Mr.Alfred L Cheaure
Mr. David C. Merriam
American Kennel Club
51 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010-1609

Dear Mr. Cheaure and Mr. Merriam:

There is a national disgrace in this country which your organization supports and sustains. It is the huge, shameless industry of greed known as the puppy mills.

From the reports of first-hand experience, I know that at best the mill breeding dogs are confined in small pens walking on wires and enduring pain and suffering for life. Their nutrition is so poor that their teeth fall out, their gums rot with infection, and often their salivary glands swell into painful lumps. They suffer from all types of afflictions-bulging hernias, tumors, infected anal glands, urinary tract infections, ovarian cysts, brittle reproductive organs, uterine infections, ear mites, itching, painful skin disorders. The bare bones cost-cutting greed of the millers restricts expenses for nutrition and health care. How much money the dogs can produce in their brief lives is the only concern of the millers.

The females fare the worst, of course, since they are bred every season and bear litter after litter of puppies often in excruciating pain due to their general poor health and lack of exercise. Many die giving birth or suffer multiple caesareans. When their bodies have given out and they can no longer produce, it is time to kill them.

Litters of sickly, suffering, often genetically defective puppies are sold in bulk to brokers who transport them without mercy to distant stores where they can be sold for maximum profit. A large percentage of the puppies die in transit to the stores , or soon after their arrival in homes.

These are AKC Registered puppies. It is the name that tells the public they are purebred dogs and establishes their price tags. This registration is the role you play in this tragic, shameful business, and it is a critical role for all the other players-the greedy millers, the ruthless brokers, and the unscrupulous pet store owners.

You have the power to stop this monstrous cruelty, and it is inconceivable that you do not have the integrity to do so. The registration of litters from mass producing, substandard breeders is grossly inconsistent with any mission statement of furthering the interests of purebred dogs. It defiles your name and trashes your paperwork.

I insist that you establish and enforce requirements and limitations for dog-breeding establishments, that you restrict the use of your name to ethical, humane breeders, that you restore moral health to your organization.

For all the dogs now suffering in their cages, begging, hoping, crying in pain and desperation, I write this. I want you to think of them also, day and night.