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AKC Governance - The First 100 Days


The new AKC Board’s First 100 Days define the dog fancy’s future. Will it spend millions to defeat Animal Rights or will it be “business” as usual?


April 22, 2009

Barbara J. Andrews, SAAB Member


Will AKC finally address Animal Rights with more than rhetoric?  AKC has at best, only spend pennies for every dollar HSUS has invested in its campaign to stop all breeding of all domestic animals.  That is shameful.  Dog breeders have had it.  What do they serve at a doggy Tea Party?


The most exciting presidential election in decades is over but already, for the first time in American history, people of all political persuasions came together to voice their frustrations. Okay, okay, there was one other Tea Party but that was only about taxes. This one was “we the people” expressing deep, overall resentment of governmental policy.


The dog world also had an electoral “first.” We elected four AKC Board members and like our federal government, we need to support and watch them for the next 100 days because AKC also faces big governance problems.


Everyone will agree, the biggest problem in animal world politics is the Animal Rights Activists, spearheaded by the HSUS. The ARA threatens the very existence of show breeders, most of whom have small breeding programs in their homes. Many will give up breeding rather than pay the unlawful fees being imposed by, take your pick, “tax and spend” or “bought and paid for” animal rights advocates.


We’re conditioned to paying sales tax when we buy a vehicle, county taxes to own it, and state taxes to drive it. We’ve accepted that we will never own our property; we only rent it from the city or county in which we live. But being unfairly taxed because we own a particular breed of dog or sexually intact dogs? No. We’ve had it!


Do dog owners and breeders have to hold a Tea Party to get national attention? What a great human interest story that would be!


Governance starts with the club Delegates. Did your Delegate talk to the AKC Board candidates about the ARA (Animal Rights Activists) before voting? Did your Delegate report back to the members on how and why they voted? Did your club demand to know how you were represented? Bottom line here; is your Club's board working for dogs and dues-paying members or is it just about egos, holding dog shows, and trading favors?


So, at the risk of being “politically” incorrect but speaking for over ten thousand fanciers, we demand that AKC do something about dog legislation! Something tangible, something powerful, something only AKC can do. We have a right to expect AKC to use the millions of dollars of dollars collected from dog owners to protect the future of dogs. Only AKC has the money and the political power to defeat the ARA legislation.


The dog fancy demands that AKC use whatever it takes of the more than 50 million dollars it has squirreled away! Take a cut in salary, cut out those lavish corporate vacations, get out of New York’s highest rent district and consolidate in Raleigh despite the “inconvenience” to certain Board members.


We challenge the rhetoric AKC plants in other publications about how it has to raise fees because… blah blah blah. TheDogPress showed you that top AKC directors get “presidential” salaries, that it has huge cash reserves, and that despite the drop in registrations and show entries, it is making money during these troubled times. We want the federal government to quit wasting money. We want AKC to quit wasting money and SPEND IT on fighting Animal Rights! If HSUS can get Rush Limbaugh to act as its spokesperson, surely AKC can buy a politician for a better purpose than Pushing PAWS.


To ignore the effect AR legislation is having on the sport is suicidal! Even a mouse has enough sense to avoid a hungry cat. One would think the extraordinary minds at the AKC would have the self preservation instinct of a mouse!


Unless AKC mounts an immediate and powerful offense to the Animal Rights Agenda, only the most determined or wealthy breeders will survive. That won’t hurt AKC at all. With us pesky show breeders out of the way, a new wave of commercial breeders will flood AKC coffers with cash. AKC has hinted, as has HSUS, that it already has inspectors to solve the government’s staffing problem in increasing USDA inspections. That’s a big hunk of cheese, maybe enough to tempt a mouse to face off with a cat!


So now you’re getting the big picture. AKC would be better off with “them” instead of “us.” Puppy mills register a lot of dogs and without “us” draining market share, they would do even better. AKC would continue to realize millions of $$$ from product, TV and movie branding, and from its own line of services. It that why AKC refuses to spend real money to actually fight Animal Rights? Because the economic crises and HSUS will remove us bothersome, purist show breeders from the money game?


In the meantime, if not directly helping as it did with PAWS, AKC can smile hand-over-mouth at our feeble attempts to stop the tide of ARA legislation. After all, when HSUS has finished removing show breeders from the picture, the already-licensed puppy mills will happily fill the gap in supply and demand. Remember, it was AKC’s High Volume Breeders Committee that planted the oft-quoted “fact” that show breeders can not meet the public demand for purebred dogs. Makes sense eh?


As the first decade of the new millennium comes to a close, AKC will be even more powerful and profitable than before. No one begrudges that but it will pay dog people to pay attention while we’re paying respect to the new AKC Board Of Directors. Newly elected Kalter is immensely qualified to out-market the Animal Rights crowd but everyone on the board has the skill to out-strategize opposition in the business world.


So let’s give them our trust and support. If the new board lets us down, well, we’ll be watching those tea party folks because dog owners are never too old to learn some new tricks. EST 2002 © 0904

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