Sunday, December 26, 2010

Response From AKC and My Rebuttal

Hi Jessica – I am sorry if you are having difficulty finding trials and that you have been treated rudely at some AKC events. The AKC cares very much about all our dogs and owners and we never want any exhibitors to be treated badly – especially those that are new to AKC. The number of events open to dogs listed with AKC Canine Partners continues to grow – and I know that many clubs are very mixed- breed friendly and welcome the Canine Partners competitors.

It appears that there were 14 obedience/rally trials in Arizona open to Canine Partners in 2010 and that currently there are 16 planned for 2011. AKC is contacting clubs that have not opened their entries and encouraging them to do so – and we will contact the clubs on the Fiesta Cluster and find out what their reasons were.

I also can assure you that the AKC cares very much about the AKC Canine Partners program and many of us worked hard for many years to bring it into existence. I am a mixed- breed dog owner and competitor – and have been out competing with my “Canine Partner” in AKC agility and rally. I am happy to say that I have been accepted very well by the clubs hosting events in my area, as have my fellow mixed- breeds competitors in NC.

I hope that you will reconsider not entering any more AKC events because the best way to make it better is to get out there and compete and have a voice in the process.

I received another email from you requesting a refund of your registration fees and I cannot issue a refund - but I would like to send you a Canine Partners goody bag and t-shirt if you will send me your mailing address. Please keep me posted on how you and your dogs are doing!

Penny Leigh
Program Manager
AKC Canine Partners

So a T-shirt and a goodie bag are supposed to make up for the $35 per dog I spent only to be unable to enter trials. Hmmm...

I only participate in agility. My dogs are not even welcome at the Fiesta Cluster show site.

The AKC event calendar does not properly list events open to mixed breeds. This is my ONLY source for planning trials, and it is WRONG. It states that Scottsdale Dog Fanciers Assn (the other sponsor of Fiesta Cluster) is friendly. It is not. Cactus State Miniature Schnauzer is friendly, but the AKC website doesn't show this.

It is absolutely DISGUSTING to have members of the Superstition Kennel Club beg me to donate my time and resources to making tugs as donations for an event, only to be snubbed at another event of theirs. They host four events in Arizona. As I am boycotting them, I have limited my AKC agility options.

I contacted Superstition Kennel Club, and have yet to receive a response.

My boycott, publicly available via my agility blog and Facebook, has garnered plenty of support. Deb Davidson Harpur, a friend of mine from California, will not attend Fiesta Cluster. She runs anywhere from 8 to 15 dogs. Multiply that by the entry fees, and Fiesta Cluster is losing easy money. Fiesta Cluster has never filled.

Traveling to complete titles should be an option, not a requirement. It appears my choice, especially since I am boycotting Superstition Kennel Club, is to travel. I'd rather save my money and stick with USDAA, a venue where my dogs are openly welcome and not treated with disdain.

I am withdrawing from Arizona Wags for Wishes. I'd just as soon make a donation directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation than to allow Superstition Kennel Club receive any credit for my money and labor.

I want my money back. I can be treated like a second-class citizen for free. I am more than willing to return my titles. I couldn't even use all the "values" that come with registration since I had a 10-year-old dog, and the Home Again would not register for the other dog.

You can send a goody bag and T-shirt if you want to. I will turn around and donate it to charity. I am not supporting AKC in anyway, shape or form from this point forward, purebred or mixed breed. I would rather have my money back.