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Q. Who does an exhibitor call about an event being held or cancelled if it isn’t listed on the AKC.org page of cancellations?

A. AKC is working diligently to list all cancelled events on the Event Cancellation page as soon as we receive notification of a cancellation or postponement from the club. You may find that list here: https://www.akc.org/sports/event-cancellations/

Exhibitors could also contact the Event Chairman. Contact information can be found on AKC’s website and in the Premium List.

To report a cancellation or delay, please call 919-816-3579 during business hours, and the AKC Weekend Club Hotline at 919-816-3955 outside of AKC business hours.

Q. Will cancelled events be rescheduled?

A. Some events have been postponed, others cancelled. Our Sports & Events department is collaborating with Club Development to work with many clubs to assist with rescheduling by addressing dates, mileage from other events, judge’s conflicts, etc. We are also taking steps to have over 30 Events staff begin to work from home so that you, our important customers, will have ongoing service from this department. Our Registration and Customer Service departments already work remotely so these other important services will continue to operate uninterrupted for you.

AKC has been assisting clubs when they ask for holding events later in the year. We have performed date checks, we have told them there will be no fines for not having applications and judges’ panels submitted close to their event, we have told clubs that a cancelled event will not count against the number of days/events per year, and we have conveyed that we will be flexible and helpful with them trying to hold events again.

During this period of concern due to the coronavirus, for clubs that have had their event cancelled due to facility/government actions or for clubs that have proactively cancelled their event, the AKC will apply the cancelled event application fee to the club’s next event of the same type.

Q. Will entry fees be refunded?

A. Please check the Premium List as there usually is a reference to refunds. Historically clubs do not refund because they remain contractually responsible for many high cost payments, including but not limited to rent of the site, superintendent or show secretary fees, insurance, Judges fees, tents, recording/processing, caterers, portable toilets, etc. The entry is an agreement between the club and an exhibitor. The club has the option of enforcing the parameters defined in the premium list and they also have the option to refund the customer. If a club makes a full refund there is no recording or service fee.

Q. Why doesn’t the AKC cancel everyone’s event?

A. That prerogative rests solely with each individual club.

Q. Some clubs are holding their events as scheduled. Why?

A. These clubs feel confident they can hold a successful event based on their knowledge and experience. In many sports the numbers of exhibitors are small and held at a large site either indoors or outdoors. Some events with large entries are spread over several buildings. In certain instances, municipalities or site management may intercede and make the decision to not allow the event to be held. In certain instances the government entities have already allowed the events to be held.

In summary, events can be cancelled by local/state/federal law or the management of the venue. Our staff is working seven days a week to assist every club with either continuing, postponing, cancelling or answering an array of questions, as this is a fluid situation and we are here to help you with advice. Staff is reviewing ways to make rescheduling easier and eliminating red tape.

We are also working on ways to obtain information faster from our clubs so that we can communicate and post it as soon as received.

For additional information please contact us at any time:

Dennis Sprung DBS@AKC.ORG 212 696 8327 or 516 637 6567 (cell)
Doug Ljungren Doug.Ljungren@akc.org 919 816 3903
Alan Slay Alan.Slay@akc.org 919 816 3806
Glenn Lycan Glenn.Lycan@akc.org 919 816 3560
Guy Fisher Guy.Fisher@akc.org 919 816 3705
Pattie Proctor Patricia.Proctor@akc.org
Carrie DeYoung  Carrie.DeYoung@akc.org

Q: What communications have been sent out to clubs from AKC?

Letter sent on March 16, 2020

Dear friends,

There are two additional areas of concern that need addressing. The first is about Event Application Fees. During this period due to the virus, clubs that have had their event cancelled due to facility/government actions or clubs that have proactively cancelled their event, the AKC will apply the cancelled event application fee to the club’s next event of the same type.

The second question is if a cancelled Event makes a full refund to the exhibitor does the club need to pay a Recording/Service Fee, the answer is no they do not.

I trust these responses are helpful as staff continues to listen and address our constituency’s questions.

Please share. Call anytime.

Dennis B. Sprung

Letter sent on March 12, 2020

Dear Core Constituents,

The following is an update on staff’s addressing of the Coronavirus.

A sticky bar has been created and implemented on our home page to direct people to the latest updates on the virus. By clicking, it will go to the Press Center https://www.akc.org/press-center/covid-19-updates-from-the-american-kennel-club/ which already has a statement regarding COVID-19, event cancellations and CDC steps to prevent illness. This information remains permanently as one of the “top stories” on the AKC.org home page. In addition, the statement also appears on the AKC Facebook page as a pinned post, so it always remains on the top of the page.

At yesterday’s meeting of the Executive Committee along with key employees, I suggested to Doug Ljungren that as a preemptive measure should we be forced to close our offices we are immediately beginning overtime in the Events Department to enable us to operate without any backlog, processing everything on hand for our clubs. Also, at yesterday’s meeting the suggestion was accepted to plan for 26 additional Events Department employees to work from home. This will entail purchasing of laptops or desktops which must be VDI capable. Currently, Registration and Customer Service work from home so these departments will assist our customers without interruption.

As already advised, staff continues to hold meetings each day on this topic. Naturally, there is also daily communication with each of our Field Staffs. The Events Department including Club Development is busy assisting a number of our clubs with options, including rescheduling their events. Clubs are welcome to call Glenn Lycan (919.816.3560; Glenn.Lycan@akc.org) or Guy Fisher (919.816.3705; Guy.Fisher@akc.org) for advice.

There is varying information coming from the Government and media about mass gatherings and the number that constitutes. We have to take into consideration that every community has the ability to set their own guidelines as to what the definition of a mass gathering is. Clubs will have to make their own decision based upon local, state or federal mandates which they will be required to follow. Many of our different types of sports certainly fall under the category of less than 1,000 or 250 people. It is as Steven Hamblin stated a “fluid” situation as there will be significant differences between the thousands of municipalities throughout our nation.

We are also monitoring reports on the relationship between COVID-19 and companion animals which, based upon a U.S. Police Canine Association memo circulated by Dr. Carmen Battaglia this morning, states in part: “The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission. There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.”

Internally, we are avoiding meetings in our NY or NC office with visitors or vendors; everyone is planning to substitute video or telephonic conferences. We continue encouraging employees to follow the CDC guidelines and have instructed them to limit non-essential business travel. With the cooperation of HR, we have also taken steps to put a procedure in place to handle employees who may come in contact with someone who has contracted the virus. Fortunately, there are no known cases at this time.

Our clubs and exhibitors are invited to keep visiting AKC.org or AKC’s Facebook page for the latest information and to follow CDC and WHO advice.

Dennis B. Sprung

 

 

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