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AKC Board Minutes,Chairman's Report

AKC Board Meeting Minutes

American Kennel Club Board Motions, Actions as recorded by Secretary

 

Current Meeting held via Video Conference May 11, 2021

(See Minutes In Their Entirety Below) or Click to see current AKC Suspensions

 

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Wording is as presented in the Minutes/Secretary's Page, provided by AKC Secretary Gina M. DiNardo.

 

The Board convened via Video Conference on Tuesday May 11, 2021 at 11:02 a.m. Mr. Sprung and the Executive Secretary were present in the NY Office. All other Directors participated in the meeting by video conference. The April 13, 2021 Board meeting minutes, copies of which had been provided to all Directors, were reviewed. Upon a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mr. Carota, the April 13, 2021 Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved.

 

PRESIDENTS REPORT

Mr. Sprung reviewed with the Board the status of the action items emanating from the April Board meeting. Ted Phillips, Chief Financial Officer and Heather McManus, Deputy General Counsel were present for this portion of the meeting.

 

Board Book Timeline - The Board reviewed a memo outlining the timeline that Staff follows in the production of the Board books prior to the meeting. When there are two Board meetings in a row, e.g., April and May Board meetings there is only a three-day time period between the April Board meeting and the due date for May Board book memos. This is a very short turn around for Staff. Currently the Board receives the Board book two weeks prior to the meeting. The Board agreed to shorten their review period of the book to one week prior to the meeting; providing an additional week for Staff to work on memos and presentations.

 

Explore Vision, Scope, Requirements and Implementation for future of AKC’s Competition Management System - Keith Frazier, Exec. VP Business Support Services; Torraine Williams, Dir. Engineering; Tim Pursell, Dir. IT; and Seth Fera-Schanes, Dir. Planning, participated in this portion of the meeting.

     Sports and Events working with numerous other departments continues to grow existing competitions and create new opportunities for individuals to become involved with AKC. The expansion comes through new competition types, in-person and virtual events and titling from novice to highly experienced competitors.

     There is a need for the AKC to assess its current Competition Management System (CMS) infrastructure and make investments in technology that reduces turnaround times for results, reduces manual internal processing, captures additional data points and can scale as our business evolves.

     The AKC Board of Directors has asked the Staff to explore the scope of this work, requirements, cost and a multi-year implementation plan. Depending on the scope of the project, there could be changes in workflows and how results are submitted to the American Kennel Club by clubs and superintendents. Also, based on scope, this will be a capital and resource intensive program, and if initiated will be included in the AKC Corporate Roadmap.

     The Board agreed with Staff’s plan that next steps are to thoroughly buildout a blueprint for how AKC would approach this work to ensure its long-term success. Dr. Battaglia recommended that Staff provide a quarterly report to the Board on the CMS project development and any ongoing problems. This will be updated in July.

 

AKC Board Policy “Event Committee Legal Expenses” Glenn Lycan, Director, Event Operations Support; Lisa Cecin, Director, Club Relations and Guy Fisher, Manager, Club Development participated in this portion of the meeting.

     Based on a Board request, Staff presented suggested revisions to the Board Policy, “Event Committee Legal Expenses” which was approved in 1985. This will be discussed further at the July Board meeting.

 

Legal Update: Heather McManus, Deputy General Counsel, participated in this portion of the meeting. The Board reviewed a legal department update as of April 2021.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss sensitive business matters. Nothing was reported out of this session.

 

AKC Purebred Preservation Bank - Mark Dunn, Exec. VP, participated in this portion of the meeting.

     At the suggestion of CEO Dennis Sprung and with the AKC Board’s approval, Board member Dr. Charles Garvin was asked to work with Staff and Delegates to explore how AKC might play a more active role in the preservation of purebred semen. Previously, the board had in 2017 voted to allow, with AKC Board approval, a Parent Club sponsored, breed specific, frozen semen bank to own frozen semen and to apply for frozen semen litter registration as a semen owner provided all other requirements to register the litter were met.

     The Board reviewed a memo which provided an update regarding the working group’s research and recommendations. The group will pursue these next steps with the goal of having a complete business plan and budget for the AKC Purebred Preservation Bank for the July AKC Board meeting. 

 

FINANCE - Ted Phillips, Chief Financial Officer, presented an interim financial statements (unaudited) through March 31, 2021.


Overview: Net Operating Income is $9.4 million, primarily due to higher registration revenues.
Total Revenues exceed budget $6.2 million. The drivers of this increase are Registration Fees, followed by Pedigree Certificate and related services fees for litters, and Merchandise Sales, Good Dog Helpline, Advertising, and Sponsorships.

 

Revenue Details: Registration Fees exceed the budget by 32%, or $3 million. Dog Registration Fees primarily lead this increase. Pedigree Certificate fees and related service fees for litters continue strong results, exceeding budget by 57% or $6.1 million. Recording & Service fees exceed the 2021 budget by 51% or $611k but trail YTD 2020 by 17% or $370k. Product & Service Sales exceed budget by 27% or $665k led by Merchandise Sales. Advertising & Sponsorship revenues led this report category over budget by 22% or $678k due to increased advertising revenue and newly executed sponsorship agreements.

 

Total Expenses trail budget by 9% or $1.4 million. Key factors are the cautious deployment of organization resources as certain mission-related business activity lags due to the pandemic. Controllable expenses, net, were lower than budget by $1.4 million due to professional service fees, promotion expenses, and travel offset by fulfillment expenses due to increased merchandise sales. Non-Controllable expenses were lower than budget by $400k due to the amortization of software development costs.

 

Activity Statistics:

     • Registrations: 2021 YTD Litter Registration was 23% ahead of budget and 22% better than 2020 YTD. 2021 YTD Dog Registration was 34% ahead of budget and 37% better than 2020 YTD.

     • Events and Entries continue to reflect the negative impact of COVID-19 cancellations. Compared to the same period in 2020, Events & Entries were down by 22% & 39%, respectively.

 

Board member Rita Biddle had to leave the remainder of the meeting to deal with an unexpected, urgent matter. (2:15 p.m. ET).

 

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY - Mari-Beth O’Neill, VP Sport Services Brandi Hunter, VP Communications and Public Relations; Sheila Goffe, VP Government Relations and Ashley Jacot, Dir. Education participated in this portion of the meeting via videoconference.

 

Nominating Committee - The Board reviewed a memo outlining the timeline for selecting the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee for the March 2022 election must be appointed by August 15, 2021, and its report must be received no later than October 15, 2021. For the last two years the appointment was made in July. This will be discussed further at the July Board meeting.

 

AKC Bylaw Amendment for AKC Board to Meet Through Electronic Means - New York State law allows for Board meetings to be held by teleconference or similar communications equipment or by electronic video screen communications.

 

§ 708(c) of the NPCL:
     Any one or more members of the board or of any committee thereof who is not physically present at a meeting of the board or a committee may participate by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment or by electronic video screen communication. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting as long as all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time and each director can participate in all matters before the board, including, without limitation, the ability to propose, object to, and vote upon a specific action to be taken by the board or committee.

     The Board reviewed a Staff memo that recommended changes to the AKC Bylaws that would affirmatively set forth the ability of the Board to meet through electronic means.

     Following a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Ms. Biddle) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the normal notice procedures.

     Following a motion by Mrs. Wallin, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Ms. Biddle) to approve the following amendments to Article VII, Section 4, 5 and New Section 6 of the AKC Bylaws (changes underlined below).

 

Article VII, Section 4 – “There shall be at least eight regular meetings of the Board each year.
Additional meetings may also be scheduled at the direction of the Board. The date, time, method and location of all regular meetings shall be determined by the Board. Fourteen (14) days notice of said date must be given to each Director by United States mail, telephone or electronic mail.

 

Article VII, Section 5 – “Special meetings of the Board shall be called by the Executive Secretary at the direction of the President, Chairman of the Board, or on the written request of three (3) Directors. Five (5) days notice of the date, time, method and location of such special meeting must be given to each Director by United States mail, telephone or electronic mail unless a waiver of notice of such meeting shall have been signed by every Director.

 

Article VII, New Section 6 – “Any one or more members of the Board or of any committee thereof who is not physically present at a meeting of the Board or a committee may participate by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment or by electronic video screen communication. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting as long as all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time and each director can participate in all matters before the board, including, without limitation, the ability to propose, object to, and vote upon a specific action to be taken by the Board or committee.

 

This will be read at the June Delegate Meeting for a VOTE at the September Delegate Meeting.

 

Proposed Bylaw Amendments from Delegate Bylaws Committee - The Board reviewed two (2) proposed Bylaw recommendations from the Delegate Bylaws Committee.

     The two amendments for consideration are:

     Article IV, Section 1. An amendment to establish that the only criteria that may be used to determine membership eligibility is the criteria described in this section of the Bylaws.

     Article VI, Section 2. An amendment to create a new section of Article VI that would state that proxy voting is prohibited by the Delegate Body, Delegate Committees and the Board of Directors.

 

These will be discussed further at the July Board meeting.

 

AKC Communications 2021 First Quarter Report - The Board reviewed the first quarter report from the Communications department which highlighted their accomplishments on behalf of the AKC and the Sport of Purebred Dogs.

Clips Evaluated in Q1: 8,937 (Clips +25% from 7,119 in 2020)

Q1 Estimated Audience Reached: 10,481,192,432 (Estimated audience + 46% from 7,173,437,997 in 2020)

Publicity Value for Q1: $9,444,035.22

 

COMMUNICATIONS/PR ACTIVITIES

     AKC National Championship winner interview aired on Good Morning America virtually after show airing in January 2021.

     Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, AKC’s Most Popular Dog announcement was livestreamed on AKC.tv’s DogCenter. Pre-announcement efforts included an exclusive with the Associated Press. Additional clips include Yahoo! News, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, and USA Today, among others. The announcement garnered nearly 2,800 clips in Q1.

     Ongoing media pitching executed to key audiences with stories that speak to positive qualities of purebreds/breeders. Distributed 17 press releases to appropriate media outlets.

     Conducted several interviews with top tier media regarding Lady Gaga’s pet theft, the rise of puppy scams, and Major Biden, including The Daily Beast, San Francisco Chronicle, FOX 5, CNN, FOX News, NBC 4 New York and more. Weekly “AKC Tips” articles written for McClatchy-Tribune reaching 600 newspapers, including the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dayton Daily News, Duluth News-Tribune, Fresno Bee, Idaho Statesman, Kingsport Times-News and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, among others.

     Offered outreach assistance to clubs hosting matches, clusters, RDO days and other events to get the word out about events that have resumed safely around the COVID-19 pandemic.

     Worked with AKC Reunite to create press materials to promote unveiling of trailers through their Pet Disaster Relief program.

     Sent out a press release announcing the opening of the 2021 AKC Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) nominations.

     Set up an email distribution plan around the 2021 ACE Awards nominations.

     Awarded heroic police K-9 with the 2021 AKC Paw of Courage Award and gained media attention around announcement.

     “AKC Communicates” newsletter distributed weekly – drives traffic to AKC.org.

 

AKC My Canine and Me Award - The Board reviewed a memo describing a new program to recognize young people’s accomplishments with their dogs. Entitled the “AKC Canine and me Awards”, the program will honor children and young adults who are making a positive impact on the world with their dogs or achieving personal growth and success utilizing their knowledge of dogs and their dog ownership.

     Applicants may be nominated by a parent, teacher, mentor or another adult familiar with their efforts. Applicants must be in good academic standing and submit a report card (for grades K-8), GPA (Grades 9-12) or school transcript with the application. All children nominated will be enrolled in the AKC Junior program and receive a Junior number.

     One winner will be announced annually in each of four (4) categories:

 

AWARDS

     Personal Achievement Award: Celebrating children who have overcome personal challenges with the help of their dog.

     Influential Junior Award: Children demonstrating leadership skills with ther dog during after-school activities or gatherings and inspiring their peers and teachers as a result.

     Innovative Junior Award: Celebrating children who have excelled in honing their creativity through training skills with their dogs.

     Community Achievement Award: Celebrating juniors who show commitment and passion through fundraising and contributing to their community for the welfare of dogs.

    Each winner will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

 

AKC Delegate Report 2020 - The Board reviewed a year-end report on Delegate attendance and turn-over in 2020. They were provided with a monthly breakdown of the number of AKC Delegates seated, resigned or deceased in 2020. 44 Delegates resigned in 2020 and 40 new Delegates were seated.

     Attendance increased at each Delegate Zoom meeting compared to the previous year’s in person meetings.

 

AKC Education Q1 Report - The Board reviewed an update on the accomplishments of the Education Department for the first quarter of 2021.

Canine College – Canine College develops and manages over 600 courses and exams available for Conformation and Performance Judges, Breeders, Groomers, the fancy, and the general public. A total of 51 breeds courses are now available on Caine College. The Italian Greyhound breed course launched in Q1. Eight breed courses are currently under development and review by the Parent Clubs and Canine College is actively collaborating with 14 Parent Clubs on the development of future breed courses for 2021/2022.

Virtual Storytelling – Canine College completed a prototype for the development of an animated video series. Our goal is to promote literature around purebred dogs and AKC sports that can be used in the classroom with discussion guides or right at home. Our unique approach to digital storytelling features the dog as an animated character and narrator of the story.

 

Webinars – edited and published in Q1

o Putting on the Ritz: How AKC Events Happen

o Judges Education Webinar Gordon Setter

o Virtual Canine Breeder – Neonatal Care ‘Starting and staying healthy webinar’

o Recording of Juniors Webinar – Combined

o Pro-Handler Roundtable Recording Session

o AKC Virtual Canine Clubs – Dog Shows and Events

o Careers in Dogs’ Webinar

 

Obedience Education – Canine College is developing a series of 6 courses for Judges Education for the sport of Obedience.

Course 1: Obedience Judges Getting Started

Course 2: General Regulations

Course 3: Judging Standards and Procedures

Course 4: Judging Novice Classes

Course 5: Judging Open Classes

Course 6: Judging Utility Classes

 

Dog Pass Service Program – In coordination with Government Relations, Canine College will be
developing a series of multimedia and eLearning components for a nationwide initiative to certify evaluators and teams.

 

Public Education

• The AKC PupPals Program continues to grow and expand. Since its launch in August 2019, we’ve received over 4,200 dog submissions and more than 920 requests for PupPals. We continue to work on expanding this program and serve those most in need.

• AKC Canine Ambassadors continue to teach about purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership through virtual offerings. We are currently working to ensure our list is current and reach out to our Canine Ambassadors to offer assistance in safely engaging their communities during this time. We now have nearly 400 active Canine Ambassadors.

• With the success of the AKC Education Webinar Series, Public Education launched the AKC Virtual Canine Club series in January. This initiative allows us to offer the in-person AKC Canine Clubs virtually, providing additional ways for teachers to use these lessons in their classrooms. One school is Moline, IL is participating in this program and looks forward to having a purebred dog and its handler come for a visit and teach the students about dog sports once in-person school returns in April.

• In Q1, all educator resources were updated to make them more visually appealing and “clickable” in an effort to garner more attention from teachers. We currently boast 70+ lesson plans for grades K-12 that span all subject areas. In March, these lessons were added to Pinterest to engage more followers. They have been very popular, garnering 76,668 impressions, 299 engagements and 267 pin clicks in less than thirty days.

• In March, Public Education launched AKC’s The Canine Corner. It is a free online newsletter packed with content and resources for teachers and educators. Each monthly newsletter contains lesson plans, “read-alouds”, and other activities to engage students in and out of the classroom.

 

AKC Education Webinar Series - AKC Education continues to collaborate with Judging Operations to host breed webinars for judges. We were pleased to celebrate one year of these webinars on March 30, 2021. Webinars continue to be offered every Tuesday evening. In Q1, 9 breeds were featured, reaching 1,787 live attendees. Since its launch in March 2020, 101 breeds have been presented to 27,034 live attendees. In addition, the recordings have been watched 7,412 times.

     AKC Education hosted several additional webinars during Q1, including:

• “Getting Puppies Started Right for Detection: Experts Compare and Contrast Successful Approaches” in collaboration with Government Relations for 63 participants.

• “Getting a Handle on the AKC National Owner-Handled Series” hosted by Tim Thomas for 235 participants.

• “Texas Legislative Update-January 2021” hosted by Government Relations for 22 participants.

• “Virtual Canine Breeder Excellence Track” hosted by Mari-Beth O’Neill, Dr. Joann Randall, and Dr. Marty Greer for 144 participants.

• “Puppy Training During COVID-19: Advice and Best Practices” hosted by Penny Leigh for 1,738 participants.

• “So, Your Dog Isn’t Cut Out for Explosives Detection Work? Here are Other Opportunities” hosted in collaboration with Government Relations for 101 participants.

• “Meet AKC Staff that Participated in AKC Events as a Junior” hosted by various Staff for 48 participants.

• “Breeding Success Starts with Managing Your Brood Bitch” hosted by Dr. Marty Greer in collaboration with AKC Staff for 552 participants.

• “Exploring Issues, Challenges, and Recommendations for Improving Government Acquisition of US-Bred Working Dogs” hosted by Government Relations for 66 participants.

     Since March 2020, AKC reached more than 38,756 constituents using these educational webinars.

 

Government Relations 2021 First Quarter Report - The Board reviewed a memo which provided an update on work performed by AKC Government Relations (GR) for the first quarter of 2021 and a status update on current department activity, major projects, significant activities and legislative successes as of April 15, 2021.

     Legislative/Regulatory Tracking: The AKC GR team is currently monitoring more than 2,100 legislative bills that could impact responsible dog ownership, the health and wellbeing of dogs,
the rights of dog owners, and/or the interests of the sport and the American Kennel Club.

     To date, 120 legislative alerts online and via geo-targeted emails to impacted constituents and social media have been published. This number is slightly higher than in 2020 (110) and represents a 100% increase over the 60 alerts published in the same period of 2019. The significant increase in legislation may be due to legislative activity caused by consideration of measures from 2020 that were quickly reintroduced in 2021 after having been curtailed in non-standard “pandemic” sessions in 2020.

     Legislative Alerts, & Testimony: In the first quarter, GR published 108 legislative alerts and provided written comment and/or oral testimony on nearly as many measures.

     Advocacy Text Alerts: To make advocating on dog issues even easier, GR introduced legislative text alerts in February. Individuals already receiving AKC alerts via email can sign up for alerts via text that enable the recipient to send a specially tailored message of support or concern about specific legislative proposals directly to appropriate lawmakers at the state and federal level – directly from their mobile device. Constituents can opt-in to receive text message alerts by texting AKCGR to 50457.

     Detection Dog Task Force: GR provides the Staff lead for this board-directed taskforce. Current areas of focus include education and information about the rearing of potential future detection dogs. Staff also continues to work with government agencies and the public to raise awareness of the working dog shortage and to develop ways to improve utilization of US-bred dogs.

     Service Dog Pass/American Service Dog Access Coalition: AKC GR worked with colleagues at the American Service Dog Access Coalition to continue to develop all aspects of a new authoritative, voluntary and verifiable credential for service dogs that have met specific standards. Details were provided in a memo and presentation to the AKC Board in April.

     Blogs: AKC GR published 17 blogs covering policy issues and resources for advocates and the public.

 

COMPANION and PERFORMANCE Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events and Caroline Murphy, Dir. Performance Events participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Veteran Age for Ibizan Hounds in Lure Coursing - The Veteran Stake in Lure Coursing is one that is reserved for senior dogs and held at the option of the club. Each parent club can set their breed’s own age requirement in order to be eligible to enter the stake. Currently, if the breed has no specific eligibility age requirement, the regulations default to six years of age. The Board reviewed a recommendation to specify the eligibility age for Ibizan Hounds entering the Veteran Stake to be at least seven years old, per a request from the Ibizan Hound Club of the U.S. This will be discussed further at the July Board meeting.

 

Virtual Scent Work Test Pilot Program - The Board reviewed a recommendation to implement a new Virtual Scent Work Test (VSWT) pilot program. This is a pass/fail test that can be performed by dog owners in their own home according to basic testing criteria. Three suffix titles at three difficulty levels would be offered – VSWB (Beginner), VSWI (Intermediate), and VSWE (Experienced). A higher-level title will supersede a lower title on the dog’s pedigree. The pilot program will last one year. If approved by the Board, the Scent Work Department would begin recording Virtual Scent Work Test passes on August 2, 2021. This will be discussed further at the July Board meeting.

 

Allowing for Waiting Lists in Retriever Hunting Tests - The Board reviewed a recommendation to allow clubs holding Retriever Hunting Tests, at their option, to create a waiting list from which they can fill in slots created by scratches/no-shows up to the start of the test. In Retriever Hunting Tests, the Master level test is the only test that is allowed to limit the number of entries; therefore, this recommendation only applies to the Master level test. Currently this is not allowed. The FT/HT Delegate Committee discussed this recommendation in March and felt it was a good idea. The Retriever Hunting Test Advisor Committee has endorsed this idea. This will be discussed further at the July Board meeting.

 

CONFORMATION - Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events; Mari-Beth O’Neill, VP Sport Services; Tim Thomas, VP of Dog Show Judges; and Alan Slay, Dir. Event Programs and Glenn Lycan, Dir. Event Operations Support, participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Appeal Process for Event Distance Conflicts - The Sports and Events Staff recommended to the Board that they consider adopting a policy that would provide clubs with the option of an appeal process in situations where events in conflict based on straight line miles are much further apart in driving miles. The appeal process would be available when the driving distance between two events is approximately 25% greater or more than the conflict distance established for the sport or in special circumstances.

     The club(s) with the established show(s) would be notified of the appeal and be provided an opportunity to comment. The comments will be taken into consideration when reviewing the appeal. If approved, the effective date would be for events occurring on or after September 1, 2021. This will be discussed further at the July Board meeting.

 

Request for Additional Shows - The Board reviewed a request from the Big Apple Working Group Club and the Big Apple Sporting Society to hold four shows each in 2021. The request is based on the cancelling of events on Long Island.

     The Limited Number of Events Board Policy allows clubs to hold two shows per year and provides clubs the opportunity to hold a third show if they meet certain criteria, including no other shows within 500 miles.

     Following a motion by Mr. Smyth, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (In favor: Battaglia, Biddle, Carota, Davies, Hamblin, Knight, McAteer, Powers, Smyth, Sweetwood, Tatro, Wallin; Opposed: Garvin; Absent: Ms. Biddle) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the normal notice procedures.

     Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Dr. Davies, the Board VOTED (In favor: Battaglia, Biddle, Carota, Davies, Hamblin, Knight, McAteer, Powers, Smyth, Sweetwood, Tatro, Wallin; Abstained: Garvin; Absent: Ms. Biddle) to allow the clubs to each hold two additional shows in 2021 only.

 

AKC Disqualification Review Committee - The Board of Directors, at its May 2020 meeting, approved an appeal option for dogs disqualified for attack by a judge and the composition of the AKC Disqualification Review Committee, that would review such appeals.

     The AKC Disqualification Review Committee is defined as being comprised of five members, three of which are AKC Conformation Judges appointed by the AKC Board Chair and two of which are AKC Staff members with extensive sport experience appointed by the CEO. All members of the committee need to be approved by the AKC Board of Directors.

     As all members of the committee need to be approved by the AKC Board of Directors, the Board reviewed a request by staff for the committee to be assigned. Mr. Dennis Sprung, President & CEO has appointed staff members Mari-Beth O’Neil, VP of Sport Services and Tim Thomas, VP of Dog Show Judges to serve on the AKC Disqualification Review Committee. Their appointments require Board approval.

     Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, the Board VOTED (In favor: Battaglia, Biddle, Carota, Garvin, Knight, McAteer, Powers, Smyth, Sweetwood, Wallin; Opposed: Davies, Hamblin, Tatro; Absent: Ms. Biddle) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the normal notice procedures.

     Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, the Board VOTED (unanimously; Absent: Ms. Biddle) to confirm the staff appointments to the Committee.

 

JUDGING OPERATIONS - Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events; and Tim Thomas, VP Dog Show Judges, participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Rules, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges - The Board reviewed recommended changed to the Rules, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges. This document is for all judges and aspiring judges as it summarizes Rules, Policies and Guidelines as they relate to procedure and conduct.

     This memorandum recommended revisions to specific sections of the Rules, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges to provide clarity to individuals who may be approved to judge AKC Conformation events. This will be discussed further at the July Board Meeting.

 

COVID-19 - Conformation Judging Approval Process - At its May 2020 meeting, the Board approved modifications to the Judging Approval Process regarding the approval of Conformation Judges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sport and the judging community. The measures approved by the Board incorporated permanent modifications to the Board approved Judging Approval Process as well as temporary measures effective through December 31, 2020, and later extended through March 31, 2021, and again through June 30, 2021.

     The Board expressed its desire to revisit the temporary measures prior to their expiration date to determine if they should cease as scheduled or be extended based on the event outlook at that time.

     Following a motion by Mr. Tatro, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the normal notice procedures.

     Following a motion by Mr. Tatro, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to extend the temporary modifications to the Judging Approval Process for a final time through September 30, 2021.

 

CLUBS Glenn Lycan, Dir. Event Operations Support; and Lisa Cecin, Dir. Club Relations, participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Delegates and Member Clubs - The Board reviewed a report on the prospective Delegate credentials to be published in two issues of the AKC Gazette, requests for AKC membership applications, and a report on Member Club Bylaws approved and newly licensed clubs.

 

Report on Member Clubs Bylaws approved in March and April 2021

Carroll Kennel Club, Westminster, MD (2021)

Clearwater Kennel Club, Clearwater, FL (1999)

Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America (2004)

Seattle Kennel Club, Seattle, WA (1884)

Siberian Husky Club of America (1946)

Twin Brooks Kennel Club, Essex County, NJ (1999)

 

Report on Newly Licensed Clubs approved in March and April 2021

Great Dane Club of Southeast Florida, West Palm Beach, FL (including communities north to Stuart, south to Miami Springs, in proximity to Interstate 95), 27 total households, 15 local.

 

COMPLIANCE - Bri Tesarz, Dir. Compliance participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

New Penalty - The Board discussed a Staff memo regarding a new penalty for the offense of knowingly bringing a dog on event grounds that displayed clinical symptoms of or is known to have been in contact
with a communicable disease within thirty days. This new penalty cannot be applied because currently there are no Dog Show Rules prohibiting this conduct. Chapter 11, Section 9 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows regarding communicable diseases was amended in September 2020 and does not include any time frame regarding exposure to a communicable disease or any restriction from attending an event after a dog has had a communicable disease; only that the recommendations of their veterinarian be followed. The Board directed Staff to forward the issue to the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee and the Delegate Canine Health Committee for their consideration.

 

(Final Board Disciplinary actions are reported on the Secretary’s Page)

 

MARKETING - Kirsten Bahlke, VP Consumer Demand, participated in this portion of the meeting.


Q1 Digital Report

• AKC.org users grew 31%, Sessions grew 35% and pageviews grew 30% versus Q1 2020

• Organic traffic remains by far the largest traffic acquisition source and grew by 35% vs Q1
2020

• The Digital Content Staff created or updated, and then published almost 150 articles which
generated 33 of the total 78 million pageviews on AKC.org

• Marketplace also saw traffic growth across all three measures in Q1 though at lower rates than
AKC.org

• AKC Shop did see a “COVID” bump in traffic across all three acquisition sources beginning in March of 2020. AKC Shop has not held onto this traffic surge, users declined -15%, Sessions declined -14% and pageviews declined -4% versus Q12020

 

Q1 2021 Marketing Social Media Report - Highlights of our social media strategy in Q1 2021 included promotion of ABC and ESPN program airings, National Agility Championship coverage and AKC Dog Star program.

Q1 2021 TOTALS:

Facebook: 4,005,800 followers

Instagram: 346,246 followers

Twitter: 98,690 followers

TikTok: 123,890 followers

Pinterest: 49,069 followers

Total*: 4,623,695 followers

 

REGISTRATION DEVELOPMENT Mark Dunn, Exec. VP participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

AKC DNA Logistics Workflow Update - At the direction of President, Dennis Sprung, the Staff addressed a new business model for the processing of DNA. The Board reviewed a memo that provided an update on changes to the logistics workflow for most AKC DNA orders to be implemented in May 2021.
The advantages of the new workflow include the following:

• Reduction in total elapsed time from beginning to end (approximately 3 weeks less)

• Elimination of data entry by AKC Staff

• Elimination of errors related to AKC Staff interpretation of handwritten DNA sample submission forms

• Improved sample security due to reduction in sample handling

• Improved order tracking for AKC, lab and customer

• Implementation of automated customer order status updates

• Reduction in customer phone calls regarding order status.

 

AKC Foreign Registration Update - Staff provided an update for the Board regarding the successful launch of Online Foreign Dog Registration on April 22, 2021 by a cross-functional team of AKC employees, on time and within budget.

     Prior to the launch of Online Foreign Dog Registration, customers applying for AKC Foreign Registration had to submit a handwritten or typed multi-page paper application along with the required documents, photos and payment by mail.

     The new processes will improve efficiency and customer experience.

 

CONSENT - Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Dr. Battaglia it was VOTED (unanimously; Absent: Ms. Biddle) to approve the following Consent items:

• Saluki Club of America and SPDBS PAL Request

• Herding – Allowing Test Judges to Participate in Trial Classes

• Herding – Allowing Stock Dogs to Participate in an Event

• Allowing for Waiting Lists in Pointing Breed and Spaniel Hunting Tests

• Limited Number of Events Policy

• Chinook Breed Standard Revision

• Manchester Terrier Proposed Breed Standard Revision

• Delegate Approvals

 

Saluki Club of America and the Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis - The Board VOTED to approve a request from the Saluki Club of America (SCOA) and the Society for the Perpetuation of the Desert Bred Salukis (SPDBS) to allow the dogs in the SPDBS registry to obtain a PAL number without having to be spayed or neutered. Allowing owners of SPDBS dogs to obtain a PAL number will permit these dogs to compete in AKC Performance and Companion Events. This is effective as July 1, 2021.

 

Herding – Allowing Test Judges to Participate in Trial Classes - The Board VOTED to amend the AKC Herding Regulations to allow herding judges to handle dogs at the event other than the testing level they are judging. Clubs can hold both herding tests and trials during the same event. There are three types of herding test levels a judge may be assigned. Only one test level allows for a judge to handle a dog in the trial portion of the event while the other two do not. This has contributed to clubs having difficulty in obtaining judges. This change will make it easier for herding clubs to obtain judges and bring greater consistency to herding judging eligibility.

 

Chapter II. Section 5. Judging Restrictions and Eligibility.

An approved Herding Trial judge shall not handle a dog in any level at the Trial where they are judging. A Herding Trial judge may handle a dog in a testing level. A Herding Test judge may handle a dog in any trial level or test level other than those they are judging. A judge may not interrupt their judging assignment in order to handle a dog. No dog owned or co-owned by the judge or any member of his or her family or household may be entered under that judge at a test or trial for which he or she has been advertised as a judge. Dogs owned by a member of a judge’s family or household may be entered under other judges at the event.

 

Herding – Allowing Stock Dogs to Participate in an Event - The Board VOTED to amend the AKC Herding Regulations to allow stock dogs to participate in the trial but not in the class for which they are setting stock. This change will make it easier for herding clubs to obtain good stock dogs.

 

Chapter II. Section 3. Judge’s and Herding Committee’s Responsibilities.

The Herding Trial Committee and officials of the trial-giving club are responsible for providing the stock, fencing, facilities and equipment which meet the requirements of these Regulations. The Committee is responsible for providing adequate livestock handling crews, particularly when more than one arena is used at an event. It is strongly recommended that the Committee arrange to have one or two experienced stock dogs and their handlers present throughout the test or trial. If no non-entered experienced stock dogs are available, the stock dogs may be entered in the event but not in the class for which they are setting stock. Stock handlers, who are entered in the event, must not have been involved in the selection of the stock for their run.

 

Allowing for Waiting Lists in Pointing Breed and Spaniel Hunting Tests - The Board VOTED to amend the Regulations for AKC Hunting Tests for Pointing Breeds and the Regulations for AKC Hunting Tests for Spaniels to allow clubs holding Pointing Breed and Spaniel Hunting Tests, at their option, to create a waiting list of entries received after the event has filled but prior to closing, from which they can fill in slots created by scratches on the day of the event. The owner/handler must agree to have their dog placed on the waiting list. Prior to the start of the event, if the club is aware there are dogs that will not participate, they can fill those slots with dogs from the waiting list. This allows the club to fully utilize the capacity of their event and will allow additional dogs to participate.

 

Chapter 1. General Regulations

Section 15. Closing and Drawing of Entries, Entry Limitations, Running Order.

Entries for an AKC-licensed or Member Club Hunting Test may close at any time prior to the Hunting Test, but shall not close later than the day preceding the start of the Hunting Test.

     Waiting List. A club holding a limited entry Hunting Test may, at its option, create a waiting list
for entries that are received after the test has filled but prior to the published closing date. If, after closing and up to the day of the event, there are entries that are known will not be participating, dogs may be taken from the waiting list to run in the position of the absent dogs. Owners/handlers must agree to have their dog placed on the waiting list. A club utilizing a waitlist may either add dogs across all test levels (a senior hunter scratch could result in a dog being added to the master level test) or the waitlist can be test level specific (a senior hunter scratch can only result in a dog being added to the senior level test). The decision between these two options is up to the event committee. If a club decides to utilize a waitlist, it must be explained in the premium. If the waitlist applies across all test levels, the decision to add dogs from the waitlist shall be made up to the start of the event. If the waitlist applies to a specific test level, the decision to add dogs shall be made up to the start of that test level. Dogs called from the waiting list shall be prioritized in the order the entries were received.

     Dogs selected from the waiting list shall pay the published entry fee. Dogs that were on the waiting list but were not able to run shall have their entry fee refunded in full. For dogs that have scratched and been replaced, it is up to the club to determine the refund policy. The refund policy must be explained in the premium and must be the same for all dogs. If a club using an entry service wishes to use a waitlist as explained above, it is up to the club and entry service to work out how this will be achieved. Neither the club nor the entry service may charge potential entrants a fee for placing their dogs on a waitlist.

 

Limited Number of Events Policy - The Board VOTED to modifying the Limited Number of Events policy to allow Specialty Clubs in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico to hold up to four concurrent or independent specialty shows in a single year.

 

Limited Number of Events Policy regarding Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico: All-breed, limited-breed, and specialty clubs in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico have the option to hold up to four shows in a calendar year.

 

Chinook Breed Standard Revision - The Board VOTED to approve the revisions to the Chinook Breed Standard.

 

Approved Chinook Breed Standard

General Appearance: The Chinook was developed in the United States as a sled dog whose unique function was both drafting and sled dog racing. Bred to combine the power of freighting breeds with the speed of the lighter racing sled dogs, the Chinook is an athletic, hard bodied dog showing excellent forward reach and rear extension in a seemingly tireless gait. The Chinook is an impressive dog, with an aquiline muzzle, dark almond eyes, black eye markings, a variety of ear carriages, and a distinctive tawny, close fitting coat. The saber tail is held in a graceful sickle curve. Males appear unquestionably masculine; females have a distinctly feminine look and are judged equally with the male. A dignified and affectionate family dog, Chinooks are known for their love of children. The Chinook is to be presented in a natural condition with no trimming. The following is a description of the ideal Chinook.

Size, Proportion, Substance: The Chinook is a slow maturing breed, often not reaching maturity before 4 to 5 years of age. Size - Ideal height at the withers: males 24 to 27 inches; females 22 to 25 inches. Proportion - When measuring from point of shoulder to the point of buttocks the Chinook is slightly longer than tall. Females may be somewhat longer in body. Substance - Muscular with moderate bone, a gender difference is easily discernible. The Chinook exemplifies a sound athlete in grace, muscle tone, movement, and carriage.

Head: The head is broad, wedge-shaped, and impressive but in balance with the size of the dog. Cheeks are well-developed and slightly rounded. The expression is intelligent, inquisitive and kind. The eyes are medium in size and almond in shape with black rims that accentuate the eye and give character. The eye can be any shade of brown but dark brown is preferred. Black pigment in an apostrophe shape above the inner corner of each eye is preferred. Disqualification-Any eye color other than brown.

The ears are set slightly below the top line of the skull and are expressive. They are medium in size, V-shaped, and slightly rounded at the tip. The ear tip should be just long enough to reach the inside corner of the eye. Any ear type is allowed, including drop, prick, or propeller ears that maintain a fold when at attention. Matched ears are preferred and for historical reasons, dropped ears are desirable. Mismatched ears are not to be faulted. The topskull is broad and slightly arched between the ears. When viewed from above, the topskull is almost square, narrowing slightly as it approaches the eyes. The stop is moderate and marked with a central furrow extending up the top skull. The muzzle is aquiline, having a slight dip just before the nose leather, and shorter in length than the top skull, measuring from nose to stop as approximately 2:3 in ratio with stop to occiput. Viewed from the front, the muzzle is tapered to form a blunt wedge. Viewed from the side, the topline of the muzzle and the topline of the skull are almost parallel. The nose is large, prominent and the leather is solid black. The lips are black.  Bite - The Chinook has a full complement of strong teeth meeting in a scissors or a level bite.

Neck, Topline, Body: The neck is strong, balanced in length, arched, and covered with fur that forms a defined ruff. The skin on the neck is pliable but not pendulous. The neck blends smoothly into the withers. Topline - The back is straight, strong and level, with no sign of weakness. There is a slight arch over the loins. The body is well muscled and hard. The chest is moderately broad, well filled and deep, and neither too broad nor too narrow. The forechest has a prominent prosternum that extends beyond the point of shoulders when viewed from the side. The brisket reaches to or nearly to the elbows. The ribs are well sprung, oval in shape, flattening toward the lower end to allow for elbow clearance and efficient movement. The loins are muscular with a slight arch, having enough length to be athletic. The underline has a moderate tuck-up. The croup is muscular, slightly sloping, broad and without exaggeration. Tail - The saber tail is set just below the level of the topline and is well coated with distinct but moderate fringing. It is broad at the base, tapering to the end and reaches to the hock with a slight curve at the tip when relaxed. When alert or moving, the tail is carried in a graceful sickle curve, neither curling to the side of the body nor touching the back.

Forequarters: The shoulders are moderately laid back, with the shoulder blade and upper arm being equal in length. The forelegs are straight, well muscled, with moderate, oval bone. When viewed from the front, the legs are parallel, and straight. The elbows turn neither in nor out. The pasterns are flexible, moderate in length, strong, and slightly sloping when viewed from the side. Dewclaws may be removed. The feet are tight, oval in shape, with arched toes, webbing between the toes, and with strong nails. The pads are thick, tough, and darkly pigmented. The front feet may turn slightly outward when standing allowing the dog to push off from the center toes.

Hindquarters: The hindquarters are muscular and strong, moderately angulated, and in balance with the forequarters. The upper and lower thigh muscles are well-defined. The rear pasterns are parallel to each other, and perpendicular to the ground when viewed from any angle. The rear feet point straight ahead.

Coat: The Chinook has a thick double coat lying close to the body. The outer coat is straight, strong, and coarse. The length of the outer coat is longer over the ruff, shoulder blades, withers, breeches, and along the underline and the underside of the tail but is never so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline of the dog. The undercoat is short and dense, downy in texture, providing insulation. The groin and inside of the rear legs are protected by coat. A Chinook in full coat feels soft and plush with coarser hair following the topline. A coat in seasonal shedding may be thinner, feel coarser, and should not be penalized. The tail is well-furred with feathering starting about four to five inches from the root. There is slight feathering along the back of the forelegs. The Chinook is shown naturally and trimming is not acceptable. Faults- Excessively short coat, long, rough, or shaggy coat. Trimming of the coat, including whiskers, is to be severely penalized.

Color: Tawny coloration, ranging from honey to a deep reddish-gold, is a distinguishing characteristic of the Chinook and is preferred. Dilute tawny, and its associated diluted pigmentation of muzzle, nose, lips, pads, and eye rims, is acceptable. It is desirable for the ears and muzzle to have darker coloring than the body. This darker ear and muzzle coloring runs from a tawny that is darker than the body to a black shading, with some black shading being the most preferred. A black mark at and just above the inner corner of each eye is desirable. Symmetrical white or cream to pale gold markings are acceptable on the cheeks, throat, chest, breeches, and underside. Any other white markings are undesirable including blazes, socks, and scarves. Disqualification-Any color other than tawny as described.

Gait: The Chinook’s gait is smooth, easy, balanced front to rear and seemingly tireless. The back is strong and level when gaiting. When viewed from the side, as speed increases, the head and neck lower, the front feet reach out strongly to a line directly below the nose, the rear drives forward with power, covering ground with minimal effort. When viewed from behind, the rear pads are fully visible. As speed increases, the feet tend to converge toward a center line of gravity.

Temperament: The Chinook is an affectionate and playful family companion with a special devotion toward children. The Chinook is a dignified dog; some Chinooks may be reserved with strangers but should never appear shy or aggressive. They are willing workers who are eager to please and enthusiastic to learn. Chinooks are highly trainable, adaptable, and versatile in their abilities. Gregarious with other dogs, the Chinook works well in teams and within family packs.

Faults: Variations are penalized to the extent of the deviations. Disqualifications: Any eye color other than brown. Any color other than tawny as described in this standard.

 

Manchester Terrier Proposed Breed Standard Revision - The Board VOTED to permit the Manchester Terrier Club of America to ballots its membership on the proposed changes to the breed standard in accordance with the club’s Constitution and Bylaws.

 

Delegate and Club Approvals - The Board VOTED to approve the following individuals to serve as Delegates:

Stephanie S. Brooks, Coral Springs, FL To represent Fort Lauderdale Dog Club

Edward J. Collins, Scottsville, VA To represent Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America

Jean C. Edwards, Bridgeton, NJ To represent South Jersey Kennel Club

Jill Faulmann, Sherwood, OR To represent Sherwood Dog Training Club

Mary Ellen Ferguson, Bernalillo, NM To represent Rio Grande Kennel Club

Jane Fitzin, Powhatan, VA To represent Winston-Salem Dog Training Club

Eduardo Toshio Fugiwara, Hampton, NJ To represent Two Cities Kennel Club

Vanessa Giamo, Newton, NJ, To represent Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America

Laurie Green, Toledo, OH To represent Lewiston-Auburn Kennel Club

Corie Haylett, Boone, NC To represent Asheville Kennel Club

Edwin T. Lorentz, Slippery Rock, PA To represent Central Beagle Club

Debbie Phillips, Sun City, AZ To represent Arrowhead Kennel Club

Virginia T. Rowland, Templeton, MA To represent French Bulldog Club of America

Joanne E. Schottinger, MD, Chester, NJ To represent Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America

Lynne Wickens, Andover, OH To represent Ashtabula Kennel Club

Rachel Wilson, Scituate, RI To represent Wampanoag Kennel Club

 

NEW BUSINESS - September Delegate Meeting
The Board discussed the possibility of holding an in-person Delegates meeting in September. Paula Spector, VP Corporate Services, was asked to investigate feasibility and options and report back to the Board in July.

 

It was VOTED to adjourn Tuesday, May 13, 2021 at 5:08 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

Deceased Judges: Ms. Frandel Brown, Mr. Fred G. Ferris, Mr. Arley D. Hussin, Ms. Dorothy (Dee) Thomson, Miss Mary Turney

Emeritus Judges: Dr. Kenneth A. Doeg, Ms. Dorothy B. Taylor

Resigned Judges: Mrs. Carole A. Beattie

 

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