The Dog Community Loses Two Influential Leaders

We are saddened to report the passing of two remarkable women, Sue Cone and Margo Milde, who worked tirelessly to promote responsible dog ownership and to defend the rights of dog owners.

Sue Cone, Legislative Liaison for the American Chesapeake Club (ACC) and the Ramapo Kennel Club, passed away in Livingston, New Jersey, on October 2nd. She served as president of the Ramapo Kennel Club from 1979 to 1981, and was honored with the club's Good Sportsmanship Award, Breeder's Award, and Excellence in Obedience Award.

A nationally renowned trainer of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, She competed in conformation showing and was the first in the nation to earn an Obedience Trial Championship on a Chesapeake. She trained four additional Chesapeakes — more than any other trainer — to OTCh titles, also earning Obedience Master 1 and 2 awards.

Among other volunteer roles, Sue served on the Board of Directors for the American Chesapeake Club, Inc. (ACC), co-authored the definitive ACC book “The Chesapeake Bay Retriever,” received the ACC’s Outstanding Sportsmanship Award in 2008, and at the time of her death, was a member of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors and the ACC liaison to National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA). Sue’s contributions to her breed and the dog world will be remembered for many years.

Margo Milde, a longtime owner of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, was a dedicated advocate for purebred dogs and responsible dog owners. She remained active in legislative issues until her passing on September 27 in Oil City, Pennsylvania. She served as the Legislative Liaison for five AKC clubs, as Pet Law and Legislation columnist for the publication Front and Finish, and as Health Chair for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America. She was a member and obedience instructor for the Rand Park Dog Training Club for more than 30 years.

With her first Staffordshire Bull Terrier, “Mischief”,  acquired in 1988, Margo achieved championship and advanced agility and obedience titles. One of Mischief’s puppies became the breed’s first, and still only, Obedience Trial Champion. Another puppy earned the first AKC Agility Championship for the breed. After these dogs passed away, Margo and her Field Spaniel, “Fly”, earned three breed Registers of Merit and a breed Hall of Fame Award. Fly was the first Field Spaniel to earn the AKC Versatile Companion Dog 2 title.

Margo served on the board of the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO) for many years, and provided valuable background research and analysis on a broad range of legislative issues in the state. She worked tirelessly with IFDCO on numerous measures, and helped defeat a mandatory spay/neuter proposal in Chicago and several onerous state-level bills. Her work on behalf of dogs and dog owners in Illinois and throughout the United States will not be forgotten.