Rally Against the AKC's Involvement in Puppy Mills
by Laura Allen of The Animal Law Coalition
Puppy mills mean big revenues for the
An American Kennel Club (
Most puppy mill dogs are sold in pet stores or online. The consumers believe a dog with
The American Kennel Club is a proud platinum member of the Missouri Pet Breeders Association. This is the part of the
For those who have not followed the
* While the American Kennel Club has always put itself out there as an "elite" organization of elite people and elite dogs, the facts are quite the opposite. A huge chunk of the money that finances the American Kennel Club, and an astounding number of dogs, come from commercial puppy mill breeders.
* With the rapid rise of genetic defects within some Kennel Club breeds, the issue of negative genetic loads and genetic bottle necks came to the forefront of discussion on internet list-servs and bulletin boards. Vocal breed club members began to demand that the
* Over the space of six years – from 1999 through 2006 –
* The loss of puppy mill income precipitated a cash crisis for the
* What to do? The answer, of course, was to woo the puppy mill trade back, and so the "High Volume Breeders Committee" was created. This was the old puppy mill business with a new (and not too transparent) name.
* The first meeting of the High Volume Breeders Committee was held in September 2001.
Gretchen Bernardi notes that since 2001, the
Instead of trying to get the puppy mill world to change, the
Andrew Hunte, founder of the Hunte Corporation, the largest commercial puppy mill broker in the U.S. was invited to sit in the AKC box at Westminster. Then, in 2005, the AKC entered into a contractual arrangement with Petland, the largest outlet for Hunte puppy mill dogs in the U.S.
This deal was only abandoned after a massive protest by dog owners, but the
In August of 2007, the
The AKC registry cannot guarantee that animals are healthy, well-bred, or humanely treated.
· AKC has no rules that disallow puppy mills from registering dogs with them.
· AKC does not have the ability to enforce any laws.
· If a breeder is found to be out of compliance, the only penalty available to the AKC is suspension of that breeder's ability to register dogs with the AKC. There is nothing stopping this breeder from registering dogs with other breed clubs after an AKC suspension.
· AKC inspection reports are kept private, with no public transparency.
Abby was purchased in
Within a few days, Abby became gravely ill and tested positive for Parvovirus. She also had a severe urinary infection, ear infection and roundworms. The veterinarian felt she had only a 30 percent chance of recovery. After several days of intensive care hospitalization, Abby beat the odds and survived Parvo. Her family sued her breeder in small claims court. He continues to sell AKC-registered dogs through the classified ads.
Feb, 2009 – Thornton’s Kennels, NC.
The HSUS and local authorities removed nearly 300 animals from small dirty wire cages -- some several to a cage -- in buildings lacking proper heat and ventilation. The lack of ventilation had created such strong ammonia smell that in some cases caused the animals' eyes to swell shut. Ammonia fumes that strong can also cause skin and respiratory infections. In some cases the animals had been in the cages for up to eight years. Ms. Thornton self-identified as an
Mar, 2009 - Alexander Pristatskiy, PA.
Pristatskiy was charged with cruelty and running an unlicensed kennel after police removed 46 Yorkshire terriers from the basement of an abandoned home. Pristatskiy had advertised the dogs for sale in local newspapers as American Kennel Club registered. The
Dec, 2007 – Janie Conyers, NC
Ms. Conyers reached a plea agreement and agreed to never keep dogs again after 112 dogs were seized from her filthy, feces-encrusted and cockroach ridden home. Ms. Conyers, an
AKC’s Most Popular Breeds Found in Puppy Mills
The American Kennel Club recently released the 10 most popular dog breeds for 2009, and The Humane Society of the United States has found these very breeds in inhumane puppy mills across the country. The HSUS warns that puppy mills profit on trendy breeds and challenges the
The Top 10: The HSUS and Main Line Animal Rescue have rescued thousands of dogs, including each of the