AKC under fire for protecting bad breeders

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Choosing a dog can be a challenging task, and though there are many shelters and rescue organizations with dogs that need homes, some people choose to go through a breeder thinking that they they are more likely to get a healthy dog and know more about it’s history.  For this, a great many people rely on the American Kennel Club (AKC) for breeder recommendations, operating under the assumption that when the AKC endorses a breeder it means that breeder is taking excellent care of their dogs, following a high health standard, and indeed breeding healthy animals.

Evidence is mounting that this is not the case at all, that in fact certification by the AKC means very little, except that the breeder in question has paid a a fee to the AKC.  When Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States was asked whether seeing “AKC approved” on a breeders website or facility meant you were getting a healthy, humanely raised dog he said this “Absolutely not. It really is just a piece of paper without any value for dog welfare.”

Lillian Devera found this out first hand when she bought a puppy from what she thought was a reputable breeder, with an “AKC-inspected” kennel.  Instead she got “A very sick puppy.”  The dog had intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect, though records showed that the facility had been inspected only weeks before.   Law enforcement went in 2 months later and rescued over 20 dogs.

This is not an isolated incident.  It turns out that the AKC has only 9 inspectors on staff, for the entire United States.  When asked, they refused to comment on what percentage of breeders actually get inspected, though they did say they had conducted 55,000 inspections since 2000.  The AKC is also known to have opposed laws that would regulate breeders based on the number of dogs they have, and require new standards or inspections.

When asked why, Lisa Peterson, Director of Communications for the AKC said, “We oppose breeder limit laws, because it’s not the number of dogs that you own, it’s the care and conditions in which they’re kept.”  But evidently that is not well regulated either.

So, when it comes time to add a canine to your family, do the research as you would for any large purchase. Even though a dog doesn’t cost as much as a car or a house, it is a family member.  Check out the facility yourself, talk to people who have gotten dogs from that breeder, and if the breeder won’t share information or let you tour the kennels, think twice about getting a dog from them.


7 thoughts on “AKC under fire for protecting bad breeders”

  1. My parents and I bought a german shepherd from an “akc” breeder in jersey that my dad’s cousin knew. she has 14 shepherds all together, left outside in kennels with no covers and they have bark collars on so as not to “disturb the neighbors” the mother only had 3 puppies in her litter and one died. LOVE my dog to death, she is my baby but she has been sick since the time we got her. she had mange, then found out she had elbow dysplasia (which we did surgery for and went great) and she then developed allergies, all from poor and over-breeding and the sick thing is is if we report her to the akc they can’t do a thing about it! this woman has cost me and my family over $6,000 and when we told her about the problems we were having her solution was to “send your dog back up here and I’ll give you a new one” and by this time we had already grown attached to my dog and who knows what she would have done to her once she was up there!

  2. The AKC is a joke. Since they turn a blind eye to inter-family breeding of the king charles cavalier spaniel, the breed is actually in danger of becoming extinct. Bottom line here is, we should do away with all these people who ‘breed’ for money, and just follow the “Don’t Shop, Adopt” phrase till all animals have a home, and boycott the useless AKC.

  3. What they should do is leave the responsible breeders who actually take care of their dogs and want to better the breed alone and go after the others because without those responsible breeders then the breeds that we know an love today could become extinct they need more stricter laws for people who abolished and neglect animals

  4. The AKC needs to follow the accepted standard practices of other developed countries’ kennel organizations, like in France. Most of these groups have strict membership requirements, strict breeding and kenneling rules, and they actively push their governments to enact laws(with stiff penalties) to protect animal health and welfare. For instance, the French Canine Society worked with the french government to make identification (tattoo or microchip) mandatory and recreated a national registry. Over 100,000 dogs are reunited with their owners each year in France. Also, most of Europe bans cosmetic mutilation, so Dobermans in Europe never have cropped ears. There are many more examples of how an organization that really cares about dogs acts and the AKC does not!

  5. I agree. Complaining to AKC about a breeder is like complaining to police officer about a speed trap. The speed trap is there to support revenue used to pay the police officer’s salary (at least in Utah). The breeders keep AKC in business. Want to due something that matters? Register your dog with UKC and then promote UKC registrations!

    • UKC is far superior, however, in my breed many of the bad AKC breeders are now invading UKC. I presume because the good people are leaving AKC because of their lack of policing their registry. They seem to retaliate against people complaining to them about their “high volume” breeders. I guess they only care about the money. That is what it looks like to me.


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