Please forward this to all of your friends that have the normal “vanity” gene in their pool that seem to think that AKC means something. This poor dog’s face, and story, should be enough to educate people on the true cost of them “owning” a coveted (oooh and ahhhhhhh) “AKC” dog. AKC is a breed registry. That’s it.

Pictured left: Lily, an AKC registered Italian Greyhound.

Lily has 35 AKC Champion dogs in her pedigree. She was born and sold at a commercial breeding facility in Missouri, where she lived in a tiny cage and was bred to the max, for her entire life. It didn’t matter to her breeder that she was languishing in her kennel, and that her life of neglect led to emotional and physical defects, like her rotting jaw. No one had to see her, and as long as Lily kept producing nice-looking offspring, she was still of value in the eyes of her breeder.

Lily’s offspring were sold at auctions, to fellow breeders, or to brokers who sold them to pet stores, all carrying the AKC’s seal of approval. You see, like the breeder, who sees value in a dog by how much money they can generate for them, the AKC, sees value in a breeder by how many litters they can produce.

Fortunately, Lily was saved from a life at an auction by a rescue group called Mill Dog Rescue Network (MDRN) of Colorado Springs, who dedicates their life-saving work to rescuing dogs from commercial breeders.

Interestingly, Lily’s breeder was also at this recent auction. She was bidding on more breeding Italian Greyhounds, even though she promised Lily’s rescuer that her “breeding days were over.”

The Tango

Nowadays, to strengthen the bond, AKC representatives make themselves known by heavily saturating themselves at industry functions like breeder conventions and dog auctions. They are careful not to alienate themselves from commercial breeders since the backlash only proved to be a financial disadvantage.

Many “Old timers” in the breeding industry will say that “AKC needs to build up to what it used to be”, which to me, means before the invention of the word “puppy mills” and before animal welfare advocates opened their mouths and people listened to what they had to say. To these guys, these were the “good ole’ days.”

Whatever the case may be, history will tell, that the commercial breeding industry and the AKC virtually must work together in order to produce hefty profits. This powerhouse of a pair is the perfect (dysfunctional) couple; the AKC holds the capital, the political clout, and the marketing power, while the commercial breeder serves the demand for purebred dogs. One without the other is like a fish without water.

That is, unless the AKC truly honors its mission statement, which reads: “AKC dedicates itself to upholding the integrity of its Registry, advocating for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.”

IF the AKC was held accountable for their “stamp of approval”, this would put an end to conducting business with large scale commercial breeders, (a.k.a. puppy mills), and they would be left to find an alternative means of generating revenue. Perhaps a way that was more in line with their original core values, listed below.

AKC’s Core Values:
– We love purebred dogs
– We are committed to advancing the sport of the purebred dog
– We are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our Registry
– We protect the health and well-being of all dogs
– We cherish dogs as companions
– We are committed to the interests of dog owners
– We uphold high standards for the administration and operation of the AKC
– We recognize the critical importance of our clubs and volunteers

What You Can Do To Help?

1.) Confront the AKC!
Write the AKC and tell them to stop contributing to the misery of puppy mills and start honoring their core values.

Ask them to put more energy into protecting the health and well being of their “breeds” and less energy into churning out a profit. If the AKC was truly concerned with the aforementioned they wouldn’t have an AKC representative “doing business” at dog auctions, where commercial breeders (a.k.a. puppy mills) sell and trade dogs like cash crops.

Dennis B. Sprung
President and Chief Executive Officer
260 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

Ronald H. Menaker
Chairman of the Board

AKC’s Canine Legislation Department
(919) 816-3720

2.) Be active!
Stay involved and up-to-date on issues related to commercial breeding (a.k.a. puppy mills) and help to end this horrific (yet common, legal) practice by joining The Truth About The Pet Trade community on the Best Friends network.

3.) Did you buy one of Lily’s puppies?

Her breeder was “Martha Reed.” See Lily’s AKC registration and her Pedigree.
Above info, including photo, found at the BEST FRIENDS website