Fri, 03/29/2024 - 10:15am

Editorial: March 29, 2024

An ugly truth?

The recently disclosed criminal complaint brought by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against one in our dog-showing community made accusations and allegations of heinous and abnormal acts and behavior. The man in question is a veterinarian, breeder and judge whom we are told was held in high esteem. American Kennel Club President Dennis B. Sprung has written an open letter to those of us in the purebred-dog community. Dog News joins the American Kennel Club in condemning with the strongest meaning of the word these perverted acts, both those that were said to have been performed and those that were said to have been planned for the future. While no one knows what happens behind closed doors, we need to have a rule — not a guideline — protecting the youth in our sport against such predators. A rule that covers everyone in the sport, but in particular criminal checks should be done on anyone applying to judge Junior Showmanship, which the person in question had approval to judge. If any person is arrested on these or similar charges, American Kennel Club privileges should be suspended until there is a verdict. While the evidence seems to be overwhelming, we are not naming this person, and we are using the word alleged. As is the law of the nation, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. We are as a courtesy reprinting Dennis Sprung’s letter addressing this situation.

Dear American Kennel Club fanciers,

 The entire American Kennel Club Board of Directors and staff condemn alleged criminal conduct by any participant in our sports, and we will continue to examine ways to strengthen our oversight. We are committed to the well-being of every fancier, young or old, and will investigate every complaint that is received.

If you witness or suspect wrongful behavior, it should be reported to the police immediately.  If at an AKC event and you need assistance, contact the AKC representative or Event Chair.  

AKC is a welcoming community because we believe in sharing and celebrating the joy of dog sports together.  We must treat others with dignity and respect while looking out for one another.  There is nothing more important than safety for everyone who takes part.

AKC leadership and staff monitor events and are trained with abuse awareness and prevention courses from the U.S. Center for SafeSport.®  

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or allegations about improper conduct at AKC events.  We are here to assist.




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