Ann Lettis, President of the Responsible Dog Owners Association of New York (RDOA), and Delegate for the Grand River Kennel Club (OH) was presented last week with the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation at the AKC Delegates meeting held in New Jersey.
Ms. Lettis, a long-time owner, breeder, and exhibitor of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, first got involved in legislation in 1987, when New York City Mayor Ed Koch had the NYC Board of Health institute a breed-specific ban on “pit bulls”.
Lettis and the Responsible Dog Owners Association of New York (an AKC state federation) have worked with the AKC GR team on numerous aspects of legislation in New York, and especially the New York City area. RPOA’s accomplishments over the past 30 years have included working with counties and cities throughout New York (with a focus on the New York City area) on opposing dog limit laws, unwarranted breeder restrictions, and breed-specific proposals. RDOA continues to monitor legislation and networks with members to garner support or opposition whenever needed on local or state canine legislation.
“Ann has spent countless hours over the years working to develop personal relationships with key legislators in New York City and the State of New York, and to educate them about the fancy, and responsible dog owners,” said Sheila Goffe, Vice President, AKC Government Relations. “She has also generously given her time to kennel clubs in New York and New Jersey to teach them about how to get involved in canine legislation and recruit community involvement on important issues.”
Named for Walter Bebout, the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the “Bebout Award” recognizes federations and dog 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.