AKC Awards Georgia Canine Coalition With Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legis

The American Kennel Club is proud to announce the Georgia Canine Coalition (GCC) as the first...

The American Kennel Club is proud to announce the Georgia Canine Coalition (GCC) as the first quarter 2011 winner of the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.

Named for the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the “Bebout” award recognizes those federations and owner/breeder organizations that have been actively involved in educating legislators about responsible dog ownership issues and have worked to preserve the rights of responsible owners and breeders. Winners of the Bebout award are announced quarterly and receive a $1,000 donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.

“The Georgia Canine Coalition, led by Gail LaBerge, has done a wonderful job educating local lawmakers and serving as a voice for the state’s dog owners,” said Sheila Goffe, Director of AKC Government Relations. “We’re thrilled to honor the Coalition in Walt’s memory as they continue to perform the work he believed in so strongly.”

The Georgia Canine Coalition is the AKC’s state federation for the state of Georgia, representing approximately 25,000 Georgia dog owners. The Coalition is dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible dog ownership in Georgia through education, communication and legislation. The group is active on the local, state and national level and retains an attorney who serves as one of GCC’s two registered state lobbyists. 

Some of the Georgia Canine Coalition’s accomplishments include:

  • Opposing dog limit laws and unwarranted breeder restrictions.

  • Helping pass a stronger state anti-dog fighting bill and a vicious dog law.

  • Working for passage of a state animal cruelty law.

  • Working with counties and cities to oppose breed-specific legislation and to create enforceable ordinances.

  • Working with kennel clubs across the state to create educational programs for children and to promote responsible dog ownership. 

  • Working with the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association to oppose a fee on veterinary services as proposed in a Georgia State Assembly tax bill.
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