Wed, 03/24/2021 - 10:03am

Screen Shots

A computer-side report from the most recent AKC Delegates Meeting

One thing about Zoom Delegate meetings is we are seeing things we do not see at “in person” gatherings. Some committee members are driving in their cars with snow on the ground, and others are on the freeway. Many are eating and blowing their noses “on air.” I understand there are times when one must blow one’s nose, but, please, leave the computer for a moment and do it elsewhere.

And eating is another thing. Why didn’t you plan ahead to eat before or after the meeting? Also if you must be in a car, please pull over, as I thought any minute I would be a witness to a bad accident.

The AKC Board’s Class of 2025 was voted on by the Delegate body on Tuesday, March 9, via Zoom. There were 372 delegates voting, with 187 votes necessary to be elected. Here are the results:

Rita J. Biddle, Esq. = 247 votes

Dominic P. Carota = 282 votes

Patricia M. Cruz = 207 votes

Dr. Thomas M. Davies = 229 votes

Dr. Gregory J. Paves = 141 votes

Thomas Powers = 208 votes

Elected were Rita J. Biddle, Esq., Dominic P. Carota, Dr. Thomas M. Davies and Thomas Powers.

These were the same candidates sent forth by the Nominating Committee as their recommendations for the Board. At a meeting of the Board of Directors after the Delegate Meeting, Dr. Thomas M. Davies and Dominic P. Carota were re-elected as Chairman of the Board and Vice Chairman, respectively. The Board is doing some good things, and I believe that is the reason they were re-elected. Congratulations to them all! The electronic ballot for the AKC Board vote was very easy, as were all the others that the Delegates voted on. Hats (sparkle ones!) off to the tech team, as they did a great job!

There was a vote in the positive (83% yes) to amend Chapter 6, Section 2, of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows-Premium Lists and Closing of Entries, which modifies the required publication components of premium lists, including address information and entry fees. This section was also reformatted into a bulleted list for easier understanding, made gender neutral, and veterinary reference updated for consistency. It modified required components of premium lists by replacing the publication of the Secretary’s address with the publication of the club address, replacing the requirement to publish the judge’s address with city and state, and adding the requirement to publish the entry fee(s). There was some discussion on this before the vote, as people had other ideas to change this, which in my opinion should have been sent to the Dog Show Rules committee before the proposal was sent to the Board. I understand some people may have just read it, but if you are interested in any vote you should always read the proposal.

There was a wonderful video by President Dennis Sprung on what the AKC has done and what has been faced by the AKC due to COVID and how they are handling the situation.

There was also a report on the AKC Reunite trailers; so far there are 435 clubs helping out and $1,676,602.73 in donations. AKC donated $650,000 of this total. There are 91 trailers to be delivered to 29 states. There is a plan to celebrate when AKC Reunite gets 100 trailers.

AKC CFO Ted Phillips gave the financial report as of December 31, 2020. There was a 12% increase in litter registrations in 2020, with 288,527 litters registered compared to 258,362 in 2019.

Dog registrations had a 20% increase in 2020 with 702,917 dogs registered compared to 587,777 in 2019. In 2020 there were entries lower by 44% with events lower by 45%; entries in 2019 were 3,310,962 compared to 1,846,104 in 2020. In 2020 expenses were reduced by 8% vs. 2019. Revenues ex. recording fees increased 17% over 2019. Controllable expenses decreased by 9% in 2020 vs. 2019. Investment performance beat the benchmark by 2.87%. Assets increased from 132,191 in 2019 compared to $151,190 in 2020. Liabilities and net assets increased from $92,014 in 2019 to $94,082 in 2020. 

At the Coordinating Committee Meeting on March 5, the various Committee Chairpersons gave reports. Also present were members of the AKC Board and President Dennis Sprung.

Dennis’ report was: “2021 started off with our 20th Annual AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin airing on January 17, on our new channel, ABC. The three-hour broadcast reached more than seven million viewers and will have several reairings. The television show was the seventh highest rated show across all broadcast and cable for the day and saw an increase of 250% in viewership over last year’s broadcast. Through our agreement with ESPN, we will add more than 96 hours of dog-sports content including agility, Fast CAT and flyball to wider audiences, and introduce more dog lovers to the AKC brand and mission.

“Events are below previous years, but are experiencing a gradual recovery. In January, events were 37% less than January 2019. February events is minus 30%, and that is the expectation for March. On a more positive note, at this time April events are expected to be lower by 12%. There is a significant difference between sports, with events typically held outdoors experiencing a reduction of only 15% or less. Large events typically held indoors, such as all-breed shows, are down roughly 60%. Fast CAT, Scent Work and Herding are doing very well. Another positive is the events that are held are experiencing extremely high entry levels. Collaborative efforts of multiple departments in creating many virtual opportunities to serve our core constituency while simultaneously welcoming newcomers to our mission and sports have proven successful.” 

Thank you, Dennis!

At the Parent Club meeting it was discussed that each Parent Club should have someone who polices the AKC Marketplace tool to report those misrepresenting themselves as parent-club members. The Marketplace activity is up 28% compared to 2020. People looking for dogs have mostly been put on a waiting list during COVID. The American Bloodhound Club is requesting that AKC should know if any local breed clubs are being formed. At the All Breed Club committee Mari-Beth O’Neill reported that there are now new virtual obedience classes, and that Vet Outreach has had 14 virtual meetings conducted last fall with Dr. Jerry Klein. There has been the first Juniors’ webinar, and the second is scheduled for March 22.

There was lots of talk on the use of Canine Partners in Junior Showmanship with lots of people against it, even saying they would not offer Junior Showmanship if that is approved. That is so shortsighted: If clubs decide to do this, they are only punishing the Juniors, who will not be able to show their dogs. I believe that we need to get these young kids into our sport, because if we don’t this sport will be gone in 10 to 15 years. Get these Juniors with their Canine Partners into our sport. Each club should have someone at the Juniors ring to help those with Canines Partner by encouraging them and becoming their mentor. They could also talk to them about the club and AKC, and maybe connect them with a local Junior to also help with mentoring. Please do not let the dog they are showing stop them from showing … as it is the Junior being judged, not the dog. Once we get that child into Juniors and our sport, we can get them interested in getting a purebred dog and start their journey into our sport. Give it a try, clubs!

The pilot program begins July 1, 2021, for 18 months and will be assessed in 2022. This has been very successful in the 4-H program. This is limited to all-breed shows or events holding all-breed Junior Showmanship. The Judging Operations Department will be providing procedural information to all-breed Junior Showmanship judges.

At the Dog Show Rules committee there was a discussion regarding Bred-By Exhibitor Puppy classes. This would be an option for clubs if they wanted to add this to the classes offered at their show. I am on a subcommittee headed by Barbara Shaw from the Greater Collin KC. Breeders would embrace this Bred By Exhibitor puppy class, as it would allow points won there to be applied to the Bred-By Exhibitor medallion. Usually points won in the regular puppy classes are not applied to the award process for this medallion. A breeder/owner (or co-breeder/co-owner) may enter more than one eligible puppy in these classes, including the regular Bred-By Exhibitor class. Having this option allows earned championship points by puppies to apply to the Bred-By Medallion, prized by many breeders. This discussion was tabled until the June meeting so more information regarding the Bred-By Medallion can be collected.

I have been busy lately judging at the dog shows, and I am very impressed with the work these clubs are doing to make the show a success, such as providing the necessary COVID restrictions and the wearing of masks. It is not easy for these clubs and others such as the superintendents to make this work. Hats off (again, the sparkle ones!) to each and every club and the workers in each club for keeping our sport going and giving the exhibitors an opportunity to exhibit their dogs and getting me out of the house!



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