AKC Dirty Spots!

Morris Animal Foundation was started in 1948 by Dr. Mark Morris Sr. to study ways to help prevent, treat and cure animal illnesses.  What Dr. Morris intended for the foundation to be and what it is now are probably two different things.  It is now a way for the Animal rights groups to make money!  The Morris Animal Foundation is used by the AKC Breed clubs to donate money for research in their specific areas of interest.  This money is then granted out to the many different research facilities such as UC of Davis WHO HAD gross receipts in 2011 of 3.6 BILLION dollars.  And where did that money come from?

There is BIG money is genetic research.  The University of California also receives huge amounts of money from government sources.  “Awards from the federal government rose to $400 million from $380 million the previous year. The largest single sponsor among federal awards was the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health. DHHS grants to UC Davis researchers totaled $195 million. The U.S. Department of Agriculture was the second largest source of federal funds, awarding $56 million. The National Science Foundation was third at $48 million…..Funding from the state of California increased sharply. The 2011-12 total was $139 million, compared to $99 million in 2010-11 and $60 million in 2009-10.”

Just this past year, the Dalmatian Club of America gave the Morris Animal Foundation over $20,000.00 that will eventually be transferred to the University of California. An example of the poor and shoddy work that the UC Davis performs with the money that is donated by cash strapped breed clubs to the Morris Animal Foundation and distributed to the UC Davis was for a gene test developed specifically for Dalmatians that are known for being unique in their processing of uric acid.

The webpage that advertises the “test” states “Dogs that carry two copies of the mutation  [Solute carrier family 2, member 9 (SLC2A9)] will be affected and susceptible to develop bladder/kidney stones.”  The misleading information in this statement is that the test is not capable of determining if a dog will be affected with bladder/kidney stones and that the test was developed only to determine if a dog carries the specific gene that ALL Dalmatians carry although only a very small percentage of Dalmatians ever form stones.  All dogs are susceptible to bladder/kidney stones regardless if they carry this one specific gene or not.  This information was already known back in 1938 by research done by Trimble and Klemperer.  Every test for each dog costs $50.00 through the UC Davis genetics laboratory and is being promoted to be used on every breed of dog.

Although AKC breed clubs are thought to have the last word on the standard and direction of the purebred they represent, Jim Crowley of the AKC board feels differently.  The DCA was sent a letter from Mr. Crowley that was published in the Fall 2010 Spotter that was to be signed by the President of the DCA which included “Agreement: *The Board of the Dalmatian club of America acknowledges that in accordance with ARTICLE X, SECTION 5 and 6 of the AKC Bylaws, The Board of American Kennel Club is the final authority on all matters pertaining to registration and pedigrees and will issue no communication challenging that authority. *The Board of The Dalmatian Club of America understands that the AKC Board of Directors will ultimately take a vote on the registration of the backcross descendants. *The Dalmatian Club of America will do a health study on the LUA/HUA backcross Dalmatians using the CHIC/DNA survey that is available to all breeds and present the results to the AKC and the DCA membership. *The Dalmatian Club of America Board agrees to a membership vote on the registration question by June 2011”  There are other agreements within the letter.  The DCA membership had just taken a vote in late 2008 with a decision AGAINST registration.  The backcross supporters refused to work with the DCA and threatened to use animal rights groups against the breed club.

The committee of the AKC Health & Welfare Advisory in 2010 who decided whether or not to register the “backcross” or “LUA” Dalmatian consisted of scientists Sandra Barker, PhD; Jerold Bell, DVM; Eddie Dziuk, MBA; John Hamil, DVM; Joan Hendricks, VMD, PhD; Linda Lord, DVM, PhD; Colleen O’Keefe, DVM, MS; Patricia Olson, DVM (of the HSVMA, AHA, HSUS animal rights groups), PhD; Elaine Ostrander (Dalmatian Club of America), PhD; Frances Smith, DVM, PhD, DACT.  The 2010 AKC board minutes included an attachment that explained their “reasoning” for recommendation of registration.  The reasoning in their explanation was practically copied and pasted from the UC DAVIS webpage.

“The issue goes beyond inbreeding. Quality control is an important part of any good business but is largely absent from dog breeding, says Jerold Bell, clinical associate professor of genetics at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, who serves on the AKC’s Canine Health and Welfare Advisory Panel. ….The AKC is unlikely to make testing mandatory, Bell notes, adding that such a requirement would drive less responsible breeders to simply register their puppies elsewhere: “They won’t miss a beat in terms of what they’re doing.” Quoted from the HSUS website.  What Dr. Bell failed to say was the lack of quality in the genetic tests that are available.  He failed to state that the tests may not be accurate and that some breeders do not agree that the tests prove what they claim such as the “urate stone test” for Dalmatians.  Andrew N. Rowan, chief scientific Officer for the HSUS, was the director of the Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy (part of the same Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Jarod Bell) and is very involved with the NRC and the Human Genome Project (genetics).

Michele G. Markoff, Troika Dalmatians,  United States Department of State coordinator for International Critical Infrastructure Protection (National Defense for cyber terrorism), was extremely helpful as a member of the Dalmatian Club of America.  She was always first to greet a newcomer to the show ring.  She and DR. IRVIN  Krukenkamp, National Institute of Health, former DCAF board member (resigned), former Stony Brook Heart Surgeon, owner of DCA Digital Media, owner of the competitor magazine of the DCA Spotter, E-Dalmatians and very well qualified as a researcher/grant writer, were both instrumental in helping the BACKCROSS dogs in gaining registration with the AKC even though Dr. Krukenkamp was specifically asked on a Dalmatian Club of America forum what research guidelines such as that used by cardiology researchers were used in the backcross experiment.  He refused to reply to the question.  Dr. Krukenkamp was questioned repeatedly on the DCA forum about backcross.  He worked closely with Denise Powell, Dr. Danika Bannasch, Dr. Robert Schaible, Ken and Eva Berg and Mary LYNN JENSEN.

Mary Lynn Jensen, a DCAF board member, an owner of backcross dalmatians and extremely active in promoting the Backcross line of Dalmatians, was kind enough to answer questions on the DCA forum.  In 2008 during the backcross registration discussion in the DCA,  Mary Lynn Jensen replied to a question about high uric acid being the cause of urate stones.  She said that “Researchers *have* looked at this issue for many years from many different angles and have never been able to identify a *single* factor that causes this condition to occur.”  In essence,  Mary Lynn Jensen PHD said that high uric acid is NOT the cause of urate stones in Dalmatians.  Adding to the mystery of Ms. Jensen’s words was an email sent from her on November 13 2012 to a prospective puppy buyer “…yes it is possible to breed a Dalmatian that will not ever have urate stone problems.  The high uric acid levels found in most Dalmatians (and humans) are caused by a simple recessive gene and so by breeding carefully to a descendant from a one-time out cross to a Pointer more than 35 years ago, it is possible to produce Dalmatians who carry copies of the gene for normal levels of uric acid.” An EXACT quote from Ms. Jensen’s email.

A motive for gaining AKC registration of a line of dogs was/is money.  Dogs that cannot be registered in the AKC are sold for a much lower price than AKC registered dogs.

For those that have never been involved in the all high and mighty AKC breed clubs, friends are what makes the dog.  It is NOT about the dogs.  When a person buys a dog from a breeder, that breeder becomes their ‘mentor.”  The mentor becomes the inductor of the puppy buyer to the breed club.  The influence the mentor has over the new puppy owner is immense.  Not only does the buyer rely on the mentor for advice about their new puppy but also to be shown “the ropes” in the breed club and breeding.  If that new puppy owner wishes to continue in the breed club, they follow the mentor in their breeding programs hoping to heaven that they didn’t get involved with the seedy part of the AKC.  Most have heard the phrase in real estate “location, location, location, it’s everything.”  In the AKC world, it’s “connections, connections, connections, it’s everything.”

Founding PARTNERS of DCAF includes Dalmatian Club of Northern California (DNA), Mr and Mrs. Robert Lawson and James W. Smith. The DNA club was formed as the North American Dalmatian Association in 2002 by the late Cathy Murphy and revived in 2008, when the name was changed to Dalmatians of North America by Denise Powell who takes credit for reviving the backcross experiment and received the 2012 El Blanco Award from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

In tax year 2008, the Dalmatian Club of America took an expense of 17,345.00 off of their revenue titled “DCAF contributions.”  DCAF is a separate 501 C 3 with an employer identification number of 61-1280243.  On guidestar, tax return for DCAF in 2008 is missing.  The treasurer for DCA in the 2008 tax year was Meg Ispas Hennessey.  Mrs. Hennessey, at the Board meeting in November of 2008, reported an income of 185,542.92 from January 1, 2008 thru October 31, 2008.  On the DCA tax return 2008, filed May of 2009, DCA showed an income of 185,160.00.  EXPLANATION FOR THE $382.92 SHORTAGE DIFFERENCE?????  And in the Feb. 2009 board meeting minutes for DCA,  Mrs. Hennessey reported a total income for DCA IN 2008 as $191260.16 FOR A TOTAL SHORATAGE OF $6100.16.

In 2009, DCA claimed an expense of 42,316.11 for “printing, publications, postage and shipping.” With revenue from membership dues of 25798.30 at $30.00 per person dues fee, there would be approx. 859 members of the DCA.  42 thousands dollars for printing and publications for 859 members would divide out to be almost $50.00 per person to receive the DCA magazine, the Spotter, ballots (none in 2009), and bill notifications.  The Spotter is the National Publication quarterly magazine.  In Part III #29 of the 2009 tax return for DCA, they claim $39,540.41 in expense for the “national publication.”  For 859 members, the cost of 4 magazines per year per member is $46.03.  OUTRAGEOUS!  The Spotter is however a lovely magazine.  Pictures of the prettiest spotted dogs you’ll ever see.  The price for breeders to advertise their dog in that magazine ranges in the neighborhood from $65-$500.  In a typical Spotter, there are about 100 pages.

 

The Dalmatian Club of America Foundation Inc. (DCAF), President James W Smith,  on their 2009 tax form dated 5/6/2010 gave a grant to the Liskin Foundation in the amount of $4200.00  Robert B. Lawson of Naples FL was the treasurer of the DCAF at the time.  During that year, the DCAF also spent $9860.00 on “genetic Health testing” even after the DCA membership had voted against any registration of the backcross descendants.   According to the treasurer’s report of April 4th 2009,  Mr. Lawson “refunded a donation check in the amount of $4200.00.”  A DCA member verbally questioned a board member, Diana Skibinski (presently an AKC delegate), about this money.  She refused to answer the question.  On the tax return for DCAF, there is no mention of any refund to any foundation or organization even though the treasurer report shows that DCAF was in the negative by 399.57 for the 1st quarter because of the ”refund”.  At that Board Meeting  DCAF Directors present were Mrs. Diana Skibinski (FOLKLORE Dalmatians), Mrs. Norma Baley(FIRESPRITE Dalmatians), John Cramer, Marjorie Doane, Dr J. Charles Garvin, Meg Ispas-Hennessey (SnoHill Dalmatians),  Laura Lightholder, Julia Soukup, Connie Wagner, Sheila Wymore, and Sharon Boyd.

The Joseph and Ida Liskin Foundation Inc. EIN 13-3215520, Mary and David Lisken (members of the Dalmatian Club of America) on tax return for 2009 dated 5/31/2010 gave a grant of $5000.00 to the Dalmatian Health and Research for general purposes.    Dalmatian Research and Health Institute,  in care of  Sharon A. Coleman, PO Box 168 Millbrae CA shows an income of $0 on “FindTheBest” non-profit search.    Searching a little farther, the Attorney General for the State of California website also showed No Records Found for available tax form 990s. The “opening”  date shows 09/2009.

Ms. Coleman is a poster on the “ShowDals” online list for a group of people that show their Dalmatians in UKC, AKC and other registry events.  She is the proud owner of Roscoe, Ch. Tovarich Pacifica Tanforan (a son of Denise Powell’s Aberdeen Sawyer Brown) and very well versed in how to conduct club activities as well as bylaws and parliamentary rules.  The “ShowDals” list is primarily made up of people that are  Dalmatian owners, members of the Dalmatian Club of America, Dalmatian Club of North America and/or people that support the genetic research at UC Davis. Ms. Coleman owns a dog that was bred by Denise Powell.

The Dalmatian Club of America Foundation Inc. (DCAF) on their 2009 tax form dated 5/6/2010 gave a grant of $2500.00 to the AKC Foundation. The same AKC Foundation that provides grants to the University of California.   The AKC Foundation treasurer is Dr. Charles Garvin, previous President of the Dalmatian Club of America, an AKC delegate for the Marion Kennel club since 1990, a member of the American Kennel Club Board of Directors and still attends DCA meetings.

Dr. J. Charles Garvin’s mother, Betty Garvin, was a prominent breeder in the Dalmatian Club of America.  Upon her death, Dr. Garvin with the Dalmatian Club of America Foundation established the Betty Garvin Memorial Speaker Fund.  The fund was formed to underwrite speakers for the annual specialty show of the DCA.  Is it a coincidence that Patti Strand, Dr. J. Charles Garvin, Elaine Ostrander, Diana Skibinski, Norma Baley and James W. Smith all have influence within the AKC and DCA boards?  Mrs. Diana Skibinski, for instance, very adamantly tried to convince a very vocal DCA member to tone down her distaste for the Backcross Theory.  In fact, Mrs. Skibinski tried to “cut a deal” with this DCA member to “tag” the backcross line on their registration papers to gain the membership support for registration of the backcross Dalmatians and has on more than one occasion paid Dr. Krukenkamp to advertise her dogs in his E-Dalmatians magazine.  The DCA member refused to “deal” with Mrs. Skibinski.   Is it a coincidence that the very first speaker for the National Specialty in 2007, paid for by the Betty Garvin Memorial fund, was Dr. Danika Bannasch?

Dr. Danika Bannasch is the Professor at the UC of Davis that was given a grant by the Morris Foundation to investigate why Dalmatians form urate stones.  She gave a lecture at the DCA National Specialty in 2007.  Dr. Bannasch’s presentation included her thoughts that the research was going very slowly.  In the Summer issue of the Spotter 2008, the DCA magazine, Carroll Weiss published an article that included research that was being conducted in England by MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, about the SLC2A9 gene that was published in April of 2008 in the NIH website.  That following August, Dr. Bannasch used that information and published an article stating that the SLC2A9 transport gene was the cause for urate stones in Dalmatians.  Dr. Bannasch is FULLY aware that only a very small percentage of Dalmatians form urate stones although “ALL” Dalmatians carry the SLC2A9 gene mutation.

Danika Bannasch, DVM, PhD, Professor of Genetics, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, nominated Powell for the El Blanco honor. “Denise revived an almost dead breeding experiment to produce ‘normal’ Dalmatians that will never develop urate bladder stones,” Bannasch explains. “We used these dogs to identify the gene and causative mutation for excretion of high levels of urate in Dalmatian urine.”  An excellent question for Dr. Bannasch would be:  “If ALL Dalmatians carry the SLC2A9 genetic mutation and only a few produce urate stones, how can you state that replacing that mutation with the ‘wild” gene will prohibit a dog from forming urate stones when more than the majority of dogs do not form urate stones with this mutation?  And what about forming other kinds of stones?  Mixed breed dogs, that supposedly do not carry the SLC2A9 mutation, are higher producers of stones than any breed of dog.  Most people view a mutation as a problem.  However, every single living organism carries mutations without any disease as a result.

The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation had gross receipts of 4.6 Million dollars for the year of 2011 and held 11.3 Million in total assets at the end of the year.  They were kind enough to grant 1.7 million to “canine health research projects that meet high scientific standards and have the greatest potential to address the diversity of canine health concerns and advance the health of dogs, as well as, communicate health information to breeders, handlers, veterinarians, researchers, and ALL pet owners.”  135,385.00 of the 1.7 Million in grants went to foreign assistance.  Terry Warren CEO/Attorney is the only paid “officer” of the foundation at 155,076.00 and 60,723.00 from related organizations. Patti Strand, member of the Dalmatian Club of America, Served on the AKC PAC Board, and NAIA National Director, member of the AKC Board of Directors motioned for the AKC board to approve the 2011 budget.

Terry Warren CEO and Attorney for the AKC Canine Health Foundation was a speaker at Patti Strand’s NAIA conference this year (2012) along with Dr. Gerald L. Rushin of the USDA APHIS who has wholeheartedly supported the proposed regulation to include anyone that sells ONE puppy away from their premises to be regulated by the USDA making almost everyone that has one litter fall under the ENORMOUS regulations of a USDA kennel.  Playing musical chairs at the NAIA conference costs ONE person $250.00 in CALIFORNIA!

The American Kennel Club (AKC) had $0.00 in contributions and grants but had 46.7 Million dollars in program service revenue and another 8.8 million dollars in “other revenue”.  So what qualifies this business to run as a non-profit?  That is a good question for the IRS.  Part IV question 14 B asks if the organization had revenues or expenses of more than $10,000 from grant making, fundraising, business, and program service activities outside the U.S.  Answer YES: Explanation: American Kennel Club has entered into an agreement with noted General Kennel Club, headquartered in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to assist them in establishing and maintaining a comprehensive registry of breeds of purebred dogs in the PRC. Combined Total for activities outside the U.S. equaled 7.5 MILLION dollars.  The activities conducted were “program services” and “INVESTMENTS”.

The AKC omitted an answer to the question on lobbying (Part IV 4) on their 2010 tax return and on Question 6: Did the organization maintain any donor advised funds or any similar funds or accounts where donors have the right to provide advice on the distribution or investment of amounts in such funds or accounts?  Answer NO.  “The Canine Legislative Support Fund is used to educate and lobby elected officials on your behalf at the federal, state, and local levels and to ensure your rights as a responsible dog owner are protected. These funds may not be used to contribute to political campaigns. AKC Political Action Committee (PAC) funds are used to contribute to campaigns to help elect dog-friendly leadership in congress and state houses across the nation. PAC funds may not be used to lobby officials once they are in office or to influence legislation. They may only be used in campaigns.”

“AKC lead the way in defeating California’s mandatory spay/neuter bill in 2007-2008.  The Challenge as thus far netted $54,000, with some clubs donating above the suggested $300.00.  AKC PAC suggests that a portion of a club’s annual dues be designated for PAC.”  However, AKC breed clubs have their own Mandatory Spay Neuter Contract.

Almost ALL breeders that belong to an AKC/UKC Breed Club REQUIRE anyone not buying a puppy to show in an AKC/UKC event to have their puppy spayed or neutered, a form of Mandatory Spay/Neuter.  This provides the breeder with security so that the buyer cannot start their own line of dogs and reduces genetic diversity in the breeds.  A standard reply to a prospective buyer will read “Pet pups are sold on spay/neuter contracts with limited registration, which means that pups purchased for other than show cannot be bred.”  These breeders will not even allow you to register your dog with the AKC/UKC until AFTER the buyer proves that the pup has been desexed.  If you do wish for your puppy to remain intact with its reproductive organs, YOU MUST SIGN A CONTRACT THAT SAYS YOU WILL SHOW YOUR DOG IN AKC/UKC EVENTS!  This is not just expensive, it’s extremely expensive.  A weekend at an AKC conformation event will cost in the neighborhood of $300.00 and that is only if you are a penny pincher.  Most people that are new to AKC/UKC conformation will take years to finish a champion which is what you agree to on the breeder contract to be able keep your dog’s reproductive organs intact.  This form of mandatory spay/neuter is WORSE than the mandatory spay/neuter of animal rights groups.  This MSN forces the puppy buyer to spend money in AKC/UKC events.  The PUPS Bill in Congress will produce the same effect.

PUPS is a Bill in Congress that has the potential of destroying the small/medium sized breeders.  The AKC website on January 2012 stated: “PUPS is not actively being considered in Congress at this time”.  In January of 2012, HSUS/AVMA had well over 100 Congressmen signed on as co-sponsors, meaning that they would vote FOR the PUPS Bill.  PUPS has been actively considered since it was introduced to Congress by HSUS.  Dennis Sprung, president of the AKC, did write to a “member of congress” (letter was actually addressed this way) to express a weak concern against the PUPS bill on Oct 25, 2012. He writes in complaint that PUPS “defines ‘high volume retail breeder’ as someone with “an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs.  This language is overly broad and does not take into account the common practice of co- and joint ownerships among dog show participants, hunting club members, sporting dog trainers and other hobbyists. This would hurt many responsible small hobby breeders who keep or breed only a few dogs in their homes by subjecting them to commercial standards or regulation of their as a result of co-ownership agreements with other small breeders.”

The majority of people would agree with Mr. Sprung on his complaint about the definition of “high volume retail breeders.”  However, there is hypocrisy here.  A  “High Volume Breeder Committee” was formed by the AKC.  Chairman of that committee was NAIA’s Patti Strand.  Mrs. Strand, who actively breeds, sells and shows in AKC events, recommended in the report from the High Volume Breeder Committee  for Legislative and Regulatory Initiatives and Cooperation with Regulatory Agencies to “include in rulemaking: 1. An amendment to the “small breeder” exemption to make the exemption applicable to those premises on which THREE or fewer breeding female animals of regulated species are kept, rather than the current language which exempts all persons who maintain three or fewer breeding females, even when more than ONE such person occupies the same premises. …” “Recommendation:  The committee suggests that the AKC effectuate its support for these recommendations by sending a letter to the Administrator of APHIS urging the above actions and issuing a press release indicating the AKC’s support for this action.  Further, the committee suggests that the AKC legislative liaison monitor progress on this matter.”

In a private email on 9/24/2012 to Mrs. Patti Strand, Merry Go Round Dalmatians, NAIA National Director, asking her to explain her current position on the High Volume Breeder report,  Mrs. Strand  stated “I chaired the High Volume Breeders Committee when on the AKC board. I’m proud of my work on that committee.”

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13 Responses to AKC Dirty Spots!

  1. alice in lala land says:

    Almost ALL breeders that belong to an AKC/UKC Breed Club REQUIRE anyone not buying a puppy to show in an AKC/UKC event to have their puppy spayed or neutered, a form of Mandatory Spay/Neuter. This provides the breeder with security so that the buyer cannot start their own line of dogs and reduces genetic diversity in the breeds

    I do not do this.. and I do not require showing…but I encourage it.. we have fun.. my breed is almost 100 % owner handled and we are proud of that..

  2. debi morris says:

    i have known for many years how dogshow politics work.i have had my own suspicions and opinions of AKC and the higher costs of registrations for the past few years.this article is no surprise to me.most of my dogs are akc/apri,and i will be using apri more in the future.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I have been an AKC breeder/owner/handler for 47 years and active in UKC for the last 7 years. This article is a pack of lies. Neither AKC or UKC require spay/neuter or showing of pet puppies sold. I do not require spay/neuter of pets in my sales contract. I educate my pet buyers about their options. I have NEVER required that anyone show a puppy I have sold them. I do encourage them to join the wonderful sport of AKC dog shows or UKC dog shows but it is TOTALLY their choice. In fact one of the things I educate puppy buyers about is the fact that recent studies have proven spay/neuter is NOT the best health option for dogs. This is simply more of the brainwashed propaganda of the animal rights extremists who are working to end all animal ownership in this country.

  4. Hi Elizabeth,
    You wouldn’t happen to be defending the NAIA would you? I assume this because your URL showed the NAIA’s website. Patti Strand, National Director of the NAIA, stated as recently as September of THIS YEAR, that she is proud of her work on the High Volume Breeder Committee in the AKC that promoted to USDA/APHIS to require breeders to reduce their ownership of any more than THREE dogs.

    This article is actually to the contrary of what you stated. Animal Rights groups want mandatory spay/neuter. The article is trying to wake up the population, registries and their breed clubs to see what they are creating and how they are creating a mandatory spay/neuter in agreement with HSUS and their Bill in Conress, PUPS.

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  7. Arlene says:

    “All dogs are susceptible to bladder/kidney stones regardless if they carry this one specific gene or not”

    The rate of susceptibility is raised exponentially with two copies of the mutant gene. Are you unaware of this salient fact or do you not think it important?

    • “ALL” Dalmatians carry the SLC2A9 mutation. The rate of susceptibility is “All Dalmatians have high uric acid but only a small percentage produce stones.” The only exception to this is the very, very few Backcross Dalmatians that are UU. However, the Backcross Dalmatian research that was performed by Dr. Danika Bannasch is under severe questioning for accuracy. More information about this in the “Peer review, scratch my back” article.

      All dogs are susceptible to bladder/kidney stones. Any mixed breed or purebred can produce any of the many types of stones.

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