- The UKC registers puppy mill dogs and in fact this has been a core part of their business for the last 50 years.
- The UKC registers over 300 breeds of dogs (more than the AKC), including the same deformed, diseased, and dysfunctional breeds as the AKC, such as the English Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pug, and Pekingese.
- The UKC requires no health checks or health testing to register or breed a dog.
- The UKC does not ban incest or require a low coefficient of inbreeding. The UKC operates as a closed registry, and with half as many dogs spread over a larger number of breeds, the effective population size in most breeds is very small.
- The UKC registers entire litters at birth, which means registration occurs before the most obvious health problems can be assessed.
In a recent HBO segment, we are told Wayne Cavanaugh walked away from being Vice President of the American Kennel Club because that club was "rewarding unhealthy ideals" and that he was "made president of the United Kennel Club" after that.
Sounds great, but simply not true.
Wayne Cavanaugh left the AKC in August of 1999 because the long-time owner of the United Kennel Club, Fred T. Miller, was sick and looking to hand it over to someone who would buy it.
Cavagaugh saw this for what it was -- a rare chance to take over a large canine registry and make money.
Fred Miller died in March of 2000, six months after Cavanaugh came on as General Manager of the UKC, and his widow, Connie G. Miller, sold the UKC to Cavaugh in November of 2000 for an undisclosed sum. Prior to Miller buying the UKC in 1973, the United Kennel Club had been closely held by the family of Chauncey Bennett who founded the UKC in 1898.
In the 14 years that Wayne Cavanaugh has owned the United Kennel Club, the registry has not "reformed" itself in any meaningful way.
In fact, every major registration criticism leveled at the American Kennel Club is equally true of the United Kennel Club to this day.
Puppy mill registrations? Check.
Incest OK? Check.
No required health checks or tests? Check.
There is, of course, one important difference.
While the AKC has a large Byzantine bureacray to slow down institutional change, Wayne Cavanaugh could transform the UKC overnight with the stroke of a pen.
The fact that he has not done so makes his touting of himself as a reformer the most naked kind of misrepresentation.
Is his heart in the right place? Let me say that I am sure that it is.
That said, Diogenes the Cynic advised to ignore the words of men and look to see what they do. Diogenes, of course, was a TRUE dog man.
And so, if we look at what Wayne Cavanaugh has done it is very little. There has been a lot of talk, but talk is cheap.
Mr. Cavanaugh's United Kennel Club continues to stand with arms wide open for the puppy millers and their Pekingese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chinese Cresteds, Boston Terriers, Pugs, and English Bulldogs.
An inbred litter? No problem!
A dog born Cesarean? Fine!
Puppies from a "high volume breeder"? How would we know, and wouldn't it be wrong to discriminate?
Register only adult dogs that have passed a veterinary inspection? No can do.
So far, the UKC has been given a pass because it is half the size of the American Kennel Club.
Maybe it's time for that pass to be revoked.