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JUDGING CONFLICT OF INTEREST, ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR RETIRES and more...

The American Kennel Club

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
 

May 2006 - This year as we gear up for the fourth annual AKC ® Responsible Dog Ownership Day (AKC RDO Day) I am pleased to report about some new opportunities for clubs, state federations, and pet-related organizations as they plan their AKC RDO Day events in communities across the country.

Publicly promoting responsible dog ownership takes time, initiative and resources. Last year more than 350 clubs and organizations held AKC RDO Day events. This year AKC plans to honor those dedicated individuals and organizations by devoting the fourth quarter AKC Community Achievement Awards – a program which traditionally honors clubs and individuals who promote purebred dogs through exemplary public education and canine legislation efforts – to AKC-affiliated clubs or federations holding exceptional AKC RDO Day events in their communities.

Selecting Community Achievement Award winners from among AKC Day participants is just another way to say thank you for helping raise awareness about responsible dog ownership issues and how AKC programs and services play a vital part in that awareness. Up to three honorees will be accepted and award recipients will receive a certificate of appreciation and a $1,000 check payable to the club for their ongoing public education efforts. For more information on nominating clubs visit: http://www.akc.org/pdfs/CAANominationForm.pdf

Additionally, clubs or individuals that want a "leg up" on getting the word out and generating publicity for their AKC RDO Day event can take advantage of an upcoming AKC Communications Summit in conjunction with the Heart of America Kennel Club dog show in Kansas City, MO on August 25. To sign-up and learn how to maximize AKC RDO Day and your club’s media strategy contact us at communications@akc.org

Don’t forget that AKC is also holding its own flagship events in New York City on Sept., 16, featuring the popular "Meet the Breeds" in Madison Square Park and in Raleigh, NC at Millbrook Exchange Park on Sept. 9. These events, and others nationwide, will include AKC Canine Good Citizen® testing, micro chipping clinics, safety around dogs, agility and other informative and entertaining demonstrations. To help those holding events further, this year we are making available additional logo supplies like hats, t-shirts, pencils, stickers and balloons to make events even more fun for kids.

The AKC is dedicated to providing dog lovers, whether long-time owners or those considering a dog for the first time, the necessary resources and educational tools to make the canine-human bond the best experience possible. For more information about AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day or to sign-up to hold an event in your community visit: http://www.akc.org/clubs/rdod/index.cfm

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker

Chairman

 

 HOT ISSUE IS THE NEW AKC JUDGING CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

"The American Kennel Club ® Board of Directors has adopted a new Judging Conflict of Interest Policy, effective January 1, 2007. AKC ® believes that it has the best judges in the world and expends millions of dollars a year to administer its judging approval system to ensure that quality remains high.

AKC judging approval confers a certain status on an individual and with such status comes an enormous responsibility to both AKC and the Sport as governed by AKC,” said President and CEO Dennis B. Sprung.

The policy states, with some notable exceptions, that AKC approved judges should be focused on judging and supporting AKC events. Approved judges should not have a significant interest in another registry that is in direct conflict with AKC or be judging for another event-giving organization to the possible detriment of events held by AKC member and licensed clubs.

The complete policy is as follows. 

(bolding added for emphasis, speed readers, and perusal as has been our custom)

JUDGING CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

No AKC judge may have a significant interest in a dog registry or dog event-giving organization deemed by the AKC Board to be in competition with the American Kennel Club. Significant interest would include, but not be limited to ownership of, employment by, a directorship in, and holding office in.

Any AKC-approved judge, who shall judge a purebred dog event in the U.S. not in accordance with the rules of AKC, which apply to such purebred dog events without the express permission of the AKC, may be disciplined even to the extent of having his or her AKC judging approval revoked.

An AKC-approved judge may judge breeds that are not AKC registrable and/or that they have not been approved for by AKC at non-AKC events. The AKC Board has also given permission for the judging of certain other events based upon the following criteria:
1. AKC has no comparable events in place.
2. While AKC has a program in place, AKC judges have officiated at events under the aegis of the other organization for years before the AKC program was initiated.
3. The type of event is not or would not be perceived as being contrary to the best interest of AKC and the sport of purebred dogs.
4. The event is a breed or type of breed-specific performance activity.

No AKC approval is needed to judge versatility or performance activities developed by AKC Parent Clubs and sponsored by such clubs.

Events held by the following organizations meet the above criteria, and AKC-approved judges may continue to judge them:

• American Sighthound Field Association Coursing Events
• American Working Terrier Association Earthdog Events
• American Herding Breed Association Events
• North American Versatility Dog Association Pointing Breed Hunting Tests
• American Field Pointing Breed Field Trials
• United Kennel Club Coonhound Events
• Professional Kennel Club Coonhound Events
• Any of the various organizations sponsoring Agility Trials

Other activities may be added to this list at the discretion of the AKC Board.

......  end of quotation 
_______________________________________ Handy links:

Senior Conf. Judges Assoc. Letter to the AKC Board April 2006
Individual Rights or AKC's Right to Change The Rules in Mid-Game?

Senior Conf. Judges Assoc. Letter To Members
No Judges' Associations Were Contacted, SCJA Reacts, Seeks Input

Conflict Policy Prohibits Learning New Breeds May 2006
Where Are Judges To Learn About Plott Hounds and Icelandic Dogs?


BRIEF LOOK AT OTHER BUSINESS
(bolding
added for emphasis, speed readers, and perusal as has been our custom)

*  The Board adopted a conflict of interest policy for AKC approved judges effective January 1, 2007. It would prohibit an individual with a significant interest in a dog registry or dog event-giving organization deemed by the AKC Board to be in competition with AKC from being an AKC judge. It would also prohibit AKC judges from judging non-AKC events in the United States. There are exceptions, which are included in the policy. The full policy is included in the minutes from the May meeting.

*  The AKC Board approved funding a Parent Club Conference for up to $150,000. The request was made by the Delegate Parent Club Committee, which will conduct the conference in the Summer of 2007.

*  The Plott Hound becomes eligible to compete in the Hound Group, effective January 1, 2007.

*  The Conformation judging approval system was completely revised, and a procedure for the removal of breeds from approved judges was adopted. Complete details are included with the minutes of the May meeting.

*  The Board approved the Working Dog Sport as requested by four breed Parent Clubs (The American Bouvier des Flandres Club, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America and the American Rottweiler Club). This is effective January 1, 2007, with the regulations to be approved by the Board.

*  The Icelandic Sheepdog was approved to participate in AKC Herding Events effective September 1, 2006.

The following Delegates were approved:
*  Leonard G. Abraham, Belchertown, MA, to represent Holyoke Kennel Club
*  Ann Barbash, Victor, NY, to represent Genesee Valley Kennel Club
*  Gayle Bontecou, Clinton Corners, NY, to represent Mid-Hudson Kennel Association
*  Janice Croft, Blaine, MN, to represent Land O’Lakes Kennel Club
*  Patricia M. Cruz, Coram, NY, to represent Heart of the Plains Kennel Club
*  Lee Davidson, Maineville, OH, to represent Clermont County Kennel Club
*  Denise Dean, Parks, AZ, to represent Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America
*  Roberta Mayers, Waterbury, VT, to represent Green Mountain Dog Club
*  Merry Jeanne Millner, High Point, NC, to represent Furniture City Kennel Club
*  Margaret Uminsky, Levittown, NY, to represent Nassau Dog Training Club
*  Robin Vuillermet, Killingworth, CT, to represent German Pinscher Club of America

 


STEVE ROBINSON RETIRES AMID CONTROVERSY

 AKC Assistant Vice President of Compliance Tom Sharp announced the retirement of Director of Inspections and Investigations, Steve Robinson, effective July 7, 2006. 

 Robinson was an important figure in the AKC’s Compliance program for over five years. He is credited with managing "all aspects of the AKC’s kennel inspection program, ensuring effective and efficient inspection of dog breeders, distributors and pet shops to meet standards established by the AKC’s Board of Directors and senior management." 

Some are already questioning that "retirement"  as possibly connected to the NC raid on the Chow handler Ken Little and the failed inspection at the NC "Big Bad" Wolf facility which was subsequently raided by local authorities.  Wolf and his cronies were found guilty of over 100 counts of animal abuse. 

AKC's General Counsel, Mr. Michael Swick, assures us that Mr. Robinson's retirement was completely voluntary.  Swick took exception to my editorial musings and stated that Robinson reported to Tom Sharp but that he (Swick) had worked with Robinson for five years and that he and Mr. Sharp tried to persuade Robinson to stay.  It is understandable that after so many years in service as a highway patrolman and other enforcement duties, Robinson was ready to retire. 

Robinson will be forgotten by most, wished well by others, but questions are likely to continue regarding AKC's failure to act on alleged or adjudged animal abuse cases. 

Quoting from the AKC press release, “Steve has served us well and we thank him for his service and leadership, which has resulted in improvements in the department’s integrity, effectiveness and productivity. We wish him success in his future endeavors and know he is looking forward to many happy years pursuing his varied interests, including breeding and showing Chow Chows.” 

The AKC is now accepting applications to fill Robinson's position. They require a minimum of eight years of business experience and four years managing staff in a professional environment. Fittingly, "a background in law enforcement or regulatory/inspection environment is highly desired" and the release also stipulates a background in the sport of purebred dogs as desired.  "Above-average computer skills, especially with MS Office applications, are sought, and a Bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred but not required."

AKC is one of the top employers, benefits are extensive, perks are pertinent and it is said to be a great place to work.


 

AKC - IAMS POSTER CONTEST

The American Kennel Club and The Iams Company are pleased to announce the fourth annual commemorative poster competition in conjunction with the sixth annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. All dog-loving artists are encouraged to submit any original two-dimensional painting or drawing reflecting the theme: “The Wonderful World of Purebred Dogs.” In conjunction with the theme, submissions must include multiple breeds.

The artwork may incorporate a variety of images depicting the best in purebred dogs including, but not limited to: illustrations of human/canine bond, colorful expressions of the intensity of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, images of various purebreds in action, and the event’s setting, which will be Long Beach, California in December 2006. Artwork not selected as one of the ten finalists last year may be resubmitted for consideration.

The deadline for submissions is October 6, 2006 for online entries and October 7, 2006 for postmarking mail-in entries. An expert panel will select ten initial finalists, with the grand prize winner chosen from among those finalists.

The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and a four-day/three-night trip for two to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California December 2-3 (including airfare and hotel). The winning artwork will be used in a commemorative poster that will be sold at the event as well as on the AKC Web site. Proceeds will be donated to Take the Lead, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that provides direct services, support and care for people in the sport of purebred dogs who suffer the devastation of life-threatening or terminal illness.

“The commemorative poster contest has become one of the most exciting aspects of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship,” said Ron Menaker, AKC Chairman. “The competition is inclusive for artists around the world and it enables them to participate in this special event regardless of whether or not they’re exhibiting a dog. Further, the competition raises much needed money for Take the Lead.”

Amy Newkirk, External Relations Manager of The Iams Company, said it takes an artist to capture the excitement and enthusiasm inspired by the event: “Every year, artists express their passion for purebred dogs and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. The result is always an abundance of artwork that uniquely puts our love for the sport of dogs into pictures. Choosing a winner is always the toughest part.”

To obtain a copy of the official rules visit, National Championship 2006 Poster Competition or send a self addressed stamped envelope to AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Poster Competition, Official Rules, The American Kennel Club, 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016.

 

The American Kennel Club (AKC), founded in 1884, maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world. Its rules and regulations govern more than 18,000 canine competitions each year.

The Iams Company, founded in 1946, is committed to enhancing the well-being of dogs and cats by providing world-class quality foods and pet care products that delight the consumer and strengthen the human-pet bond.

Animal Planet, available in over 86 million homes nationwide, is the only television network dedicated exclusively to the connection between humans and animals.

Media Contacts:


Kurt Iverson                       Daisy Okas                 Brian Cox
The Iams Company   American Kennel Club   Fleishman-Hillard
(937) 264-7436              (212) 696-8343          (816) 512-2252
iverson.k@pg.com       dlo@akc.org         coxb@fleishman.com
 


AKC AT WORK - DVD RELEASE & PROMO

The American Kennel Club ® and Buena Vista Home Entertainment announced a joint initiative today to help inform viewers about the joys and responsibilities of owning a dog. This partnership is a result of two highly successful films featuring dogs, Eight Below and The Shaggy Dog, which will be coming to Disney DVD this summer.

Both the Eight Below and The Shaggy Dog DVDs will include inserts about the films’ canine stars; the Siberian Husky and Bearded Collie. Supplements will feature breed characteristics such as temperament, exercise needs and grooming needs, interesting facts and parent club contacts. The materials have been approved by the Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc. and the Bearded Collie Club of America, Inc.

“While Huskies and Beardies are wonderful breeds, they aren’t suitable for everyone,” said Gail Miller, AKC ®’s Director of Brand Development. “We are thrilled that these breeds have received so much well-deserved attention for their star quality, but caution anyone who wants to own one solely based on what they saw in the films.”

Points mentioned in AKC breed inserts include:

*  Siberian Huskies and Bearded Collies are very active and need a lot of exercise

*  Huskies shed frequently and require regular grooming

*  A true herding dog, Beardies will chase cars, children and other dogs

“We thank Buena Vista Home Entertainment for the opportunity to help educate prospective puppy buyers and hope the information encourages people to do their research, contact the national breed club (parent club) first, and find the ideal breed to fit their needs,” added Miller.

Both DVDs will appeal to dog lovers and potential future dog owners creating a beneficial educational platform. Eight Below is the thrilling and heartwarming adventure of loyalty, courage and the bonds of friendship between eight incredible sled dogs and their human guide. And The Shaggy Dog DVD will include a “Bark Along Bone-Us” feature which is a Disney first made especially for dogs to enjoy. This special program combines fun dog-themed footage from the film with an audio track of barking dogs. DVD household dogs are encouraged to bark along to this unique feature.

Eight Below comes to DVD June 20th and The Shaggy Dog will be available on August 1st

 


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