The American Kennel Club is proud to announce that the Georgia Canine Coalition is the First Quarter 2011 recipient of the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.
Named for the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the "Bebout" award recognizes 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 are announced quarterly and receive a $1,000 donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.
The Georgia Canine Coalition (GCC), which represents approximately 25,000 Georgia dog owners, is dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible dog ownership in the state of Georgia through education, communication and legislation. The coalition is active on the local, state and national level and retains an attorney who serves as one of GCC’s two registered state lobbyists.
“We work with legislators and the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Animal Protection Division to ensure that rules and regulations that are proposed are protective of animals without creating an undue burden upon dog owners and breeders,” said GCC president Gail LaBerge.
The GCC was founded in the 1980’s as the Georgia Coalition of Dog Clubs. “I would like to recognize Bonnie Turner, who worked so hard during the 90’s to develop relationships at the Capitol and with the Department of Agriculture,” LaBerge said. “The group expanded beyond kennel clubs to include individual dog owners, rescue groups, sportsmen and others and was incorporated in 2004 as the Georgia Canine Coalition,” LaBerge continued.
Some of the Georgia Canine Coalition’s accomplishments include:
“AKC clubs that are members of GCC have allowed the GCC to recommend and invite members of the General Assembly and state government to present the Best In Show trophy at a number of shows in the Atlanta area. This gives the GCC the opportunity to educate those in office about breeders and the care given to their dogs, explain how a dog show works and show the love our members have for their dogs,” LaBerge said.
“The entire board feels honored that the coalition’s hard work in Georgia and other areas where we’ve been asked to assist has been recognized with the Bebout Award. I am especially thrilled and honored because Walt was a personal friend of mine,” LaBerge said.
For an award nomination form, click here.