Public Education Corner


AKC Community Achievement Award Honorees

Congratulations to the Lake Cumberland Kennel Club, The Greater Panama City Dog Fancier’s Association Inc. and Oshkosh Kennel Club – the three most recent AKC Community Achievement Award honorees. We also salute the Rapid City Kennel Club (Delegate Sally J. Nist) and the Hunstville Obedience Training Club, who received honorable mention. The AKC named these clubs for their dedication to promoting and participating in AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day.

Lake Cumberland Kennel Club
The Lake Cumberland Kennel Club.
Photo courtesy of Lake Cumberland Kennel Club.

Lake Cumberland Kennel Club
Somerset, Ky.
Lake Cumberland Kennel Club (LCKC) of Somerset, Ky., has advocated for the purebred dog – and dogs in general – since its incorporation in 1987. The club has strived to make a difference in the lives of dogs as well as people in its southern Kentucky community by proactively promoting dog training, matches and shows, responsible breeding and care of dogs and by nurturing Love on a Leash Therapy Dogs, a nationally known therapy dog program. LCKC was nominated for a Community Achievement Award for the success of its second annual Fido Fun Fair.

“Responsible Dog Ownership Day is not just a once a year thing here – it’s a lifelong commitment by this club and its members,” wrote Gloria Sams, public education chairperson of the LCKC, who nominated the club for the AKC Community Achievement Award.

The club sponsored essay and art contests in every school in the county featuring the themes, “Why My Dog is My Best Friend” and “My Vision of the Perfect Dog.”  Winners were awarded with savings bonds and their works were displayed at the Fido Fun Fair.  The club reached out to the media to promote the many events planned for the Fido Fun Fair, and was rewarded with nine comprehensive features in the regional daily newspaper.

Greater Panama City Dog Fanciers Association Inc.
Therapy visits are part of The Greater Panama City Dog Fanciers Association Inc.'s public education program.
Photo courtesy of The Greater Panama City Dog Fanciers Association Inc.

The Greater Panama City Dog Fancier’s Association Inc.
Southport, Fla.
The Greater Panama City Dog Fancier’s Association Inc. (GPCDFA) was founded in 1972 and held its first competitive match in 1973.

“We have used this highly successful event to prove to the community that not all dogs, or dog owners, are alike,” wrote Melissa Frye, President of the GPCDFA, who nominated the association for the Community Achievement Award.

This year’s event attendance increased from approximately 75 dogs and owners last year to more than 300. The club focused on interactive events everyone could participate in. Club members guided attendees through many activities, including demos in Agility and Rally. Activities also included obedience teams, meet-the-breed programs, Bay County Sheriff’s Department K9 team demonstrations and “Story Time with Sandy,” a reading time with the dogs hosted by a club member. Local animal groups, including rescue and therapy dog organizations were on hand to answer questions from the public. There was also a microchipping clinic.

The GPCDFA offers Obedience, Conformation and Rally Obedience classes at various levels as well as AKC CGC classes and testing. The club holds conformation shows, community education events, Octoberfest (with breed contests and a Meet the Breed program) and several pet parades throughout the year.

Oshkosh Kennel Club
The Oshkosh Kennel Club, Inc., emphasizes the importance of obedience.
Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Kennel Club.

Oshkosh Kennel Club
Oshkosh, Wis.
The Oshkosh Kennel Club Inc. was established in July 1963 and recognized as a Club of Record by the American Kennel Club on May 16, 1970.

“OKC set three goals when planning this event,” wrote Chris Krebs, a member of the Oshkosh RDO Day Steering Committee, who nominated the club for the AKC Community Achievement Award. “We aimed to attract as many local dog owners as possible, provide information to dog owners on healthcare, safety, training and fun activities and promote organizations dedicated to dogs, such as the OKC and AKC.”

This year’s event, which attracted double the attendance of the previous year’s, included a meet-the-breeds parade, microchip clinic, Kidz Korner with face painting and tattoos, speakers and interactive games. The local 4-H Junior Dog Handlers competed in a Fun Match to encourage people to get their children involved in dog events, and more than 20 vendors and rescue groups were on hand to deliver information on various aspects of dog ownership. The club invited local newspapers and television and radio stations to sponsor and promote the event and was successful in its endeavors.

The club meets once a month and currently has more than 100 members. In addition to holding AKC RDO Day, OKC offers training classes and works to promote a better understanding of what defines a well-mannered dog and responsible dog ownership by providing information to the community about breeding, healthcare, exhibiting and everyday loving care.