"In order to recoup the money lost from dog shows, the AKC needs to register 666,666 puppy mill dogs a year."
One of the dirty little secrets of the AKC is that the organization would go bankrupt without puppy mill registration dollars.
Ron Menaker, Chairman of the AKC's Board of Directors notes in the minutes of the September, 2006 AKC Board meeting (link to PDF file), that the AKC has been registering puppy mill dogs "for the past 122 years" and "we have collected millions of dollars" as a result. He goes on to further observe that "registering puppies that come from these puppy brokers or pet shops" "is not a new phenomenon."
Why does the AKC snuggle up to the puppy mill industry? The Board of the AKC is rather blunt about the problem: though the AKC made a profit of $5.7 million last year, that is not enough. A core problem, says Jim Stevens Chief Financial Officer of the AKC, is that events "lost approximately ten million dollars in 2005."
"Events" is a euphemism for dog shows. In short, because rosette-chasing is a money-losing proposition for the American Kennel Club, they have to subsidize dog shows with blood-money derived from puppy mill registrations.
So how many AKC puppy mill registrations does it take to zero out the deficit created by AKC dog shows?
The math is simple. It costs $15 to register a puppy with the AKC. In order to recoup the $10 million a year lost from dog shows, the AKC needs to register 666,666 "misery puppies" a year.
To put it another way, the AKC is losing about $1,175 dollars per event (i.e. per dog show), which means about 78 misery puppies need to be registered to underwrite every AKC event.
How many rosettes are awarded at an AKC show? I have no idea, and the number shifts, but I think it's safe to say that every breed and performance win requires at least one puppy mill "misery puppy" to be registered.
So enjoy those dog shows! Take pride in those ribbons, especially those of you who did not breed the dog and then paid a handler to walk it around the ring.
And remember that with every rosette comes an added bonus -- a little bit of misery in fur huddled in some commercial breeding pen pulled well back from the highway. There the dogs are pregnant for life, and when they are too old to produce more, they are killed to make room for the next generation of breeders. And all of this is AKC-approved and rationalized in your name!
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