The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department was pleased to award the inaugural Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation (“Bebout Award”) to the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs.
“The North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs received this award because of the tremendous breadth and depth of leadership they’ve demonstrated in canine legislation over the past two years,” explained Sheila Goffe, Director of Government Relations.
The federation not only reacted effectively to a plethora of problematic legislation, but they also reached out to the community in a proactive way by sponsoring a number of educational events. They sponsored a large Canine Experience event in which they offered a legislative seminar. They also offered educational updates and discussions at North Carolina dog shows and invited a number of legislators to present awards at many of the AKC events throughout the state.
In addition, the federation has worked tirelessly for the past two years on behalf of responsible dog breeders in an effort to defeat Senate Bill 460, a bill that sought to regulate North Carolina dog breeders. Among other provisions, the bill contained vague and confusing definitions of “commercial breeder”, false and misleading legislative findings, and new, unfunded mandates for counties. The bill passed the North Carolina Senate in 2009, but was held by the House Finance Committee in 2010.
The federation spent countless hours at the North Carolina General Assembly educating legislators and distributed alerts and information to local dog clubs, fanciers, and breeders to generate grassroots opposition to the bill. They also created a coalition of like-minded organizations to oppose the bill (Read more about the SB 460 victory.)
The Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation, awarded in conjunction with the AKC Breeder Relations Department, supports and recognizes outstanding efforts of AKC federations and other owner/breeder clubs and organizations in the legislative arena. It was named for the late Director of Government Relations, who was instrumental in developing the role of the department to ensure the rights of responsible owners and breeders were protected. Read more about the award.
AKC GR accepts applications throughout the year for this quarterly award, which honors a group for significant contributions (including leadership, financial, or other efforts) in support of responsible dog owners in the public policy arena. Honorees receive a commemorative award, as well as a $1,000 donation to help assist with legislative efforts.
Read the article from AKC’s website regarding the efforts of the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs.