Chairman's Report

December 2008

-- AKC's 125th Anniversary Celebration in 2009 --

Next month when we ring in the New Year, we will also kick off the celebration of our 125th Anniversary.

We will mark not only our growth over the last century-and-a-quarter but celebrate the wonderful experiences, friendships and traditions that the sport of purebred dogs has given generations of American dog lovers.

In 1884, AKC began its all-breed purebred dog registry with just 9 breeds. As of January 1, 2009 the AKC will recognize 161 breeds. When you add the 60 plus breeds in our Foundation Stock Service, AKC actively promotes more than 200 breeds in the U.S. today.

Our first office in 1887 in the Wall Street area consisted of nothing more than a 15 by 20 foot room with a desk, a few chairs and a single file cabinet. Today, we have two locations - our headquarters in Manhattan and Operations Center in Raleigh with nearly 400 employees to handle our daily business. At our bi-annual Open House in New York this February, we will include a special 125-year timeline exhibit from the AKC archives.

The AKC Gazette, which began continuous publication in 1889, has certainly chronicled our growth. So has The Complete Dog Book, which still reigns as the most widely published dog book with more than 2 million copies in print, since 1929. To add to this published record of AKC and the sport, we are planning an updated sourcebook to be released in the fall of 2009. This book will be a revised edition of the first sourcebook published in 1984 to celebrate our centennial.

As a "club of clubs" our growth has been explosive. From a handful of founding clubs, we now boast more than 600 member clubs and their Delegates who voluntarily contribute to the governance of the AKC.

In 1926, AKC conducted its first dog show in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It took another 58 years until we held our next - The AKC Centennial Show in 1984 in Philadelphia - and since the turn of the century we have held the annual national championship event which took place this past weekend. A year from now in December 2009, as a fitting tribute to AKC's 125th Anniversary, the ninth installment of the AKC / Eukanuba National Championship will waive its invitational format and offer classes at the breed level along with championship points. Already national and regional breed clubs are planning to hold their specialty shows and supported entries with us in Long Beach, on Dec. 12th and 13th. This special event will be joined once again by the Bred-by-Exhibitor competition, Eukanuba World Challenge, AKC National Obedience Invitational and the AKC Agility Invitational. I want to thank The Kennel Club of Beverly Hills, the Los Encinos Kennel Club and the Long Beach Kennel Club for making us feel so welcome year after year as we join them at their venue. Next year's show will be a birthday party not to be missed. I hope you will join us!

Finally, to help us and our clubs mark this banner year and promote our iconic brand to the public we have created a special 125th year commemorative AKC logo. We encourage AKC clubs to use this in conjunction with their club logo wherever possible throughout 2009. The logo can be found on the AKC web site under the "Clubs" tab at: http://www.akc.org/clubs/logo_info.cfm. We encourage all clubs to help us celebrate AKC's 125th year - it's a unique and significant accomplishment that underscores our commitment to dogs.

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker
Chairman