Just when you think that the animal rights fanatics of the world have scraped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to trying to make a buck out of harassing dog breeders, they find a new obsession. Retail rescue, seizing animals under questionable pretenses, and importing sick dogs from overseas still left some people with time on their hands apparently. That brings us to a new animal rights-driven magazine that you should definitely avoid.
The Canine Review – not to be confused with the highly respected dog show magazine Canine Review in Canada – The Canine Review launched in November 2019. The magazine was founded by publisher and editor-in-chief Emily Brill, the daughter of Steven Brill, lawyer and journalist-entrepreneur. He founded the monthly magazine The American Lawyer and the cable channel Court TV.
Emily Brill’s previous journalism experience includes a number of internships at news programs and online sites. She was also a summer intern in the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2001; and interned at Fox News in 2000 and 2003. She has done some writing for BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast. In the past she has not been known for her accuracy with stories, at least according to Harvard University.
According to Brill’s profile, she says that she has owned and loved dogs throughout her life and claims to have done volunteer work as a trainer and dog walker at a local animal shelter and “pet boutique.” She has a preference for field trial Labrador Retrievers and has a yellow Lab named Nellie. That appears to be the extent of her experience with dogs.
While The Canine Review claims to have no advertisements, no conflicts of interest, and no agendas, their first issue leads off with a hit piece on the AKC’s Breeder of Merit program which is based on a misunderstanding of the program, AKC inspections, and even the role of the American Kennel Club. Despite claiming to have engaged in a three-month investigation of the program, even a cursory look at the information about the Breeder of Merit program on the AKC web site should have dismissed most of the criticisms leveled by the authors of the story.
The authors have the same lack of understanding when it comes to AKC’s Inspections & Compliance Department. In case you’re wondering, AKC does not inspect every single person that has a litter of puppies. That would be ridiculous. However, if you produce seven or more litters per year, there is a good chance that you could be flagged for an inspection as a “high volume” breeder.
Of course, The Canine Review is “passionate about pups” so they they include not just a story but a direct link to a New York City animal shelter in the article “Shelter Profile Highlight: Animal Care Centers of NYC.” But the magazine certainly has no agenda. Never. It wouldn’t be trying to encourage you to adopt a shelter dog instead of getting a dog from an AKC breeder. That would be biased.
The Canine Review claims to be a fair publication but what we found was that prior to the publication of the first issue, Ms. Brill and her reporters contacted several individual breeders and interviewed them under the name of The Canine Review. It’s not clear if the breeders were deceived into thinking they were speaking with someone at Canine Review, the dog show publication. Obtaining inspection reports and taking them out of context, Ms. Brill has smeared breeders in her publication in what she calls a “growing database of profiles on private breeders.”
What you see on the web site is only part of the story. To see everything The Canine Review is publishing you have to buy a subscription to the magazine. For $19.99 per year you can get access to these “profiles.” In fact, there’s precious little you can actually see on the site if you’re not a paying subscriber. The Facebook page is the same – just the same few pictures smearing the AKC and dog breeders posted again and again.
The magazine claims to be interested in independent journalism and their page says that it will cover all kinds of dog issues. But maybe the publisher is really interested in the $75.38 billion she says will be spent on the pet industry this year and sees this magazine as a way to take a cut.
Stating that “All Canine Review [sic] writers and reporters are held to high ethical standards and policies” (notice that they refer to their publication as “Canine Review” – the same name as the Canadian dog show magazine), the magazine advertised for investigative reporters in Berkeley, California and on the Berkeley Journalism web site to produce “feature stories for paid subscribers who will have access to a database of profiles of breeders and animal shelters across the country.” Brill added, “You need not have a background in animals or pet writing; in fact, I am probably more interested in enterprise reporters with business or policy reporting experience.”
Just think about the kind of reporters answering this ad from Berkeley. Home to the very radical animal rights group, DXE (Direct Action Everywhere) and other animal rights extremists. That part of the country is not exactly friendly to animal breeders of any kind. In fact, it would appear as though Brill was specifically looking for animal rights-oriented reporters.
Brill tweeted about the logo design for her website, again calling into question whether there are copyright infringement issues with the name being so close to the Canadian publication, Canine Review. Canine Review is Canada’s oldest independent competitive dog show magazine, featuring Canada’s top canine handlers and dog show enthusiasts. It was founded in 1978. That publication cannot be pleased about seeing this anti-breeder magazine put out by Brill – who may, in fact, be using the confusion about the name to her advantage to deceive breeders.
There is no question that this publication is not what it purports to be. It is not fair and it has an obvious anti-breeder agenda. Brill has already been using disturbing and misleading tactics to disparage dog breeders, dog breeding, and the AKC. There is no reason to believe that Emily Brill is knowledgeable about dogs or that any of her reporters know anything about them either. Being experienced with dogs, dog breeding, or any of the subjects the magazine seeks to cover are obviously not important to the publisher. Writing hit pieces on breeders and getting people to fork over $19.99/month to see more salacious “profiles” is what it’s all about for The Canine Review.
We not only give The Canine Review a thumbs down, we urge dog breeders out there to avoid speaking with anyone from this counterfeit publication to protect your dogs and your kennel.
Carlotta Cooper is vice president of Sportsmens’ & Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance and a Team Member and regular contributing writer for The Cavalry Group, a member-based company working to defend the private property rights of animal owners and animal enterprise nationwide. Follow The Cavalry Group on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.