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Inspections & Compliance

Inspections & Compliance

The AKC is the only purebred registry in the United States with an ongoing routine kennel inspection program. The AKC has a dedicated team of field agents who visit kennels to help breeders while ensuring the proper care and conditions of AKC-registered dogs and verify that breeders are maintaining accurate records for their dogs. Since 2000, AKC field agents have conducted over 70,000 inspections nationwide.

The Compliance Division works to protect the integrity of the AKC registry. The Compliance Department handles many disciplinary matters within the AKC. The Investigations & Inspections Department conducts inspections of breeders and pet stores to ensure they properly maintain their dogs, kennels, and records to support the registration applications submitted to the AKC.

Routine AKC field inspections involve several steps:

  • Field agents begin every visit with a tour of the overall facility checking that the dogs as well as the condition of their environment are in good order. Field agents also check the dogs for proper identification, microchip, tattoo or collar with a tag.
  • After a thorough look at the dogs the field agent will review the breeder’s records, often providing the breeder with options on how to maintain hard copies in addition to using the convenient AKC online record system. Breeders are expected to maintain records for at least five years.
  • Through kennel visits, inspectors seek to work with breeders to help correct any deficiencies, as well as help new breeders develop effective practices and procedures.
  • If an inspector finds minor deficiencies, the issues are noted and discussed with the breeder in an effort to help the breeder while at the same time meeting AKC’s requirements in the future. While the AKC does not have penal or regulatory authority, breeders who have major kennel deficiencies may lose AKC privileges (ability to register dogs or compete in events). In some cases, fines will be imposed, AKC privileges may be suspended and appropriate law enforcement authorities contacted. The standard penalty for anyone convicted of animal cruelty involving dogs is a 10-year suspension and a $2,000 fine.