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Tag: today

NBC report questions AKC inspections

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.”

Kujo rescued from bottom of 30-foot well

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How do you get a 120-pound mastiff out of the bottom of a narrow 30-foot well?

You crawl down it — even knowing the dog’s name is “Kujo” — harness him up with rope, and get everybody to help pull.

In Suitland, Md. last Friday, Prince George’s County firefighter Travis Lambert was lowered into the well to rescue Daniel Ellis’ dog. The two men, and Kujo, appeared on the Today Show Tuesday.

Apparently Kujo had climbed under the deck to seek shelter from the rain and fell through a piece of rotting plywood covering a defunct well. Police were called. They determined it was a job for the fire department, who in turn called on the department’s rescue team.

Rescuers set up a pulley system to haul the dog out of the well. Lambert said he was in the well for about 15 minutes and that Kujo was cooperative.

A little more than four hours after falling down the hole, Kujo was brought back to ground level amid cheers from rescue crew and onlookers. Kujo, the Today Show reported, didn’t go to his owner first — instead he climbed on Lambert and gave him a big lick.

Cloned dogs’ owner on Today

Bernann McKinney, the California woman who had her pit bull cloned, appeared on NBC’s Today show this morning.

McKinney, soon to return from Korea, where the cloning took place, won’t get custody of the clones of her dog for a month or two. She said she plans to bring three of five clones born last week home, and hopes to someday start a training center for service dogs, known as “Booger’s Place.”

McKinney says Booger, a dog she rescued from the street, saved her life when she was attacked by another dog 12 years ago, then went on to become her assistance dog.