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The American Kennel Club® announced recently that the Detroit Kennel Club (DKC) has been named a recipient of the AKC® Community Achievement Award for using its annual dog show as a golden opportunity for public education on a grand scale. The DKC received one of three awards for the third quarter of 2007- Joseph Foster of New Castle, Del. and the Everglades Golden Retriever Club of Boca Raton, Fla. 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.

One of only six annual benched shows left in the United States, the DKC Dog Show regularly draws more than 3,000 entries and 30,000 spectators to Detroit's Cobo Center.

“It is our belief that benched dog shows provide the best avenue for instilling a better understanding of purebred dogs amongst the public,” said DKC president Erik Bergishagen. “It provides dedicated breeders and clubs the opportunity to explain their purpose and the joy of breeding.”

A unique feature of the March 2007 event was a self-guided tour called “Map of the Stars,” an effort to get more young people interested in the club's mission. The color-coded map led some 1,200 attendees through the show's attractions at their own pace. Also among the public education attractions at the show were demonstrations of guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, search and rescue and herding, as well as breed seminars, veterinary presentations and the DKC's Canine Care merit badge program.

“AKC congratulates the Detroit Kennel Club for creatively incorporating so many public education messages into their annual dog show,” said Noreen Baxter, AKC's VP of Communications. “We applaud the club's enthusiasm and practical approach to educating others about the world of purebred dogs.”

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. Nominate a club.