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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
Sorry if this is in the wrong place. . . I wasn't really sure of where it would be the most appropriate.

In case you haven't heard, the AKC has entered into an agreement with Petland. . .

That's right, the AKC will now be working directly with Petland to sell registrations directly from their stores. If appears that, when it really boils down to it, AKC cares nothing about the purebred dog and it's all about the money.

It seems as if the AKC has finally given into the commercial breeders (AKA puppy mills). . . One has to wonder what's going to happen the next time puppy millers decide they want something.

Please take the time to sign this petition to the AKC to rescind their agreement with Petland. Only takes a second. The goal is 50,000.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/560119335

Full petition can be viewed here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeacti ... 19335#body

Please crosspost widely.
 

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This is AKC's explanation of the program, for those that are interested in hearing their side of things:
http://www.akc.org/about/petland_fact_sheet.cfm

Based on their continued support of the abhorrent PAWS legislation, I honestly doubt a petition is going to do a darn thing to change AKC's mind on this - but then again, I'm having a hard time figuring out why, aside from the manner in which it was done, there's such an enormous uproar about this in the first place.  I don't want to get into a huge debate - I understand the objection to the AKC supporting 'high volume breeders' (as they call them) - but that's been going on for decades.  The puppies affected by this new program are ones that have always been AKC-registerable.  The only difference is that now *Petland* will offer on-site registration, instead of buyers having to send in the papers.  Basically, they're just giving the customer access to their computer to do online registration, just like any breeder could do.

Of course, I'm totally against pet stores that sell puppies, and I hope that people will pay attention to the AKC's message all over their website that you should "Buy your puppy from a responsible and well-respected breeder. This cannot be stressed enough."  I, too, think that in a perfect world the AKC would cut ties with commercial breeders altogether.  Realistically, though, I know that won't do much except eliminate a substantial portion of revenue for the AKC, and thus eliminate many of the programs they support - CAR, CHF, RDOD, DOGNY, events, etc.  I don't think people are buying dogs from pet stores because of AKC registration, and so those selling dogs to pet stores will just as happily go with some other registry and continue to sell their dogs in pet stores.  I'd rather see people stop buying puppies from pet stores, in which case the commercial breeders will go out of business entirely.  (Though again, that's a perfect world scenario, in this 'gotta have it now' society where people spend more time debating the purchase of a toaster than they do a living, breathing creature.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I understand the objection to the AKC supporting 'high volume breeders' (as they call them) - but that's been going on for decades.
Not that I believe that this is the time or the place for this, but coming from an advertising back ground, I don't doubt that Petland won't capatalize on this "endorsement".

Additionally, it is the simple fact that AKC is giving in to the millers, as in: "Okay, you hit us where it hurts; in our pocketbooks, so now we're going to make nice and give you what you want."

And I don't buy that the AKC supports buying from a reputable breeder first and foremost. Their first hairbrained idea was to offer the AKC classified listings. . . On which I've had yet to locate a responsible breeder anywhere near the Ohio area. . . Next they've endorsed PAWS.

They're really doing a bang up job of educating the public, as far as I can see.

It is for these reasons alone that I am vehemently opposed to this initiative and I won't support it, and it is for these reasons that I'm becoming increasingly jaded with the AKC, period.
 

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Oh, I'm becoming jaded with the AKC, too - it's just that this particular issue doesn't seem to me to be as big a deal as others are making it.  I think the AKC falls far short on public education, though they're doing more now than they were even five years ago.  I think the online classifieds should have been at least a separate site, like breeders.net or something, instead of being directly on the AKC site, but if they have to do it I do appreciate the several pages of information on purchasing a puppy from a responsible breeder that you have to at least say you've read before getting to the listings.  The PAWS situation is absymal, but is also the reason I'm sure a petition to rescind the Petland contract won't do any good at all.  Heck, the delegate body voted at the September meeting to recommend that the Board rescind the contract, but I doubt that will do any good, either.  I think the AKC is becoming an "old boys' club", even more than it used to be, and the primary focus now is on revenue and what the President and Board Chairman want, rather than what is best for the fancy.

In spite of all that, however, I think they're still the best game in town - the lesser of many evils.

I don't see how the Petland deal is AKC giving in to the millers, though.  It's not as if the millers said "If you don't find a way to get more of the AKC-registerable puppies we sell registered, we're going somewhere else."  The millers only care that they can offer AKC registration - it makes no difference to them whether the buyers ever send in the papers.  I see this as similar, though on a much larger scale, to the full litter registration they're now offering - a way to get more dogs registered and bring in more income to the AKC.  

Petland probably will capitalize on the ability to do onsite registrations, but I don't think that's going to make or break a sale, or bring in people who wouldn't have purchased from there otherwise.  I think people who are going to buy a puppy from a petstore are going to buy the puppy with or without onsite registration. Many of them won't do it anyway, since it will be an added cost (and perhaps, if Petland charges a service fee, a higher cost than sending the papers in the mail).  It's like the stores that print out the rebate forms for you along with a duplicate receipt, instead of you having to find the form, fill it out, copy the receipt, etc.; it's simply an added convenience.

That said, I don't really fault anyone for protesting this arrangement.  I don't see the big deal, myself, but I know many people feel betrayed by the AKC and I know this is just a symptom of the larger problem.  I've heard many exaggerations about this agreement, however - that AKC will be hanging banners in Petland stores, that Petland gets a kickback for every registration, that the Board tried to keep this agreement hidden from the delegates until someone noticed it buried in the treasurer's report, etc. - and so I do think it's important that people hear both sides before making up their minds, as in this case I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
While I agree in most part with what you're saying, I do disagree with this one point:

It's not as if the millers said "If you don't find a way to get more of the AKC-registerable puppies we sell registered, we're going somewhere else."
I'd say that the creation of alternate registries such as the ACA, ConKC, et al sent a *very* clear message to the AKC. . .

"You want to make it difficult for us? Fine. We'll leave and take our money with us."

Now, 5 years later (give or take), the AKC comes crawling back on their bellies in this (IMO pathetic) attempt to get that lost revenue back.

I'm not spreading false rumors by posting this thread. That you've heard stories of the AKC hanging banners in Petland stores, etc, etc, is unfortunate, although I'm not sure what it has to do with me posting this thread.

The big deal to me is that the organization that I give my money to with each and every show that I attend and each dog that I register cares nothing about quality and everything about money. . . To the point that they strike agreements with organizations that go against everything that I believe in with regards to my involvement in purebred dogs (showing, rearing, health, breeding, training, rescue and otherwise).

It is what it is, take it or leave it. I do have to say, however, that I've become largely skeptical of anything the AKC publishes on their site about any measure they support (Petland, PAWS, etc). I know "corporate speak" when I hear it, and as with any corporation (oops, I mean, non-profit :roll: ), their weak attempts at sugar coating the arrangement is blatantly obvious.

That's enough of a reason for me to take a mere 30 seconds of my time to sign a petition, regardless of whether or not I feel that it will do anything to incite change at all.
 

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I'd say that the creation of alternate registries such as the ACA, ConKC, et al sent a *very* clear message to the AKC. . .

"You want to make it difficult for us? Fine. We'll leave and take our money with us."
I agree with that scenario - I just don't see this Petland agreement as having anything to do with it.  They're not making it any easier for mill puppies to be eligible for registration - the 'standards' haven't changed in that regard - they're just making it easier for the people buying those puppies to register them.  

I know you're not giving any false information - there's just a lot of it out there, which is why I'm compelled to at least give people access to the other side of the story.

I understand your objection to the AKC's focus on money rather than quality - but again, I think that's been a concern for far longer than the few weeks since the Petland deal was announced.  I guess I just don't understand why the people who are in an uproar now haven't been in an uproar for the past twenty or however many years that AKC puppies have been sold in pet stores, or even the past five years since the AKC High Volume Breeders Committee was formed.  I know there have been people who have objected to the HVBC and measures associated, but nowhere near the explosion that happened with offering onsite registration to already-eligible puppies.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I understand your objection to the AKC's focus on money rather than quality - but again, I think that's been a concern for far longer than the few weeks since the Petland deal was announced.
Ah, but even though it's been a concern, I just don't think that it's ever been so "hit-me-over-the-head obvious" for many until now. As you've noted, the AKC's lust for money has always been a point of contention for me. . . I think that others are only more recently realizing that this is so (and, to be fair, it really is getting worse).

We pay money to register dogs and what do we get for it? A registration printed on crappy paper, and, oh, we can pay an extra 30 something dollars to get a certified pedigree with a pretty gold foil stamp on it. :lol:

Granted, for us, we do see a more direct benefit, as that registration allows us to participate in AKC events. . . however, many pet buyers don't register their puppies with the AKC simply because they don't see what's in it for them (my parents don't). They have no plans on showing their dogs and they really don't care. I honestly don't blame them, why should they? Because of the threat that the town they live in *might* mistake their mini-schnauzers for pit bulls? :p

The AKC report states:
Overall to date AKC has lost more than 550,000 registrations, 27% of which come from pet shops today.

27% of registrations is hardly a reason to go against the purpose that the organization was orginally created for.

It is my belief that they've done little, if any *real* research into their bottom line, and exactly where these monies are being lost, but that's just me.

Examples:
They do a poor job of promoting their publications. . . My AKC Events subscription ran out years ago and I didn't receive a single notice to re-up it in the mail. . . Consequently, I really haven't missed it, what with the advent of sites like infodog, et al.

Pedigree management has never been easier either with each breed basically maintaining their own database of registered dogs. Similarily, responsible breeders are generally pretty good about maintaining their own pedigrees. Honestly, there really is little reason to order the online or printed pedigrees any longer, other than to check for accuracy if the pedigree in question is one of the more "obscure" ones.

These are both areas in which the AKC is currently losing money that I highly doubt they've thought to address. . .

I guess my biggest beef with the entire thing is that there are a million other ideas that would have generated money for them had they really been creative and taken the time to sit down and think about it. I would gladly pay a yearly membership to belong to the AKC (as I do with my boxer club and my training club). (Having said that, I would expect the AKC to, again, step up to the plate and enforce some standards of quality there as well, which I know is *way* too optimistic of me.)

Similarily, there are a vast number of other things that could have been done rather than giving Petland their stamp of approval.
 

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Similarily, there are a vast number of other things that could have been done rather than giving Petland their stamp of approval.
I think this is the point of disagreement, right in a nutshell.  I don't see this arrangement as AKC giving Petland a "stamp of approval" (or, at least, no more of one than they already had), while you and others do.  I certainly understand why one would have that idea, I just don't see it that way.

I think we agree on basically everything else (though when my Gazette/Events subscription was about to run out, they were sending me notes every week, it seemed! ;) I am glad they've finally allowed the option of getting the Gazette only; I've stopped using the Events as well).  The AKC is far from perfect and while I think they're improving in some areas, they're failing miserably in others.  I do think that allowing individual members would be a move in the right direction, though I think it should be selective - perhaps only members of AKC-member Clubs, or something of that nature.  Others could register, but wouldn't have the (questionable, these days) cachet of being AKC members.  

The answer may be a whole-scale replacement of the Board and Officers, and that may well be coming down the pike if the current level of discontent stays or, dog forbid, increases.   8O
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Jennifer,
I'm sure that you've seen that there is talk that the AKC recinded their contract with Petland on the ShowList, however, in the event that others haven't seen it, I wanted to post about it here.

I'd like to see something from the AKC themselves, so hopefully they'll release a press release stating so, at which point I'll post it as well.

Woo hoo!! :D
 

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It's official; here's the AKC statement:

At the September Delegates Meeting AKC reported that we had reached an agreement with Petland in order to facilitate the registration of dogs that are already AKC registrable.

AKC's Board of Directors and management believed that this agreement would have helped to further the mission of the AKC. Promoting  responsible dog ownership to new puppy owners, implementing our care and conditions policies, and exposing more dog owners to AKC educational programs and services would have had even greater reach.

In the past few weeks we have received many comments about this agreement, both positive and negative. We have listened to the concerns and because this issue has become so divisive, we believe it is in the best interest of our sport and the American Kennel Club not to go forward with this initiative.

Ron Menaker, Chairman of the Board
Dennis B. Sprung, President and CEO
Which, frankly, tells me that they had little to gain aside from additional registration revenue from this deal, because the PAWS legislation is far more controversial and divisive; however, they stand to gain a significant income stream from inspections if PAWS passes....

At any rate, in my 'doom & gloom' mode, I expect to see increased fees as a result of this (unless they come up with some other arrangement), and I expect them to use this against the fancy at some point in the future - sort of a "well, we gave in to you on the Petland deal, so we're going to hold firm on this one" kind of thing.

(In my 'non-doom & -gloom' mode, I think the AKC board has finally wised up and realized that, while the HVBs may generate most of their income, the fancy is still the core of the Club.  That mood generally doesn't last long, however! ;) )
 
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