What Do the AKC And the KKK Have in Common?

By now, most people have heard about PETA’s advertisement likening the American Kennel Club (AKC) to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). It may be a shocking comparison, but it is an apt one—and it’s an effective way to stimulate discussion about the tragic consequences of breeding. Millions of dogs are euthanized in shelters every year, yet breeders continue to churn out dogs with pure bloodlines and “prized” characteristics.

In short, the AKC promotes “breedism.” It’s pushing the “master race” idea that pedigrees are better than mixed breeds, and it is contributing to animal overpopulation and to health problems in dogs. Because of incestuous inbreeding and genetic manipulation, purebreds commonly suffer from various diseases and disorders. For example, Labradors—America’s most popular dog—often suffer from bone disease, hemophilia, and retinal degeneration. Sussex spaniels like Stump, the winner of this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, are prone to heart and liver problems, hip dysplasia, ear infections, and other illnesses. German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers also often develop crippling hip dysplasia and other disorders.

The AKC promotes painful cosmetic practices such as tail docking and ear-cropping. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “ear cropping and tail docking are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient. These procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia, blood loss, and infection.” Because these procedures are cruel and dangerous, they have been banned in many European countries.

PETA is calling on the AKC to follow in the footsteps of its British counterpart, the Kennel Club, which is reviewing its standards for every pedigree dog breed in the region and implementing more humane guidelines. (Because purebred dogs face so many health issues, the BBC refused to air Crufts, Britain’s most prestigious dog show.) The Kennel Club has already informed Pekinese breeders that it is no longer acceptable to breed dogs with flat faces since these dogs have difficulty breathing.

Of course, the most humane option is not to breed dogs at all. If you’re ready to commit to an animal, please adopt one (or two) from a shelter or a reputable breed rescue group—never buy from a breeder. Dogs don’t care if they have “papers” or not, and neither should we.



Lianne Lavoie
Lianne Lavoie7 years ago

It isn't racist for PETA to compare the AKC to the KKK, it's a valid comparison. They both want "races" ("breeds") to be kept separate, and value certain breeds over others. The AKC may not commit violent crimes, but they do breed dogs in such a way that they have deformities from inbreeding.

Jennifer R.
Jennifer R.7 years ago

It just serves to further distance PETA from the rest of us, to connote the AKC with the KKK. Have people forgotten what the KKK was all about? Remember lynchings, cross-burnings, and fire bombings? The KKK was and is a violent, racist organization that struck terror in many people's lives. They existed not just to promote the superiority of white people, but to terrorize and destroy the lives of black and those who support their rights. And it still does. To equate this type of behavior with dog-breeding is racist, to say the least.

Irish C.
AELLA TEAM7 years ago

Ye Peta Haters need to get a clue,slag me and I'll slag ye back!

Lana R.
Lana R.7 years ago

What do papers really mean anyway ? Only to the AKC and that is all about money and to make the owner think they are elite, they are not. I was adopted so I don't have papers either but I turned out just fine.
I have dogs and cats that some have papers and some don't. All the stupid papers meant was that I would spend thousands of dollars to the vet. Those with no papers never had to go to the vet except for their check ups. They all love the exact same way. The hell with the AKC, they remind me of Hitler trying to form the Perfect race.
As far as PETA where the hell are you getting your information. As a member I know for a fact that they have always asked you to save the animals from a shelter or rescue to save a life. Please work on getting your information correctly. I think the AKC is behind all the lies as it would just put money in their deep pockets. I think they should stick the papers up their butts and choke on them.
Save an animal from death, they will thank you for life and you will never find a better friend with or without papers.

Sarah G.
Sarah G.7 years ago

Ok Deborah W., we get it you hate PETA. If you reread Lili's comment she does not mention the AKC. I would never suppose she was blaming them. Puppy mills are without question very bad, but you seem to think all breeders are as responsible as you are. I have read and seen quite a lot on the subject, not just PETA-related articles, and many breeders are flagrantly irresponsible. And some of this is due to the AKC's aesthetic guidelines dictating what the "best" example of a certain breed should look like. It is true that if you look at pictures of purebred dogs (and cats) taken 100, even 50 yrs. ago the difference is quite remarkable.
BTW, this seems to be a common misconception but PETA is not against the owning of pets. They really urge people to adopt strays from shelters. They even have converted buses, which tour poorer neighbourhoods offering free pet neutering to those who couldn't normally afford it. If some of your anti-PETA source material is the PETAkillsanimals.com website then take some time to learn about the group that created that, and other (non-animal) related sites, they have no interest in the wellfare of animals. It took me a little googling and no time at all to figure this out. It's amazing how many people don't do this.

Deborah W.
.7 years ago

Lets not forget cats..

Are you going to blame the American Kennel Club for the plight of cats too! That is REALLY being ignorant! Anyone ignorant enough to blame the AKC for the plight of cats is PETA fodder for brainwashing about pet ownership of all kinds. Educate yourself, people!!!!

Deborah W.
.7 years ago

Oh, by the way, breeders of purebred animals only breed two litters a year. Puppy mill breeders breed MANY litters a year. There is a BIG difference PETA doesn't want you ignorant people to know about. PETA knows most people are poorly informed about this subject, so they will exploit that uninformed ignorance with what they want people to believe. Never forget. PETA's ultimate goal is that NO ONE "owns" a pet. "Owning" pets, you see, is "slavery." PETA is the KKK, NOT AKC!!!!

Deborah W.
.7 years ago

PETA is trying to equate responsible breeders with puppy mill breeders, and trying to lump dog breeders all in one group.

I see a LOT of ignorant people making stupid, uninformed remarks about dog breeders and dog breeding. It is the puppy mills putting out diseased dogs indiscriminately, NOT responsible breeders. Both my Sheltie's sire and dam were tested for hip dysplacia, Von Wilderbon's, (hemophila in dogs) and thyroid disease before they were ever allowed to be used for breeding stock. Puppy millers do not use this testing because they consider it to be "unnecessary overhead." Yet, PETA is trying to make it look like ALL breeders are breeding indiscriminately. PETA IS THE ENEMY. PETA has a far more sinister, vicious agenda once they have people's acceptance on a far more innocent issue. PETA does not want you to have ANY pets! By the way, it has been found in research that children who grow up without a pet companion are more likely to be overweight than one who had a pet companion from childhood. PETA is ultimately trying to end the "owning" of pets. They just don't want you do know that. I see a lot of ignorant people accepting their word hook, line, and sinker on this board. WISE UP!

Deborah W.
.7 years ago

There is a lot of ignorance in thinking PETA is right. PETA wants the public to think that responsible breeders, those who invest in tests to make sure their stock is not producing breed specific diseases, and to eliminate by spaying or neutering the ones that are affected are all puppy millers. Well, they aren't. It is puppy mills that breed indiscriminately with no testing to make sure their animals are healthy. Please do not be brainwashed by PETA since they do not keep their word about adopting animals that need homes. PETA kills the animals. PETA is REALLY all about YOU not having a pet AT ALL. NO, the AKC is NOT the KKK. PETA and its companion organization HSUS, as animal rights activists are described as terrorists by the office of Homeland Security. Do NOT let them brainwash you by starting out as apparently acceptable causes. PETA ultimately will take away your right to own ANY pet.

Kenneth Madore
Kenneth Madore7 years ago

I myself hate the a.k.c, don't get me started with those people who care more about money than the welfare of animals. I have four cats that I rescued from the street and all it cost me was the cost of spading and neutering and of course vaccinations. I want to thank s.t.o.p for all they have done with my little friends. If you are watching this site, Thank you very much.For those that don't know s.t.o.p is a low cost mobil unite that helps stop the over population of cats here in Massachusetts. It's A real blessing they exist I'm disable and can't afford to pay 450.00 for each cat.