AKC Donates DOGNY Sculptures to 10 Organizations

The American Kennel Club and AKC Companion Animal Recovery have donated ten DOGNY sculptures to organizations in commemoration of the human-canine bond.

Recipients of the sculptures include National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR), Suffolk County K-9 Unit, K9 Response, The Seeing Eye, National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), The Suffolk County SPCA, Puppies Behind Bars, Woodbury Animal Hospital, Police Athletic League, and The St. Vincent's Hospital Child Life Program.

All original pieces of art, the ten sculptures were displayed in New York City for the American Kennel Club's charitable public art program, DOGNY - America's Tribute to Search and Rescue Dogs. "The American Kennel Club chose to donate the sculptures to these organizations to recognize each of them for the work they do pertaining to dogs and the role dogs play in our lives," noted Daphna Straus, Project Manager of DOGNY. "Beyond symbols of Search and Rescue dogs, these sculptures embody the spirit of the human-canine bond - something all of these organizations celebrate with dog lovers everywhere."

AKC donated sculptures to Suffolk County K9 Unit, Special K9 Response and The National Association for Search and Rescue to recognize their efforts in Canine Search and Rescue. Special K9 Response, a volunteer resource for law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Kansas, uses specially trained, and police-certified, canines in the field of human remains detection. One of its dogs, a Newfoundland named Ch. Chachalot's Made in the USA, CGC was born on September 11, 2001 as the second Tower fell. "Prior to 9-11, SAR dogs weren't considered an asset to many in the law enforcement arena. And, the general public had little idea of what we do or the time, training and money that it takes to get a dog 'mission-ready,'" noted Tiffany Mahaffey of K9 Response. "We really appreciate what the AKC has done to further promote and explain what SAR K9 handlers do and the commitment that it takes - from the dogs, their handlers, and the communities that support them."

The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ, and Princeton, MA based National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS) were selected to receive DOGNY sculptures in celebration of their successes in putting the human-canine bond into practice for people with physical disabilities or special needs. The Seeing Eye enhances the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of blind people through the use of Seeing Eye dogs. NEADS trains and provides rescued dogs and donated puppies to assist people who are deaf or physically disabled in leading more independent lives at work, at home and at school.

In the New York metropolitan area, Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Woodbury Animal Hospital and Puppies Behind Bars all received sculptures in honor of their work relating to dogs and the community. Puppies Behind Bars trains prison inmates to raise puppies to become guide dogs for the blind and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.

Children from the Police Athletic League after school program showed their appreciation for the work of Search and Rescue dogs after 9-11 by participating in an art contest for DOGNY. The result was winning artist Luis Vargas's "Police Athletic League Loves DOGNY," now located at the organization's East Village headquarters.

Showing the true character and spirit they are known for, children from the St. Vincent's Hospital Child Life Program created their own tribute to the dogs and handlers that worked nearby at Ground Zero. The brightly colored "St. Vincent's Loves DOGNY" will be permanently installed at the lower Manhattan hospital.