The American Kennel Club was founded in 1884 and is the largest purebred dog registry in the world. The AKC is a "club of clubs", in that it does not currently accept individual memberships, and nearly 5,500 clubs are members of, licensed by, or affiliated with the AKC.
If your dog is lost or stolen, and later recovered, your AKC registration certificate might be used as proof that you are the owner of the dog, especially if the other party cannot provide anything to substantiate their ownership claim. A tattoo or microchip linked to the AKC registration number could strengthen your case.
With a growing number of municipalities instituting breed restrictions our outright bans on certain breeds of dogs--and most animal control officers unfamiliar with the finer points of purebred dog breeds--an AKC registration may vital allow you to keep a dog of a breed that is not restricted but has similar physical traits.
The AKC puts on thousands of dog events each year, including conformation shows; agility, obedience, and rally trials; and herding, hunting, and earth dog events. Only dogs that are registered with the AKC, or in some cases those that have an alternate AKC listing, can compete in AKC-sanctioned events.
The American Kennel Club created a Canine Health Foundation whose purpose is to fund research into health issues that affect all dogs. The AKC donates $1 million annually to the CHF, and your registration dollars allow them to continue to do so.
An increasing number of anti-pet laws are proposed each year. The AKC, along with other dog owner associations, work to educate legislators and the public about responsible dog ownership, and propose reasonable alternatives to legislation that more effectively address the issues at hand. The AKC also sponsors Responsible Dog Ownership Days throughout the month of September, to inform and encourage people about what it means to be a responsible dog owner.
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