AKC Opposing Bills to Support Rescue of Dogs Trapped in Hot Cars


What’s wrong with the American Kennel Club?

The AKC now actively opposing two bills in Illinois which would allow bystanders to rescue dogs from hot cars. Supporters note the bills could still be tweaked. And law enforcement – who must according to the bills be contacted before breaking into save a pet in distress – is still offering input.

I don’t comprehend why the AKC wants to see the bills go down in flames while each year in Illinois, and around the nation, people sadly do continue to leave dogs to die in hot cars. It appears the AKC’s primary concern is property value of vehicles, not dogs that do die in hot cars.

Check them out for yourself, Illinois House Bill 4191 and Senate Bill 2294.

I have three questions:

  1. Why does the AKC even weigh in on this. Here’s the AKC’s mission statement:  “The American Kennel Club is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.” How does this have anything to do with their mission?
  2. However, the AKC tagline, according to their new website, is “For the love of all things dog.” I get it, love of all things dog – not love of all things automotive. In their opposition (and sources tell me they’ve opposed similar bills in other states), they express concern about damage to vehicles and no legal recourse for owners of those vehicles, dogs being stolen from cars, dogs getting lost (which I suppose could happen, but is a dog dying a horrible death better?) And with law enforcement and the bystander on hand, what are the odds that the dog – likely in physical distress, can run or will run off?
  3. About dogs being stolen – called “dog flipping” when they are re-sold for profit – I’m unsure then what the AKC is saying. People will break into cars just to steal dogs?  So, apparently, the AKC is saying people are likely to maintain a dog is in distress and make that up just to  steal the dog with law enforcement right there? How often will that happen? Meanwhile the AKC actively supports dogs and cats sold at pet stores (and strongly opposes law to ban these sales), when those animals are likely from puppy mills. So, in that sense the AKC is supportive of puppy mills.

The AKC even points this out in their own alert – and the have to because it’s true:  “The bills do require that the person attempt to call a law enforcement officer, emergency medical services officer, an animal control officer, or 9-1-1; and also require the person remain with the animal until they arrive.”

I’m confused.  Again, one thing to say these bills require adjusting, another to not only actively oppose but ask their constituency to write legislators in opposition.

I suppose I can add a fourth question: Does what the AKC says even matter any more? Aside from having the dollars to hire lobbyists, why should it matter? And far be it from me to suggest what the AKC does, but it seems their efforts to oppose laws intent on preventing animals from dying in hot cars is very odd and unfortunate. Why don’t they work on simply improving these bills if they have issues? I more and more miss the AKC I once knew.