AKC’s super-secret Puppy Registration & Inventory Management Extranet (PRIME) online pet shop software is “designed to add puppies to inventory, view puppy information, and sell and return puppies.”
When the Delegates rebelled against AKC’s contract with Petland in 2006, The Dog Press cautioned against complacency, predicting that a financial alliance between the American Kennel Club, pet shops and puppy mill was in fact, not off the table.
© TheDogPress 12|31|09 – PRIME was copyrighted in early 2009 but development must have begun at a time when the fancy had summarily rejected any pet shop deals. PRIME goes far beyond Petland as it appears to be for all pet shop outlets. The cost (paid to an outside firm) must have been staggering.
Our researchers were unable to find any mention of PRIME on the AKC website so the editor called David Roberts, VP in charge of registration. As in the past, he cordially refused to answer any questions without the approval of AKC President, Dennis Sprung. We called Mr. Sprung who refused the call. The editor then emailed 5 simple questions to Sprung and Roberts. AKC’s non-response is included below. We can assume that AKC is not one bit happy that we are revealing the pet shop program in its entirety. Rest assured, The Dog Press is not happy about exposing PRIME but our readers expect and deserve the facts.
Insiders can examine the complete AKC document what PRIME does for pet shop & puppy mills (be patient, huge file, with images) and how the program works but here is a brief overview for the entire fancy. Insiders will appreciate the back-story, The New AKC, a letter sent to “valued breeders” announced special offers, assistance with “registration paperwork and pedigrees of dogs that are currently not registered the AKC”, “breeder education/support at seminars and on-site visits”, and other inducements for high volume breeders such as “registration coupons” and assistance “with the DNA costs.” We are told show breeders did not receive this letter.
PRIME is an editable, searchable, online software inventory and transfer application for pet shops, designed to facilitate locating, registering a puppy, and handling the return of pet shop puppies. Through user name and password, store employees can access puppies available at that location and other “authorized personal” have access to multiple stores.
The inventory enables pet shops chains to “view/display/sort” the current puppy inventory and “print puppy forms.” Users can “return a puppy” or “search for a puppy” as well as “edit and/or sell a puppy.”
Contrary to the Delegates vote in 2006, full breeding AKC registration can be purchased at the store. If not purchased at the time of sale, buyers receive a “Simplified AKC Dog Registration Application” for a flat fee of $29.95 which may be submitted online or by mail.
Customers have 21 days in which to return the puppy and that too is easily handled through the PRIME program. Gone is the breeder-instilled commitment to a new puppy. Gone is the traditional breeder support. The sales-aid return policy can lead to unnecessary stress, mismanage, or abuse of puppies.
We were unable to determine what happens when a puppy is registered and named at the store. If returned, does it keep the name “Bowser” or is the next owner allowed to re-name the dog? Remember, after 200 years, AKC recently announced that new owners can change a dog’s name – for a fee. Are pet shops charged the same fee? Was the new service a secret solution for complications of PRIME puppy returns?
“Dogs can also be added to the general inventory by the AKC based on the AKC’s assessment of the dog’s pedigree.” The store has only to fax pedigrees (plural) for non-AKC dogs and the AKC staff will determine if the dog is eligible for AKC registration within two business days. Now that’s service! Eligible dogs will then be automatically uploaded to the inventory. More on the implications of registering non-AKC litters later.
Bearing in mind that store staff may not know a Brittany from a Cocker, the online Puppy Registration & Inventory Management system makes it easy. Puppies can be added to inventory and transferred to new owners in one step.
The puppy’s microchip number and/or store number can also be added. It appears that microchips are inserted at the puppy mill facilities at a very young age. That way there’s no need to keep puppies in litter lots while being trucked across country. Properly inserted microchips make it possible to regroup littermates and ascertain pedigrees from mass-breeding operations.
The buyer’s names and contact information are entered online, including website if any, all of which provides a permanent record of who bought what, the transaction amount, etc. but we assume credit card and other private info is adequately protected and not shared with any other agencies.
Opportunity to justify or further explain PRIME was offered to the AKC President and the Registration Dept. Vice President as follows in part:
We would prefer to include a response from AKC along with information on the program. Everyone is painfully aware of the drop in registration income and speaking for myself and our readers, we want AKC to continue as the nation’s number one registry. We can report the news but providing rationale for the program would be better done by your offices.
1. Was PRIME developed before or after the Petland contract fell through?
2. Is it currently in effect?
3. Is the software or service available for show breeders?
4. Can any HVB or pet shop access and use it?
5. Where is the PRIME program published on the AKC website?
We received this emailed response from David Roberts, Monday, 12/28/09
Your questions refer to an internal business matter. Because of the competitive nature of our business, we are unable to provide you with confidential information regarding this, or any other business process.
VP Registration Services
American Kennel Club
The Dog Press understands that the American Kennel Club has always registered puppy mill puppies, and why that must be so. We do not however, accept the purported AKC financial crisis as an excuse for actively seeking to corner the High Volume Breeders market. If AKC were to do as many other large corporations have done, i.e. cut their Presidential Salaries, stop discounting to puppy mills while raising fees for show breeders and clubs, and most of all, promote the concept of buying a well-bred purebred from a show breeder, the American Kennel Club and its subsidiary not-for-profit entities could continue to show a very profitable bottom line.
In the meantime, what AKC once termed its core constituency will continue to desert the pack. Perhaps that is the goal. If that be so, The Dog Press should be rewarded for releasing what has been termed “the hottest story of the year.” If you care about quality purebreds and the future of the sport, stay tuned, there’s more to come.
You have a very informative, well structured blog. We have no problem with granting permission and I’ll drop the form reply below. Just wanted to personally thank you for your conscientious and professional contribution to dogs.
As regards PRIME, you are welcome to use or extract from the introductory article but the links within the article (AKC salaries, the recent letter to puppy mills, and the entire PRIME program) only open for paid ($19 per year) Insider subscribers and are copy-proof. You might want to explain to your blog readers that the free information is only one facet of the documented AKC collusion with puppy mills and pet shops.
We appreciate your interest in helping us disseminate credible information and therefore, we grant reprint permission PROVIDED you copy the entire article exactly as published, including the (bolded) introduction and byline – author, copyright, publication link, and date.
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