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The American Kennel Club® announced recently that the Illinois Capital Kennel Club (ICKC) of Springfield, Illinois has been named a recipient of the AKC® Community Achievement Award for taking an active role in fighting anti-dog legislation in its community. The ICKC received one of three awards for the third quarter of 2009– Lynne Clements of the Clackamas Kennel Club and Danita Slattin of the Sussex Spaniel Club of America 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 Illinois Capital Kennel Club recently hired a lobbyist to aid in the fight of anti dog-breeder legislation that was working its way through the Illinois House and Senate. At the same time, the club established the YAHOO! group “Illinoisallbreed” for Illinois-based AKC breed club officers to share information about legislation and to get the word out when clubs need to contact legislators regarding local legislation. The club also contacted all clubs in Illinois, encouraging them to ask their legislators to spend time at the local dog shows and assist in presenting the Best in Show trophy or award.

The club actively supports various law enforcement groups and local community entities in their area as well. Service activities include the purchase of a police dog for the Sangamon County Sherriff’s Department, a donation to the Springfield Park District for the development of a dog park, a contribution to the Springfield Police Department for the maintenance of their K-9 unit, and most recently, the donation of animal oxygen masks to the Springfield Fire Department.

“We applaud the Illinois Capital Kennel Club not only for their tireless support of the law enforcement in their community, but for the leadership role they’ve taken in their government,” said Sheila Goffe, AKC’s Director of Government Relations. “The club member’s creative, concerted efforts to fight against legislation threatening their rights to own and breed dogs should serve as a model for all other AKC clubs.”

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.