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July - August 2006

RDO Day Around the Corner
AKC Resposible Dog Ownership DayThe fourth annual AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day will be held on Saturday, September 16th. The goal of the initiative is to educate first-time dog owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership and help current owners enhance their relationships with their pets.

We encourage you to participate again this year by holding public events in their communities anytime during the month of September. Last year, more than 350 local events were held, reaching millions of dog lovers and potential pet owners through extensive media coverage. Read more.

Need to Protect the Right to Own and Breed Never Greater
Message from Walter Bebout, AKC Canine Legislation Director

The introduction of crop and dock ban bills, breed-specific legislation, and mandatory spay/neuter ordinances is rampant across the United States. From Los Angeles County, CA, and Albuquerque, NM, to San Antonio, TX, and Louisville, KY, local governments are embracing mandatory spay and neuter ordinances as a panacea to deal with perceived pet overpopulation issues. So far in 2006 we have seen the consideration of an ear-cropping-ban bill in Vermont and the introduction of a crop-and-dock-ban bill in New York state. Breed-specific legislation, banning the ownership and/or breeding of certain breeds, plagues dog owners in scores of communities. The need for a resolute dog fancy committed to protecting the right to own and breed dogs has never been greater. Read more.

NY Crop/Dock Bill Dead for 2006
The New York State Legislature is now in recess, although the Legislature can be called back into special session at the behest of the Speaker of the Assembly or Governor Pataki. The  recess signals the effective end to the proposed ear cropping/tail docking ban bill, A. 11242. Dog owners in New York and across the country are to be congratulated on their efforts to convince the legislature of the massive opposition to this bill. Following introduction of A. 11242, the bill was referred to the Agriculture Committee but was never scheduled for a hearing. The lack of action on this bill by the Agriculture Committee is an acknowledgement of the impact of the concerted efforts of the dog community in opposing this legislation. Read more.

AKC Honors Three Fanciers With AKC Community Achievement Awards
The American Kennel Club announced in June Holly Stump of Ipswitch, Mass., Edward Peterson, of Middlesex, Vt., and Donna and Bill Welty of Vienna, N.J., as the most recent AKC Community Achievement Awards honorees.

The AKC Community Achievement Awards support and recognize outstanding public education and legislation efforts of AKC-affiliated clubs, AKC-recognized federations and their members. The AKC selects award recipients who promote purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership. Read more.

September is National Preparedness Month

You may have already seen the "Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense. Get Ready Now” brochure on the AKC website. Please be aware that September is National Preparedness Month. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is encouraging everyone to have emergency plans and preparations in place for their families, pets and communities should an emergency situation occur. Visit www.ready.gov to access outlines for family communications plans, brochures and other helpful information about being prepared for possible emergencies.

Get Ready Now

Published for club public education coordinators and others devoted to teaching responsible dog ownership.
In this issue, we send you lots of different information. Some, such as RDO Day and the AKC Community Achievement Award announcements celebrate public education. Others, such as canine legislation and disaster preparedness are topics that demand our efforts and attention.

We lead this issue with a copy of a letter sent earlier this month by Larry Sorenson, AKC director of Public Education, to the Public Education Coordinators, presidents and secretaries of parent and specialty clubs. Sorenson encourages these clubs in particular to work with their Public Education Coordinators communicate the advantages of AKC-registered purebred dogs and educate the public about their breeds.

Dear Parent and Specialty Clubs:
The AKC Public Education program has been a huge success. The responsible dog ownership message is getting out to dog owners all across America. However, there is always a need for more to be accomplished. As we reflect on the successes of the past, the vision of future education needs to focus on the purebred dog.

The advantages of purebred dogs need to be communicated to the public. The breeds which AKC recognizes have been developed over many years and generations. There is no substitute for a careful, selective breeding program if you want a dog with certain characteristics, temperament and function. It is more than the way a dog looks! It is about breed type and function.

The dog-loving American public needs an avenue to learn about and meet the breeds. The parent and local specialty clubs know their breeds better than anyone. Some great ways your club could open this avenue are:

• “Meet the breeds” events – working with Public Education Coordinators (PECs) of all-breed, obedience, parent and specialty clubs
• Informative web sites
• Breeder referral
• PEC education booths at shows and other public events
• Through personal contact

I know a lot of clubs already have great programs and are holding these events. Please share your ideas and successes with us. We need to document and share them with others so they may learn from your experiences. Watch for the Public Education newsletters at www.akc.org for more information and ideas.

Share the joy of purebred dogs with others!

Very sincerely,
Larry Sorenson
 Larry Sorenson, director
 (919) 816-3722

 Theresa Shea, editor
 (919) 816-3710

 Joanne Beacon, administrator
 (919) 816-3712

 AKC Customer Relations
 (919) 233-9767

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