– A True Gentleman in the Sport of Purebred Dogs –
New York, NY — The American Kennel Club's Board of Directors is deeply saddened by the loss of their associate Asa Mays, DVM.
“The sport of purebred dogs lost a highly respected life-long fancier, esteemed judge and three-term AKC Board member with his passing,” said AKC Chairman of the Board Ron Menaker.
Dr. Mays, 67, died on August 10, 2005 at his home in Duluth, Georgia with his wife Karen and son Mark by his side. He was the AKC Delegate for the Hutchinson Kennel Club, a founding Board member of the AKC Canine Health Foundation, and served as a Board member of the National Animal Interest Alliance.
Active in the sport of purebred dogs for more than 35 years, Dr. Mays along with his wife first joined the fancy in 1968, showing a Borzoi and a Saluki. His involvement in purebred dogs extended to showing Dachshunds and Beagles under the kennel name Zencor. Several of his dogs ranked in the Top 10 of their breed. His love for dogs was instilled during his childhood in Ohio where dogs were always part of the family.
“Asa will be sorely missed for his wealth of knowledge, personal commitment, and contributions to the world of purebred dogs,” added Menaker. “I knew Asa for over 25 years and valued his judgments and expertise deeply.”
Throughout his life Dr. Mays was integrally involved in numerous dog clubs. He was a life member, president, and AKC Delegate of the Borzoi Club of America; regional director of the American Saluki Association; life member, show chairman and AKC Delegate of the Somerset Hills Kennel Club; president and show chairman of the Bloomington, Indiana Kennel Club; founding member of the Central New Jersey Hound Association and a member of the Dachshund Club of America. He was also a founding member of the Meadowlands Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club. His last dog was a Cavalier which he handled to its AKC Championship.
As an AKC judge, he was approved for all sporting, hound and working breeds and officiated in nearly every state, as well as Canada, Australia, Sweden, Spain, Venezuela, and Costa Rica. He also judged sporting breeds at the 2003 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.
Dr. Mays was a popular writer on canine veterinary matters. His work appeared regularly in the AKC Gazette, The Gazehound, and Popular Dogs. He co-authored the Borzoi and Saluki chapters in the book “Genetic Aspects of Purebred Dogs” and was the veterinary editor of “The Samoyed Book” and the “German Shepherd Book.” He also served for 15 years as the Associate Editor of the Merck Veterinary Manual.
Dr. Mays earned degrees in anthropology and veterinary medicine from Ohio State University and a master's of medical science degree in immunology from Tulane University. He was a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, director of Laboratory Animal Medicine at Indiana University, and served as a manager of strategic bio-informatics for an animal health pharmaceutical manufacturer.
|“The Board will miss Asa's insightful observations as well as his dry sense of humor which often times helped the Board keep things in perspective. I will miss him as a friend and associate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Karen and the entire family.”|
|“Asa's death is a tremendous loss to the dog fancy, and in particular to the Board of Directors as well as the AKC Health Foundation. Asa took his position seriously and his illness never, never slowed his dedication. He dotted his “i's” and crossed his 't's”. His pithy remarks were punctuated often with humor. I am proud to have been his friend. It will be difficult not to see his smiling face across from me. Our organization, our Fancy, and more importantly, our dogs have lost a devoted friend.”|
|“Asa Mays was an uncommon man: thoughtful, keenly intelligent, fair-minded and with a wonderful sense of humor. He was a gentleman in all that he did in the show ring and in the board room, yet possessed a steely resolve and deep sense of right and wrong that led him to speak his mind and stand up for his principles. He was generous with his friends and gave back tenfold to his life interests. It was an honor to serve with Dr. Mays on the AKC and NAIA boards, and I will greatly miss his thoughtfulness, wisdom and warm friendship.”|
|“Asa Mays will be sorely missed by those of us on the AKC Board. His quiet counsel and ability to make us consider carefully both sides of issues before rushing to judgment was Asa's trademark. His unwavering love for the sport of purebred dogs, and especially for the dogs themselves, was obvious to anyone who engaged him in conversation for even a few minutes. Always a gentleman, but firm in his convictions, Asa had the respect of all of his colleagues, even those who at times held opposing views on a given subject. I personally will always remember the myriad times he raised points during our lively discussions that no one had given the slightest thought to. . . points that made us stop and look at the issue more closely. Despite his incredibly severe health problems, Asa never lost his wry sense of humor or his professional demeanor. The sport has lost one of its true champions.”|
|Asa Mays was a special kind of man, husband, father and board member. He was thoughtful, bright and considerate of those that came to know him. I especially recall his interest and our discussions about the future and the need to bring the veternarians closer to the AKC. We used to imagine what would happen if every vet would recommend to their clients a local AKC club as the place to go for breed information and someone to know when questions arose.
Asa loved the AKC, its traditions and its history. He helped to move it forward during his time on the board. We will all miss him very much.