Date of Article: April 14, 2009
New York, NY – For the past 125 years, the American Kennel Club® has been the nation's premier advocate for dogs and the people who love them. The AKC's Board of Directors has voted unanimously to proceed with a program for mixed breed dogs which will allow it to act even more broadly and effectively as the dog's champion. The creation of this program ushers in new opportunities for AKC's constituents and clubs and will allow the organization to grow and flourish.
"Our goal in creating a program specifically designed for mixed breeds is to share our passion for dogs and our sport," said AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung. "AKC will broaden its legislative influence by representing more dog owners and achieve greater exposure for our responsible dog ownership messaging. But ultimately, the positive developments that this program creates will benefit dogs the most, and this is what we value above all."
The mixed breeds program will be implemented in three phases. As of October 1, 2009 owners can begin enrolling their pets and receive an AKC ID number. Then beginning April 1, 2010 enrolled dogs will be eligible to compete in mixed breed classes at stand-alone AKC Agility, Obedience and Rally events. Soon after they will have access to benefits such as discounted AKC Companion Animal Recovery Lost and Found service, a free AKC Canine Good Citizen® certificate for dogs passing the CGC test, a free initial veterinary visit, a trial offer of pet health insurance and discounted coupons for dog supplies.
The third phase will offer a dedicated Web site where dog owners can interact via an online community with discussion forums and access dog care video downloads, advice from experts and the most up-to-date news on canine health and welfare. The site will be continually enhanced with new features and benefits in order to respond to the changing needs of pet owners.
This new AKC initiative is the first designed to specifically benefit mixed breed dogs and their dog owners, however the AKC has long included mixed breeds in programs such as AKC Canine Good Citizen®, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppysm, AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day and the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund's disaster relief efforts. In addition, AKC has always actively advocated for the rights of all dog owners and the welfare of dogs through its Government Relations efforts and serves dog owners through its affiliate organizations such as the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation and AKC Companion Animal Recovery.