H/T to Patrick over at Terrierman for this post about the AKC's streamlined merchandise-handling software for puppy-mill retailers.
Seems that I remember a few years ago, the AKC hacks backed down in the face of a torch-and-pitchfork mob of breed club delegates who objected to a speshul marketing program designed to keep puppymill products on the AKC rolls, the better to profit from the money-for-paper scam that pays those Madison Avenue salaries.
What they did, of course, was just transfer the scheme to an administrative hidey-hole and quietly go forward with their attempt to re-capture market share from the puppymillers' new, no-questions-asked "registries."
Reading the PDF instructions for Petland clerks on how to instantly register "inventory" with the AKC -- a nice cut of additional revenue for the retailer, and the only way Ron Menaker is going to make his boat payment -- I was struck by this clause under "Adding a Dog to the Store."
Dogs can also be added to the general inventory by the AKC based on the AKC’s assessment of the dog’s pedigree. The store will fax pedigrees for non-AKC dogs to the AKC and the AKC staff determines if the dog is eligible for AKC registration within two business days. Eligible dogs are automatically uploaded to the inventory.Wow.
The one thing that AKC could reserve for its dubious bragging rights was a claim of "purity" and "pedigree integrity."
What this meant in paperwork terms was, if an owner neglected to properly register his dog or bitch within the allotted time, if he lost the registration paperwork, or for any reason all the i's weren't dotted and the t's crossed, that dog's offspring could never be registered. Nevermind that the dog was clearly purebred, that the owner had the dog's pedigree, might even own the dam himself. Did not matter.
And puppies from unregistered parents in most breeds could not command anything like the price for registered pups.
Which is, you know, deranged. Regardless, this created a powerful incentive for owners snap to it and fill out the paperwork and send their money to Madison Avenue each and every generation.
This obedience to unelected authority has always been very important to the dog fancy set. A "reputable" breeder has his paperwork in order. A dirtbag BYB doesn't send in his registration fees.
But a puppymiller did -- until the "industry" discovered that they could make things much easier and cheaper for themselves by creating their own "flexible" no-questions-asked money-for-paper schemes.
Now I'm pretty sure that an ordinary pet owner who has a "pedigree" for his purebred dog, but no litter registration slip, is still hosed.
But apparently a pup from unregistered parents can now "qualify" almost instantly for AKC registration -- for inclusion in the "pure" gene pool of whatever breed. Just so long as it came from a puppymill and is being sold at retail from the deli case at a mall near you.
No DNA testing. No photographs. No review by experts from the breed club. No investigation into the paperwork irregularities. No punitive fees for the special case.
Because getting a cut of the profits from the living "inventory" is going to goose the bottom line this week way more than being a stickler for record-keeping is.
As for next week -- well, I guess that depends upon who finds out and what they do about it, doesn't it?
How do you dog-fancier breed-club snobs feel about the Missouri-born inventory getting an instant administrative upgrade to "pure" and "AKC-registered?"
If contemplating each puppy's mother languishing her whole life in a wire-floored crate so that the registration fees for her lifetime production output can help support your dog show habit has no goddamn effect on your conscience.
If you don't give a rat's ass about the health and behavior of these little units of inventory once they are bought and installed into your neighbor's home as "members of the family."
If you meekly accept that you are being held to a higher standard of record-keeping than Helga the Kansas puppy farmer.
Can you at least give a shit that your precious "purity" -- the last thing that your Overlord In Dogs has to offer you -- is being tossed away on the say-so of Tammi at Petland and some faceless clerk in Raleigh?