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Ridgewood, NJ Awarded Inaugural AKC Dog-Friendly Community Award

(Saturday, February 08, 2014)

As a result of its efforts to educate and provide resources for local dog-owning residents through the creation of a Responsible Pet Ownership Committee, the town of Ridgewood, New Jersey has been awarded the first-ever AKC Dog-Friendly Community Award. The award honors dog-friendly communities and/or community officials and the actions they have taken that promote the well-being of dogs in their community.

The town worked with its residents and local AKC clubs and federations like the Ramapo Kennel Club and New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs to establish the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee. The Committee, led by Ridgewood resident and AKC Delegate Jeffrey Ball, hosted numerous public education events in 2013, including a free microchip clinic and a dog body language seminar.

“Kudos to the officials of Ridgewood, New Jersey for promoting responsible dog ownership and education as a solution to canine issues in their town,” said Sheila Goffe, Director of AKC Government Relations. “We also sincerely thank Jeff Ball for his efforts in conjunction with the local clubs and federations to form the Committee and his ongoing leadership.”

"As mayor and a dog owner, I'm honored by this recognition," Mayor Paul Aronsohn said. "We're a dog-friendly community, and this award speaks to who we are and what we're doing."

One of the Committee’s first acts was to donate two AKC Reunite Proscan 700 microchip scanners to Ridgewood, which allowed law enforcement and town officials to identify lost pets without having to call animal control and spend additional funds. The Committee also hosted a free microchip clinic for the first 75 people to sign up. The New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs and Ramapo Kennel Club donated the microchips, AKC Reunite pet recovery service enrollment and the veterinarian’s time to the town. The microchips will allow the dogs to be reunited with their owners if they are ever lost or stolen.

The Village of Ridgewood received the award in a special presentation at Saddle River County Park’s Dog Run on February 8, 2014. Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn, Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck, Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan and other members of the Ridgewood Village Council and Government were on hand to accept the award. The officials, local owners and their dogs, including a Beagle, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Great Dane, Leonberger, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Spinone Italiano and more, celebrated with a reception and a cake from the Cake Boss at the Ridgewood Community Center following the awards ceremony.

AKC Dog-Friendly Community Award: Ridgewood and AKC officials celebrating at the award presentation.

Ridgewood Cake: AKC Delegate and Ridgewood resident Jeff Ball, AKC COO Daryl Hendricks and Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn with a celebratory cake from the Cake Boss.

Award: The AKC Dog-Friendly Community Award and a New Jersey Resolution.

Photo credit: Lisa Peterson copyright AKC

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