“In compliance” is all about paperwork, care, and identification!
*ALL* breeders of AKC puppies are held to a standard of practice by the AKC. The standard of practice is called the AKC rules of compliance. The rules of compliance set the standard for regarding record keeping, identification and maintaining proper care of the dogs and kennel conditions.
Passing an AKC inspection is *not* something any breeder should feel the need to brag about. It is expected that all breeders *should* pass inspection. This article is intended to prevent you from being fooled by those who would suggest that their “in compliance” status is unique or special.
Who Gets Inspected?
- Any AKC customer (breeder, retail pet shop or broker) that registers 4 or more litters per year or conducts 25 or more registration transactions per year (supplemental transfer statements) is automatically added to the list for inspection.
- Breeders who register 4 to 6 litters annually with AKC will be randomly selected for inspection.
- Inspections will also be performed in response to complaints, which can stem from concerns over unhealthy facilities to unfounded harassment by a vengeful competitor or disgruntled co-owner. While complaints must be submitted to the AKC in writing and be signed, an inspector will follow up on every one and will not reveal the complainant’s identify unless requested by a court order.
We at Blue Knight have been inspected, and found to be in compliance, however, this does not mean puppies from us or any other “in compliance” kennel is superior to others. It simply means we were in compliance with the record keeping rules that he AKC sets down for all breeders. If we were not, we would have had our AKC privileges suspended and we would have been fined! A $250.00 fee is required prior to re-inspection. Customers who fail to correct deficiencies and maintain compliance are subject to discipline ranging from letters of reprimand to 10-year suspensions coupled with $2,000 fines.
Investigators also work with local authorities to assure proper care of dogs. Fines and suspensions are published monthly in the AKC Gazette and on the AKC Web site in the Board minutes. The AKC completes some 5,000 kennel inspections each year (2004 and 2005 stats).
I have seen some breeders boasting their “in compliance” status. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is anything more than it is — it is no more special than your local restaurant passing a health inspection. To do what they do, they must pass inspection. That is the minimum you would require of them. Being in compliance with the AKC is the minimum standard by which a breeder should maintain their dogs.
We found the AKC Inspector to be professional and thorough. This is the job of the AKC Inspector. Should we have greater than three litters in a calendar year, we expect to see her again. This is just an expected part of breeding AKC registered dogs!
AKC Rules of Compliance
Investigations and Inspections
The AKC is the only purebred registry in the United States with an ongoing routine kennel inspection program. The AKC has a dedicated team of field inspectors who visit kennels to help breeders while ensuring the proper care and conditions of AKC-registered dogs and verify that breeders are maintaining accurate records for their dogs. Since 2000, AKC field inspectors have conducted over 45,000 inspections nationwide.
Routine AKC field inspections involve several steps. Field agents begin every visit with a tour of the overall facility checking that the dogs as well as the condition of their environment are in good order. Field agents also check the dogs for proper identification, microchip, tattoo or collar tag.
After a thorough look at the dogs the field agent will review the breeder’s records, often advising the breeder with options on how to maintain hard copies in addition to using the convenient AKC online record system. Breeders are expected to maintain records for at least five years.
AKC randomly selects breeders for inspection yearly. In addition, to the random selection AKC inspects breeders based on written, signed and substantiated complaints.
Through kennel visits, inspectors seek to work with breeders to help correct any deficiencies, as well as help new breeders develop effective practices and procedures.
If an inspector finds minor deficiencies, the issues are noted and discussed with the breeder in an effort to help the breeder while at the same time meeting AKC’s requirements in the future. While the AKC does not have penal or regulatory authority, breeders who have major kennel deficiencies may lose AKC privileges (ability to register dogs or compete in events). In some cases, fines will be imposed, AKC privileges may be suspended and appropriate law enforcement authorities contacted.
The standard penalty for anyone convicted of animal cruelty involving dogs is a 10-year suspension and a $2,000 fine.
Contact the Compliance dept: AKC Investigations and Inspections, 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100. Raleigh, NC 27617-3390. Phone: (919) 816-3629, Fax: (919) 816-4246