The American Kennel Club recently announced that the Delaware County Kennel Club (Pennsylvania) and the Pasco Florida Kennel Club have been honored with Community Achievement Awards for the first quarter of 2012.
The AKC 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 promote purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership.
The Delaware County Kennel Club (DCKC), located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, provides a wealth of services to area governmental and law enforcement agencies and has forged strong partnerships in the surrounding communities.
Last year, 18,000 fans looked on as DCKC members presented ballistic vests, K-9 first aid kits, and K-9 oxygen masks to two City of Chester K-9 officers during the pre-game show at a professional soccer match. Over the years, the club has donated 23 ballistic vests, 36 K-9 first aid kits, and 56 K-9 oxygen masks to law enforcement, fire, and emergency response teams through the county. In January, DCKC members attended a county council meeting to present equipment to the newest Sheriff’s K-9 officer. During the meeting, DCKC representatives were surprised with a plaque presented by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office in appreciation for the club’s continued support of the K-9 unit.
This year, DCKC has begun sponsoring free microchip clinics in the county and surrounding communities. The first clinic was held in conjunction with the Aston Township Police Department, and additional clinics are planned on behalf of neighboring townships and Delaware County. Members are also working with the Delaware County Council to promote dog licensing and the county’s “Return a Lost Dog” program.
In response to a request from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, DCKC President Terry Nuss arranged the donation of “Molly,” a Golden Retriever puppy, to a 12-year old survivor of a liver transplant who suffered a post-surgical loss of motor skills. Nuss also provided several weeks of puppy training. The boy’s health quickly improved after receiving Molly to the point that the puppy became his best friend rather than his service dog.
The club provides a Speakers Bureau to demonstrate and discuss the training and work of K-9 Officers and DCKC’s support of area K-9 teams. Speakers offer presentations targeted to children, adults, and seniors. Members of the public are invited to attend club meetings that feature educational presentations. Recent topics included Pennsylvania’s dog laws, the effects of second hand smoke on animals, and canine Lyme disease.
Each of these public outreach and educational events has been chronicled by DCKC’s Publicity Chair, Marge Remolde, via press releases and letters to government officials. As a result, the club’s activities have received extensive press coverage and accolades from lawmakers, city and county councils, community groups, law enforcement agencies, and Congressman Joe Sestak.
Pasco Florida Kennel Club, Inc. (PFKC) members help educate youth in the community about pet safety through involvement with “Pasco Safety Town, the Safety Learning Center for Children.” Safety Town is a realistic, child-sized town designed to provide hands-on safety education for children ages 5 to 8. Its goal is to reduce accidental injuries and death to children through a community-based safety education program. Each year, thousands of children from public and private schools participate in field trips to Safety Town.
In 2008, the PFKC began sponsoring improvements to the Animal Safety Building at Safety Town. In 2010, members provided educational signage and materials on Hurricane Safety, Poison Safety and Heat & Hydration Safety for children and their pets. A “pooper scooper” and signage on “Cleaning Up After Your Pet” were donated for use by volunteers in demonstrations about responsible dog care.
In addition to its ongoing work with Safety Town, the PFKC supports the Pasco County Sheriff Department’s K-9 unit by helping purchase new dogs and equipment needed by handlers. The PFKC also contributed to the building fund for the University of Florida Veterinary School’s small animal building and established a yearly “Endowed Veterinary Scholarship” to be awarded to a Pasco County veterinary student specializing in small animal care.
The PFKC also supports Pasco County Dog Parks, Canine Companions for Independence, local humane shelters, and is an active member of AKC’s state federation, the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs, in support of hurricane relief efforts and legislative actions.
Nominations for the AKC Community Achievement Award are accepted year-round. Honorees receive a certificate of appreciation and a $1,000 check payable to the AKC club or AKC-recognized federation to further public education and government relations efforts. For the fourth quarter awards, AKC clubs, federations and their members who host AKC RDO Day events during the month of September are eligible for nomination. To nominate a club, visit http://www.akc.org/public_education/community_achievement.cfm.