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Community Achievement Award honorees

(Tuesday, January 25, 2005)

Congratulations to the Whidbey Island Kennel Club and Walla Walla Kennel Club, the most recent AKC Community Achievement Award recipients.

The 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 have successfully promoted purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored, and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership. The AKC accepts nominations year-round and names up to three honorees each quarter. The nomination form is available on the AKC web site, or by request. Each honoree receives a certificate and a $1,000 check payable to the club or federation’s public education and canine legislation efforts.

Whidbey Island Kennel Club
Washington State



Whidbey Island Kennel Club is a recipient of the AKC Community Achievement Award for its outstanding work on the legislative front and for promoting responsible dog ownership in its community.

Whidbey Island Kennel Club is instrumental in preventing unfavorable ordinances governing dog ownership, breeding, and licensing from passing in their county. Club members with the help of dog owners throughout the county encourage people through letters and phone calls to attend council meetings to voice their opinions on current issues.

Five members of the Whidbey Island Kennel Club serve on the Snohomish County Council Animal Advisory Board where they monitor animal ordinances and animal issues that come before the council. They attend hearings and write new animal regulations.

Club members and the Animal Advisory Board were instrumental in having September 17 declared as National Responsible Dog Ownership Day in their county. Whidbey Island Kennel Club members held a free microchip clinic on September 17, where more than 300 animals received microchips.

Whidbey Island Kennel Club members work diligently to educate their community about responsible dog ownership. Club members worked with the Animal Advisory Board to create information packets on general dog care, training, health, breeding, spaying, neutering, and dog shows. They distribute the packets to people licensing dogs at the Snohomish County Licensing Department, to people adopting dogs from shelters, to veterinarian offices, and to school libraries in the county. Whidbey Island Kennel Club members also distribute pamphlets listing contact numbers for all parent clubs in the US and information on dogs and dog shows to libraries, veterinarian offices, at pet fairs, and club events.

Club members contacted all curriculum directors in Snohomish County schools informing them about AKC educational resources such as the Best Friends teaching kit. The majority of the directors requested the materials for their schools.

Whidbey Island Kennel Club awarded $500 scholarships to students attending the Washington State University’s veterinary program and contributed to a scholarship program for a local high school veterinary assisting and grooming program.

The club conducts Canine Good Citizen (CGC) tests at local 4-H fairs annually. The club sponsors the Washington State University Evergreen Pet Fair where club members demonstrate dog show judging with their dogs, conduct CGC tests, show AKC videos, and distribute AKC responsible dog ownership information.

Whidbey Island Kennel Club is a regular contributor to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Museum of the Dog, and National Animal Interest Alliance. In 2002, club members held a raffle and matched funds to donate to the AKC-CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund. Club members also donated $10,000 to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit for the purchase of a new dog and the cocoon for the officer’s car. During one of the club events, club members gave booth space and donated 50 cents for each show entry to a group purchasing a dog for the sheriff’s department. Whidbey Island Kennel Club also provided bulletproof vests for all the dogs in the unit.

Walla Walla Kennel Club
Washington State



Walla Walla Kennel Club members work hard to educate citizens about the importance of responsible dog ownership.

Walla Walla Kennel Club members hold an annual seminar in their community on dog training. Club members invite other breed club members in the area and the general public. To generate interest, Walla Walla Kennel Club members distribute seminar registration forms to local feed stores and vet offices. Walla Walla Kennel Club also exchanges its club newsletter with other breed clubs in the area to keep dog people current on events and activities.

Walla Walla Kennel Club members hand out AKC reproducibles on various topics at their education booth during the local fair each year. During the fair parade, club members carry signs like “Don’t be a Poop — Scoop,” encouraging citizens to be responsible pet owners and clean up after their dogs.

Walla Walla Kennel Club developed a program with the City of Walla Walla, Washington, to install 21 “Mutt Mitt” bag dispensers in local parks in the city in an effort to keep dog waste out of public walkways. The dispensers are maintained and filled by kennel club members. With the help of a local dog celebrity, Sadie the Dalmatian, the club promotes the program with signs throughout the community, in veterinary offices, and other pet-related businesses.

Club members also hold demonstrations in the local mall each year. During the “dogs on parade” event, club members show different breeds and explain breed standards. They also hold obedience and Junior Showmanship demonstrations and showcase service dogs in the community. Citizens get to pet the dogs and ask club members about the breeds and responsible dog ownership. Club members hand out AKC public education materials during the event.

Walla Walla Kennel Club members give presentations at local elementary schools on choosing the right dog and responsible dog ownership. They discuss with students how to talk to their parents about getting a dog and how to make informed decisions about bringing a new dog into the family. They also take dogs into the schools and give presentations on dog sledding.

Walla Walla Kennel Club also contributes to its community through contributions to the local humane society. Club members assembled more than 40 kennels for the new Blue Mountain Humane Society shelter. In addition, the club contributed $4,000 and installed acoustic ceilings in the kennel rooms.