp doing his job?

Is Chairman and CEO Ron Menaker aware that people are so frustrated with the AKC’s Compliance Dept. that they are providing DNA testing at their own expense proving stud book fraud, only to have Thomas Sharp reject it? If the AKC and Thomas Sharp are truly dedicated to the integrity of the registry, any and all DNA testing submitted by involved parties should be taken seriously. Anyone who goes to the trouble of DNA testing at their own expense is deadly serious and knows that a simple retest could negate their findings if not done exactly right the first time. There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas Sharp has had incontrovertible evidence proving stud book fraud and he has allowed the fraud to stand. I have no doubts because I personally submitted incontrovertible evidence. Once again, I ask the question, how does Thomas Sharp reconcile his decisions with his job description? How or why does Ron Menaker allow this pattern of behavior to continue? Does the AKC seriously want to maintain the integrity of the studbook? What is with the AKC policy that the year 2000 is the break off point in accepting DNA evidence? This policy is a disservice to purebred dogs and is contrary to the AKC Mission Statement. The AKC needs to revisit this policy as well as the motivation behind it. Whom does it benefit? Purebred dogs? Hardly. How could it possibly benefit purebred dogs when the policy, by its own limitation, allows fraud to exist? Where does the Mission Statement say that the AKC wants to maintain the integrity of the studbook, but with strings attached? Do they want integrity in the studbook, or not? The AKC claims to be a registry, when are they going act like one?

The AKC Stud Book is under attack and therefore the very breeds we have come to love are also under attack. It is sad to say, but it seems like the fox is guarding the hen house. The AKC needs to go back to its roots and stand by the Mission Statement where it states,” We love Dogs.” I’m one of those people who believe that “love” is a behavior. The pattern of behavior going on at the AKC is not loving. You do not deliberately destroy what you love. I believe it is time for a change at the AKC. The AKC has put forth a
Sportsman’s Code of Ethics, which contains behaviors that they would like the dog fancy to embrace. Similarly, I believe it is only fair for the dog fancy to have the same expectations of the AKC. We should demand sportsmen, honest dog loving sportsmen, go back to work at the AKC. Nothing is going to change unless and until the dog fancy gets fed up and demands better for our precious dogs.


#1 AKC Mission Statement

#2 Samoyed Case

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