American Kennel Club Chairman Ron Menaker says the Kennel Club needs to register a lot more puppy mill dogs in order to avoid raising dog show entry fees a "staggering" $20 per dog (the price of a movie and popcorn at your local theatre).
In the September 2008 AKC Chairman's Report, Ron Menaker writes:
The American Kennel Club faces enormous challenges in reversing the continuing decline in registrations. Today, we are losing market share at an alarming rate, especially in the retail sector. We are being challenged competitively and financially. The declining registrations and associated core revenues, if allowed to continue, will fundamentally change our organization going forward. Make no mistake, the very future of the AKC and our sport is at risk.
We can all remember some of the premier “name brands” and companies of the past, leaders in their field. The ones that we thought would be around forever. These giants, these household names, held the same standing as the AKC. Companies such as: Westinghouse, Pan American Airlines, Standard Oil Company, EF Hutton, Woolworth’s, Montgomery Ward, just to name a few.
Today, there are at least 30 All-Breed registries in addition to the AKC, whose combined registration numbers exceed that of the AKC. If this trend is allowed to continue, if we do not stop the hemorrhaging of declining registrations, we will no longer be the premier registry in the world, let alone in our country. Management has been directed by the Board to aggressively pursue all dogs eligible for AKC
registration. . . .
. . . . AKC used to dominate the marketplace. Even places like Macy’s and Gimbels sold AKC puppies. Many pet owners who bought these puppies, and I was one of them, tried their hand at showing and breeding. These owners who purchased their first purebred from a retail outlet, not only added to AKC’s registrations, but those who wanted to advance in the sport, then sought out fanciers to continue their
journey. . . .
. . . .Last year less than one half of our revenues came from registrations. Dog registrations peaked at 1.5 million in 1992. By the end of 2008 it is projected we will register only 725,000 dogs. This is a staggering 53% decline. . . .
. . . . If the current trend continues and dog registrations decline to 250,000 over the next several years, AKC will face an annual revenue shortfall of $40 million. To put this in perspective, if this scenario occurred, and we relied solely on raising the
event service fees to make up for this revenue shortfall, the fee would be a staggering $20 per entry.
I have written about this before, but those who are new to the economics of the American Kennel Club might want to revisit my earlier posts (links below) and the sad economics of the American Kennel Club and the twisted thought process of Chairman Menaker.
Suffice it to say that in order to recoup the money lost from dog shows, the AKC needs to register 666,666 puppy mill dogs a year.
Ron Menaker sees nothing wrong with this.
In fact, he himself has bought dogs for sale in Department Store windows. Nothing wrong with it! Good practice! It might get a few people to come to a dog show. And that, of course is the very definition of Kennel Club success.
One of the dirty little secrets of the AKC is that the organization would go bankrupt without puppy mill registration dollars.
In the minutes of the September, 2006 AKC Board meeting (link to PDF file), Ron Menaker notes that the AKC has been registering puppy mill dogs "for the past 122 years" and "we have collected millions of dollars" as a result.
Nothing wrong with it! Good Practice! Or so he says.
Menaker goes on to further observe that "registering puppies that come from these puppy brokers or pet shops" "is not a new phenomenon."
In short, you should "get over it."
Now, Mr. Menaker has gone one step farther. His new message is not "get over it it," but "Get on with it."
The more puppy mill registrations the better.
Mr. Menaker's threat is that unless the AKC doubles down on puppy mill registrations (the dogs that go to pet stores and department stores), then the AKC might become an American "dinosaur" company that goes out of busines.
Apparently, changing the business model is out of the question. Change?! In Menaker's narrow mind that can never happen. For him and his kind, a closed registry system based on 19th Century eugenics theories is a religion. You do not abandon your religion because it is no longer popular do you? So why would you change Kennel Club practices that leave so many dogs deformed, diseased, and defective that no one respects "the brand" any more?
No, the solution is clearly not change! Better to crank up puppy mill production. Time to green-light more commercial breeding facilities.
- AKC Depends on Puppy Mills to Subsidize Shows
- AKC Loves Puppy Mills ... and the Naïve
- The AKC Embraces the "Big Wink" of Misery Pups
AKC Chairman Ron Menaker with a roach-backed, linty-coated, deep chested Bedlington Terrier -- a good example of what the Kennel Club has done to a dog that was once a working breed.