The Truth About the American Kennel Club

The American Kennel Club (AKC) calls itself “The Dog’s Champion” yet it has a dirty little secret: the AKC protects cruel puppy mills by actively working against puppy mill legislation that would create basic standards of care for dogs in commercial breeding facilities.

View this video about ABC News’ investigation into the “…disgusting conditions and sick dogs at AKC-approved facilities”:

In fact, the AKC is now fighting House Bill 159 in North Carolina that would require the same standards of care that the AKC already promotes to all its member breeders!

Click here to sign our petition that tells the AKC to Stop Protecting Puppy Mills and help support HB 159 to mandate humane standards of care for dogs in commercial breeding facilities.

So, why is the AKC trying to stop this bill…?

The bulk of the AKC’s $64.7 million in annual revenue comes from the registration fees they collect on breeding dogs and new litters. Humane investigators say a significant part of AKC annual revenues come from puppy mills that breed dogs en masse for maximum profit and with little regard for basic living standards.

Photo courtesy HSUS

Photo courtesy HSUS

Dogs used for mass breeding in such puppy mills typically live out their whole lives in cramped, filthy cages, without adequate veterinary care, proper exercise or socialization.

An in-depth investigation by the New York Times gives multiple accounts that show the AKC is complicitous with commercial breeders in the industrial abuse and neglect of breeding dogs:

The A.K.C. inspected the kennel of Joseph and Cynthia Williams in Wilson, N.C., months before the police raided it. On May 17, 2012, an A.K.C. inspector said that the 34 Great Danes and mastiffs under the Williamses’ care were in “acceptable” conditions, with only 2 of the 15 categories marked “needs improvement,” for the construction of kennels and signs of “untreated, visible wounds.” The A.K.C. inspector found that the Williams kennel over all was “in compliance with A.K.C.’s Care Conditions Policy” even though the dogs did not have access to daily exercise outside their cages and pens, according to court documents.

Three months later, Wilson County officials seized 28 of the Williamses’ dogs, a majority of them in “poor” condition, suffering from illnesses, injuries and living in “unhealthy conditions,” according to court documents. A veterinarian told the court that the rescued dogs had ailments that ranged “from serious to severe” and that “most of the injuries appeared to be chronic, having been in existence for a substantial period of time.”

North Carolina has become a haven for puppy mills in the U.S. because it’s one of only a handful of states with NO LAWS GOVERNING COMMERCIAL DOG BREEDING. More puppy mills were busted in North Carolina last year for animal cruelty than in any other state in the U.S.


The AKC says that it wants to “protect the health and well-being of all dogs”, but many of the dogs rescued from those puppy mills were AKC-registered and the facilities previously inspected by the AKC.

Clearly, voluntary compliance to humane operating standards by commercial dog breeders doesn’t work. Instead, untold numbers of dogs continually suffer mass cruelty and neglect in unregulated puppy mills, because year after year, the AKC fights legislation that would protect these animals.

Indeed, over the past five years, the AKC has opposed more than 80 state bills designed to provide humane standards of care in puppy mills, including three such bills in NC in the past five years. Plus, for the first time ever, the AKC lobbied to reverse much-needed puppy mill legislation in TN just this year!

The AKC’s greedy crusade to protect puppy mills must end.

Here are four things you do right now to help:

  1. Click here to sign our petition and tell the AKC to support HB 159 in North Carolina and mandate its own standards of care to protect dogs from bad breeders.
  2. Like our “Athena the Pissy Kitty” Campaign on Facebook. (Rescued from a NC puppy mill, Athena now needs your help to make a Congressional Scorecard on HB159).
  3. Email this page to caring friends and family and share with your friends on Facebook.
  4. Donate to Brother Wolf to support our efforts against bullies like the AKC.

Thank You!