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New York, NY – The American Kennel Club (AKC) announced today that Charlotte McGowan has been named a recipient of the AKC Community Achievement Award for her diligent work on legislative matters of interest to the dog fancy. She was one of two honorees this quarter – Port Chester Obedience Training Club of Port Chester, New York also received recognition.

The AKC Community Achievement Awards support and recognize outstanding public education and legislation efforts of AKC-affiliated clubs, AKC-recognized federations, and their members. The AKC selects award recipients who have successfully promoted purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored, and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership.

McGowan received this recognition for her outstanding service as Legislative Liaison for two parent clubs, the Papillon Club of America and the American Shetland Sheepdog Association. She was also recently named legislative chair for the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and the legislative point person for the National Animal Interest Alliance Trust, an association dedicated to promoting animal welfare, supporting responsible animal use and strengthening the bond between humans and animals.

“Charlotte’s steadfast commitment to protecting the rights of purebred dog owners has had a profound effect on the sport today,” said Noreen Baxter, AKC’s VP of Communications. “Using her own time and money, she researches and monitors those issues effecting the fancy nationwide, and in her home state of Massachusets, works tirelessly to petition lawmakers about the dangers of breed specific and breeder licensing legislation. An invaluable resource to the AKC Canine Legislation department, we thank her for her assistance and attendance at AKC Lobby Day in Washington D.C. We are proud to recognize all of Charlotte’s efforts by honoring her with the AKC Community Achievement Award.”

A firm advocate for the rights of dog owners, McGowan spends a great deal of time and effort monitoring and distributing canine legislation information to interested parties. She reviews national and international news related to animal rights extremism and alerts the AKC Canine Legislation department and other interested groups of impending legislation. McGowan posts legislative news from all over the country to email lists informing the dog fancy and dog owners of current legislative issues in their locales.

McGowan regularly attends hearings on Boston’s Beacon Hill. In 2004, for example, in her home state of Massachusetts, McGowan spent three days in Boston lobbying against a proposed bill that required anyone who bred more than one litter a year to be licensed. She lobbied all 40 members of the Massachusetts State Senate, and recruited other fanciers to join her efforts. The breeder-licensing bill in question died in the conference committee.

McGowan’s work to recruit other purebred dog advocates continues to be successful. She often speaks at Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs meetings about issues effecting the fancy, and urges those who are concerned to get involved by attending hearings, writing letters, and contacting their legislators.

Nominations for the AKC Community Achievement Awards are accepted year-round. Up to three honorees are named each quarter. They receive a certificate and a $1,000 check payable to the club or federation’s public education and canine legislation efforts.