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The American Kennel Club is proud to announce the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs has been awarded the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.

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 receive a $1,000 donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.

“AKC’s Colorado federation and Legislative Liaison Linda Hart have made a tremendous difference in protecting the rights of responsible dog owners in Colorado. Between their work to repeal breed-specific legislation (BSL) in communities like Denver and Aurora, protecting the rights of responsible dog owners at the state level, and even helping out their neighbors in Wyoming, this group is a great example of how federations and kennel clubs really do make a positive difference in the lives of the dog-owning public. I’m honored to work with this dedicated group,” said Sheila Goffe, AKC’s Director of Government Relations.

The Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs was organized to encourage and promote the welfare of dogs and to protect the interests, rights and wellbeing of responsible dog owners and breeders in Colorado. Since its founding in 2000, the CFDC has played an active role in educating legislators and dog owners about responsible dog ownership and dog owners’ rights. Some of the federation’s many outstanding accomplishments include:

  • Providing kennel clubs throughout the state with seminars and educational materials on legislative action.
  • Establishing relationships with state and local legislators to ensure that they are seen as the local resource for information on responsible dog ownership issues.
  • Working with professional lobbyist Janet Fox Stephens, who breeds and shows Welsh Terriers.
  • Establishing grassroots networks, and working together with other animal groups to defeat bills that would limit the rights of responsible dog owners.


Among its successes, the CFDC helped defeat a 2008 state bill that would have restricted breeding and limited dog ownership and a 2011 bill that would have removed due process rights for individuals accused of animal cruelty. The federation is currently working to repeal breed-specific bans in Denver and surrounding communities and to fight new breed-specific proposals elsewhere.


The CFDC also assists kennel clubs in neighboring Wyoming. At the request of the Cheyenne Kennel Club, the CFDC’s legislative liaison testified before the Wyoming House Agriculture Committee and worked with Wyoming legislators to change a bill that would have created unreasonable restrictions on dog owners to one that corrected deficiencies in existing cruelty laws. In 2011, CFDC helped defeat two bills in Wyoming that would have restricted dog owners’ rights.