The Facts The Today Show Didn’t Tell You

Golden_Chris Browning_2.5weeks LIKEDONEThe AKC is extremely disappointed that The Today Show was given all of the information below but chose not to include any of it in their segment this morning. We met with the producers for an hour prior to the taped interview – which also lasted nearly an hour – and we provided them with supporting documentation, and they chose only to include less than 1 minute of airtime for AKC. They disregarded important facts that should have been told. In fact, we requested to receive a copy of the tape of the entire, unedited interview with Jeff Rossen so that we could show you all of the information we gave them, but their lawyers refused to provide the footage to us.  Here are some top facts that The Today Show didn’t tell you:

  1. They didn’t tell you that no other organization does more to protect dogs than the AKC and that “being the dog’s champion” means, among other things, donating more than $24 million to canine health research, conducting kennel inspections, and offering more educational programs for responsible dog owners than any other organization.
  2. They didn’t tell you that when an AKC inspector finds substandard kennel conditions they must immediately report it to the appropriate federal, state and local authorities to take action.
  3. They didn’t tell you that, in many instances, the highly publicized raids for which animal rights groups take credit in the media have come about as a direct result of AKC’s reporting to law enforcement.
  4. They didn’t tell you that, as we explained to Jeff Rossen and his producers numerous times, there are no “AKC Registered Operations” or “AKC Registered Breeders” and that breeders use AKC services voluntarily.
  5. They didn’t tell you that less than 5% of AKC’s registration revenue comes from commercial breeders or that the AKC is a not-for-profit organization whose total revenues are less than the total marketing budget of the HSUS.
  6. They didn’t tell you that AKC saw substandard breeders leave the registry in droves in the mid-1990’s when we instituted an inspections program. We did it anyway, even though it affected our bottom line negatively, because it was the right thing to do for dogs. And, more breeders left when we began DNA testing.
  7. They didn’t tell you that when AKC has concerns with legislation, it publicly puts legislative alerts on its website where anyone can learn about how a bill may potentially affect responsible breeders and dog owners’ rights and not do anything to protect dogs.
  8. They didn’t tell you that AKC works to ensure the enforcement of cruelty and neglect laws, as well as the provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act. As a result, AKC has a productive working relationship with local animal controls, state and local law enforcement, state departments of agriculture throughout the country, as well as the USDA.
  9. They didn’t tell you that AKC is well respected by lawmakers who consider us credible experts on dog issues, and rely on our thoughtful and considered advice when it comes to legislation that will impact dogs and their breeders and owners.
  10. They didn’t tell you that the purebred rescue groups they referenced are actually AKC breed parent club groups and affiliates that make up the largest dog rescue group network in the country.
  11. They didn’t tell you that The Today Show’s Natalie Morales made a TV public service announcement in conjunction with the Ad Council and the HSUS.

Please send your comments directly to the Producer of the Today Show Don Nash and the President of NBC News Phil Griffin

Watch the segment on the Today Show website and then go to Rossen Reports and and to post your comments in support of AKC and all the responsible dog owners and breeders in this country.

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104 comments on “The Facts The Today Show Didn’t Tell You
  1. Dr Donald R Drake DD, PhD says:

    I have been in dogs with the AKC for all my life, through my parents and through all of my dog family. This report was inexcusable and has to be corrected. I hope everyone writes to them and complains as I did. Dr Donald R Drake DD, PhD

  2. Veruca Calder says:

    The future of news is social media (as you’ve resorted to) and online news. Television news is falls far behind, pandering to the masses and their limited attention span. Great that you posted an insightful retort on FB, thanks.

  3. As always, it takes only a few to ruin a good thing. There are many good breeders – but the problem are the bad ones. And here I doubt that the AKC is really doing the right thing. Good breeders breed for the love for a breed and not for money. From my experience, the AKC is way to lenient towards the bad breeders. So, AKC, protect the good ones by making sure, puppy mills and backyard breeders, who only contribute to the dog overpopulation, are eliminated. Should be easy if you tightened the requirements to be a respectable breeder.

    • Kathy Tolf says:

      AKC doesn’t regulate breeders. It regulates the Stud Book and the pedigrees upon which the stud book is built. The USDA is charged with inspection of commercial breeders.
      The best way to eliminate puppy mills is not to buy from them- which will put them out of business. Ditto the well meaning but completely clueless “backyard breeder” who thinks Muffy and Biff are such great pets, they need to be bred to make *more* great pets…
      John Q. Public needs to take responsibility for learning what makes a quality dog, and support the places that provide them with that quality. Unless the average dog owner is willing to do that, the breeders who take the time to do the health screenings, invest in the training and high quality breeding stock-and are picky enough to ensure the puppy is a good fit with the prospective home- will always lose out to the quick, easy “I only care about the color of your money” puppy provider.

  4. JenniferT says:

    My response to the Today show on their comments and sent to their e-mail:

    I am disgusted by your failure to provide balanced and impartial reporting in your story that misinforms about breeders who register with the AKC. The AKC has taken steps that have lost them income to reduce the number of commercially bred dogs that can use the prestigious AKC registration to sell their puppies. They have implemented the Frequently Used Sire program that makes breeders DNA any male dog used to sire a litter more than a very few times. They have implemented the Canine Health Initiative Certificate that responsible breeders can attain by doing the recommended health testing for their breeding dogs before breeding them. They have created the AKC Humane Fund, and started a program to keep dogs with their owners who have to leave a domestic abuse situation. The AKC does SO many positive things, but all YOU focused on was people who abuse the system and are NOT what the AKC supports. Your report disgusts me, and I will never support or view the Today show again.

  5. Kelly says:

    When I set out to acquire a puppy, I spent my own time researching different breeds for a good fit for my family and our activity levels. Once I decided on a breed, I used the Internet to go to and look for breeder referrals. I found many responsible breeders who care about the future of every puppy they bring into this world, and I did find some real lemons. People—do your own homework and don’t expect large agencies to look after your specific needs. Caveat emptor!

  6. FRED says:


  7. It’s the today show, they do what they do for ratings…sorry you thought main stream media was going to report all sides.

  8. K. Wilson says:

    Soooo…..about #11…is Natalie Morales engaged to marry HSUS CEO Pacelle? Or is that some other Today Show producer?

  9. Ifyouonlyknew says:

    The AKC needs to stop letting backyard breeders give full AKC rights to their puppy buyers! The Full AKC rights should only be for the breeders who show and/or do performance!!!!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      As much as I agree with that statement, how would AKC be able to distinguish those rights? Not all show breeders show all their dogs, and some that are not shown are used as brood bitches in their lines. I have one I cannot show ONLY because her ears don’t tip, but could still be used as a brood bitch if I so chose, just as an example.

  10. Lynda Fisher says:

    That’s why I watch Good Morning America!

  11. Calypa says:

    This story is a not-so-thinly-veiled push for he PUPS bill that’s coming before Congress. I wonder what NBC has to gain from supporting one side of the bill over another – much less THIS side!

  12. Joan Walter says:

    I am the recent new owner of an AKC registered puppy. I got this puppy from a reputable dealer I have been dealing with for many years. Her breeding stock is all AKC registered. As a breeder this is her choice…..AKC does not register breeders. It keeps records on dogs….and their pedigrees. The AKC does nto register breeders and is not responsible for any breeders or what they claim. IT is your job as a buyer to check out breeders before you buy.

    That being said…It has been years since I had a new puppy. I was surprised to be offered a free vet visit to several local vets in our area(my choice)….who have offered their services to new owners through the AKC and they graciously passed on this offer. I also received several publications that covered food, medical treatment recommendations, housing, handling, recommendations for behavior issues, training and reasons for training, plus much more information. In addition they also offered me a free health insurance policy for several months.

    And this is suppose to be an organization who doesn’t care about dogs or the people who own them according to this reporter? What planet does this reporter live on???? Has he ever registered a dog or dealt with the AKC??? I think he needs to report on some organization he has had some experience with because he obviously knows nothing about the AKC or what it does. His reporting was a sad hatchet job and very obvious. I wonder how much the HSUS paid them to twist and defame a very respectable organization.

  13. […] show "investigation" Here is a link that debunks EVERY "fact" they've aired! The Facts the Today Show didn't Tell you A friend of mine proposed that we have a grassroots campaign making a documentary showing the fun, […]

  14. Ifyouonlyknew says:

    True, but show and performance breeders m would carry a reputation with their dogs champions or not. The AKC would know their intentions by their AKC records. This would not apply to you then. The akc knows which kennel names have championships on their dogs.Type in my kennel name and there is a whole list of champions. Something needs to be done about backyard breeders giving full AKC rights to idiots and therefore producing more backyard breeders

  15. Ifyouonlyknew says:

    What I mean is this rule would not apply to you cause you show your dogs

  16. Slyjul says:

    I have a ckc and an akc puppy… Love them both but I have to admit the akc puppy is stronger, healthier and smarter… true to her breed dog… I don’t know about the worlds disagreements but I can truly see the difference. Same breed, different breeders. Akc proves out to be better

  17. OMG! What absolute garbage spewed by Mr. Pacelle. Well, that shouldn’t and doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been a responsible, ethical breeder/exhibitor for 34 years – fighting the radical (uneducated) Animal Rights bunch since the mid-eighties. Do you know where the term “puppy mill” originated?? Ask H$U$!! Beautifully designed to get the emotional reaction of millions of Americans and pave the way for his goal of “no more animals” in this country! It didn’t take them long to gather the media into the net. I am no longer breeding (cats, not dogs), but am well aware of what they are trying to do-to AKC and all other animal registries. In case you’re not aware of the fact, H$U$ is currently thought to be the largest and wealthiest LOBBYING organization in the US. That, my friends, means money talks! I kinda feel sorry for the media in this, cause they’re getting a lot of the blame. I would advise all of them to put an immediate stop to swilling the H$U$ Kool AID and start doing some research and checking facts. You “might” get some respect back, even if you never have another pet!

  18. Silvia G. Soos-Kazel says:

    It is unfortunate that the AKC has been brought into such a negative aspect. But, it is a known fact that there are continuous battles among the AKC and the other animal protective agencies when it comes to instituting laws that should be beneficial to all animals’ rights and protection. Bottomline, it would be nice if all came to some agreement, because the one that really is the loser in all this, is the innocent dogs/animals! The AKC and its legal advisors should have been more savvy & alert to what type of questions will be asked, answered and televised(especially if AKC knew in advance that they may be put on the defense). Remember AKC you are dealing with media who now a days it seems is looking more for sensationalism vs fact reporting! Sorry to say, the AKC representative in this segment was not very well prepped to answer most questions and really portrayed a weak position. It will now take a good marketing and public awareness plan on the part of the AKC to insure and properly educate the public what is really the mission of the AKC. How the AKC properly protects dogs and is not only a registry, but does promote the bred to standard dog in quality breeding and care programs. It is unfortunate, but I personally don’t believe that the AKC was well prepared for this interview and I would think that the Board of Directors may want to rethink who handles future media exposure for the AKC.

  19. Mama D says:

    This only supports my opionion that the news media editorialises their stories to fit their need to slant the opionions of the masses and brainwash them.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What a load of crap you need to meet a AKC breeders before you judge. We take care of our babies and they are part of our families. Very health too. Better then shelters more social developed and healthy. I have had pets come from shelter sick as can be and I will never do it again. I will only go to breeders. You guys really need to get your story straight, Keesha Indiana

  21. shakingmy headin disgust says:

    Also not mentioned was HSUS is strictly a lobbying entity for animal rights, virtually none of their money goes to help animals, it goes to Wayne Parcell huge salary and all kinds of perks for “employees” Peta killing animals they supposedly saved …..HSUS is also being investigated for various money issues. AKC could do some cleaning up of how they handle things, like allowing registrations of dogs not permitted by breeders, but they are a registry not a police force. High volume breeders are inspected, those not breeding so much are not
    I have bred for many years, I also rescue(unlike PETA who kills those they “save”) or HSUS that just tries to hog the media spotlight, while spending huge amounts of money on personal income. Shelters are importing dogs from other countries because apparently
    the population expolsion in this country is not enough to keep their shelters full of “adoptable” dogs. Now I have to say did anyone really expect NBC to report the truth????
    They have never done so they only care about an agenda, this has been so evident over the past 6 years especially. I never watch them anymore, I hope AKC pulls the National Dog show from that lame network, the coverage is horrible anyway.

  22. Charlotte Scot says:

    Folks, you are still looking backward and wallowing in yesterday’s news instead of responding with a plan to address the issues raised in the report: Bad breeders using the AKC name to sell sick puppies from miserable kennels. Until you take action to address the issue raised in the report you have nothing to complain about. If action has been taken yesterday, your timely, positive response probably would have been on the Today Show this morning. Obviously your choice. (I’ll stop butting in)

    • Kathy Tolf says:

      Since the entire focus of AKCs responsibilities have been erroneously reported, how would you suggest that the non-existent “AKC Registered Breeders” correct a problem they don’t have? Local jurisdictions already HAVE the authority and the rule of law to stop and prevent inhumane treatment of dogs, regardless of their parentage or registration body. Maybe, just maybe, people need to be responsible for the dogs THEY raise, sell, or purchase? Then again, look at what the USDA considers acceptable in feedlots and chicken houses commercially. Why would they have higher standards for pets than they do for the food we eat?

  23. grelen says:

    Sorry, never saw it. I quit watching the TODAY show a few months. Matt Lauer has become too much of an egotistical, rude and condescending jerk

  24. Ifyouonlyknew says:

    AKC I see no evidence of any type of defense through the media at all Why no announcments?? Are you gonna take this lying down?? What is your next step AKC? Please tell us.

  25. Charlotte Scott, the bad breeders name should be the one questioned, not the AKC. The breeder is there to deal with any sick puppies. The buyer needs to let breeder know & if not satisfied with the response, then the buyer needs to contact local agencies & AKC. Enough reports of lack of integrity of breeders will be looked into. And it is not yesterdays news when it affects AKC & good breeders in future. What part of AKC inspections didn’t you understand? Miserable conditions have always been reported by AKC. And you really don’t understand what HSUS & NBC did together, if you think the Today show is now going to show the AKC good side on air if they had given a timely positive response. How naive to think anyone who has just stabbed you in the back thru false accusations & outright lies is going to treat you right if you just admit to the lies & promise to do better.

  26. […] the final analysis, the Today Show story was fairly damning, and the AKC’s response […]

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