Zooming Through June
Shall we start with the All Breed Committee meeting? The meeting started with an update from Board Liaison Karolynne MacAteer. She noted that the puppy folders have been updated by AKC; these folders can provide excellent information for breeders to share with new puppy owners. They can be ordered from the AKC Shop or during the online litter-registration process.
There is also a parent-club-sponsored Reproduction Bank tool kit available from AKC for parent clubs. Karolynne also highlighted the recent welcoming of the United States Police Canine Association to the AKC. She also highlighted the “Adopt a K-9 Cop” program that AKC Reunite is promoting. The “Adopt a K-9 Cop” program has increased its 1-1 matching grant offer to help communities purchase K-9 police dogs to a 3-1 ratio up to $7,500/grant. This will give law-enforcement budgets a big boost and offer clubs a way to increase community involvement.
Mari-Beth O’Neill gave an update on Vet Outreach and the Juniors Sub-Committee. Of note were the scholarships totaling $25,000 given to Juniors who participated in Companion and Performance events – eight and four Juniors, respectively. Veterinary scholarships in the amount of $36,000 were awarded to 15 recipients. Criteria included involvement in AKC events.
An additional note to highlight regarding the Juniors is that staff is communicating with 4-H leaders to highlight the tools and resources that AKC has to offer that could be of interest and use to the Juniors.
Lastly, the subcommittee is recommending that every club have a Junior Outreach person to help get more Juniors in their club, as they are the future of our sport.
The committee then went on with the agenda and discussed what is happening at dog shows as exhibitors are returning to them. The discussion went on regarding what people are seeing and experiencing at dog shows as COVID is waning across the U.S. Generally, people seem quite happy to be back! The clubs are managing the rapid changes in protocol as dictated by local officials as COVID restrictions are lifted.
There was a discussion regarding the wearing of masks at shows. The recent Jersey Shore shows had signage posted that stated that if the judge was wearing a mask then the exhibitors would have to wear a mask. There was also a discussion on “How Clubs have Survived Covid.” There will be more discussion at the September Committee meeting. Committee member Eduardo Fugiwara presented his update on the Ethnic Minority Outreach program regarding ongoing research about inclusion in our sport. He focused quite a lot on why we preserve purebred dogs, and what those breeds mean historically to the countries from which they come. He feels that our clubs/breeders could seek to engage in local cultural events (i.e. Italian Days or Japanese and Irish festivals) to promote our breeds relevant to those countries and to speak about our roles in preserving those breeds and their traits.
There was a discussion by Laurie Maulucci about the impact COVID has had on shows. Entry limits and COVID protocol restrictions are easing, but she urged caution about increasing entries too much. Entry fees may have to be increased. Contracts should have cancellation clauses. Club members should be welcoming to exhibitors, and exhibitors in the area can be invited to join the local club.
In the Bylaws Committee there was a sub-committee formation discussion on who can be on sub-committees, since members must be from the committee that is forming the sub-committee, or the full delegate body must approve the sub-committee composition. It is possible that the coordinating committee could change the standing rules as a solution. There was also a discussion regarding the Junior Sub-Committee and who can own the dog the Junior is showing.
Lastly there was a discussion on the approval of delegates when a delegate who lost his or her club position as delegate gets a new club: Should they have to go through the same approval process as a first-time delegate? New delegates have to be published in the AKC Gazette twice before they can be officially approved by the delegates.
Canine Health Committee member Dr. Charles Garvin called on Andrea Fiumefreddo, Director of Programs and Operations of the AKC Canine Health Foundations, who reported that more than 88% of the money donated to the CHF is spent directly on research grants and educational outreach. So far in 2021, $850,000 has been awarded to 11 research grants in canine cancer, including lymphosarcomas, hermangiosarcomas, oral melanomas, mast cell tumors and mammary-gland tumors. Currently, CHF staff is monitoring progress on more than 160 active grants, representing an $11.5 million investment. You can learn more about CHF’s research portfolio at www.akcchf.org/research/.
The AKC/CHF Parent Club Health Conference will be held virtually on August 13-15. One advantage of the virtual conference is that attendance is not limited. Parent-club members are invited to register and attend. Early-bird registration is $60 and will last through July 1. To sign up visit: http://support.caninehealthfoundation.org/site/Calendar?id=100581&view=Detail.
Chair Susan Hamil stated that AKC staff had requested, via the AKC board, that the CHF review Chapter 11, Section 9, of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows. That section had been previously updated from a more specific statement outlining particular infectious diseases, but also including a statement that dogs that had been “in contact with” or “kenneled within thirty days prior to the opening of the show” on premises where there were existed “either those particular diseases listed or “other communicable disease” “should not be brought into the grounds or premises of a dog show,” and, if so, “shall be immediately be removed.” This request had apparently been caused by an exhibitor who brought dogs to a show from a household with several ill dogs and when verbalized his concern about having done this. There was a discussion. The previous change had been made to generalize the rule since it was impossible to list and keep current all of those communicable diseases which a dog might contract at any point in time. Also it would not be possible to assign any appropriate uniform quarantine period following exposure to a communicable disease, given the time span during which dogs might be infectious following exposure to any variety of diseases. Instead, as per the current rule, exhibitors should rely on the opinion of their veterinarians.
Following the lengthy discussion, the committee voted unanimously that it was not necessary and moved that AKC staff and Board develop a policy which would address the appropriate enforcement of a violation of this chapter and section that violation by an individual knowingly and willfully bringing a dog either ill or likely exposed to an illness to a dog show. The motion passed unanimously.
There has been 30 new delegates added since January 2021. There are 100 trailers in the pipeline, with two more coming, and some were deployed to Mesa, Arizona, due to a telephone-line fire.
At the Delegate Meeting following the Committee Meeting, AKC President Dennis Sprung said that it was his sad duty to announce the recent passing of Fred G. Ferris on March 29, 2021. He was the delegate for the Connecticut River Working Group Association since 2010.
AKC Board Chairman Dr. Thomas Davies reported that the “resilience of our clubs, delegates, breeders, exhibitors, handlers, judges and volunteers has been nothing short of extraordinary. Challenges with quarantines, social distancing, health protocols and venue shutdowns never tempered our fanciers’ desire to host events for all who love and value purebred dogs. Now AKC events for the second quarter of the year are at 99 percent of the quantity of events in the same period of 2019, before the pandemic. Litters and dogs have grown in registration by 18% and 25% respectively as compared to the same time last year. On behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge some individual who have put into practice the resilience, flexibility and communication that have AKC through the pandemic:
“In the field, Pattie Proctor who in the work of a conformation field representative is large behind the scenes. She covers events, observing judges, running clinics, creating schedules, leading conference calls, mentoring field staff and every aspect of the ‘show must go on.’ Also in the field, Dr. Mary Burch, leader of the AKC Canine Good Citizen program, In Raleigh, Tim Pursell, and in New York, Paula Spector,.Also in New York, Ron Furman, in Raleigh, Keith Frazier and Doug Ljungren.”
The report from the CFO, Ted Phillips, detailed the financial results for the first quarter of 2021. Litter registrations totaled 82,026. This is 22% higher than the same period in 2020. Litter registrations are 12% of total revenue for the period ending in March 31, 2021. The aforementioned double-digit growth began in August 2020 and continued through the end of March 2021 for an average growth of 21%. For the first quarter of 2021 ending in March 2021, there were dog registrations totaling 226,668, which is a 37% growth over 2020. The litter and dog registrations represent 48% of total revenue for the first quarter of 2021. As of March 31, 2021, 82% of dog registrations and 85% of litter registrations occurred online. Online certificate transfers exceeded the first quarter of 2020 by $128,000, or 48%, and litter certificates and AKC puppy folders also exceeded that same time period by $276,000, or 56%.The events and entries as of March 31, 2021, were 22% lower. As of now, we are looking at a number close to 99% of our 2019 activity.
As of the first quarter of 2021, compared to the year-to-date budget and to prior year of the actual results, total revenues of $25.969 million produced net operation income of $9.379 million. First quarter budget, total revenue actual exceeds total budget by 31%. When comparing the first quarter of 2021 to the same period of 2020, total revenues increased by 27%, while total expenses decreased by 14%. The total revenue of $16.265 million for titles, registration and related fees for events application fees in the first-quarter 2021 actuals of $2.5 million are lower than the prior year by $217,000, or 8%. Total assets as of March 31, 2021, stand at $163 million, which is $11.2 million higher than December 31, 2020.
There was a vote that passed on the proposed amendment to Article V11, New Section 2, of the Charter and Bylaws of the AKC, which moves an issue concerning the election of Board member from Article V111, which addresses the nominating committee and nominations for the Board to Article V11 which addresses the election of Board members.
Vote on the proposed amendment to Chapter 16, Section 5, of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows - Championships, that passed, removes the phrase referencing one type of independent specialty to generalize the language, provides consistency within the section and allows for future inclusion of additional independent specialties that may be developed without further modification of the section.
I am hoping that the September Delegate meeting will be held in Newark, New Jersey, as I am so tired of Zoom calls! I do think there is a good chance that it will happen.
Here are some things that could be considered. In the summertime, please allow the exhibitors, the judges and whomever else to wear casual clothing. Recently I thought I was going to meet my maker due to the heat. The rings were outside, and there was no wind and hardly any shade for the dogs and exhibitors. I think it would make for a better time at the show. Why do we (especially men) as judges have to wear business attire? Exhibitors do not care what we wear as long as you judge their dog and are nice to them. We poor men have to wear ties! Why? Think about it!
I am seeing some great things that clubs are doing for the Pee Wee event! That is good news. I am so happy that clubs are doing this, but there are some that do not have enough workers to offer this wonderful event. What about letting one or two of the Juniors volunteer? Maybe at the show they ensure that the release-of-liability form is signed by the responsible adult and review it to make sure that the email address and telephone number for the responsible adult are legible, as the AKC sends information to the adult about nearby dog shows that offer Pee Wee events. It is good to have at least three members to help also at the event.
I am always available to contact regarding any question regarding this event. I hope that each club would offer a bag of goodies for the child and hopefully a little pizza party for the children. They so love that! Also very important is the group picture of the Pee Wees (without their dogs), which can be sent to them and also put on the AKC website under Junior Showmanship. The photographer will send the pictures to them for free, so make sure that the adults get the photographer’s contact information or ask them to speak to the show chairman. In the future they can look at that picture and remember the good time they had. If clubs cannot afford to do the gifts or lunch (pizza, etc.) or ribbons or rosettes, please contact me and I will pay for the Pee Wee expenses. Remember that one day they can be in Juniors, and the sooner we get them in our sport, the better chance we will have of keeping them in our sport.
It is best to offer this event at noon on Saturday. Please allow enough time for the mentor (not judge) to have enough time to mentor each child and adult. Please order enough ribbons or rosettes to commemorate the experience. Order them without dates as you can use what you have left over for the next year. The ribbons and rosettes are so important to the Pee Wees, and trust me they always show them off. Thank you to each club offering this event as the young children (5 to 9 years of age) love it!
Until next time!