AKC Dog Tax

Well, if this doesn’t just about take the cake! I simply can’t believe it. What a slap in the face of responsible purebred dog breeder/exhibitors. AKC already receives a $3.50 recording fee for each entry; something that didn’t exist until a few years ago. Dog clubs pay a fee to host a dog show. Breeders pay registration fees. Now they’d like me to pay $25/dog/year for the privilege of exhibiting my dogs! Whew! Seems like a bad strategy given a number of factors, including the economy and performance events offered by other successful organizations.

Things are getting harder and harder for responsible breeder/exhibitors. Local zoning laws. Extraordinary fees for dogs intact. Urban areas encroaching on rural areas, leaving fewer and fewer choices for adequate places to raise dogs. PETA. Veterinary costs that resemble human medical fees. Fancy websites selling puppies bred by ‘backyard’ breeders. Sky rocketing dog food costs. The list goes on. Never mind the state of our economy!

Isn’t it interesting that The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a best seller, Oprah’s discusssion book for months. The public has embraced The Story, the reader lost in the day to day activities of a breeding kennel. The way things are going real life responsible breeders are going to become fiction as well.

Posted with permission:

Below is a letter that the Toledo Kennel Club sent to AKC regarding the proposed
dog tax that AKC wants to implement. We have received a response form AKC
President Dennis Sprung which is also quoted below. This dog tax will be charged
to everyone showing in any AKC event, conformation, agility, obedience, rally,
etc. The dog tax is $25 per year per dog.
hwaller@adelphia. net
 Subject: AKC Dog Tax
Date: Monday, February 16, 2009, 11:46 AM
To all Dog Club members:
Below is the text of a letter that was sent by the Board of
the Toledo Kennel Club to Mr. Sprung, President, and Mr.
Menaker, Board Chairman and CEO of the American Kennel Club.
This concerns the proposal that would require exhibitors to
pay an annual fee of $25 for each dog to be entered in any
AKC event. This could have a devastating effect on dog clubs
across the country that depend on income from event entry
fees for their survival. Consider that many entries are made
to provide experience and exposure for their young dogs,
especially puppies, with little likelihood of winning. Many
others are made for sentimental reasons for veteran dogs in
both Breed and Obedience. A substantial reduction in numbers
of entries could be expected at any time, but especially in
this time of crisis and economic uncertainty.

Hardy has given his permission to re-post this letter to anyone you think would
be interested in this dog tax. Please feel free to use any part of the letter if
you want to send a letter to AKC. And please send a letter to AKC regarding your
views on the proposed dog tax. This was discussed at the December 2008 Delegates
meeting. You can go to the AKC web site to read the delegates meeting minutes.

Thank you for your time in this matter.
Jackie Oricko

— On Mon, 2/16/09, Hardress J. Waller <hwaller@adelphia. net> wrote:

 From: Hardress J. Waller

 A telephone response from Mr. Sprung to Donna Anderson
pointed out that he has received almost no opposition to the
proposal, either by letter or email. A possible explanation
for this is that so far few people are aware that this is a
serious matter. The purpose of sending you the the text of
our TKC letter is not to recycle the language of the letter
but to point out some of the issues and that out that some
response is appropriate and urgent.

 Hardress J. Waller
Conformation Director, Toledo Kennel Club

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –
3 February 2009

Dennis B. Sprung
President and Chief Executive Officer
The American Kennel Club
260 Madison Ave…
New York, NY  10016

Dear Mr. Sprung:

This letter concerns the report published in the current
Gazette (AKC Gazette  2009, 126 (1): 88-89) which makes
general reference to a “Future Program”, to be
funded by a Dog Tax of approximately $25 annually for each
dog to be entered in an AKC event… We believe it is
unfortunate that the officials of the American Kennel Club
would make such a proposal at any time, but especially at
this time of economic turmoil that affects everyone.
Unemployment is expected to reach 10% during 2009, and many
others face serious financial problems. The depressed
economy obviously will have a severe impact on participation
in dog shows and other dog events throughout the country and
will threaten the survival of show-giving clubs. The
proposed Dog Tax would reduce dog show entries even during
normal times, but at this time could be catastrophic. That
the President and Directors would propose such a Dog Tax
suggests that the AKCmay be out of touch with the real
world of dog people, and that a re-examination of the role
and purpose of the AKCis both appropriate and desirable.

AKC devotes a great amount of energy to promote mega-shows,
including Westminister and the Eukanuba National. These are
obviously intended to promote the image of the American
Kennel Club. They attract much media attention, provide
lucrative rewards for professional handlers, and provide
wide recognition for some prominent dogs and their breeders…
Objectively, however, this is a minute fraction of all of
the dogs and handlers that participate in dog shows,
obedience, agility, and performance events. The real world
is the sum of the thousands of dogs and hundreds of dog
organizations throughout the U.S., west of the Hudson River
and east of Long Beach. Historically, the greatest
contribution of the AKC have been to provide the essential
administrative infrastructure for dog events and dog clubs,
as well as to provide the necessary dog registry and breed
definitions. The result has been that in the latter part of
the 20th Century the number of AKC-sanctioned events
progressively increased along with growth in participation
in these events even though dogs no longer were the pastime
primarily of the wealthy. We believe that it is essential
that AKC not take actions and adopt policies that are likely
to interfere with the interest and enthusiasm shown by dog
owners, weaken the clubs, and jeopardize their future.

Recently the trend of increasing dog show entries has
reversed. This was apparent during the period of high
gasoline prices when entries for many events declined. The
change can be attributed to obvious factors: The direct
effect was the cost of travel reducing the geographic area
from which entries were made. The indirect effect was that
the disposable of income of all potential exhibitors was
sharply decreased. The importance of this is that,
throughout most of the country, potential exhibitors are not
affluent and their dog activities are governed by the size
of their disposable income. Even in favorable times, this
amount often is small. Now that we are in a period of
extreme economic difficulty severely affecting millions of
ordinary people, it is difficult to justify your degree of
support of programs designed primarily to expand the image,
power, and influence of the AKC but which will have little
real benefit beyond this. When it becomes a choice between
dog show entries and dog food, most of those we know would
choose dog food. This clearly is the worst possible time to
propose a dog tax that will further suppress entries for dog

Another aspect of this problem relates to the alternate dog
registry whose existence AKC never acknowledges, the United
Kennel Club. In the real world, many members of our and
other clubs enter UKC events. Their Conformation events are
valuable because they provide relatively inexpensive and
convenient show training experience for both dogs and
handlers. UKC Obedience and Agility trials operate under
somewhat different rules than AKC events, generally have
lower entry fees, and are valuable in their own right. If
the AKC dog tax is adopted, it is very likely to stimulate a
large increase in UKCentries along with a corresponding
decrease in AKC entries. This could further increase the
serious economic problems faced by AKC clubs such as ours,
which depend to a large extent on income from shows and
trials to support the costs of our building. We have not
seen evidence that UKC has planned a dog tax.

We believe that it is an appropriate time to seriously
consider which of the programs described in the report to
the Delegates genuinely advance the mission of both the AKC
and the many AKC-sanctioned dog clubs, and which of those
may be of little or no value. There is a danger of
overstating the importance of the AKC role in some of these.
For example, the support of AKC for opposition to anti-dog
legislation is commendable, but in Ohio and recently in
California, the most effective opposition came from local,
intrastate organizations. This is because the local groups
are also the constituents of the city, county, and state
legislators directly involved with such legislation. We
question whether it is necessary or even desirable for AKC
to be involved in a frozen-semen program for future breeding
of a few dogs currently deemed highly desirable (the
“Future Program”). Programs to promote responsible
dog ownership are desirable, but they also are inherently
local, probably best carried on by local organizations and
groups including even our own Toledo Humane Society and
Toledo Area Metroparks. AKC attempts to promote dog
registration through advertising at pet stores and other
means. However, the limited success of such efforts is
probably because pet owners are not convinced that there is
a tangible benefit. The potential benefits become much more
apparent when new dog owners attend local dog club
activities and are directly exposed at the local level to
dog training classes, educational programs, and dog events.

In summary, the report to the Delegates’ meeting
briefly describes elaborate, obviously very costly
advertising, promotional, and hopefully educational programs
to be run from New York. However, the AKC Board should
recognize that small-scale programs with similar objectives
are regularly carried on at very low cost and often with
greater success by dog clubs throughout the U.S.

This letter expresses views of the Board of Directors of
the Toledo Kennel Club, Inc., as affirmed by the signatures
below. The Toledo Kennel Club, Inc. is a member club of the
American Kennel Club.

This letter is also sent to Mr. Ronald H. Menaker,
Chairman, Board of Directors.

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