American Kennel Club Wants 2016 World Dog Show Moved from Russia Over Anti-Gay Laws


The American Kennel Club has called on the FCI to move the World Dog Show from Russia where it is scheduled to take place in 2016, because of Russia's human rights abuses against gay people.

KalterHere's the letter, via

Dear Rafael,

One of the most compelling aspects of the human-canine bond – cherished internationally more than ever before – is the fact that our dogs love us unconditionally. Dogs do not discriminate. Gender, race, sexual orientation and other status do not enter the equation of responsible pet ownership. That is why the American Kennel Club and our constituency are puzzled and disappointed by the decision to allow Russia to host the 2016 World Dog Show. The proliferation of anti-gay and lesbian laws in Russia today is both disturbing and shocking to our community. The choice of this country as a venue for such a prestigious dog show flies in the face of the ideals of the human-canine bond.

On behalf of the American Kennel Club, our member clubs, and the American purebred dog fancy, we urge you to move the 2016 World Dog Show from Russia to a nation that respects and upholds human rights for all its citizens. The international dog community deserves to enjoy the World Dog Show in a place that stands for freedom and equal rights for all. AKC cannot and will not support participation in the 2016 World Dog Show if it is held in Russia.

As exhibitors, breeders, handlers and trainers, we teach our dogs many things. But there is no denying, they teach us too. Our bond with dogs is not defined by the type of person who holds the leash. We cannot support competition in an environment where tolerance does not exist.

Yours respectfully,

Alan T. Kalter (pictured)
Chairman of the Board

Dennis B. Sprung
President and CEO

Allan Reznik, the Editor-in-Chief of Dog Channel, also announced that a scheduled feature on Russia for its November 2016 issue would be pulled:

A boycott of the Olympic Games is being called for and with the World Dog Show scheduled for Moscow in 2016 the FCI is facing pressure to change its venue unless these violations of basic human rights are rescinded. AKC President Dennis Sprung and Chairman Alan Kalter issued a courageous statement protesting Russian President Putin’s anti-gay law.

We have many gay breeders, exhibitors, handlers and judges proudly participating in our sport worldwide. In light of Russia’s violation of these basic human rights, and given the strides that have been made recently in the USA with respect to equal rights, DOMA defeat, etc., we at Dogs in Review feel it would be inappropriate to feature Russia in our November International Issue. We are not feeling particularly celebratory toward that country. Moreover, we urge our American judges with invitations to officiate in Russia to reconsider their assignments, at a time when visitors traveling there could be arrested and detained, with the blessing of the Russian government.


  1. jamal49 says

    Good for them!!! This is what it will take folks. It won’t change Russian law because Russia is firmly in the grip of its long history of cancerous xenophobia and homophobia. But, it will send a message to Russia and the world that enlightened societies do not pass laws that will make a segment of its population outlaws and criminals based on erroneous interpretation of biblical myths and opportunistic homophobia to buttress corrupt political administrations.

    Next up: let’s start boycotting all the American corporations who are buying commercial time from NBC to display their product propaganda during the Winter Olympics in 2016.

  2. Rexford says

    I love this. These are the type of going-forward actions that are necessary. And I wish FIA would put an end to any consideration for holding a Formula 1 Grand Prix race in Sochi in 2014. This is supposed to be the inaugrual race at a new track the Russians are building. It had been penciled in for October of next year, but the Russians missed the August 1 paperwork filing date, so it’s now in question. It should be in question for human rights reasons, especially since Formula 1 is such an international sport. Putin’s been personally involved in this, so it would be a nice slap-down.

  3. Festus says

    The AKC isn’t more responsible than the Olympic Committee, they have a much greater span of time to make other arrangements, and they have YEARS to put pressure on Russia.

    They are working within the parameters of reality, something we all should take note of, because that’s what works, not knee-jerk reactionarianism.

  4. Zlick says

    I’m not surprised that an organization in such close connection with the unconditional love machines that are DOGS is so much more in tune with what love should be in the human sphere. Thank you, AKC. This brightened my world.

  5. Robert Flanders says

    Thank you for taking such a courageous and responsible step towards human rights, fairness and tolerance. I had already “Shared” on Facebook and written the following BEFORE I read the AKC’s letter posted here to the FCI: “This is because the AKC has much better humanitarian ethics than the International Olympic Committee. For the AKC it’s all about the dogs and people, for the IOC it’s all about the $$money and sponsors!”

  6. alex says

    @Festus: Exactly. Those calling for the IOC to move the games out of Russia are out-of-touch with reality. While it’s conceivable that Vancouver could get venues ready, it would be impossible to change flights, hotels, and other travel-related reservations for the athletes, media, delegations, and spectators.

    For massive events like the Olympics, contracts for things like hotels are very strict. Any group attempting to cancel a contract now would likely lose 100% of their money. If the IOC changed cities, Russian businesses would keep all that money without having to provide any good or services. That’s kind of the opposite of any boycott is supposed to accomplish.

  7. Thomas Cardellino says

    Thank you immensely, AKC officials and members! Those loving “best friends of humankind” that you spend your lives raising for their aid, affection and devotion to humankind all have more integrity in their cold noses than those millions of Russian State and Russian Orthodox charlatans could ever muster from amongst their human-hating empty souls!

  8. Alena says

    Oh I guess that for KFC is much more important sex relationships between people. And they do not care or think about popularization of dog breeds. I am very disappointed.

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