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The American Kennel Club was disappointed to learn about the mistrial in the animal cruelty case against defendants Jon Harman and Athena Lethcoe-Harman in Shelby, MT, involving more than 150 Collies. Along with dog lovers across the country, we hope the case will be resolved and that justice will be served in the impending retrial.

The AKC has been involved in the case since we became aware of the incident in early November and we have an ongoing inquiry and interest in this matter. The purpose of the inquiry is to determine if any AKC rules, regulations or policies, including the care and conditions of the dogs, have been violated. If this is the case, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

The AKC would also like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to the many groups and individual volunteers whom for the past few months have helped care for the rescued Collies. Their many efforts, including extremely generous donations of time and money to feed, groom, exercise and socialize these dogs are crucial to ensuring that they go on to become healthy, happy, well-adjusted canine companions.