January Chairman's Report
2005 was an outstanding year for AKC. Revenues far exceeded our expectations and management continued to do a superior job of controlling expenses. AKC contributed $1.7 million dollars to the AKC Canine Health Foundation during 2005. We also contributed $300,000 last year toward scholarships for veterinary school students and undergraduate students who had participated in our juniors program. In addition we contributed $170,000 to the AKC Museum of the Dog.
As you all know, 2005 was the year of devastating hurricanes Katrina and Rita and posed a challenging year in terms of disaster relief for AKC. For the first time ever we sent staff to the affected areas to assist with the needs of displaced animals. Many individuals as well as 545 clubs and organizations made donations to the AKC/CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund. Donations totaled more than $1 million dollars and to date more than $900,000 has been dispersed for rescue and relief efforts. Members of the fancy donated various supplies at dog shows and AKC clubs collected donations at AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events across the country.
After several months of working closely with staff and consultants and gathering input from the delegate body, the board approved the formal strategic plan late last year. Staff is now implementing those recommendations. Our online litter registration service experienced exceptional growth of 50% in 2005. Late in the year we reached an all-time high during December when 47% of all litters registered with the AKC were registered online.
Our licensing program has grown significantly this year, not only increasing our visibility but enhancing our bottom line. We now have AKC-licensed products in stores such as Target, Petco, Petsmart, Lord & Taylor and the premier toy store, FAO Schwarz. This spring, we will be adding Wal-Mart to the list.
During the past year, we continued to enjoy a high level of visibility in the media with positive messages about AKC, the sport of purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership. Our advertisements, public service announcements and public relations initiatives in print, radio and television reached hundreds of millions of households nationwide. This year's third annual AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day reached thousands at the grass roots level. Two well-attended flagship events were held in New York City and Raleigh and more than 350 clubs and organizations held local events.
Certainly, one of the busiest areas for AKC in 2005 was canine legislation. Our Canine Legislation department worked on more than 500 bills and ordinances nationwide. On the federal level we saw the introduction of the Pet Animal Welfare Statute of 2005 (PAWS). It is my firm belief that the board took appropriate action by working proactively with the bill's sponsors. I am very optimistic that as a result of our involvement in the process, we will see a redraft of the PAWS bill that will significantly benefit the welfare of dogs without imposing unreasonable burdens or restrictions on our constituents. I received a letter from Senator Rick Santorum in which he describes some of the changes he is making in PAWS as a direct result of our input. An additional important benefit of our proactive involvement is the positive relationship we've established with many of our legislators on Capitol Hill. To view the letter visit the AKC web site at:http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=2763
Once again, The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship offered dog lovers all over the country the excitement of a live format, simulcast on two television stations nationwide. We had our largest entry ever - a total of more than 3,400 entries for the weekend's three events. In addition to the National Championship show there was the AKC National Agility Championship and the AKC National Obedience Invitational. All 165 AKC breeds and varieties, and all 50 states and 20 countries, were represented. Also, I want to thank the more than 140 parent clubs that participated in the very popular AKC Meet the Breeds.
I personally would like to thank the entire board, the delegate body, and the wonderful staff for all their hard work, dedication and contributions to the sport of purebred dogs during 2005. It truly is my privilege to work with all of you and I look forward to an exciting 2006.
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