AKC Announces Community Achievement Award Honorees

The American Kennel Club recently announced that the Miniature Schnauzer Club of Northern California and Donald C. Stuart of the Rogue Valley Kennel Club have been honored with Community Achievement Awards for the second quarter of 2011 for their educational outreach and work on behalf of purebred dogs.

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.

“We are pleased to recognize the Miniature Schnauzer Club of Northern California and Don Stuart of the Rogue Valley Kennel Club for reaching out to new dog owners and children with programs that teach responsible dog care and encourage participation in AKC events,” said Sheila Goffe, AKC’s Director of Government Relations. “Their efforts illustrate the value that AKC clubs and responsible breeders bring to their communities.”

The Miniature Schnauzer Club of Northern California (MSCNC) was honored for its efforts to combine a successful rescue program with the educational message that mandatory spay/neuter laws and unreasonably high licensing fees for intact animals exacerbate rather than solve an unwanted dog problem.

MSCNC actively opposes unreasonable legislation by submitting letters of opposition to California House and Senate committees. The club also maintains legislative information and commentary on their club’s web page.

The MSCNC Rescue Committee’s mission includes saving older Schnauzers and those needing medical attention prior to placement. MSCNC members work to demonstrate that responsible breeders are committed to helping rehome dogs that are surrendered or abandoned. This commitment to dogs that are hard to place has earned them much goodwill in the rescue committee.

One of the club’s many activities to support responsible dog ownership is an annual Fun Day for new dog owners. MSCNC members provide grooming lessons; conformation, obedience and agility demonstrations; training for the AKC Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) test; and other activities of interest to new Schnauzer owners. MSCNC welcomes new dog owners and treats dog adopters as potential club members and future participants in purebred dog events.

Donald C. Stuart of the Rogue Valley Kennel Club (RVKC) of Grants Pass, OR was honored with a Community Achievement Award for his many years of providing free dog training classes in his community and his work with Oregon youth groups.

Mr. Stuart taught obedience classes for more than twelve years, accepting only donations on behalf of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Puppy Raisers Program. He has been a CGC evaluator since 1999 and organizes the club’s RDO Day CGC tests. When he realized that many dog owners needed help preparing their dogs for the CGC test, he worked with other RVKC members to offer CGC training classes that were, and continue to be, free of charge.

Mr. Stuart has also made more than 300 pet therapy visits to retirement homes and Alzheimer units and serves at an evaluator for Therapy Dogs International. As a Canine Ambassador, Mr. Stuart visits more than 1,000 school children each year to present programs on safety around dogs and responsible dog care. He is a leader, obedience instructor, and CGC evaluator for the Pooch Paw Raiders, a local 4-H dog club. Along with his outreach to children in the community, he has presented programs on responsible dog care to Rotary Clubs and the Grants Pass Newcomers Club.

Nominations for the AKC Community Achievement Award are accepted year-round. Honorees receive a certificate of appreciation and a $1,000 check payable to the club or federation’s public education and canine legislation efforts. Click here for information and a nomination form.