When meeting with lawmakers, AKC GR and clubs are often asked, “What is AKC doing to help dogs?” Discussing the AKC’s Inspections program is an invaluable tool to demonstrate a very tangible way AKC is dedicated to the care of dogs – and that AKC is the foremost experts in dogs and therefore an invaluable resource to lawmakers considering canine policy.
"Given the constant misinformation elected officials are given about all breeders, I always like to share information about AKC's inspection program with them as it serves to ensure that those who participate in our breed program are held to standards that all responsible breeders must follow," said AKC GR Legislative Analyst/ Community Outreach Coordinator Charley Hall.
So what is an AKC inspection like? Recently, Hall joined Jim Terrell, Executive Field Agent, AKC Investigations & Inspections to ride along and learn first-hand about how AKC inspects breeders to ensure the care of dogs being registered with the AKC:
The day started on a brisk Pennsylvania morning, bright and early at 7:00 a.m. when Hall and Terrell pulled into the driveway for their first visit and saw several Shelties in the play yard excited to welcome them on a chilly morning. Jim pointed out that he normally does not start his day this early but is always willing to accommodate the schedule that works best for the breeder.
The next stop was a visit to a breeder of Golden Retrievers, and finally a Beagle kennel where they were greeted with friendly, adorable puppies anxious to greet them.
Although the three kennels were different, the inspection process is the same. The goal of each inspection is to work alongside the breeders, educating them and help them take the best possible care of their animals as outlined in the AKC’s Care and Conditions of Dogs Policy. After a visual inspection of the dogs, there’s an evaluation of both the kennel and whelping areas as well as any runs or exercise areas the dogs can access. Microchips and records are checked, and DNA swabs may be taken to back up records. Suggestions for improvement are provided along the way, but inspectors also reiterate key points shared throughout the inspection before leaving.
“The ride along was a great experience and an opportunity to see our inspections and investigation program firsthand,” Hall said. “It is a robust program with dedicated professionals who conduct the inspections. The inspections program truly demonstrates AKC’s dedication, expertise and leadership, and discussion of this program is a tangible way to communicate this to lawmakers looking to address canine issues in their community.”
For more information on AKC’s inspections program, view this handout in the AKC Legislative Action Center. We encourage you to share it with your lawmakers, along with the AKC Above and Beyond handout outlining the many programs AKC and clubs provide, to demonstrate AKC’s expertise and dedication to dogs in local communities.