Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Dark Side of the AKC

Over at the Philly Dawg Blog, Amy Worden is waiting for a rip-tide of puppy mill beagles, but she notes that if one is looking for the dark side of over-breeding by show ring rosette chasers, you do not have to look outside the ring at Westminster:

Shortly before Westminster opened, the Humane Society of the United States released its updated 2012 report which identified AKC breeders - most with them with clean inspections from the AKC and some of them top show breeders - as the subjects of animal cruelty raids and poor inspections by federal, state and local authorities.

An email request for comment from the AKC was not returned.

Among them was Blue Moon Cattle Dogs of Pearl River Miss., breeder of the champion show dog Wild Bill and awarded the status of "Breeder of Distinction" by the AKC. The kennel, owned by Lin Duhe Allen, was raided by local authorities late last year who found Wild Bill in a rusted cage, starving, along with 60 other mistreated dogs. Allen pleaded guilty to animal cruelty. The raid that saved the dogs came days after an AKC inspector had toured the property and given the kennel a postive review.

Another pair of AKC breeders cited in the report were James Deppen and Mimi Winkler, highly-regarded AKC breeders and judges, who together ran Judges Choice of Ironwood kennel in Lehigh County, Pa. Their license was revoked by the state in 2010 after the two were convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty. Veterinary exams had been ordered for three Neapolitan mastiffs, but when officials returned days later two of the three were dead, including one whose body was found in a wheelbarrow.

Deppen and Winkler entered the Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition program for first time offenders and after completing probation their record was expunged.

Deppen, who has since moved to New Jersey, was back in the show ring at the Westminster show Tuesday night, trotting under the spotlight in the working group finals, his best of breed Neapolitan mastiff, GCH Ironwood's Papparazi, in tow.

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