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The American Kennel Club® (AKC) is proud to announce to creation of the Walter Bebout Award. Named for the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the award will recognize 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 will be announced quarterly and will receive a $1,000 check to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.

“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. “We believe this award is the perfect way to honor his memory while advancing the advocacy efforts of our federations and other dog owner/breeder groups that work to protect the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders across the country.” 

Walter Bebout began working as an AKC Conformation Field Representative in 1996 after extensive experience in the sport of dogs as a breeder, exhibitor, AKC-approved judge, member club president, show chairman and AKC delegate. In 2006, he was promoted to Director of Government Relations, where he was responsible for all AKC legislative initiatives on the local and state level and worked closely with the AKC Federal Government Relations Consultant on all federal issues.

Walt's dog-related experience was complemented by a Bachelor's and Master's degree in political science and progress toward a Ph.D. in the same field. In addition, he had significant experience in the public and private sectors in various management positions before coming to the AKC as a field representative.

For an award nomination form, click here