The American Kennel Club is proud to announce the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs as the inaugural winner of the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.
Named for the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the “Bebout” award recognizes those federations and owner/breeder organizations that have been actively involved in educating legislators about responsible dog ownership issues and have worked to preserve the rights of responsible owners and breeders. Winners of the Bebout award are announced quarterly and receive a $1,000 donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.
Some of the North Carolina Federation’s accomplishments include:
- Lobbying the North Carolina legislature on bills affecting dog owners, dog breeders, exhibitors and hunters during the 2009-2010 session. They assisted in the defeat of SB 460, which would have been ineffective, overreaching and expensive for local communities. Federation volunteers registered as lobbyists conducted on-site meetings with bill sponsors and legislative committee members, made presentations on positions at committee meetings and to the media, and organized grassroot efforts by supporters to contact their legislators by email, letter and in person.
- Sponsoring and organizing an AKC Canine Experience held in Raleigh, NC. Federation members and other local AKC clubs educated the general public about local and state wide dog laws and ownership responsibility, offered a legislative education seminar, demonstrated dog sports such as conformation, obedience and Rally, and provided breeder referrals.
- Developing an outreach program to enlist AKC affiliated clubs to become members of the federation. To date, federation membership includes 31 dog clubs, an increase of 50% in just two years.
“Walt contributed greatly to the development of the AKC Government Relations department and its work to protect the rights of dog owners and breeders,” said Sheila Goffe, Director of Government Relations. “He would be pleased that the North Carolina Federation – a hard-working organization dedicated to upholding the same ideals in which he believed – is being honored in his memory.”