Members of several AKC Parent Clubs have recently contacted the Government Relations (GR) Department regarding letters they received from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). These letters invite Parent Clubs to participate in a new “Breeder’s Advisory Council” that will help fight irresponsible breeding. The letters also ask the clubs’ breed rescues to participate in the new Emergency Services Placement Partners program, who will then be contacted to help take in dogs when HSUS is on location during a “natural or man-made” disaster, including raids on local kennels.
The American Kennel Club strongly opposes irresponsible breeding practices and believes that those treating dogs in an inhumane manner should be held accountable. Many of the bills introduced in 2009 and supported by HSUS to address this issue, however, were part of a national agenda that broadly targeted and punished all breeders without improving the well-being of dogs or addressing the need to improve enforcement of existing laws. Many of these state-level bills included provisions such as warrantless search and seizure without probable cause or due process and unenforceable “one size fits all” care and conditions policies (for more information on these bills, read “The AKC and ‘Breeder Bills’” in the September issue of Taking Command). AKC GR, its state federations, and member clubs have joined with other responsible breeders to successfully defeat or amend over 90 percent of these bills so far this year.
The AKC and its member clubs have long been involved in aiding dogs and their owners during emergencies (including a major disaster relief initiative in the New Orleans area headed by AKC’s Inspections and Investigations Department after Hurricane Katrina). In July 2009, AKC and AKC’s Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) announced the development of the Albers Award to recognize clubs or club members for outstanding efforts in helping with preparations for and reactions to natural disasters. Along with a plaque, recipients receive a gift of $1000-$5000 to further relief efforts in their community (For more information on how you can help dogs and dog owners in your community, click here and scroll down to the “Natural Disasters” section). In addition, AKC Parent Clubs already have rescue efforts established to take in dogs, care for them, and place them in loving homes.
The AKC takes no official position on any animal advocacy organization, and shares the principles advocated by many of them of opposing dog fighting and combating animal negligence and cruelty. We encourage dog owners to closely examine these organizations, however, to ensure their legislative and public education agendas align with your views. Clubs and dog owners are also encouraged to check out the broad range of AKC programs already available to learn how you can join our efforts.
Click here to obtain a new printable flyer urging caution when supporting animal causes.
Click here to obtain a new printable flyer reminding dog owners that legislation affects all dog lovers.
Click here for AKC’s one-page issue brief on Responsible Breeding Practices.