CHANGE Is Coming
We’re all quite familiar by now with the situation at AKC regarding finances. It seems to me that for the first time in my experience the nation’s general economic downturn may affect the sport of showing dogs as well; this makes it even more urgent that AKC find new revenue streams. As readers may also recall, several of the potential revenue sources that have been brought forward recently have seen a vehemently negative reaction by the delegate body and other fanciers, including the Petland scheme and allowing mixed-breed dogs to compete in performance events. But the time has come, as these pages predicted it would, when we must accept that things will change, and that actions taken by AKC might not meet with the approval of each and every delegate and fancier.
At the April meeting of the Board of Directors the subject of allowing mixed-breed dogs to compete at stand-alone agility, obedience and Rally events was discussed. It will be revisited at the May Board meeting and the plan is to adopt the program. It is important — no, essential — for fanciers to realize that the Kennel Club in England has allowed this very practice for many years and it has worked well and is not a threat or bother to those who show their purebred dogs. To my mind this plan is not only harmless but has several benefits. Bringing all dog people together regardless of which “kind” they own will make our constituency exponentially bigger and stronger, an asset when we need to fight legislative battles. Likewise the more people who are exposed to our sport, the more we can educate and create allies that we’ll have for the varied battles ahead, including those with PETA and the other animal rights groups.
A variety of other ways to increase registrations in order to shore up AKC’s finances are being worked out at this time and will be discussed here in upcoming issues. In the meantime it is important that fanciers understand that AKC’s primary source of revenue throughout its history has been registrations. It costs a great deal to maintain records, put on dog shows and other events, maintain a library and museum, fund a legislative department, pay the hundreds of people who keep AKC running, and finance the countless other duties that AKC performs daily. Changes are inevitable if AKC is going to be able to continue to operate as it has in the past. We’ll continue to report on new developments as they occur.
Christi McDonald, Editor
I apologize for an error in the April DR Top Sires and Dams article, where we listed the Rottweiler, Ch. Gamegards U.S. Marshall, as having 35 new champion offspring for 2007 when he actually had 28 new champions. He was still the Top Sire among all breeds for 2007, of course, but our figure was incorrect.
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