The American Kennel Club is doing a much better job of protecting bad breeders than it is protecting dogs.
That’s the gist of this investigative report that aired yesterday on NBC’s “Today” show
The accusations aren’t exactly new, and weren’t exactly uncovered by NBC, but it’s good to see the issue getting some national attention.
The AKC, investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen notes, calls itself ”the dog’s champion …
“But critics say there’s an ugly reality you don’t see: Some AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth. It’s so disturbing that now two of the country’s largest animal welfare groups, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, are condemning the AKC.”
The report included an interview with one dog owner, who purchased a Great Dane from a kennel only weeks after that kennel was inspected by the AKC and found in compliance. The puppy turned out to have intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect.
“Law enforcement went into the kennel just two months later, and rescued dozens of dogs,” Rossen reported.
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is featured heavily in the report, and makes the point that the AKC should be working with animal welfare groups to protect dogs instead of protecting bad breeders and fighting laws that would crack down on them.
AKC Director of Communications Lisa Peterson, also interviewed for the report, says she would give the AKC an “A” for its inspection program.
But when the reporter asked how many breeders are producing AKC-registered dogs, she said, “That’s a great question. We don’t know.” And when asked what percentage of AKC registered breeders end up getting inspected, she wouldn’t offer a ball park figure.
“We do thousands of inspections annually,” Peterson said. “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”
“But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?”
“… I don’t have that figure,” Peterson said. “I’m sorry.”
Peterson said there are nine AKC inspectors in the U.S. Asked “Do you think that’s an adequate number?” she said, ”That’s the number that we have.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, aspca, breeders, breeding, club, conditions, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society, humane society of the united states, inspections, investigative, jeff rossen, kennel, laws, legislation, nbc, news, pets, report, today, today show, wayne pacelle
The Labrador retriever has once again been proclaimed America’s most popular dog.
It’s a title — designated by the American Kennel Club, based on its registration statistics — that the breed has held for 22 years.
While labs maintain their grip on first place — at least when black, yellow and chocolate are combined — golden retrievers are climbing the ranks, having moved up from fourth to third.
Elsewhere in the top 10 breed list, the German shepherd maintained No. 2 position, the beagle slipped from third to fourth , and the Yorkshire terrier – third most popular two years ago — dropped to sixth place. Rottweilers, boxers and poodles all made the top 10.
Taken together, the statistics seem to indicate a growing appreciation for big dogs, said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.
“Bigger breeds are making their move,” she said. ”The popularity of the pint-sized, portable pooch just gave way to a litter of larger breeds in the top 10. These predictable, durable, steady breeds, like Labs and goldens, are great with kids and offer the whole family more dog to love.”
The Lab’s 22-year reign as top dog ties that of the poodle, which was America’s most popular dog from 1960 to 1982.
The AKC says registration statistics also show mastiff-type breeds are becoming more popular, with the mastiff, bullmastiff, cane corso and Neapolitan mastiff all climbing over the last ten years. During that same period the bull terrier jumped from 79 to 51.
(Photo: John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, beagle, big dogs, black, breed, breeds, chocolate, dogs, german shepherd, golden retriever, labrador retriever, large, list, pets, popularity, top ten, trends, yellow, yorkshire terriers
It’s not as if they’re on the verge of extinction, but old English sheepdogs are drastically dropping in numbers, at least according to kennel club statistics.
At the height of the high-maintenance breed’s popularity, in 1975, nearly 16,000 old English sheepdog puppies were registered by the American Kennel Club. In 2009, there were just over 1,000 registrations, according to figures supplied by the AKC to the Associated Press
Breeders blame the decline on the increasing popularity of smaller dogs, and the amount of care and grooming that sheepdogs require.
“People have more to do and less time to do it, and they have lost interest in old English sheepdogs,” Doug Johnson of Colorado Springs, president of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America, told the Associated Press.
Breeders in England are also concerned about the decreasing registrations. London’s Kennel Club registered just 401 sheepdog puppies in 2011, and has put the breed on the club’s watch list, a representative said.
The decline in numbers has been steady in the years since 1975, when an old English sheepdog won best in show at Westminster. But breeders and others don’t really expect the breed to disappear.
“There are too many of us old die-hards that will go ahead and keep this breed alive,” said Johnson, who operates Bugaboo kennel and has 22 sheepdogs.
The breed is believed to have originated in Sussex, England, where they drove sheep and cattle to market.
Pittsburgh industrialist William Wade introduced the dog in the United States in the late 1880s. The Old English Sheepdog Club of America says that by 1900 five of the country’s 10 wealthiest American families — Morgans, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Harrisons and Guggenheims — owned sheepdogs, and also bred and showed them.
As Johnson pointed out, caring for a sheepdog — whose hair can grow as long as 10 inches — is easy when you can hire someone to do it for you.
Sheepdog numbers grew in the 1960s, when they became a common sight in movies and on TV. They were featured in the 1959 movie “The Shaggy Dog,” and starred in two 1960′s era TV shows – ”My Three Sons” and “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, breeders, breeds, concerns, decline, decrease, dogs, england, numbers, old english sheepdog club of america, old english sheepdogs, origin, pets, puppies, purebreds, registered, registrations, sheepdogs, united states
The Humane Society of the United States has released a report calling on the American Kennel Club to protect dogs from abuses at puppy mills.
The report accuses the AKC of “pandering to the interests of large-scale, commercial breeding facilities,” even though ”smaller-scale, high-quality breeders” make up the majority of its membership.
Numerous puppy mill operators who have been charged with animal cruelty have been selling AKC registered puppies and some of them even passed AKC inspections, the report notes.
“The American Kennel Club bills itself as ‘The Dog’s Champion,’ but our report shows a pattern of activity that is entirely at odds with that self-description,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
“The AKC has opposed more than 80 bills and proposals in the last five years that would have implemented common-sense, humane standards of care at large-scale breeding facilities. We are shocked that a group that should be standing shoulder to shoulder with us is constantly lined up with the puppy mill industry.”
The report is based on information uncovered during HSUS-assisted raids of puppy mills, AKC “alerts” sent to breeders, materials published on AKC’s website, and AKC’s lobbying activities over the past five years.
In just the past six months, AKC-registered dogs were among those removed from three puppy mills in raids conducted by authorities in North Carolina, HSUS says.
In 2012 alone, AKC asked its supporters to oppose laws in several states that would have required puppy producers to comply with basic care standards; legislation in three states that would have prevented the debarking of dogs without a medical reason; an ordinance in a Tennessee town designed to prevent dogs from being left in hot cars; a Rhode Island state bill to prevent people from chaining or crating a dog for more than 14 hours a day; and a Louisiana state bill that would have prevented breeding facilities from keeping dogs in stacked, wire-floored cages.
The HSUS report discloses that some puppy mills that had been inspected by AKC but were still the subject of law enforcement-led rescues – with their operators later convicted of animal cruelty based on the poor conditions of their dogs.
Most recently, AKC has been lobbying breeders to oppose a proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that would regulate Internet puppy sellers under the federal Animal Welfare Act.
The HSUS report calls on AKC to distance itself from the large-scale, commercial dog-breeding industry and return to its original focus of representing small, responsible breeders who have the welfare of their dogs as their top priority.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, conditions, critical, criticizes, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspections, internet, large scale, laws, legislation, opposition, pets, puppy, puppy mills, regulation, report, sales, standards, wayne pacelle
For the 21st year in a row, the Labrador retriever is America’s most popular purebred dog — at least in terms of American Kennel Club registrations.
German shepherds repeated as second most popular, while the beagle climbed into the number three position, according to the annual list of the most popular among the 173 breeds the AKC recognizes.
Yorkies and shih tzus both dropped a notch or two, while Rottweilers made the top 10 for the first time this century. Those breeds rising quickest on the AKC list since 2000 included French bulldogs and Havanese.
“While the Labrador retriever has been proven once again to be a family favorite, this year clearly belongs to the beagle,” AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said in a press release. “The beagle’s merry personality combined with his love of outdoor activities makes him such a wonderful family pet that I wouldn’t be surprised to see this spunky breed sniff his way to the top list next year.”
In Baltimore, the Labrador Retriever topped the list of AKC registered dogs, as they did last year, followed by German shepherds, boxers, golden retrievers, bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, poodles, Rottweilers, pugs and Siberian huskies.
Nationally, the AKC’s most popular breeds were:
1. Labrador retriever
2. German shepherd
4. Golden retriever
5. Yorkshire terrier
You can find the full list, see which breeds have risen and fallen over time and get more information here.
(Photo by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, baltimore, beagle, boxer, breeds, dogs, french bulldog, german shepherd, havanese, labrador, labrador retriever, labs, list, most popular breeds, pets, popularity, purebred, purebreds, registrations, rottweiler
Six new AKC-recognized breeds will be competing at Westminster this year, including a hairless Mexican dog known as the — I can spell it, I can spell it — Xoloitzcuintle.
The AKC announced the acceptance of three new breeds in January of last year — the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Norwegian Lundehund and the Xoloitzcuintli.
In June, three more new breeds were recognized — the American English Coonhound, Finnish Lapphund, and Cesky Terrier
The six new breeds bring the number of AKC recognized breeds to to 185.
By comparison, in 1990, there were 142 eligible breeds.
Here’s some background on each of the newly recognized breeds, provided by the AKC.
The American English coonhound is a descendent of the English foxhound and evolved from Virginia hounds. Originally used to hunt fox by day and raccoon by night, they were once called the English fox and coonhound.
The breed is pleasant, alert, confident and sociable with both humans and dogs. The modern version of the dog is a speedy, durable and wide-ranging hunter.
The Entlebucher mountain dog is a native of Switzerland and the smallest of the four AKC Swiss breeds. Prized for its work ethic and ease of training, this dog can easily switch from high-spirited playmate to serious, self-assured dog with a commanding presence.
This is not a good dog for the casual owner because it needs so much socialization and will remain active and energetic all its life.
The Finnish Lapphund is a reindeer herding dog from the northern parts of Scandinavia. It is thought that this breed existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years as a helper dog to native tribes. Today, they are popular as family pets in their native Finland. Devoted to their family, they are friendly with all people, highly intelligent and eager to learn. They are strong but very agile.
The Norwegian Lundehund is also called the puffin dog. It spent centuries on the rocky cliffs and high fields of arctic Norway hunting and retrieving puffin birds, which was an important meat and feather crop to local farmers.
This dog has at least six toes on each foot so it can handle the almost vertical areas where puffins nest. It also has a flexible skeletal structure that enables it to squirm out of tight spots or go spread eagle to prevent slips and falls.
The Cesky terrier is a well-muscled, short legged hunting terrier that can be worked in packs. With natural drop ears and a natural tail, it is longer than it is tall and has a long, soft, silky coat that can be any shade of gray from charcoal to platinum.
Lean and graceful, the dogs are reserved toward strangers but loyal to their owners and always keen and alert during a hunt.
The Xoloitzcuintli , or Xolo, for short, is the national dog of Mexico and was previously known as the Mexican Hairless. It comes in three sizes and there is a coated version seen only in the United States and Canada. These dogs are descendants of the hairless dogs prized by the Aztecs and revered as guardians of the dead.
Living in the Mexican jungles, they were shaped by their environment. Their intelligence, trainability and natural cleanliness have turned them into unique and valued pets.
(Top photo from Vetstreet.com; other photos courtesy of American Kennel Club)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american english coonhound, american kennel club, animals, breeds, cesky terrier, dog show, dogs, entlebucher mountain dog, finish lapphund, new, norwegian lundehund, pets, recognized, westminster, xolo, xoloitzcuintle
One of the owners of 100 dogs removed from what authorities described as deplorable conditions in two homes is an American Kennel Club dog show judge, KOMO News in Seattle has reported.
Based on video footage anonymously sent to an animal rescue group, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquaha last month.
KOMO aired the video Wednesday, and revealed that the owner and caretaker of at least dozens of the dogs — Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin — is a dog show judge.
She has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway, and the case may be forwarded to prosecutors in the next few weeks.
The video footage showed dogs being hoarded in rusted and feces-infested cages, matted with pet hair, with empty food and water bowls.
Fourteen of the dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized; the rest are being cared for by local rescue groups and veterinarians.
KOMO said the dog show judge, who they did not identify by name, also shows dogs, and that one of her dogs won an award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
The woman declined to talk to reporters, saying her attorney advised her against commenting.
Lisa Peterson, with the American Kennel Club says the organization is aware that one of its judges is currently under investigation in King County for animal cruelty and has suspended the judge’s privileges “until it is determined whether or not she has violated the AKC judicial or administrative determination of inappropriate treatment policy.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness.
“We’re certainly going to be asking that they are never able to own dogs again,” Amber Chenoweth said.
In a report on Pasaodo’s Safe Haven’s website, the owners of the dogs are identified as Margi and James Hamilton, who have been breeding and showing dogs for decades.
“When we discovered who owned these dogs, we were shocked and disgusted that one of the people responsible for this was none other than a judge for the American Kennel Club… Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, akc, american kennel club, basement, breeder, burien, burien cares, chihuahuas, conditions, dog, dog show, dogs, euthanized, hoarded, hoarding, investigation, issaquaha, james hamilton, japanese chin, judge, king county, komo, margi hamilton, pasado's safe haven, pomeranians, rescue, seattle, seized, sheriff, show
The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation announced it is committing more than $1.5 million in 2012 on research grants to help dogs live longer, healthier lives.
Twenty-one grants to 14 research institutions and universities have been approved, according to a foundation press release.
This year’s grants cover research of diseases affecting all dogs and specific breeds, including Australian shepherds, bassett hounds, greyhounds, Havanese, Irish wolfhounds, Scottish terriers, Shetland sheepdogs and West Highland white terriers.
Among the specific diseases pinpointed by the research are cataracts, carcinoma, dermatitis, epilepsy, liver disease, lymphoma, melanoma and osteosarcoma.
“The selection of these grants represents great potential in advancing the health of all dogs and their owners,” said CHF Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel Terry Warren. “The Foundation is dedicated to funding sound scientific research and disseminating health information that can prevent, treat and cure canine disease.”
Warren added, ”There are a number of research projects this year that have the potential to be translational from dogs to humans. As a result, we are not only helping our beloved companions, but we are helping ourselves.”
In addition to the annual grants, the Canine Health Foundation also funds short-term research throughout the year.
CHF has invested more than $26 million in canine health research since its inception in 1995. Funding for the grants comes from the American Kennel Club, Nestle Purina PetCare and Pfizer Animal Health and many breed and specialty dog clubs.
For more details on the 2012 research grants, go here.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, announced, approved, australian shepherds, bassett hounds, canine, canine health foundation, carcinoma, cataracts, dermatitis, diseases, dogs, epilepsy, grants, greyhounds, havanese, health, irish wolfounds, liver disease, lymphoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma, pets, research, scottish terriers, shetland sheepdog, west highland terriers
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and Golden Retriever Foundation (GRF) have joined together to offer $1 million to a canine cancer research project.
The foundations are partnering to solicit, review and select one canine cancer research project that, while focusing on golden retrievers, will potentially benefit the health of all dogs.
“Cancer is the number one cause of death in golden retrievers, so it’s important for us to support this type of research,” says David Kinghorn, GRF president. “With the help of golden retriever enthusiasts, we have donated more than $340,000 to CHF over the last 10 years, and we’re excited to make our largest donation yet.”
All applications will be reviewed by both foundations and at least three peer reviewers. In addition, each foundation’s board of directors must approve funding before a distinct project is awarded. A final project is expected to be approved by Dec. 31, 2013.
“Cancer plagues and takes the lives of many of our canine companions each year,” said Terry Warren, CHF chief executive officer and general counsel. “We’re happy to partner with GRF in this large funding initiative that may help all dogs live longer, healthier lives.”
Official announcements of the partnership will be made this week.
CHF is a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research to prevent, treat and cure canine disease. Since its inception, CHF has dedicated more than $33.2 million to canine health research projects and education programs.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, animals, cancer, canine, canine cancer, canine health foundation, dogs, donation, foundations, fudning, golden retriever foundation, golden retrievers, grant, initiative, partnership, pets, research
The American Kennel Club announced this week that it has officially recognized three new breeds – the American English coonhound, Finnish Lapphund and Cesky terrier (shown left to right above).
The additions bring the registry’s total to 173 breeds in the U.S.
The American English Coonhound was originally bred as a hunting dog in the American colonies. The Finnish Lapphund is a herding dog that originated north of the Arctic Circle. The Cesky Terrier is the national breed of the Czech Republic.
Becoming an AKC-recognized breed is a multi-stepped process, About 65 breeds are now listed on the AKC Foundation Stock Service, the first stage in getting official recognition.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: added, akc, american english coonhound, american kennel club, animals, breeds, cesky terrier, dogs, finnish lapphund, pets, purebreds, recognition, registry