By: Jenny Stephens, North Penn Puppy Mill Watch
Gullible: adjective: naive and easily deceived or tricked
Would you buy a Rolex watch from a sidewalk vendor for $25.00 and actually believe that you’re purchasing the identical watch that sells for thousands of dollars at "reputable" fine jewelry stores?
When it comes to dogs, gullible consumers actually believe that "papers" lend credence to the health and quality of the dog. Sadly, most buyers are purchasing a false sense of security.
In reality, the source of a puppy largely determines whether or not the "papers" accompanying the canine are suitable for framing or better used for housebreaking and the AKC’s own website inasmuch says so.
There is a widely held belief that "AKC" or "AKC papers" guarantee the quality of a dog. This is not the case.
AKC is a registry body.
A registration certificate identifies the dog as the offspring of a known sire and dam, born on a known date.
It in no way indicates the quality or state of health of the dog.
Quality in the sense of "show quality" is determined by many factors including the dog’s health, physical condition, ability to move and appearance. Breeders breeding show stock are trying to produce animals that closely resemble the description of perfection described in the breed standard.
Many people breed their dogs with no concern for the qualitative demands of the breed standard. When this occurs repeatedly over several generations, the animals, while still purebred, can be of extremely low quality."
The American Kennel Club derives millions of dollars each year from the sale of "papers" and so, too, do several other quasi-registries including the ACA and APRI. Unless the dog being purchased comes from a long line of champions and the buyer has a desire to show or breed, the majority of puppy "paper" purchases are largely a waste of money on a meaningless piece of processed tree pulp.
For years advocates have maintained that if "reputable" breeders REALLY cared about the health and welfare of their respective breeds they would stand up to the AKC’s attempt to push "papers" and say: ENOUGH. Essentially, they would publicly acknowledge that the sale of "papers" is a racket used for one purpose and one purpose only: to produce revenue.
Were this to happen, "reputable" breeders could corner the market on purebreds and essentially help put large scale commercial breeding kennels, along with pet shops, out of business. Too bad they don’t.
So intent is the AKC to make money from commercial breeding that they have, historically and to this day, opposed, refuted and/or contested practically every measure created that would bolster state and federal regulations intended to improve the health and welfare conditions for breeder dogs in large scale kennels… aka: puppy mills.
As we all know, it’s impossible to "unring" a bell. Such is the case with the Coton de Tulear. Currently classified as a rare breed, this small fluffy white dog stands to be exploited by the AKC if, at the behest of certain breeders, the behemoth registry "recognizes" the Coton.
The primary Coton de Tulear club in the United States, the ACC, is nauseated by the thought of AKC recognition. Why? Because they know that once this happens the floodgates will open and commercial breeding kennels across the country will be producing the Coton in staggering numbers. Pet shops will carry Cotons. Mini-Cotons will appear as will Coton-Poos, Shih-Cotons and just about any other conceivable variety of mixed mating. The Coton will appear on Craig’s List. The only thing worse than the AKC recognizing the Coton would be Disney films producing a flick featuring the breed!
As an advocate for dogs trapped in puppy mills and for canines sitting in shelters and rescues awaiting future homes, I struggled with this issue.
Doing nothing will neither protect the Coton de Tulear or prevent future breeding of these dogs.
That said, I’d rather help expose the AKC for its endeavors to exploit a small little white dog for the purpose of producing revenue and to possibly help shelters and rescues from being inundated with the breed once those who have purchased a readily available Coton decide "this isn’t the dog for me" and dumps them… a tragic scene played over and over again with too many of the "recognized" breeds.
The ACC has been in contact with the AKC. According to club president, Hailey Parker, the AKC has dodged their questions, ignored their concerns, removed their contact information from the AKC website and intends to move toward selecting an AKC Parent Club in mid April – the first step toward acquiring "recognition."
Seems like strange behavior for a registry who purports to have the best interest of dogs at heart but would appear to be typical for a club known to produce revenue at the expense of the health and welfare of dogs trapped in mills.
To help voice your opinion that AKC should NOT recognize the Coton and possibly prevent the exploitation of yet ANOTHER breed, please sign the ACC petition: click HERE
At a minimum, you will send the AKC a strong message: advocates are sick and tired of cleaning up the mess that occurs when the club "recognizes" a breed. Let them know that you’re on to their scam of selling meaningless papers to uninformed consumers and that to exploit yet ANOTHER breed for the purpose of lining their pockets is simply despicable.
To read the full history of what has happened to the Coton de Tulear, visit the ACC homepage: Click HERE