Taking Command


Dr. Al Stinson and the Michigan Association for Pure Bred Dogs
Honored with Bebout Award

The American Kennel Club is proud to announce that Al W. Stinson, DVM, and the Michigan Association for Pure Bred Dogs have been named the Second Quarter 2011 recipient of the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.

Dr. Christopher Brown, MRCVS, DVM, Dean of Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine (left), presents an award for “Service and Dedication to Advancing Canine Research” to MAPBD Director of Legislation Dr. Al Stinson.

Named for the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the "Bebout Award” recognizes those federations and 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. Winners of the Bebout award are announced quarterly and the organization receives a $1,000 donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.

The Michigan Association for Pure Bred Dogs (MAPBD) is a volunteer organization that has promoted responsible dog ownership in Michigan for more than 45 years. Its membership includes 151 dog clubs, as well as individual members.

“MAPBD would like to single out the 30+ years of contributions and leadership in the area of canine legislation by Dr. Al Stinson. There is no finer example of effective, consistent, tireless volunteer advocacy leadership for animal welfare in general, and purebred dogs in particular,” said Jim Irvine, MAPBD’s former president and director.

Among his many accomplishments, Dr Stinson:

  • Has served as the MAPBD Director of Legislative Affairs for more than 30 years.
  • Worked to defeat numerous bills that would have restricted the rights of responsible dog owners.
  • Meets regularly with State Senators and Representatives and is frequently asked his opinion on bills before each chamber.
  • Regularly attends and frequently testifies at Michigan Senate and House Agriculture, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation, and Judiciary Committee hearings.
  • Tracks and monitors Michigan legislation on the topics of dogs, dog ownership, and hunting with dogs; prepares MAPBD position papers on key bills; and presents legislative updates at MAPBD meetings.
  • Serves on the Michigan Veterinary Association Legislative Advisory Committee.
  • Co-founded and served as the first Executive Director of the Michigan State University (MSU) Purebred Dog Endowment Fund, which is now funded with more than $1.5 million for canine health research.
  • Served on the MSU Pavilion Design Committee, which serves as a premier Michigan show site for AKC events.
  • Bred and exhibited Labrador Retrievers and donated many of his dogs to the Leader Dog School for the Blind in Rochester, MI for both service dogs and breeding stock.
  • Co-founded the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation.
  • Served on the Michigan Department of Agriculture Companion Animal Advisory Committee.
  • Hosted public seminars on canine legislation.

“Because of Dr. Stinson’s veterinary background and encyclopedic knowledge of Michigan animal laws, many of our legislators specifically seek him out for advice,” Irvine said. “Our legislators consider Dr. Stinson’s advice to be invaluable. His willingness to give them accurate information on various topics fosters a level of cooperation that helps MAPBD keep Michigan a dog-friendly state.”

In addition to Dr. Stinson’s activities, MAPBD members:

  • Maintain ongoing contact with local and state government officials and provide reports at MAPBD meetings.
  • Provide support and resources to local dog owners who oppose restrictive dog laws in Michigan communities.
  • Host information booths at a minimum of six dog shows per year.
  • Participate in and host a booth at “Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol.”
  • Hold monthly meetings that are open the public. The Annual Meeting features a speaker or expert panel on legislative topics.
  • Produce and distribute free educational brochures and maintain an informative federation website.
  • Serve as speakers for various community service organizations and dog clubs.

Click here for more information about the Bebout Award. For an award nomination form, click here.