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AKC’s Mixed Message
Does it support all dogs or not?
Once unwanted, Shelby and Cricket bonded strongly in our home.

Earlier this year, the American Kennel Club (AKC) invited mixed breeds to participate in select activities, such as agility, obedience and rally. But are mutts only welcome at AKC events if their owners pay for the privilege? That’s the message some mixed breed owners are receiving after the AKC said no to adoptable animals as part of its annual “Meet the Breed” event in New York City.

For seven years, the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) allowed the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to bring homeless cats and kittens to its New York City Cat Show at Madison Square Garden. This generous partnership enabled the Mayor’s Alliance - a nonprofit coalition of 150 animal rescue groups and shelters – to find homes for hundreds of adoptable cats.

Last year, Madison Garden was unavailable, so CFA paired up with AKC’s “Meet the Breeds” event at the Javits Center.  CFA continued the tradition of inviting the Mayor’s Alliance to hold its Adopt A Cat program. However,  AKC said no adoptable dogs or puppies would be allowed.
On April 1, 2010, AKC officially opened some companion and performance programs to mixed breeds. A one-time $35 registration fee allows them to enter agility, obedience and rally trials. Each event requires additional entry fees. Apparently, the inclusion stops there. The nonprofit organization, whose mission statement includes “promote responsible dog ownership,” told the Mayor’s Alliance that no adoptable dogs or cats will be allowed at this year’s “Meet the Breeds” event.

In response, the Mayor’s Alliance and Best Friends Animal Society will present an adoption event  December 18-19 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. CFA will be participating.


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by anonymous | October 5 2010 |

I never thought I'd say this, Way to GO Cat FAnciers!!

Submitted by Caramelo | October 6 2010 |

Being a Mixed dog I find this highly offensive, I don't even like the term "mutt" I prefer canine hybrid.

Caramelo "The dog with a blog"

Submitted by Julia Kamysz Lane | October 6 2010 |

Thanks for the comment, Caramelo! I have five dogs, three of whom are "canine hybrids." (Love that name!) I also refer to them as All Americans, Heinz 57s, etc. The term "mutt" doesn't bother me, but I understand why it bothers some.

Submitted by Stacey | October 7 2010 |

As an owner of competition mixed breed dogs, I have experienced first hand how the AKC says they allow mixed breeds for the good PR, but don’t really want them at events.

I registered my dog with the AKC so I could enter an upcoming 4-day trial. AKC happily took my money, but when I went to enter the trial I found out mixed-breed dogs were only allowed on Friday and Sunday. We were not welcome on Thursday and Saturday. Needless to say I ended up not entering this trial, nor do I have plans to enter any other AKC event.

My dogs are registered with UKC, CPE, NADAC, and ASCA and I have never had a problem with anyone at these trials. If you have a mutt dog and want to compete there are MANY other clubs that will welcome you. Don’t give AKC your money.

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