puppy by Harry Wood
Even though I have never been a fan of the American Kennel Club, I was shocked to find out how little they really care about dogs. To say they are the "dog's champion" as they so hypocritically claim is far from the truth. The Humane Society of the US warned us recently that they found them to be promoters of the puppy mills. Yes, unbelievably true. I'm so glad that this news is finally out, and that this week Jeff Rossen of the Today show did a great job of putting their representative on the hot seat when he interviewed her about their connection to puppy mills.
He wanted to know why they put their seal of approval on puppy mills where the dogs who breed the puppies live in horrible conditions. And certainly some of the puppies bred there are not healthy as a result. He wanted to know how only 9
inspectors nationwide can manage to inspect all the puppy mills and give them all a seal of approval without probably inspecting them. I thought she squirmed in her seat trying to defend their outrageous policies, and if so, I believe the third degree questioning was justified.
I didn't feel sorry for her or the other members of this "elitist" club. I felt sorry for all the dogs in these cruel puppy mills which this organization backs and promotes by giving them their AKC seal of approval. People have been duped into believing that this seal means that they are getting healthy dogs from reputable and humane breeders. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you belong to the HSUS, you have seen pictures and videos of their rescues of some of the dogs from these horrible puppy mills. For a long time now people who care about animals have been warned not to buy puppies from pet shops or on the internet. I even remember reading about not buying puppies from pet shops in the 80's, and this was over 30 years ago. How sad that information such as this takes so long to get to the public.
Most people were not aware of puppy mills then, and its seems many are still ignorant today.
As per the HSUS - not only does the AKC support puppy mills, but unbelievably, for the past 5 years they have been OPPOSING ninety state and local bills which sought to establish some minimum humane breeding standards. I found this information shocking.
Well, now the word is getting out about the policies of the AKC and the HSUS notes that the sale of dogs in pet stores has been declining as a result of their investigations, consumer education, and policy reforms. PetSmart and Petco no longer sell dogs from breeders and instead are promoting adoption from shelters and rescues. And over 2.000 independent pet store owners have signed the HSUS pledge to not sell puppies.
I was also glad to learn that some of the largest internet sites are making compassionate changes as well. Facebook prohibits advertisements for puppies and eBay displays a warning about on line puppy sales and links users to the HSUS' information regarding puppy mills. And hopefully, a final rule will be approved from the Obama administration which will bring internet sellers of puppies under the regulatory authority of the US Department of Agriculture where they will have to meet minimum animal care standards under the federal Animal Welfare Act.
As for the dog shows, I often wondered if they were a form of exploitation for the dogs. Well, now they have more to worry about then my concerns. I knew w nothing before about their hypocrisy re dog welfare claims, and certainly this expose may well change the way others will look on their shows as well.
At any rate, I've had my own dog show over the last 30 years and my special pedigree: MUTTS. All seven were rescues except for my first puppy Peaches who was a Miniature Collie Mix. She and the others all were very beautiful and special to me. I also enjoyed recognizing the pedigree in each of them: Muffin, Patti, and Angel - Shepherd mixes; Shana - Chow mix; Casey - Samoyed mix; and Tina - Chihuahua mix.
As for the AKC - one time I thought it would be great if our beloved white shepherd dogs of Slovakia would be featured on their show. Now, I'm glad they weren't. I would not have liked seeing a puppy mill specializing in our white "Cuvac" (Chuvach) dogs. Presently, there are only 8 of them in the US, and they make their home in Texas.