Community Achievement Award

Community Achievement Award

Second Quarter Community Achievement Award Honorees

Congratulations to the latest AKC Community Achievement Award recipients: the Alliance of Responsible Pet Owners of Northeast Florida, the Central Beagle Club, and the Springfield Kennel Club.

The 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 have successfully promoted purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored, and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership. The Public Education department accepts nominations year-round and names up to three honorees each quarter. The nomination form is available on the AKC web site, or by request. Each honoree receives a certificate and a $1,000 check payable to the club or federation's public education and canine legislation efforts.

Alliance of Responsible Pet Owners of Northeast Florida – Jacksonville, Florida

The Alliance of Responsible Pet Owners of Northeast Florida provides information and assistance to its community and the AKC concerning animal welfare and related public health issues. The alliance provides a forum where citizens can join forces to learn about and confront animal issues.

Formed by Darla and Ernie Duffy, the alliance is comprised of concerned citizens, veterinarians, dog behaviorists, trainers, and others in the dog community committed to promoting responsible dog ownership and animal welfare through education and assistance. Through a quarterly newsletter and visits to elementary schools, hospitals, and nursing homes, alliance members make lasting contributions to the quality of life for animals and their owners. They inform people about adoption programs, spaying, and neutering. They monitor dog-related legislation and animal-related problems in the area. They build their network of people interested in animal welfare and responsible dog ownership by conducting local workshops, seminars, and special events.

Alliance members regularly follow legislative issues that will affect their community and send out area-wide notification within their community. Their diligence in getting information to the AKC's Canine Legislation department helps the AKC track and monitor legislation, such as the latest proposed animal control ordinance in the city of Jacksonville.

Central Beagle Club – Allegheny County, PA

Pennsylvania's Central Beagle Club receives the AKC Community Achievement Award in recognition of its research efforts aimed at reducing the tick population in Pennsylvania. Tick overpopulation extends far beyond the borders of Pennsylvania. Ticks affect the welfare of dogs and the health of their owners in areas around the country. The Central Beagle Club is working in hopes of someday significantly reducing the tick population.

"This nomination is based on the past years' program to investigate the growing problem of ticks in and about the countryside where members and their dogs spend a tremendous amount of time," said AKC Delegate David Bagaley in his nomination of the club.

"Allegheny County Entomologist Bill Todaro has done his part to gather data (ticks) brought forth by members of Central Beagle Club involved in 'box-trapping' (live) rabbits," said Bagaley. "Ticks from the cottontails as well as those 'dragged' from the grounds provided Dr. Richard Dryden, of Washington & Jefferson College with numerous specimens for DNA testing at the frontiers of science, utilizing the scientific method to its utmost."

"The research has lead the membership at Central Beagle Club to close a defined area of the training grounds to test the effects of a granular insecticide applied to the edge of heavier cover," said Bagaley. "The members have placed dusting boxes about the grounds and plan to attach flaps to the openings of the feed stations for direct insecticide contact to the neck and back of the resident cottontails. Number of ticks per rabbit per area will be monitored in an attempt to analyze and control this 'ticklish' problem with an affordable insecticide applied to both habitat and critters."

Springfield Kennel Club – Springfield, Massachusetts

The Springfield Kennel Club receives the AKC Community Achievement Award for its commitment to DOGNY and the Springfield K9 police unit as well as educational efforts within its community.

Moved by the efforts of rescue dogs in New York City after the tragedy of September 11, the Springfield Kennel Club donated to DOGNY, the AKC initiative to raise money to support canines involved in rescues. The club purchased "Galaxy Dog," one of the unique DOGNY sculptures displayed in New York City and now takes the sculpture to local events.

"Galaxy is always displayed surrounded by pictures provided by FEMA of the K9 rescue teams at Ground Zero and the Pentagon on September 11," said club President Sue Cohen. "These pictures serve to remind the public what DOGNY is all about."

The Springfield Kennel Club formed a partnership with the city of Springfield by sponsoring one of the city's police K9s in exchange for one of the K9 team's participation in Springfield Kennel Club events. The club provided the city with a $3,800 gift, the cost of a German Shepherd and year of veterinary care.

The club partnered with Officer Timothy Morrow of the Springfield police and his dog Hammer to present the AKC's safety program to more than 300 kids in the city camp program. During the program, Cohen demonstrated how people should approach strange dogs and how to read a dog's body language. The police K9 unit demonstrated how dogs sniff for drugs and track humans and crime evidence.

"The Springfield Kennel Club challenges other clubs to partner or get involved with K9 teams in their areas," said Cohen. "The club and Officer Morrow continue to explore ways to reach the public and increase awareness of the role of search-and-rescue dogs, as well as dogs in other service roles."