Chairman's Report

March 2007

The American Kennel Club is the only purebred dog registry which mandates both registration as well as care and condition quality control standards enforced through ongoing rigorous inspections of AKC Breeders.

In 1991, the AKC’s Compliance Department came into its own, going beyond the complaint-based system of investigations to mandatory inspection for certain AKC breeders.  Financial resources were allocated toward the creation of a dedicated proactive inspections team.

In the late 1990’s we became the first and only registry to enforce a care and conditions policy by establishing protocols in our inspections program regarding the safety and welfare of the dogs and their environment.  Today, we have 14 field staff traveling across the country to conduct inspections. In 2006, we conducted approximately 4,800 inspections nationwide in an effort to ensure humane conditions, accurate record keeping and dog identification. We truly embody our tagline, “We’re more than champion dogs. We’re the dog’s champion.”

The Board recently adopted enhancements to our inspection protocols which I strongly believe will continue to strengthen overall compliance for AKC breeders using our registry. The AKC spent more than $5.7 million in 2006 to ensure the accuracy of its registry and the care and conditions of dogs raised by AKC breeders. New guidelines that are being implemented by the Compliance department include:

  • For the first-time ever, breeders who register 4 to 6 litters annually with AKC will be randomly selected for inspection.
  • As an added incentive for AKC breeders currently inspected who register 7 to 24 litters annually, we will waive one 18-month inspection cycle for those who pass two consecutive AKC inspections. After the waiver, they will be placed back on an 18-month inspection schedule.

Current continuing protocol:

  • Annual inspections of all breeders who register 25 or more litters
  • Inspection of pet shops
  • Inspection of distributors
  • Complaint-based inspections

One of the new provisions includes inspections of breeders who register 4 to 6 litters per year.  Formerly, our emphasis was on those breeding 7 or more litters. Now, breeders in the 4 to 6 litter category will be randomly selected for inspection. We have found some among this group who only register a few litters in order to maintain AKC breeding stock, but don’t register enough litters to trigger an inspection.

The new protocol will further strengthen our standard practice of inspecting mainly breeders who register from 7 to 24 litters per year. If these breeders are found to be in compliance for two consecutive inspections, then the AKC would defer inspection for the next inspection cycle.  One of the goals of this change is to reallocate resources toward other areas of needed inspections while rewarding those breeders who consistently comply with AKC rules.

This new inspection protocol was based upon data reflecting current registration demographics and compliance results. These statistics will be reviewed annually and resources will be adjusted, if necessary. We continue to work diligently in areas where we have not changed Compliance protocol. For example, we still inspect breeders with 25 or more registered litters annually.  We inspect pet shops and distributors that sell AKC puppies.  And we inspect customers based upon signed, written complaints with substantial documentation sent to AKC.

One important aspect of our Compliance protocol includes our DNA program.  DNA testing is utilized during inspections for verification of parentage and positive dog identification. The AKC’s Frequently Used Sire Program, which requires AKC DNA profiling for every sire producing seven or more litters in a lifetime, or more than three litters in one calendar year, also aids in our compliance efforts to protect the integrity of the AKC registry.

Indeed, we are very proud of our compliance standards, and continue to seek ways to use our resources to strengthen AKC’s dedication in this area.  Our commitment to compliance protocol is tantamount to our commitment to purebred dogs.  By focusing on education and cooperation, as well as rewarding those breeders who adhere to AKC policies, we help to preserve the integrity of our registry and we improve the overall standard of dog breeding. To find out more about AKC Compliance, visit: http://www.akc.org/press_center/facts_stats.cfm?page=6

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker
Chairman