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Holt vs Cooke PAWS Debate Raleigh NC 2005

Exclusive Interview with William G. (Bill) Pfeiffer


Background: There was much rumor and speculation surrounding the Dr. Holt’s refusal to participate in what he termed a “circus” but which was clearly to have been a controlled “presidential” format debate.  We have interviewed most of the principals involved in setting up this informative and educational event, with the possible exception of Mrs. Pat Baubin, Cluster Committee Coordinator and Raleigh KC Show Chair.  We will attempt to speak with Mrs. Baubin after the Tarheel ends Sept. 5th.  Nothing could be worse than asking for the Cluster Coordinator’s time just preceding such a major event.


TheDogPress was told Mr. Pfeiffer cleared it with the Durham KC for the Federation to use a 200-seat room at the showsite for a meeting re the pro and con of the PAWS act.  This was done in late July for the Sept. 3rd program scheduled set to begin as soon as BIS judging was over.  The event was well publicized and in addition to the NCFDC Delegates, many exhibitors planned to attend.  Mr. Pfeiffer was one of the first knowledgeable people we called, the evening of August 27th, 2005.


Mr. Bill Pfeiffer, Treasurer Raleigh KC, Delegate for Raleigh KC to NCFDC


TDP:  Who invited Dr. Holt and was he led to believe he would only address exhibitors as a seminar-type event?

WP“I had seen the format Dr. Holt used in Virginia, only read the transcript, and that may have been mentioned.  The other part of it is that the Committee Chair had not spoken with Dr. Holt to explain but perhaps had discussed it with Bob Peters.  I’m not sure.”


Bill went on to explain the “other thing missing was dog show folks (meaning fairground officials?) have to grant permission to hold the event but those putting it together didn’t mention that there would be an admission.”  He said that must all be approved, included in the contract, and the monies collected must be accounted for to the fairgrounds, stating “That was the point at which the event unraveled because it ($5 admission) was not covered.”  


Regarding who actually invited Dr. Holt, Mr. Pfeiffer explained that someone from the Raleigh KC made the initial call and he later made a “follow up phone call.”  He is not sure who informed Dr. Holt that it was in fact a debate.  He suggested Bob Peters, President of NCFDC might know or that Dr. Holt might have “picked it up off the internet.” 


When TDP suggested that a wonderful opportunity to hear both sides of an issue had slipped by, Mr. Pfeiffer agreed, stating “It would have been a learning environment.”  He then explained that Dr. Holt graciously offered to come at some other time.  Asked why he couldn’t come on the scheduled date as planned and confirmed, Mr. Pfeiffer said to ask Bob Peters, that he had an email from Dr. Holt which graciously stated he would like to be invited at some other time. 


TDP:  In breaking the engagement, Dr. Holt referred to the event as a “circus” not once but twice and inferred that North Carolinians might have become less than hospitable.  Characterizing an invitation which he had previously accepted as a “circus” hardly seems gracious.  Your comment?


WP:  “I don’t believe Dr. Holt ever said that.”


TDP:  Yes Sir, he did, in an online post.  The question though is, Why didn’t he come THIS time?  Offering to come at some other time seems like an empty offer because your next show is over six months away and by then the amendment could be a done deal, plus Ms. Cooke might not be able to come at that time; it would be difficult to arrange everything again. 


There followed a brief discussion in which Mr. Pfeiffer asserted that UKC paid Cindy Cooke to come, so her attendance at some future date should not be a problem.  I stated we did not believe UKC paid her to come but he stood firm in his assertion.  Mr. Pfeiffer agreed that it was pointless to continue that discussion after we arrived at the same opinion - AKC paid Jim Holt to attend and we would not want anyone to concur it was “AKC vs UKC”.


TDP: So for the record, they lost the venue because they hadn’t received permission to charge a $5 admission and Dr. Holt could not come because the Federation lost the venue?


WP:Yes that is correct.”


TDP:  But sir, we are told that as soon as the Federation was told of that problem, it waived the admission and immediately secured another venue.  Is that not true?


Mr. Pfeiffer said he did not believe anyone had secured another meeting place, asking  “Did they have a contract?”  I assured him I didn’t know, only that we were told they had confirmed arrangements.  He insisted that there was no contract, thus no other venue or if so, he was not aware of such.


TDP:  That is a mute point unless someone can help unravel the mystery of who invited Dr. Holt, whether or not he was told that there would be an opposing side, and when and on what grounds he refused to participate. 


For instance, if, as you say, it was the NC Federation that conceived the idea of having both sides of PAWS presented, and someone suggested Dr. Holt, then who called him and why was it someone from the Raleigh KC instead of someone from the Federation?


Mr. Pfeiffer could not or would not say which Raleigh KC member made the initial invitation, and he was unaware of whether or not there was any mention of a debate at any time.  He repeatedly made the point that Dr. Holt had “graciously offered to come at another time” and that we should contact Bob Peters, NC Federation Of Dog Club President.


So we did.  We are grateful that Mr. Pfeiffer gave of his time in order to help clarify the confusion surrounding the debate and its cancellation.


For the record, Mr. Pfeiffer is in support of PAWS. 



A great deal has since transpired and details will continue to develop. 

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