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Monday, February 11, 2013

Westminster Dog Show: Love It Or Leave It?

Ted Paul and rescued pups. Paul says he was barred from AKC competitions for supporting a bill on breeding limits. Photo by Leah Nash for The New York Times

We've read some articles in The Times the last few days that focus on both the American Kennel Club and tonight's Westminster Dog Show that are none too flattering-at least about the AKC (The AKC is the governing body for dogs shows throughout the country, and Westminster is their biggest and most prestigious show of the year). Although we have this dog show of all dog shows on as we write this, we can't help but be concerned about some of the tactics the AKC uses to maintain its fee income, including its alleged lax inspections of AKC registered breeders and the organization's extensive lobbying efforts. For example, this article notes several stomach-turning raids conducted by the ASPCA on breeders that had just received a stamp of approval from an AKC inspection. And critics of the AKC charge that it "has opposed legislation that would improve conditions for animals and reduce the number of abusive, high-volume breeders." The AKC opposed a bill in Louisiana, for example, "that would have prevented the stacking of wire-floored cages."

In another article just today, The Times, profiled an extremely well-known breeder and AKC judge (he'll be judging several competitions this year at Westminster), but not for his illustrious credentials. Apparently, James Moses has been accused of conflicts of interest in his combination ownership/handling and judging. But we thought the more telling details about Mr. Moses are that he and his wife admit to having purchased at least one of their dogs from a pet store and are both big game hunters.

We'd love to hear your opinion about the AKC, dog shows and these articles. Let us know!

P.S.  Stay tuned starting at 6:00 pm EST tomorrow when we'll be hosting an ASPCA live-stream event  of adoptable dogs: "Meet Your Match" just in time for Valentine's Day!

8 comments:

GizmoGeodog said...

The AKC is controversial, no doubt...On one hand they offer wonderful a showcase for beautiful dogs...On the other they're a plitical group, run by individuals, which always leads to conflict...I think breeders appreciate the opportunities provided but for the average owner, especially of a mixed breed, it's pretty irrevelevant

Bocci said...

So well said, Gizmo! We're still shocked, however, that folks whose whole lives are about dogs would breed in squalid conditions... That's just plain weird.

Sue said...

Gizmo and Bocci, last year it became possible for mixed breed dogs to compete in AKC events. Sebastian, a mixed breed rescue in our home is going to compete in Rally later this year.

Our Mom has mixed feelings about the AKC. They sponsor lots of events for dog owners all over the country, but they pretend to showcase the best of the breeds in conformation when they don't actually demand that the dogs shown have all their health tests down before showing. Mom doesn't do conformation anymore because she thinks it's just a beauty contest.
Morgan, Sebastian, the Porties, Sydney and Mackenzie

Bocci said...

Thanks for your input on this controversial topic, Sue. I didn't realize that mixed breeds could compete in an AKC event. What we particularly don't like, though, is their lobbying efforts against animal health and safety legislation if it might cut into their registration fees...

Nevertheless, we'll be watching tonight!

Pet Insurance said...

Well, AKC is really so controversial. On one end they support and organize dog events and shows and on the other hand create unnecessary issues that creates problems for themselves.

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

I stopped watching after the first night this year. It has become beyond predictable. Toy category wins 2 years in a row? Puhleasssseeeeee....
The same breeds always end up in the top...always......
And...you need follow by email on your blog! I can't follow you I only get the newsletter update!

Keisha said...

I like the dog show, but I think they should do more to help rescue dogs and fight bad breeders.

Bocci said...

Thanks for the reminder, Caren, I took it off whenI put up the sign-up sheet, then don't do the e-mail blasts frequently enough:-)

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