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New York, NY – Lori Finlayson of the Mid-Continent Kennel Club and a resident of Jenks, Okla. has been named a recipient of the American Kennel Club® (AKC®) Community Achievement Award for combining her passion for teaching and purebred dogs into unique programs for children. Finlayson received one of three awards for the second quarter of 2009 (Penn Ridge Kennel Club and Bakersfield Obedience Training 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.

A teacher at the Jenks Middle School, Finlayson teaches an annual lesson in her class instructing her students how to do research to find a suitable dog for their family. Finlayson has guest speakers from the fancy visit the class with their dogs to further educate her students about breeds and students become skilled in how to take notes and document sources. The lesson culminates in a visit to the Tulsa Cluster of dog shows, where the students complete their research.

Finlayson founded the Children's Art Show at the Dog Show event held at the Mid-Continent Kennel Club show. This contest, in which kids are invited to depict their favorite dog or breed of dog, has become a popular part of the show, with over 500 pictures entered last year by young dog lovers. In addition, Finlayson launched a new set of junior handling classes with her fellow club members. The classes focus on canine anatomy, grooming, handling, and even how to dress for the show ring.

“Students have responded with great enthusiasm and can't wait for the next set of classes to begin,” Mid-Continent Kennel Club secretary Deby Harber said. “They all leave the class with more presence, confidence and desire to further pursue involvement in the world of purebred dogs.”

“Ms. Finlayson does an excellent job of integrating her teaching skills with her knowledge of dogs in order to help children grow into responsible dog owners,” said Ron Rella, AKC's Director, Project Administration. “We are proud to honor her with this AKC Community Achievement Award.”

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 Community Achievement Award.