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 Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills

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jalepeno
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PostSubject: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:55 pm

This article has much to recommend it.
Food for thought about puppy mills and lack of AKC oversight.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/sports/many-animal-lovers-now-see-american-kennel-club-as-an-outlier.html?smid=pl-share
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K9_Eric
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:10 pm

I've mentioned thiis before... but WAY TO GO WASHINGTON! Every single time we get into a national stage, we just embarass ourselves to hell. I swear we aren't all terrible meth cooking puppy mill operators...
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:55 pm

My opinion on the whole AKC thing has apparently been the minority. I believe that AKC has a HUGE hand in puppy mills. That opinion in itself is very unpopular, but it's what I believe.

People say that the AKC "has a love of mutts too" and they "aren't all about money"...ya, okay. Sure. AKC LOOOVES money. True fact. Like the article states, they get a large sum of their earnings from registration, so why would they want to curb it? I feel like the AKC could do a hell of a lot more then they do to make people comply with the rules. Instead they decide to turn a blind eye and give people A+ ratings. A Siberian breeder who was KNOWINGLY breeding Woolies and Merles, and who have females popping out litters every 6 months..pulls off an A+ rating. REALLY?! How in the world does that happen? They aren't breeding according to standards set by SHCA..but they pull off A+. Okay, whatevs. People use AKC registered as if it is the gold standard in breeding. But we all know 1/2 of the "AKC litters" are crap litters who most of the puppies will probably be dead by 2 months.

Don't tell me the AKC has nothing to do with that.

The AKC also peeves me off in the fact that most of those dogs you see in the ring, can't do what they were bred to do!! It's sad! We made these breeds of dogs, it's our duty to make sure they are kept healthy and viable. Yet.. Bulldogs can't go 5 steps in the summer without having a fricken asthma attack! We are doing a horrible disservice to our companions, all in the name of winning in the show ring. Makes no sense to me.

That all being said..I love watching dog shows. I love seeing breeders taking care of their breeds of choice and keeping them structurally sound. I love seeing dogs with substance, which you don't see a lot anymore. I honestly feel like the competitiveness of the ring has had a very bad fallout on our beloved dogs.

To me it just seems like the AKC could do a lot more to crack down on less then favorable breeders.
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Niraya
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:23 pm

More AR stuff because Westminster is here. Welcome to every year for the past I don't know how many years.

I'll say it again: What about the other side of the argument? What about PETA who has a 98% kill rate of the animals they take in? Or the HSUS who only helps 1% of the shelters and animals in the country with their multibillion dollar annual salary?

Without the AKC lobbying against AR people responsible breeders and breeding practices would go out the window making it near impossible for us to get responsibly bred and healthy animals leaving the door wide open for the mills and unethical breeders (even though they claim the legislation is to stop that). Eventually the legislation will lead to the banning of everyone owning a pet - since the AR people believe that no human so outright own a pet.

The AKC is not a perfect agency or anywhere close to it - sure they could be better at cracking down on the less than favorable breeders - but remember the breeders, parent clubs and the AKC all help us to maintain our rights to own pets. They also actively help to find markers for genetic diseases in all breeds of dogs and help to develop tests so that animals don't suffer in the long term. I don't see PETA or the HSUS or any other AR groups doing this. What I see is people trying to end all pet ownership.

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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:30 pm

I don't agree with PETA OR HSUS. I think they are very dirty and dark organizations and people need to wake up before things get worse. People need to stop living in the dark about these AR groups. Especially HSUS. I agree 100% with what you said about them. They suck, plain and simple.

Maybe it's because I live in and around three of the top 10 puppy mill states that makes me feel the way I do about the whole registration thing. Maybe I could be more educated on that matter and not be such a hard head about it, but that's how I feel!

I am not denying that HSUS or PETA would like to put an end to pet ownership. I did my senior paper on PETA and I learned a lot that I kind of wish I didn't know. Anyone who decides to even scratch the surface under either large organization will discover that they kill more animals then they help. HSUS would love to put an end to purebred breeding, I am not denying any of that.

I know and I understand that the AKC has been vital in keeping lots of breeds alive and helping to keep our animals healthy. But on the flip side, they have also been destroying breeds who have a purpose.
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Niraya
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:38 pm

The AKC doesn't intentionally destroy anything. The breeders do a good enough job on their own of that and that's because there are people out there who care more for their pretty little ribbons than the health of the animals. The AKC can't police the hundreds/thousands of breeders around the country. Mainly because they aren't in fact a governing body. The parent clubs are actually the ones who are supposed to police the breeders, uphold the COE's and ensure breeders are breeding to the standard but because those things are open to interpretation - you can't "police" them.

It's like trying to make breeder legislation and set rules on what makes a high volume breeder or a puppy mill or what makes an "ethical" breeder. Everyone has different opinions and views on those things - so who's do we go with? Who is right? One blanket does not fit all or everyone.

I am not naive to breeding and breeding practices. I'm not naive to how the AKC operates but I will not damn them without damning everyone else who points the finger at them. There's lots that could be improved upon with the organization.

But at the same time - I'm not ready to give up my right to own a dog - be it a mixed breed or purebred. So I will continue to educate and spread the word of both the pros and cons of not only the AKC but also about PETA and the HSUS. While educating people that there IS a difference between breeders, how papers don't mean what most people think they mean and how breeding practices are as far from being as"black and white" that we make them.

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Eresh
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:41 pm

The primary purpose of the AKC is to keep a record of matings and sponsor dog shows and other events so that people can demonstrate their dogs' worthiness for breeding. They don't even create the breed standards; that is up to the national breed clubs. It is not their mission to regulate which dogs get bred. They do inspect kennels with a high volume of litters registered with them. But if the breeder isn't registering that many litters, then how are they supposed to know to inspect them? Many cities and counties have their mechanism for doing this too (and ordinances on how many dogs a household can have), but the media ignores this in preference of making out the AKC to be the bad guy. Also, national breed clubs have their codes of breeder ethics, and part of responsible puppy buying is to seek breeders who adhere to their parent club's ethics. It is the public who has the misconception that merely being AKC = quality. It does not and never has been. Do people claim to be royalty simply because they know who their own ancestors are? Of course not (unless they really are). Do we want to stop irresponsible breeding? Of course! The best way to go about that is set aside the tin foil hats and increase public awareness of what responsible breeding is and not settle for anything less.
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:55 pm

Neither side is innocent. The obsession with aesthetics above performance/ability is sickening- yes. But (as it states in the article) the HSUS rarely gets involved with shelters or raids unless it's a big publicized deal. They only came by once that i'm aware of when I used to work at the Humane Society here and that was after "Wizard of Claws" finally closed up shop and someone "bought out" all the puppies left and "donated" them to the humane society for us to care for and adopt out. The news was covering the whole thing like some sort of circus. It was unbelievable.

The fact is that unless real PEOPLE speak out and work to educate the public that just because the dog is registered with whatever registry.... it doesn't make it a well bred animal and just because it has a $1.5k+ price tag doesn't make it a quality bred animal. How many petshop dogs are AKC registered? It's idiotic. But- they're just a registry. The more people actually realize that- the better.

And as a personal opinion of something mentioned in the article... I don't think any breeder needs 30 or even 20 mature adult intact animals. There is no way those dogs are getting the kind of personal 1-on-1 attention they deserve.

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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:10 pm

I feel like I'm being painted as something I'm not. Maybe you are speaking in general terms when you say you damn those who damn the AKC. I don't damn AKC. I just feel like a lot more could be done on their part, especially in the high puppy mill states such as Missouri, Iowa, and good ol Nebraska. Now I understand they can't be everywhere at once, and if people continue to buy from less then respectable breeders, then the cycle will just continue. I am not naive in that aspect. I am not under the impression that there is a fix all or that this problem will just go away over night. Everyone from all over needs to work together.

I guess I don't understand how breeders can register a plethora of puppies and get away with it. Now I also understand that there is a high volume of breeders who do this, so it's not so cut and dry. That is just my opinion on the matter.
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Niraya
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:16 pm

When I said "damning those who damn the AKC" I meant PETA and the HSUS and others of the AR movement. Not specific people or anything.

From my understanding the AKC has been doing audits on people who are registering high numbers of litters as well as "random" audits of breeders. But it's also just like Samantha said; the AKC can't do things about those who aren't registering the majority of the litters they're breeding. The AKC also can't do anything about those who take their litters and register them under other registries.

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Last edited by Niraya on Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:25 pm

Just from your last little paragraph, I could use an updated education on the whole thing. I know they can't do anything about other registries, which I'm assuming is why more CKC registered litters are popping up as well as APRI (YUCK!).

It's just a mess of very construed articles from AR groups. I will do more looking into since my knowledge seems to be a little outdated on the whole thing.
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:43 pm

The akc does not destroy breeds. In my opinion, the biggest culprits, aside from the breeders themselves are the parent clubs, the parent club is responsible for setting standard, breeding guideline suggestions and many other things. They determine the health testing for the breed and typically have influential breeders as their leaders. For example, the SHCA has a very influential governing body and strict rules about entrance. We have a very good, IMO, parent club. Our club run genetic studies, has guidelines for membership and a pretty good rapport. Our standard has shifted but not to the unhealthy extremes that other breeds have. there are no excessive wrinkles, grandiose size requirements or other exotic traits in our breed. They are not perfect by any means but they are better than some. Some parent clubs have no regulated health testing procedures, no strict guidelines and exotic standards. They are akc affiliated but tend to run pretty independently.

I hesitate to listen to the ASPCA, as I feel they send more money advertising than they do helping animals.



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UndarthAngipoo
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:24 pm

@Sheba&Kennedy wrote:
... is why more CKC registered litters are popping up as well as APRI (YUCK!).

Sorry - slightly off-topic, but did you mean the ConKC? CKC is Canadian Kennel Club - just wanted to make sure there wasn't any misconstrued information going around. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:31 pm

I just received an email from the AKC about the article that was printed in the NYTimes today and thought it would be interesting to put here:

Quote :
February 10, 2013
Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

The New York Times published an article using unsubstantiated, anecdotal episodes to paint a grossly misleading and biased picture of dog breeders who register their dogs and litters with the AKC. In addition, they relied on opinions of other animal rights organizations, without facts to back them up, in an attempt to refute the AKC's good working relationship with law enforcement, animal control officers, lawmakers and others who care about animal welfare and reporting animal cruelty.

AKC Respected As An Animal Welfare Organization
The article states, "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."

-- The truth is the vast majority of breeders are responsible; in fact, over 99% of the 55,000 that the AKC has inspected since 2000, have been found to be in compliance. When AKC does discover substandard conditions, our policies require that we immediately report them to local, state and federal officials.
-- AKC has a productive, working relationship with local animal controls, state and local law enforcement, state departments of agriculture throughout the country, as well as the USDA, and works cooperatively with all of those agencies to ensure the enforcement of cruelty and neglect laws, as well as the provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
-- In fact, in many instances, the highly publicized raids for which animal rights groups take credit in the media have come about as a direct result of AKC's reporting to law enforcement.
-- AKC is well respected by lawmakers who consider us credible experts on dog issues, and rely on our thoughtful and considered advice when it comes to legislation that will impact dogs and their breeders and owners.


Misguided Opinions Versus Facts
The article also quotes ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres who says "a majority of the commercial breeders in the raids that his group participated in had ties to A.K.C.-registered litters." But, there is no proof or numbers given to back up this charge. He goes on to state "The irony to the consumer is that they're paying a lot for a fake Rolex." and that he thinks "dogs are often genetically compromised and come from traumatic environments." Both of these statements are opinions that were printed erroneously as fact.

The ASPCA has a history of such tactics. Recently they reached a legal settlement with Feld Entertainment, Inc., the producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, agreeing to pay Feld $9.3 million to settle all claims related to ASPCA's part in more than a decade of manufactured litigation brought by animal rights interest groups that attempted to outlaw elephants in the company's Ringling Bros. Circus. This settlement applies only to the ASPCA. Feld Entertainment's lawsuit, including its claims for litigation abuse and racketeering (RICO), continues against the remaining defendants, the Humane Society of the United States, the Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute, Tom Rider and the attorneys who were involved. Discovery in the initial lawsuit uncovered over $190,000 that these animal activist groups and their lawyers paid to Tom Rider who lived off of the money while serving as the "injured plaintiff" in the lawsuit against the circus.

AKC is a Leading Not-For-Profit Organization
The article also states, "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 like the Hamiltons, or so-called puppy mills, which breed dogs en masse with little regard for basic living standards." We gave the reporter statistics that dispute this claim but they were not used. In fact, less than 5 percent of our total revenue comes from commercial breeders who register dogs and litters with us.

-- The AKC, for 129 years, has been committed to responsible dog ownership and responsible breeding of dogs, and we will continue our proactive efforts to further those goals, even when those efforts impact our bottom line.
-- AKC saw substandard breeders leave the registry in droves in the mid-1990's when it instituted a care and conditions policy, and more leave when we sought to insure the integrity of the registry through DNA testing.


An Incomplete Picture Portrayed
Hamilton Case: While the article inaccurately portrays Hamilton as a high volume breeder or "puppy mill," court documents make clear that this was a situation where "hoarding is likely a factor in what was occurring as the Hamilton's were clearly unable to part with dogs that they had collected over the years."

Williams Case: The article fails to mention that Mr. and Mrs. Williams were charged in July of 2012 with one count of cruelty, and that charge was subsequently dismissed in September of 2012, based on the judge's determination that the warrant that led to the illegal search of the Williams' home and seizure of their dogs and the filing of the single charge was invalid. The Williams engaged in civil litigation to retain custody of their dogs from the "rescue" organization involved in the illegal seizure.

This is similar to the more egregious case of Dan Christiansen in Montana who is suing the HSUS for $5M over a 2009 "raid" of his hunting dog kennel. A judge later ruled that the warrant for the raid was obtained based on intentionally misleading information, and all of the cruelty charges against Mr. Christiansen were dismissed.

Chilinski Case: Likewise, the story fails to acknowledge that along with the seizure of Mr. Chilinski's dogs, law enforcement seized over 200 marijuana plants that he was growing on his property, a vocation which likely led to the deterioration of his kennel and his overall ability to care for his dogs in the two years between his last AKC inspection and the raid of this property.

Voice Your Opinion
While the AKC's critics may be vocal, they are few, led by extremist national animal rights groups who see their legislative influence and massive fundraising abilities diminished by growing recognition that the focus of their efforts is not bettering the lives of dogs or enhancing our relationship with them.

Nonetheless, AKC continues to:

-- Spend millions annually on a kennel inspections program
-- Donate millions for the advancement of canine health research
-- Continues to give millions to canine search and rescue and disaster assistance
-- Continues to support the rights of responsible breeders to breed and raise dogs, and fight for the rights of responsible individuals to own them.



It is important to note that in any enforcement and regulatory program, there will be those who approach the regulated activity with a disregard for compliance with the rules. As a result, there is always a risk that those non-compliant few will reflect negatively on the vast majority who are in compliance. Nonetheless, the AKC remains committed to its inspection program and its belief that the AKC is helping breeders achieve compliance through education regarding best practices for breeding and caring for dogs.

Please share with your friends and family the facts and go to the NYT website and take the opportunity to post your comments about your commitment to responsible breeding and ownership of dogs.

Sincerely,
Alan Kalter
Alan Kalter
Chairman of the Board
American Kennel Club

Everything bolded is what is bolded in the original email.

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jalepeno
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:24 pm

Whoa.
I don't know what to believe now.
Except that puppy mills exist and some humans exploit dogs for money.
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:28 pm

Agreed.^
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PostSubject: Re: Damming article re: AKC and puppy mills   Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:35 pm

I told you - Every year the Animal Rights movement is out in force around this time because of Westminster. That article has AR written all over it. Razz

Does it mean the AKC is completely innocent? Definitely not. It just goes to show the lengths at which PETA, HSUS, ASPCA and other Animal Rights organizations go to to damn organizations that defend breeders and breeding practices and those that defend the right for people to own animals.

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