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New York, NY The American Kennel Club® announced today that Cheryl Costello has been named a recipient of the AKC® Community Achievement Award for her dedication to protecting the canines in her community.  Costello is a member of the Wilmington (Delaware) Kennel Club.  She received one of three awards this quarter –Pamela Duke and Carol Linger of Lompoc, Calif. and the Tampa Bay Kennel Club 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.

When Costello discovered that no fire company in the New Castle County had pet-resuscitation masks, she proposed that the Wilmington Kennel Club (WKC) supply the life-saving devices to the county’s 36 firehouses. After some research, she found the masks and brought a workable proposal to the club’s board. With their unanimous approval, Costello coordinated the project to successful completion.

Costello was nominated for a Community Achievement Award by WKC club secretary, Martha Doerner, who praised Costello’s “dogged determination to see that every pet in New Castle County has the same chance of surviving a fire as their owners.”

The WKC made the official presentation of the masks at its annual all-breed show in April. Costello spearheaded a publicity blitz that resulted in wide coverage of the event in the print and electronic media.  The publicity gave her community a balanced picture of WKC club members and showed that they were responsible members of the community who cared for the welfare of all dogs.

“The AKC commends Cheryl Costello’s efforts to ensure the safety of dogs in her community,” said Noreen Baxter, AKC’s VP of Communications. “The publicity she gained for the Wilmington Kennel Club is an added bonus and helped bring attention to the many positive changes a club can make in their neighborhood. The American Kennel Club congratulates Costello on her accomplishments.”

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