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New York, NY –Trap Falls Kennel Club (TFKC), Northwest Obedience Club, Inc. (NOCI) and Black Hills Dog Training Club (BHDTC) have each been honored with an AKC Community Achievement Award for the fourth quarter of 2013 for hosting exceptional AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events.

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 responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership.

Trap Falls Kennel Club (Connecticut)
Trap Falls Kennel Club (TFKC) held its 10th annual AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event “Pawz in the Park” on September 15th in Ansonia, Connecticut. The event attracted a crowd of over 2,000 people and their dogs from surrounding towns in Connecticut, and from as far away as Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York State. The club offered demonstrations and discussions of AKC programs, Canine Good Citizen® testing, a Parade of Breeds, AKC Rally® and Obedience matches, 42 Meet the Breeds booths, 25 vendor booths, a Children’s area and a kennel club information booth that assisted people in completing paperwork for the AKC Reunite program and dog registration.

The club encouraged attendees to bring items to donate to a local shelter, and by the end of the event, TFKC had enough shelter items to fill two SUVs. The club also collected donations through raffle ticket sales and donation jars. The funds were donated to “Hand for a Paw,” an organization providing urban dogs and their owners with a mobile clinic, education, and a food pantry for the low income and elderly.

Publicity for the event included a feature spot on the Channel 12 News “Pet Talk” program, articles in the Shelton Herald, Connecticut Post and New Haven Register, and courtesy public service announcements on WICC AM radio. Mayor Della Volpe of Ansonia also signed a proclamation declaring September 15th to be Responsible Dog Ownership Day in Ansonia, Connecticut.

Northwest Obedience Club, Inc. (Illinois)
Northwest Obedience Club, Inc. (NOCI) hosted its AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event on September 22, 2013 in Cary, Illinois, offering low-cost microchipping, engraved ID tags and free “lost dog” photos, among many other activities and programs. Visitors could play “Guess the Breed” with NOCI club members and Boy Scouts had the opportunity to earn their Dog Care merit badge at the event. Demonstrations helped all attendees learn about Obedience, AKC Rally®, Nosework, Carting and Agility. Information was also provided about the Canine Good Citizen® and S.T.A.R. Puppy Programs and how to get started in therapy dog work. Club member Tim Dyer said, “Our members and visitors had a great time together, all marveling at the wonderful opportunity to learn about Responsible Dog Ownership while enhancing the bond with their dogs.”

Pre-event coverage appeared in the Barrington Courier-Review, Chicago Tribune and the CBS Chicago website. Photos of the event appeared in the Northwest Herald and Cary Village Mayor Mark Kownick proclaimed Sunday, September 22, 2013 as Responsible Dog Ownership Day.

Black Hills Dog Training Club (South Dakota)
Black Hills Dog Training Club (BHDTC) joined Region 4H Dog Project to host its 9th annual RDO Day on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The public was invited to bring their dogs and participate in an introduction to basic obedience training, Canine Good Citizen® testing, Pet Pilates, Agility and AKC Rally®.

Local groomers provided hands-on training in proper grooming techniques for different kinds of dog coats as well as toenail clipping, while local vet clinics educated visitors on vaccinations, parasites and answered many questions. The spay/neuter clinic Operation Pets was also on-site to greet the public and answer questions. Club members encouraged kids to become involved with their dogs by showing the safety around dogs DVD “The Dog Listener” and by hosting a kids coloring contest.

BHDTC advertised the event in newspapers throughout the state of South Dakota and were invited to do radio interviews on KIMM 106.7 and 1150 AM. Rapid City Mayor Sam Kookier proclaimed the month of September as Responsible Dog Ownership month.

“We depend on AKC clubs to help us educate the public about responsible dog ownership, and these three groups hosted highly successful, well-attended AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days in 2013,” said Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Communications. “The important work done by the members of these clubs will go a long way to help turn dogs owners in their communities into responsible dog owners.”

Nominations for the AKC Community Achievement Award are accepted year-round. Honorees receive a certificate of appreciation and a $1,000 check payable to their AKC club or AKC-recognized federation to further public education and government relations efforts.Click here to nominate an individual, club or federation.