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New York, NY – Upper Potomac Valley Kennel Club (UPVKC) has been selected as the American Kennel Club® (AKC®) Community Achievement Award honoree for the second quarter of 2014.

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.

From its base in Allegany County, Maryland, UPVKC’s public education and community service activities extend to three states.  Close to home, UPVKC members provide workshops, instructional sessions, and support for the Allegany County 4-H Paws and Pals Club.  4-H members have gone on to become AKC Junior Handlers and participate in AKC events.

When breed-specific legislation was discussed by the city of Frostburg, Maryland, UPVKC members worked with the city council to provide obedience classes at a city facility, increase awareness about responsible dog ownership, and raise funds for a fenced off-leash dog park. Today, through an innovative partnership with local government, the Frostburg Dog Park is owned by the city of Frostburg and maintained by the UPVKC. Club members offer agility, rally and obedience classes and AKC Canine Good Citizen® tests in a dedicated training area within the dog park. UPVKC hosts its AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day at the park each September and assists with the annual “Frostburg Dog Splash” fundraiser. 

UPVKC members make regular therapy dog visits to nursing homes in Allegany and surrounding counties, and provide children’s reading programs at libraries across the state line in Ft. Ashby and Keyser, West Virginia.  In another innovative arrangement, UPVKC members receive access to training space at a Tractor Supply store in Keyser in exchange for holding ongoing dog training classes and providing canine demonstrations at special events such as the 2014 “Purina Days.” 

Club members also work with area humane societies to offer information on responsible dog care, volunteer at rabies clinics, and participate in “Bark for Life” and “4-H Waggin’ & Walkin’” events in support of human and dog cancer research. The UPVKC contributes to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, several local dog rescues, and the Allegany County Crippled Children’s League. UPVKC members traveled to Pennsylvania to volunteer, contribute financial support, and provide dogs as exhibits for the AKC Advanced Dog Show Judges Institute.

“We are pleased to present the AKC Community Achievement Award to the Upper Potomac Valley Kennel Club in recognition of their work of on behalf of dogs, dog owners, and community organizations in northwest Maryland and the surrounding states,” said Sheila Goffe, Director of Government Relations.