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 Post subject: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Semen Strong
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We often hear from people who defend their decisions to buy dogs rather than rescue by saying that the dog came from a good breeder, often one that is AKC certified. In light of that, I thought it was interesting to read a really good comprehensive article on how the AKC "rubber stamps" puppy mills and breeders with questionable ethics with their inspections. Here subsequent to their green light "inspections"", law enforcement raids a puppy mill and finds multiple counts of animal cruelty and dogs underweight and on the edge of death. The piece also includes examples of where the AKC has blocked legislation that would help dogs, including limiting tethering outside or confining to wire cages.

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To most animal lovers, the A.K.C. is best known as the go-to place for registering purebred puppies and as the governing body for dog shows, including the regal Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which opens Monday in New York. The A.K.C. is “dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function,” according to its mission statement.

But the A.K.C. is increasingly finding itself ostracized in the dog world, in the cross hairs of animal protection services, law enforcement agencies and lawmakers who say that the club is lax in performing inspections and that it often lobbies against basic animal rights bills because they could cut into dog registration fees.

As recently as 2010, roughly 40 percent of the A.K.C.’s $61 million in annual revenue came from fees related to registration. Critics say a significant part of that includes revenue from questionable breeders, or so-called puppy mills, which breed dogs en masse with little regard for basic living standards.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/sport ... share&_r=0

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Good article. I shared it on Facebook.


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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:42 am 
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Quote:
To most animal lovers, the A.K.C. is best known as the go-to place for registering purebred puppies and as the governing body for dog shows, including the regal Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which opens Monday in New York. The A.K.C. is “dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function,” according to its mission statement.



Right there. That is what the A.K.C. is dedicated to. Making sure to uphold the integrity of
the dogs on its registry.

A friend of mine who breeds Bostons was telling me the other day that some breeder a few towns over advertises "A.K.C. inspected" is nothing to advertise. Evidently the A.K.C. only inspects or investigates when it looks as though some fraud might be going on. Not about weather or not the dogs are in good condition or well cared for.


I very much am at odds about the breeding of dogs when there are so many looking for homes. I love me some smashy faced dogs. Pugs Bostons Frenchies and Bulldogs.


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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:43 am 
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What does AKC Certified mean exactly? By that I mean, what are the requirements that are supposed to be in existence for you to be able to have your dogs AKC Certified? And what are the benefits that certification comes with?

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:27 am 
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Semen Strong
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It means that your dog is certified as pure breed and can compete in show like Westminster Dog Show etc as a breed standard. You can charge more money for a dog that is AKC certified.

NYT article wrote:
To most animal lovers, the A.K.C. is best known as the go-to place for registering purebred puppies and as the governing body for dog shows, including the regal Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which opens Monday in New York. The A.K.C. is “dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function,” according to its mission statement.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:32 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
It means that your dog is certified as pure breed and can compete in show like Westminster Dog Show etc as a breed standard. You can charge more money for a dog that is AKC certified.

NYT article wrote:
To most animal lovers, the A.K.C. is best known as the go-to place for registering purebred puppies and as the governing body for dog shows, including the regal Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which opens Monday in New York. The A.K.C. is “dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function,” according to its mission statement.


and because of that superficial focus, I don't see the NYT revelation about cruelty standards swaying any obsessed with purebred animals away from a focus on AKC certification.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:41 am 
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Semen Strong
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The NYT article, linked in the OP, isn't revealing the cruelty, its reporting on the fact that people (including those who consider themselves responsible breeders) are starting to move away from the organization because of the lack of standards and the "whitewashing" of puppymill cruelty. On the third page there is an article about a lawsuit that is interesting on that point.

Quote:
Breeder Sues A.K.C.
Concern surrounding the A.K.C.’s connections to low-quality breeders has resulted in some dog owners seeking to distance themselves from the organization. In October, Hailey Parker, a longtime Coton de Tulear breeder, filed a lawsuit against the A.K.C. and cited the A.K.C.’s connections with high-volume breeders among the reasons. The Coton’s “reputation and business model is based on a disassociation from ‘puppy mills’ and similar commercial breeding operations,” according to the complaint.


If the AKC loses credibility it means less money going into the fight against legislation to help animals.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:50 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
If the AKC loses credibility it means less money going into the fight against legislation to help animals.


Good point, I hadn't considered that!

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:20 am 
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I guess what I mean is, what are they looking at/for before they're certified? Do they check for genetic disorders or anything like that? There's a very specific reason why I'm asking these questions because depending on the answer, I have a personal story about this to tell.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:31 am 
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Semen Strong
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They supposedly maintain integrity of breed, which means that responsible breeders shouldn't be allowing dogs with genetic disorders to breed. In practice it is a self-regulating body and doesn't conduct tests on every single dog it certifies.

I would love to hear your story.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:16 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
They supposedly maintain integrity of breed, which means that responsible breeders shouldn't be allowing dogs with genetic disorders to breed. In practice it is a self-regulating body and doesn't conduct tests on every single dog it certifies.

I would love to hear your story.

Thank you for answering my million questions! I was trying to read up on the certification process but it was confusing me, to be honest. Anyway, this is my story:

I just want to start this story off by saying that I disagreed with everything that they were doing and fought them every step of the way but I can't stop adults from doing anything. That said, about 5 years ago my mother and her boyfriend at the time wanted to breed and raise pure breed German Shepherds to make money. Her boyfriend already had a pure breed German Shepherd so they bought a male one out of the newspaper but eventually gave him away because one of his testicles didn't drop which meant he was useless for breeding. Personal addition here- do you understand how heart wrenching it is to become attached to your first puppy ever, only for him to be given away for something so forking stupid? On with the facts, though. They bought the second one the same way and everything regarding his reproductive system was fine. They waited maybe a year before they decided to impregnate the female so the male was still a [large] puppy. At first, she wasn't getting impregnated but eventually she finally did and they had puppies- which she rejected. They sold the puppies, which they had AKC certified, and I've never heard anything about the puppies again. However, when it comes to the parents, they both had genetic disorders that were severe. I forget the name of the exact disorder but the mother had one which left her emaciated (her appetite was healthy, though) and had to live on a special diet (she was hit by a truck and killed a few years ago). Our dog, the male had severe epilepsy and hind leg problems. His leg problems were so severe that a lot of the times he couldn't stand or he could only stand and walk for short periods of time. He was on a ton of medication for his epilepsy but had to have a lot of emergency overnight animal hospital visits, tests and he still had seizures, just less often and we had to give him emergency medication and medical care. He couldn't be left at home alone because he required around the clock care and attention. He eventually died a sudden, long and painful death which was related to either his epilepsy or those poisoned dog treats, or from a combination of both.

To add to this story since I might as well get it all out there. Once the last bit of puppies were getting older and they couldn't sell them, they made a deal (including a payment deal) with a local pet shop to sell the dogs through them. The pet shop didn't know who I was and thought I was just any other person when I came in to visit and check on the puppies and they said their whole selling garbage to me. They had lied to my mother and her boyfriend and were trying to upsell the puppies based on the AKC certification without telling them to get a bigger cut of the profit. This is also a pet shop that posted whiny messages all over their store explaining that their pure breed animals are actually rescued and that if everyone didn't buy them then they would be discarded (obviously the rescue part is a lie).

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:30 am 
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Ugh, that is a terrible story, and pretty much underscores that the AKC just rubberstamps breeders. They give one dog papers, that carry on through the breeding line, and as long as both have papers, they are AKC certified even if they don't "improve the breed" which is the AKC mission.

Its just a huge money making operation and exists to whitewash the puppy breeding industry.

And on a separate note, I find the coopting of "rescue" so problematic. My husband's cousin has a rescue mini-doxie. Rescue because she rescued it from a petshop by buying it for $700, so it didn't have to sit in a cage any longer. She never tried to get a rescue or anything, so it seems disingenuous, but if you say anything like "you bought your dog" she freaks out and tells you that "no she is a rescue." Gah.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:41 pm 
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interesting article.
i had no idea the AKC did such a thing. i would imagine there are many many many people who assume "AKC registered" dogs means a stamp of approval on the quality of that dog.
i assumed the same thing but the whole concept doesnt interest me at all. (ie AKC and owning purebred dogs)

ive never gotten the point of a purebred dog. i mean i totally get some people like certain breed traits over others. like my husband and i wanted a lab when we got our first dog. we love goofy stupid labs. the dog we got is most likely a lab mix (just based on his size i dont think he's purebred). we will most likely be lab mix people for life. it's the breed that meshes well with us (though our 2nd dog appears to be of a hound than anything)

mutts are great. and typically they are healthier than purebreds. im a mega mutt myself so i say bring on the mutts!

i just dont get the whole idea of dog perfection like "ooooh this dog is 1/4 of an inch too short SO IT'S DEFECTIVE! NO RIBBON FOR YOU"

it seems like the AKC is basically giving it's ok to backyard breeding. i wish more people would understand that backyard breeding is BAD.
a coworker recently was going on and on how her dog was the stud dog used to produce a litter of puppies and how proud they were of him and how cute the puppies were and showing everyone pics and they were showing them to me cause i love dogs/animals/puppies and i think i was supposed to squee with delight but i was just like "umm yeah great"

i hate that shelter dogs get a bad rep. like there is something wrong with them and people would rather buy a puppy mill dog than a shelter dog because "oooh shelter dogs have issues"

i also sometimes feel a tad embarassed/ashamed because my own dogs are REALLY BAD examples of rescue dogs because they DO have issues. actually one of them isnt that bad. he's a bit fearful/timid and is super attached to his people but otherwise he is a cool kat. our lab mix is a super hot mess and i really hope when people see him they dont think that he is what shelter dogs are.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
I guess what I mean is, what are they looking at/for before they're certified? Do they check for genetic disorders or anything like that? There's a very specific reason why I'm asking these questions because depending on the answer, I have a personal story about this to tell.

It literally is just paperwork. AKC does not require any health tests. Each breed has a national parent club (Golden Retriever Club of America, etc.) and the parent club will usually urge all of their breeder members to perform specific health tests (hip checks if the breed is prone to hip displasia, etc.) but this is NOT a requirement of the AKC. If a puppy is AKC registered, it just means both her parents were AKC registered purebreds of the same breed. The breeder fills out and submits paperwork and pays a fee to register the litter. That's it. If the breeder considers a puppy to be "pet quality" (not good enough to show), they have the option to sell her with limited registration, which means if the new owner breeds her, the puppies could not be AKC registered. Intact AKC registered dogs can compete in AKC sanctioned dog shows (which are most dog shows in this country), and earn titles, such as "Champion".

AKC (as an entity) doesn't give a shiitake about the quality of the dogs or how they are raised. They are just there to keep records on purebred dogs. And the more litters registered, the more money they make. So of course they don't want to shut down large scale puppy mills. There have been individuals (breeders, judges) affiliated with the AKC who have been trying to get them to take a stance against puppy mills for years, but they get silenced pretty damn quickly (If you google the guy mentioned in the NYT article who did this (Ted Paul) you can find old webpages and blogs with other breeders throwing complete shitfits over him supporting the HSUS.) Meanwhile, pet shops are using "AKC registered!" as a big selling point for their puppies, and the public buys into it, thinking it is a guarantee of quality, ("just like those show dogs on tv!").


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 Post subject: Re: NYT Article Criticizing American Kennel Club
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:40 pm 
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The Today show did a good report this morning on the AKC-puppy mill link: http://www.today.com/video/today/51729986#51729986 I love that the AKC representative had no idea what she was talking about.


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