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The American Kennel Club® is pleased to announce that Elaine Shoe-Ezell has been named a recipient of the AKC® Community Achievement Award for bringing the world of dogs to young people by teaching them about responsible dog ownership and safety around dogs. Shoe-Ezell is a member of the Garden State Golden Retriever Club (GSGRC). She received one of three awards for the second quarter of 2008- Ann McGloon of the Sussex Spaniel Club of America in Murphy, Ore. and Suzanne E. Benchoff of the Chambersburg Area Kennel Club in Arendtsville, Penn. 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.

Elaine Shoe-Ezell is the Public Education Coordinator and Canine Ambassador of GSGRC. She visits elementary and middle schools, Girl Scouts groups, pre-schools, libraries and learning centers with her Golden Retriever, Patrick, teaching children how to behave safely around dogs. She is also the AKC Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) evaluator for the club.

She is a co-founder of Thera-Pet, a therapy dog group that visits hospitals and nursing homes throughout New Jersey. Patrick was placed in the NJ Veterinary Foundation’s Hall of Fame Special Recognition category for their work at the Pier 94 Family Assistance Center where Shoe-Ezell and Patrick comforted families of 9/11 victims.

This summer, she is starting a summer program where responsible dog ownership will be part of a weekly camp curriculum.  The camp hosts approximately 200 children per week for 4 to 6 weeks within New Jersey. Many organizations will be participating in the camp activities and educational teams to teach children about responsible dog ownership.

“The AKC thanks Elaine Shoe-Ezell for her work within schools, hospitals and nursing homes,” said Noreen Baxter, AKC’s VP of Communications.  “It is very evident that she has a passion for helping those in need and educating those who wish to learn. She is a great role model for the dog owning community.”

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.