Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The AKC Helps Sell Puppy Mill Dogs for Petland

This post is about a document you are not supposed to see.

This post is about PRIME -- the AKC's new program to register puppy mill dogs sold through pet stores like Petland.

You are not supposed to know about it.

You can read the AKC-branded manual here. In it, dogs are called "inventory" to be taken from, or returned to stock.

In the past, I have told the story of the AKC and puppy mills.

The AKC, a financially failing organization which has always been morally bankrupt, is simply reverting back to form.

Here's the truth: the AKC has always registered puppy mill dogs, and every year it pockets millions of dollars from commercial kennels whose core business plan is to pack dogs into cages where they are "bred until dead."

  • If you watch Westminster, you sanction the cruelty.

  • If you register a puppy with the AKC, you sanction the cruelty.

  • If you go to AKC dogs shows or trials as a participant, vendor, or viewer, you sanction the cruelty.

And let's be clear here: puppy mills are a lifetime of cruelty.

These dogs are bred until dead.

Most of the smaller breed dogs will never leave their wire cages.

They will never play on grass, run with children, or be properly socialized.

Most will spend their lives on wire-bottom floors, pacing in endless boredom, with constant noise day and night.

You want to see what a "Blue Ribbon Kennel" looks like?

This is what the American Kenenel Club is endorsing. This is the AKC's economic life blood.

Who thinks dogs should be raised in cages?

Who sanctions "bred until dead" as a defensible business model?

Let us name the names:

  • Ronald H. Menaker
    Chairman of the American Kennel Club
  • Dr. Thomas M. Davies
    Vice Chairman of the American Kennel Club
  • Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia
    Delegate, German Shepherd Dog Club of America
  • Dr. William R. Newman
    Delegate, Mastiff Club of America
  • Nina Schaefer
    Delegate, Back Mountain Kennel Club, Inc.
  • Dr. Patricia Haines
    Delegate, Cincinnati Kennel Club, Inc.
  • Ken Marden
    Delegate, German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America
  • Patti Strand
    Delegate, Dog Fanciers Association of Oregon, Inc.
  • Dr. Thomas M. Davies
    Delegate, Springfield Kennel Club, Inc.
  • Walter F. Goodman
    Delegate, Skye Terrier Club of America
  • Ronald H. Menaker
    Delegate, Rockford-Freeport Illinois Kennel Club
  • Lee Arnold
    Delegate, Southern Colorado Kennel Club
  • Carl C. Ashby, III
    Delegate, United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club
  • Alan Kalter
    Delegate, American Bullmastiff Association
  • Dr. Robert D. Smith
    Delegate, Memphis Kennel Club
  • Dennis B. Sprung
    Ex Officio member of the AKC board


Retrieverman said...

And yet these are the same people who tell you to buy only from a reputable breeder who shows the dogs and "breeds to the standard." I see a lot of "breeding to the standard" there. Just the standard is this-- if it makes me a profit, I breed that bitch again in six months!

PBurns said...

The AKC used to have verbiage on their web site telling folks not to get their dogs at a pet store, but I see that has disappeared what with their co-branding relationship with the Hunte Corporation, the puppy mill distributors.

The UK Kennel Club also registers puppy mill dogs, but at least they have this verbiage:

Source >> http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/208

"Puppy farms are like factory farms where dogs are bred purely for profit. The dogs are normally bred too often, many are unhealthy, and often live in unbearably poor conditions. The puppies are generally removed from their mothers far too early and sent by rail or van to ‘dealers’ or pet shops in the big cities to satisfy the public’s demands. Many are severely traumatised by the transition, and some do not make it alive. Do not buy a puppy or a dog from these sources, as they will have had the worst possible start in life, and are far more likely to have health and temperament problems."


Retrieverman said...

According to this (and take it with a grain of salt), the AKC gets 80 percent of its business from puppy mills: http://www.friendsofanimals.org/programs/spay-neuter/puppy-mills-pet-shops-the-akc-basic-facts.html

I don't think it's that high. This organization may be conflating "backyard breeders" with puppy mills.

I've seen that in animal rights organization propaganda before, where they say that people are breeding mass producing puppies in their backyards!

PBurns said...

No, it's not that high, and it depends on what year you are using.

The AKC makes most of its money on registrations. Of those registrations, somewhere between one-third and one half were puppy mills at one time or another. The loss of puppy mill registration dollars is one reason AKC registrations are down 53% in last 15 years, and the current effort is to bring back the puppy mills dogs to boost revenue. My guess is that "only" about 1/3 of AKC revenue now comes from puppy mill dogs (dogs sold in pet stores, online, and through "multiple breed" newspaper ads).


FrogDogz said...

Am I missing something here, as a Canadian? Does AKC not charge MORE than enough money for show entries - enough to make them not have to get in bed with Petland and Hunte?

How can they cry poor on one hand, claiming that without pet store puppy sales they'll go broke, and yet maintain that expensive property in Manhattan? Geez, what's a floor's worth of prime Madison Avenue real estate renting for these days?

PBurns said...

There is no limit to greed and a sense of entitlement and priviledge at the AKC. Remember, the whole thing is about ego -- it's not the dogs that are chasing the ribbons, its the people. Part of feeling priviledged and "upper crust" is to have fancy digs like that office on Madison Avenue. Yes, they are gilding the Lilly with the blood of puppies, but what does the Board care? They want to go to New York City and expense the fancy meals, stay in the fancy hotels, and go to Westminster receptions. This is what the AKC is all about. It's NOT about dogs, and never has been.


Packleader said...

You, Terrierman, are a noble warrior. It takes GUTS to stand up and speak the truth to the AKC's power. Their minions and brain-washed participants will no doubt blast you, attempt to dismiss your comments as AR propaganda. Publishing the AKC's own literature should be enough, but it never will be to the many thousands of willing endorsers of cruelty in this country.

Thank you for all you are doing for dogs present and future.

Thoughts said...

GREAT post, I am SO glad that you are calling out the AKC for what it really is, and Petland too. Not enough people know the real truth about this and the more of us pet bloggers that continue to bring it to the forefront - the better.



Carolyn Horowitz said...

While I don't believe dogs should spend their lives on wire being bred to the point of exhaustion, etc., at least the dogs in the "Blue Ribbon Kennel" have been subject to inspection by the USDA, the State of Missouri, and the AKC. The dogs certainly didn't look happy, but they were clean and didn't have obvious open sores or anything. It kills me the AKC registers dogs bred like that, but they'll be bred like that as long as people will buy a dog from a Pet Store.

The bigger problem, in my opinion, are the mega-kennels that sell direct to the public via the internet. They are not subject to the Animal Welfare Act because of the 'retail seller' exemption, and they have largely stopped registering dogs with the AKC to avoid DNA compliance audits and kennel inspections. The super-filthy, detestable conditions you see on many of the raids of recent years are almost all from un-regulated facilities.

The AKC supported and helped draft federal legislation several years ago that would have brought those kennels under the AWA; however, dog fanciers went nuts. The definition used was the AKC's -- more than 7 litters or more than 25 dogs sold in a year, and that would have swept in a number of 'show' breeders. That legislation failed, but we've seen in the last two years a spate of legislation sponsored by HSUS at the state level to limit the absolute number of dogs, breeding animals, etc. It's passed in several states, failed in others.

The version proposed in FL was ridiculous, putting anyone with 10 or more dogs regardless of their reproductive status into a class requiring strict engineering standards for pen sizes, etc. Those proposed and/or passed out west were somewhat more rationale limiting breeders to say 20-50 intact breeding animals.

Dogs are a commodity whether we like to think of them like that or not. As long as there is demand, someone will fill the supply. The rise of 'mega-kennels' has been directly proportionate to the decline in desirable puppies (i.e., cute, small, fuzzy) produced by pet owners and casual breeders in homes. While in an ideal world that demand would be filled by dogs from shelters and rescues, the harsh reality is that many of the dogs in shelters (i.e., pitbulls, or in my county the multitude of hunting dog mixes) simply aren't 'desirable' as pets to many.