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The American Kennel Club (AKC) is proud to announce a new relationship with The Hartz Mountain Corporation to become the official sponsor of the AKC Veterinary Outreach Program.

The AKC Veterinary Outreach Program unites the world of purebred dogs with the veterinary community through educational initiatives aimed at veterinarians, veterinary students and veterinary technicians. The program provides resources in support of veterinary students, practitioners and researchers, providing a forum for the exchange of information about canine health and welfare, as well as scholarships for future practitioners and researchers.

“We are thrilled to embark on these endeavors with The Hartz Mountain Corporation,” said Debra Bonnefond, Director of AKC Veterinary Outreach. “With their generous support, we can increase our resources and together provide educational programs and other services that assist veterinarians.”

“The Hartz Mountain Corporation values its relationship with the veterinary community as evidenced by the continuous support of existing veterinary programs as well as the continued expansion and reach of the Hartz Veterinary Outreach Program,” said Dr. Albert Ahn, DVM, Corporate Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Hartz. “We are committed to providing high quality pet products and celebrating the human-animal bond.”

The AKC and Hartz look forward to debuting their new relationship with the veterinary community at the upcoming 141st American Veterinary Medical Association Annual Convention in Philadelphia, July 24-28, 2004.

The sponsorship of AKC's Veterinary Outreach Program by Hartz comes on the heels of a very successful venture between the two organizations that brought the “DOGNY Help a Hero” toy series to market. Hartz Mountain sales of the popular dog toy, bearing the likeness of real-life search and rescue dogs, have contributed over $1 million to the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund to support professional and volunteer canine search and rescue organizations throughout the United States.

AKC President Dennis B. Sprung stated, “The AKC is delighted to be working with The Hartz Mountain Corporation on the many programs that heighten the appreciation and awareness of the role that dogs play in our lives, whether they be search and rescue dogs, working service dogs, show dogs or household pets. Now, their sponsorship of the Veterinary Outreach Program allows us to bring a greater level of support to the professionals who uphold the human-animal bond: our current and future veterinarians, veterinary researchers and veterinary technicians.”