Each quarter, the AKC honors up to three AKC-affiliated clubs, federations, or club members for outstanding contributions to canine public education and government relations efforts. The three Community Achievement Award recipients for this quarter exemplify the impact dog fanciers and owners can have on their community and their legislatures.
Lynne Clements is the Public Education Coordinator for the Clackamas Kennel Club in Oregon City, Oregon. In addition to overseeing the educational booth at her club’s show each year, she and the club have provided dog education materials to 16 different county libraries. She has also organized a successful pet fair that promoted and offered information about purebred dogs and dog sports and delivered blankets to dogs in the local shelter.
The Illinois Capitol Kennel Club recently hired a lobbyist to aid in the fight of anti-breeder legislation that was moving through the Illinois General Assembly. The club established a Yahoo group for Illinois-based AKC breed club officers to share information and get the word out to their club members about legislation. The club also contacted all clubs in Illinois and encouraged them to invite legislators to local dog shows and present the Best in Show award. In addition to legislative efforts, the Illinois Capitol Kennel Club has also supported local Illinois communities by developing a dog park, purchasing a police dog, donating to a K-9 police unit, and donating animal oxygen masks to a local fire department.
Danita Slattin of the Sussex Spaniel Club of America is one of the founders of the K9 Alec Foundation, which helps small communities obtain police dogs. She also brings her Sussex Spaniels to local schools near her home in Greencastle, Indiana, to educate children about responsible dog ownership. In addition, Danita and her therapy dog Reena visit nursing homes and also recently participated in her community’s Walk for Babies, raising over $500 for the cause.
There are numerous stories like these around the country, and we encourage you to nominate these clubs and individuals for an AKC Community Achievement Award. We also encourage you to share these stories with legislators, so that they can know all the wonderful things that clubs and fanciers are doing to benefit their communities!
Community Achievement Award nominations are accepted year-round. The 2009 fourth quarter awards will be dedicated solely to those who hosted AKC Responsible Dog Owner Days. For more information and a nomination form, visit the Community Achievement Award web page.