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AKC won't protect breed!
by tracey
AKC won't protect breed!In 1995, my husband & I wanted a second puppy. we were proud owners of a 5 lb yorkie and wanted another tiny bundle. We chose the maltese.(this was before we had internet access)we scoured the local papers,and found one local breeder in Wayne, NJ -- (snip). we went to her house, where she kept a litter of white fluffy pups. She told us that her "business partner" had a farm in another part of the state where the parents were located. now i know we should have walked out the door! but the little puffs of fur were so endearing! we fell in love with a little male pup, named him walley, paid for him and took him home. we were given akc papers. ruthann told us that our bundle would grow to about 7 lbs, which was fine for us. well, it wasn't long before walley grew above and beyond 7lbs. He's almost 3 now and weighs 15lbs. He also has long legs, a wide forehead, a very wide breast plate and curly hair. from the age of 6 mos., my vet, my groomer and my local pet shop owner have all agreed that walley is part bichon. everyone who sees him says he's a bichon! i was so angered with this information that i contacted the AKC immediately. i sent numerous photos. the AKC opened an investigation which took several months. i continually contacted them for updates on the investigation. finally, i received a letter from the AKC stating that they closed the investigation. they urged me, however, to immediately have walley neutered because he was such a poor example of the breed.

i have spoken with many experts in breeding and animal care since my ordeal with walley and the AKC. I am truly disheartened to discover that the $8-10 registration fees paid by breeders are ultimately more important than breed integrity. I know my dog is only "pet quality," but i believe that i am as much entitled to a purebred maltese as champion owners.

The AKC doesn't give a hoot about the unwitting and unknowledgeable pet owner. i am certain that walley is a mixbreed, yet the AKC will take my maltese registration money just the same.


I can understand that you are angry about this. But, if you love Wally, outside of the fact that you paid a few bucks to register him, what the heck. Carty, my rescue maltese, probably looks a whole lot like Wally, and he too had papers and his previous owner registered him. Apparently they never saw a good example of the breed because when I went to pick up Carty they looked at Lucy and asked me if I was sure she was really a maltese because she looked nothing like Carty. I'll say!! I assured them Luce was a 100% maltese girl, but I know they left not believing me. The fact of the matter is though, that despite his physique and his 13 lb and his lack of black eye rims, etc., Carty the Boo Boy has that wonderful loving maltese personality. And that's truly the best part. If you have no plans to breed Wally or show him, and if you love him because he's your baby, I think the AKC registration issue is not much to worry about. By the way, I didn't know that they would investigate the breeder...that is pretty interesting information as the puppy mills register their litters with AKC just like anyone else. I'd like to know more about this "investigation process."
cathy brown

Tracey ! First you said you fell in love..then you go on to say it was an ordeal ? I don't follow ? I have owned and bred Maltese's for 13 years and from time to time I get other peoples babies to sell because they can't deal with the public coming to their homes, NOT all Maltese's wind up 7 lbs, I have had the entire range from 2.5 to 23 lbs ! Yes you've read correctly 23 lbs! I have also seen at least 5 types of coats, that is one reason why NOT all of them can be show or breed ! It is NOT always the breeders fault they turn out that way. Your Vet is right in suggesting " Neuter" and enjoy.........love should be unconditional !
I have no answers for you, can only offer you a bit of empathy. I know that you have now learned the things that you did wrong, I do agree that there should be something the AKC could do, but this problem is entirely too large due to unscrupulous "breeders". I know that there is much going on in the way of DNA testing in the dog world, education of the public is the best defense against the rotten greedy fools who produce these pups. This is only one of many problems that come from puppy mills. Please check the links that are on this home page and read up about the puppy mill situation... It's heart breaking! If your dog is at least healthy then you should count yourself fortunate.
Leslie R
Hi Tracy, I know exactly how you feel, now that I found and visit this site everyday. My Taffy is big too. She looks like a maltese, but her legs are looooong. She has beautiful fur, but, the only problem with Taffy, if you want to get techincial, is that her legs are long, her ears flip back all the time, and her tail is bent on the end. (I don't know how that happened, maybe at birth). But, she's beautiful. I wrote a message in this forum a few weeks ago about "long legs Taffy". There are alot of readers out there too, that feel like we do. But, we see the good qualities in our little babies, we wouldn't trade them for anything in this whole world! Just think, if we didn't purchase these little ones, I don't want to think what would happen to them, where would they be today!
I think I can understand where Tracey is coming from. It's probably not that she doesn't love Walley, as much as it is she feels the AKC should take action to insure the breeds are kept true to standard. I mean, we are not talking about a bit of an off-coat or large size, we are talking about a large deviation from standard in several areas. It's not that it makes him less loveable, but the feeling that the organization should take steps to prevent this kind of poor breeding practices. That said, there isn't much you can do with the AKC at this point. You were perfectly right to report a possible problem to them, and maybe if enough people complain about that particular breeder, they will be able to do something. My guess is that there are limits and restrictions on what they are legally able to do. You might want to consider redirecting your anger into more positive channels. Read up on puppy mills and organizations dedicated to eradicating them. There is a post on reporting possible mills to that nice shelter in the mid-west that is trying to form a data base on them. It might take a long time, but if enough people complain and stop buying from petshops and irresponsible breeders, the general health, quality, and well being of purebred pets could only improve. If everyone would cary that list of questions to ask breeders (in directory in this site) with them before getting a puppy, only good things could happen. But change is not going to be overnight. I recently stopped one of my coworkers from getting a lab puppy at the local pet store or from a newspaper add. I gave her a copy of that list, and she is now looking for a good breeder. Just spread the word however you can, and love your dog regardless of his looks.
Tracy, I have also purchased a puppy from a breeder in Wayne named Ruthann. I wanted a 3-5lb maltese for pet only. She told me my Shelby would be under 5lbs. She is 9 months old and is 6.5lbs. I know I should have bought from a better breeder but the cost of these darlings was out of my reach. I paid half the price for Shelby then what these other breeders were asking. She is spayed and she did gain a little weight after. She is only 8 1/2 inches tall. I guess I was really lucky. I just wish that a person like myself who wants a pet not a show dog could still get a maltese within the standard size. I paid $600 which was alot for me. P.S. Shelby is the greatest, smartest, cutiest baby around!!
There is a similar AKC investigation in Miami. A "Breeder" has sold many dogs and not given over papers. When a person pursued this with AKC the investigation turned out her Maltese was never registered, and may not be purebred. She loves her dog, that's not the problem. Problem was fraud. I also called this breeder several times over the last several years, she never seems to have the parents on premises. Thought that was strange. She is still selling puppies, advertises in major dog magazine, etc. She wants this girl to sign a release when she refunds part of the purchase price. Why doesn't AKC do something or AMA?
Hi everyone! My KoKo is from a Pet store, (I know better now, Shayna is from a Breeder). KoKo is tall, long, 9.7 lbs and curly, but we call her "The Best Dog in the World", wish Shayna was as good. Anyway, a friend had me convinced she was part Poodle and one night I was in the Chat room and a Breeder from Canada said, she has bred for 25 years and knows her Maltese backgrounds, low and behold she got a KoKo from a 4.5 female and 5 lb male. I also saw KoKo's litter mate, she is the same size as Shayna and no curls. What I'm saying is, it can happen. My son has blue eyes, his father and I have brown, go figure? It's all in the genes.
Tracey, I hope that this is just a misunderstanding with the AKC and not the usual way that they carry on business. Honestly, I don't know much about its practices, but I would like to know more about why its representatives handled your situation the way they did. First of all, who does this breeder thinks (s)he is anyway? It sounds as though she misrepresented the pup to you and the AKC; that alone is cause for an investigation by some legal authoritative body. Perhaps there's another kind of consumer group or animal activist organization out there willing to hear your case and most importantly, make a big deal out of it. If this is so, all parties involved should be terminated as this to me sounds like fraud coupled with negligence! I can only hope that such a reputable club AT LEAST refund you any monies you had to pay for registering a Maltese thats not. Meanwhile, hugs and kisses to Walley. I'm sure you love him a whole bunch. Keep us posted.
Liz C.
Tracey, this website might be of interest to you: http://home.ptd.net/~watchdog/

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