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Give Hope To The Mill Dogs -
BOYCOTT Stores That Sell Puppies
The American Kennel Club
And Other Breed & Club Registries
Probably one of the
most misunderstood concepts, when purchasing a
puppy, is whether or not the dog is or may be
'registered.' Just what, exactly, does registered mean
and what are those 'papers' everyone talks about?
In order to understand the terms registered and papers,
it's important to understand just who and what the American Kennel Club
is, when it was founded and how it has changed over the years.
The History of Kennel Clubs
Believe it or not, the showing of dogs was once thought of as a sport.
With all its pomp and circumstance, dog showing was originally for the
elite and those with money. The first kennel club originated in
Europe in 1859 and its first show, a social affair held by English
aristocrats, was hosted for the purpose of raising funds for
charity. During the Victorian era, only the most affluent could
afford to breed dogs and those in clubs began not only to document the
family history of championship dogs but to also create the standards by
which all other dogs would eventually be categorized and judged when
exhibited during a dog show.
The American Kennel Club (AKC)
The American Kennel Club began in Philadelphia in 1884 and has grown
into one of the largest canine associations in the world. The
Club maintains strict standards as to exactly how each breed is to look
and also registers hundreds of thousands of dogs annually for
the purpose of documenting the lineage - or family history - of
Unlike the first kennel club of 1859, the kennels
clubs of today - including the American Kennel Club - do not
raise funds for charity. The money raised from dog show admission fees,
annual membership dues and the registering of commercially bred
pays salaries and, according to the AKC mission statement: 'promotes the sport of
purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.'
The Skinny on Registering Dogs
In 2006 the AKC registered over 870,191
dogs. The basic fee to register a dog with the AKC in 2006 was
$15.00. The AKC easily realized profits in excess of $13,052,865.00
for basic registration fees. As you can see, registering dogs is
big business and kennel clubs have come a long way since their profits
were donated to charity.
But Isn't A Registered Dog Better?
A 'registered' dog,
or a dog with 'papers' in no way guarantees or indicates that
the dog has come from a healthy or show quality blood line. It
simply means that the name of the dog's mother and father are listed somewhere
in the AKC registry. The AKC inspects very few kennels and even
fewer litters and, until recently, largely depended upon the honesty of
the person completing the registration papers to provide accurate and
true information to the organization in order to preserve the integrity
of the AKC's 'stud book.'
Upon registering a dog the
owner receives a certificate - or 'papers'
- that documents the dog's family tree and a confirmation of the
registration with the dog club or kennel association. In many ways,
papers are like a birth certificate.
AKC Attempts to
Validate the Registry
In the late 1980s the popularity of dogs, and dog ownership, coupled
with the dawn of the internet and its ability to convey and communicate
information and news, allowed the public access to the workings and
details of the commercial breeding/puppy mill industry. The AKC and its
approximate 90,000 members quickly
realized that their ongoing registry of literally millions of dogs was
diminishing the Club's credibility and it was decided
that something had to be done.
In 1998, much to the dismay of those in the commercial - or puppy mill
- breeding business - the AKC began requiring DNA testing for all
'Frequently Used Sires.' The AKC began random testing at kennels to
insure that entire litters, as well as individual puppies, REALLY WERE
the offspring from the bloodline that the breeder claimed them to
be. When randomly tested puppies failed to match the DNA on file,
breeders were fined. Large commercial breeders - or puppy mills - who
in the past, taken advantage of the Club's dependency upon their
honesty when completing the registration paperwork were furious, and
many, especially those in Missouri, left the Club in droves.
New Breed Registries Begin to Appear
Upon departure from the AKC, large commercial breeders began looking
for new kennel clubs so that they might register their litters and
and they didn't have to look far. A variety of new breeding registries
began to pop up almost immediately looking to capitalize on the
registration fees and annual membership dues that were no longer going
to the AKC.
These registries include:
ACA (American Canine Association)
allows online completion and print out of 'official' health record
for any dog
APR (American Purebred
Registry) offers to 'help overcome problems with lost
registration papers whatever the reason.'
APRI (America's Pet
Registry Inc.) registers 'those that do not have
Registry Unlimited) provides 'a place where all pets and
animals can be registered.'
website is currently hosted on a photo
sharing website and not its own domain
CKC (Continental Kennel Club)
links directly to known puppy mills
FIC (Federation of International
Canines) willing to register any dog
NAPDR (North American Purebred Dog
Registry) links directly to puppy mills
USKC (United States Kennel Club) no known website - complaint
regarding club may be found online
WKC (World Kennel Club)
links directly to known puppy
mills - possibly run by one individual
WWKC (World Wide Kennel
Club) a family owned association recently relocated to New
pet shops and puppy mills, it's not unusual to find an assortment of
with a variety of the above relatively new registries and
this should be one of the first
indicators that you're not dealing with a reputable
Commercial breeders - also known as puppy mills -
have long depended upon the American public's gullible nature and
belief that a registered dog is somehow better than an unregistered
dog and this is simply not true.
Is the AKC About Dogs or
In September of 2006, the AKC, having realizing a tremendous financial
loss since implementing of its DNA policy, decided to strike a deal
with PetLand - one of the largest pet store chains in the
sells puppies - from the largest puppy mill in the United
States - The
Hunte Corporation in Goodman, Missouri.
Individual AKC members and local AKC
chapters across the nation voiced their discontent with the Board's
to engage in this newly inked deal .......so much so that the AKC
eventually had to renege on its arrangement with PetLand/Hunte Corp but
not in time to prevent a public relations disaster. Even with the
deal now dead, it was too late; the damage
was done and the
AKC name was further soiled by it's intention to
collude with both a well known puppy mill and a pet store infamous for
obtaining dogs from puppy mills across the nation.
Interested in seeing exactly which dogs were registered by the AKC in
2006? Click HERE
you're planning on showing or breeding a dog, both of which are
lifestyles - not hobbies,
the papers you receive from a commercial breeder or a pet store have
about as much value as those already read newspapers you plan on using
when house training your new puppy. Additionally, and unless you
have actually seen the mother and
father of a puppy WITH YOUR OWN
you have absolutely no idea where the dog is from and, more than
likely, if you're buying from a pet store, the dog was born at a puppy
Those who have given considerable thought to showing and breeding and
wish to pursue these choices should attend several professional dog
shows, take the time to talk with owners of champion and show dogs and
then ask for a referral to a reputable breeder
versus going to a pet store or responding to a newspaper or internet
advertisement. Reputable breeders usually don't have puppies
immediately available and you should expect to have your name placed on
a waiting list in anticipation of the next litter being born.
Please Consider Adoption
year millions of companion animals are euthanized, usually through no
fault of their own, due, primarily, to homelessness. It would be a
mistake to believe that all dogs who are surrendered or rescued have
behavioral or medical problems. Shelters and rescues house many dogs
who may have become lost or who were surrendered for a variety of
reasons including the death of the owner, allergies, the birth of
children or an employment relocation.
Filled with an assortment of wonderful dogs - including many
shelters and rescues should never be discounted when considering the
addition of a pet to the family. Without a doubt, there are many
advantages to adopting a dog who has graduated from 'puppyhood.'
Many times housebreaking skills and basic commands, such as sit and
stay, have already been mastered allowing you to spend more quality -
versus training - time with your new friend. If you're having
difficulty adopting a pet, don't know where to go, or are seeking a
specific breed, click HERE
to contact us and we'll be happy to help.