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[A reminder that posts on the Politics Forum must be signed with first and last names, unless you already use your real name as your user name.]

AKC is exploring the feasibility of launching a referral service for breeders of AKC registered puppies on their website. Tentative plans are to allow commercial kennels, as well as responsible breeders, to avail themselves of this service.

This plan was mentioned at the most recent AKC Quarterly Delegates Meeting. Barbara Wicklund, delegate from the Basset Hound Club of America, requested clarification. The full minutes of this meeting can be downloaded here. Here is the pertinent exchange.
The Chair recognized Barbara Wicklund, Delegate for the Basset Hound Club of America, who spoke as follows:

  Dennis, could you please clarify your statement from the beginning of the meeting about putting a puppy referral service online.
 
  Mr. Sprung:  Yes.  What this will be is an optional service for breeders to list a litter on the ground, stating the number of dogs and bitches for sale and the contact information.  The public may go directly to the breeder at the time they are actually looking to purchase an AKC puppy.
 
  Mrs. Wicklund:  Would that include commercial breeders whose dogs are AKC registered?  And if so, I strenuously object.

  Mr. Sprung:  It would be optional to anybody who registers a litter with AKC and is in good standing with AKC.

  Mrs. Wicklund:  I think that in light of the attacks on AKC-registrable puppies, the fight that many of us are waging within our states against breeder, breeding restrictions and mandatory spay/neuter where we are trying desperately to differentiate the serious responsible hobby breeder from the commercial breeder, I beg of you to reconsider this.  It’s not going to help us in fighting this kind of legislation.
 
  Mr. Sprung:  We’ll be happy to reconsider what you said regarding commercial breeders.
What follows are a couple of e-mails cross posted with permission that describe further reaction to this proposal. Some of the rhetoric is a little over the top, but there are some valid concerns, as well.
_____________________________________________________________

Forwarded with permission to cross post............

I want to update you on the progression of AKC Delegate chat line
discussions which have gone on between me and at least two of the AKC
Board of Directors regarding the fancy's overwhelming objection to
the AKC instituting its online puppy sales racket.

An interesting thing happens on our Delegate chat line, when you
state an opinion which is contrary to what the Board members want to
hear, you are censored. I had this happen a couple of days ago in a
rather benign exchange with Mrs. Schaefer as she was trying to
convince us that the real reason why the AKC is doing this is to
educate all of the puppy buying public about the virtues of well
bred puppies coming from
discriminating breeders.

I merely said that that was complete nonsense, the AKC Board has no
such lofty goals, that this is all about making money and nothing
else, and that the Board of Directors should just go ahead and admit
this. This message was censored by the moderator, who is controlled
by the Board. I then gave the moderator a brief lecture on my First
Amendment rights, told her I was a lawyer, I fought for people's
rights in the courtroom every day, took my Constitutionally
guaranteed rights extremely seriously, and was not going to tolerate
anyone censoring my words, my opinions. I then asked her to forward
my post to the list. It
eventually showed up on the list.

This morning, after receiving yet a couple more rather inane posts
from
the powers that be defending this brilliant idea, I went to the Hunte
Corporation's website, out of curiosity. If you click on the link
which says "pick a puppy" - the site jumps immediately to our AKC
website section describing the different recognized breeds. Andrew
Hunte is a clever business man, and he has duped the AKC'S Board of
Directors into providing him with a wonderful outlet to sell his mass
produced puppies.

So, there you have it, the AKC, in its never ending lust for money,
will now be helping the largest mass producer of puppies in the world
to sell his produce.

Lisa Summers
Delegate Grand River Kennel Club
Painesville, Ohio
NCM Gordon Setters
Concord, Ohio
__________________________

The message from Lisa Summers is right on target. Dennis Sprung tried
to slip past the delegates in Nashville that AKC is going to "help"
puppy buyers contact breeders. We all thought he meant AKC was going
to link with parent clubs, giving enhanced visibility to their
respective "litter listings" and breeder referral people. Luckily,
the delegate from the Basset Hound Club of America was apparently
more suspicious, and asked for clarification. It was then that we
learned that AKC was planning to list any AKC-paper- eligible puppy,
even those from puppy mills!

The delegates erupted with a negative outburst, and the Delegate
List has been buzzing with outrage from delegates. Couple of
logistical
updates: The word" is that an AKC staff member, an executive within
the Registration Dept., is the moving force behind this miserable and
misguided initiative--and the Board is going to be discussing it
this month.

I have urged my parent club to write immediately, lodging the
strongest protest possible. The plan is abhorrent, and undermines
everything conscientious hobby breeders have worked for over these
many years!

All breeder referral folks, myself included, spend hundreds of hours
on the phone with prospective puppy buyers, trying to educate them
about the right way to research and purchase a puppy. As some breeder
referral people have said: "Why should we bother any more???!!!"

So now AKC is going to help Andrew Hunte sell the 85,000 puppies he
'"processes" each year? We all know the deplorable conditions these
puppies come out of, and even worse is the suffering of the brood
bitches and stud dogs. And we also know that it is terribly easy to
falsify litter information. I see what comes in from the pet shops at
Smithaven every day, and it is heartbreaking.
Pups that barely resemble the breed they are supposed to be, pups
that definitely are not what they are supposed to be, and almost all
filled with parasites, heart murmurs, respiratory problems, and
worse.

AKC is turning itself into a huge joke---all for the almighty $$$.
And
it gets better; they are now "licensing" the use of the AKC logo
(also
for $$$). On canine products, that might make sense. But they are
putting it on men's and women' apparel, vacuum cleaners, lamps,
bric-a-brac, etc. etc. Some of us are convinced that the staff and
the
Board have been drinking from the bowl of insanity!

Without exception, delegates have been screaming on line!

In my opinion, the arrogance and stupidity of this particular Board
and
new staff are overwhelming. And part of the problem, a big part, is
that many staffers have absolutely no real background in the dog
fancy--- just corporate thinking. And even some with a background seem
to be totally derailed.

All-breed clubs and parent clubs must weigh in with the Board asap--
and strongly. I have so urged the Beardie club, and am copying this
to Pat for SCKC. Letters and e-mails should go to Jim Crowley for
forwarding to the proper folks. Things are out of control. Do plan
to act! ________________________________


Donna Malone
Vice President, Responsible Animal Owners of Tennessee - a nonprofit
organization promoting the humane treatment of animals and
responsible animal ownership - Because Love is Not Enough!
Email: [email protected]_

[ July 12, 2004, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 

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i really hope this bites the AKC in the ass!!! congrats to Barb for having GUTS to ask them what it was about.it's all about "The Benjamin's" with the AKC. buy your "good breeder" papers from them as long as they get their slice of the pie.But i really feel that the integrity of your dog begins with the breeder.i don't know about anyone else out there,but all i have in this world when you come down to it is my"word".that is more important to me than all the tea in China.
 

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Can't see anything good coming from such a referral service. It might cut down on petshop sales as with this method they can get them directly from the puppymill breeder. :(

Hopefully Barb's questions will get others to likewise question the AKC's sanity.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a link to additional discussion of this service.

AKC On-line Breeder Classifieds

Edited to add that one justification that AKC offers for doing this is that The Kennel Club has a similar on-line service. Interestingly, breeders advertising on The Kennel Club's site are expected to adhere to its General Code of Ethics, which includes the following.
Owners will not sell any dog to commercial dog wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow dogs to be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind.
[ July 28, 2004, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 
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God, is there no bottom to the depths AKC has sunk to? Whenever I see these poor pet shop puppies with an 'AKC Registered' sign I want to scream and throttle the owners. As a person struggling through the heartbreak of having a dog with a genetic defect (glaucoma) I'm now so aware about these things.
 
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