The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) announced today that Port Chester Obedience Training Club (PCOTC) has been named a recipient of the AKC Community Achievement Award for its public education efforts throughout the greater New York metropolitan area. PCOTC was one of two honorees this quarter – Charlotte McGowan, Legislative Liaison for several Massachusetts clubs, 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 promote purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership.
“The Port Chester Obedience Training Club has long set the standard of excellence for dog training clubs in the Tri-State area,“ said Noreen Baxter, AKC’s VP of Communications. “Their instructional programs have produced countless happy, active and well-trained canines. In addition, their work in the community to educate owners about responsible dog ownership is second to none. We are proud to recognize their efforts by honoring them with the AKC Community Achievement Award.”
Recognizing they have a unique opportunity to reach the general dog public through demonstrations at public events, PCOTC members work diligently to promote responsible dog ownership and basic obedience training whenever possible. PCOTC’s agility, obedience and rally demonstrations at “AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day’s” 2004 flagship event in New York City were among the most popular with the audience. Last year the club presented a rally demonstration at the annual American Veterinary Medical Association Conference in Philadelphia and gave obedience, agility, and rally demonstrations during Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s annual walkathon fundraiser at FDR Park in Yorktown Heights, NY.
Last year, when the AKC was approached by NBC’s “Today Show” to provide experts for a segment about dog training, it looked to PCOTC for their expertise. Members of the club joined AKC spokeswoman Gail Miller on the national morning program to help promote AKC and AKC-affiliated clubs as the best sources for information on training. PCOTC has since been called upon again by the “Today Show” and have eagerly volunteered their highly trained canine companions.
One of many PCOTC public education campaigns is “Reading with Rover” at the Mt. Kisco, NY Public Library. Handlers and therapy dogs from the club work with children ages 4 to 11 who have difficulty learning to read, providing them with the opportunity to practice reading aloud to a friendly and non-critical audience — a licensed therapy dog.
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.