Club Events 2007

Thank you to all the clubs who held AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events. With over 380 events reported to us from across the country, the celebration was another huge success! Below, please enjoy some event recaps and photos submitted by some of our event holding clubs. If you would like to submit your event photos and recaps for consideration, please email communications@akc.org.

Read excerpts from media coverage of AKC RDO Day events here

Clackamas Kennel Club, Inc.
Oregon
September 15, 2007

By: Sharon Krogh, CKC President
Picture by: Tim Bernard

The 5th Annual AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day was celebrated by the Clackamas Kennel Club, Inc. on Saturday, September 15, 2007. A Sanctioned B-OB Match with FSS Breeds, CGC Testing, Micro Chipping and Rabies Shots was held on the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby, Oregon. This is the first time our club has participated in a RDO Day, and we found it very rewarding.

The weather was wonderful, and our turnout was great! The Sanctioned B-OB Match drew about 150 entries. Junior Showmanship was well attended, with an entry of 21. The footing for Obedience was well received, as we were in a packed hard dirt horse arena. The CGC Testing was supervised by a member of a brand new Border Collie Club.

Our Public Education booth was very popular with both new and old exhibitors, and several folks who just came by to see what Responsible Dog Ownership Day is all about. Looks like our club will be building a much closer relationship with the Clackamas County Dog Control, they were present with their affiliate FIDO organization to do discount Microchipping, Rabies Shots and sell county dog licenses.

The Clackamas Kennel Club members worked hard to present this Match We were ready to "meet and greet" by 9:30 AM, and surprised at how many of the exhibitors did not know how to fill out a dog show entry. With help for the old timers these new exhibitors were ready to walk in the ring by 11:00 AM. The rest is history, and judging from the compliments we received, the day was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to all of the Clackamas Kennel Club members, who spent their day "giving back to our sport."

Click on image for larger view.
     



Brandon Florida Kennel Club
September 15, 2007

By: Tim Golden

There was never a question about whether or not to hold an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event in Hillsborough County. The Tampa Bay area, like many others across the country, has become a hot bed of canine issues ranging from irresponsible pet ownership to restrictive new ordinances proposed by local government.

The question was - how does a fledging club that hasn't even held an "A" Match yet go about educating an entire community and its leaders about the need to be safe and responsible pet owners?

To the members of the Brandon Florida Kennel Club it was clear that it would take the help of the community and the AKC, as well as a willingness to think outside the box.

The first requirement to hold an RDO Day event was finding an indoor, air-conditioned location large enough to accommodate all the people we was hoped would attend. With virtually no funds available, the BFKC would also have to find a facility for free. The last hurdle of course was how to get as many people as possible to attend. All of the planning and effort would be wasted if no one came.

All of these needs were met with the help of Vesta Hevia, a long-time Shiba Inu breeder and exhibitor who is also a Girl Scout leader. She convinced the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida to invite the BFKC to attend their "Kaleidoscope" event, a free annual celebration for Girl Scouts, their leaders, and their families held at the Florida State Fairgrounds. While this meant that space would be limited to two large tables and just enough room for a handful of dog crates, it provided a free venue for the BFKC where hundreds of children and adults would be in attendance.

The next step was to contact the AKC to acquire as much free information as possible to distribute to the crowd. There would not be enough space to hold event demonstrations, and spectators would not be able to bring their own dogs for microchipping or CGC testing, but everyone who attended could be given information about becoming more responsible dog owners and how to stay safe around all dogs.

Important information was also provided on hurricane preparedness with the help of Mack Austin with Hillsborough County Emergency Services and Marti Ryan of Animal Services. Dr. Sharon Hunter of Noah's Ark Animal Hospital also donated hundreds of brochures promoting preventative measures to keep dogs healthy and the need for regular veterinary care. Rescue organizations would be well represented throughout the day as well by Diane Roberts and a group of humans and dogs from Tampa Bay GSD Rescue.

In addition to having the information on becoming more responsible dog owners, there was a need for volunteers to greet those in attendance and explain RDO Day to them. The BFKC and Hillsborough County 4-H Dog Project joined forces to man the booth with 16 experienced and knowledgeable AKC breeders and exhibitors who offered to come along with their dogs to help.

The last aspect of the event was to let the local government officials know that the community was actively working to educate local residents about Responsible Dog Ownership and Safety Around Dogs. This need was met when the BFKC and 4-H leaders worked with Commissioner Mark Sharpe to have the Board of County Commissioners officially declare September 15, 2007 to be Responsible Dog Ownership Day in Hillsborough County.

The end result was an RDO Day celebration that reached more than 1,000 visitors to the BFKC booth in just five hours.

All of the Girls Scouts, their leaders, and their families had the opportunity to receive information on safety around dogs and to meet well-trained, responsibly-owned AKC registered dogs. The children were given coloring books, balloons, stickers, pencils, and the opportunity to learn while having fun to be safe around all dogs, even their own. And for those adults and children in attendance who did own dogs, it was a valuable opportunity to learn about becoming more responsible dog owners and the importance of properly caring for their pets.

Click on image for larger view.
   



Rogue Valley Kennel Club
September 22, 2007

By: Lucille Perry

Rogue Valley Kennel Club held RDO Day on September 22. Our main event was CGC testing. We also set up a Rally course for fun and practice. Twenty-six dogs participated and 22 passed. We generated lots of interest and I believe a few of the participants will go on to obedience competition.

All qualifiers received AKC's Canine Good Citizen leash and every dog that went through testing was presented with a bag of Nature's Recipe with an announcement stapled onto the bag promoting a seminar RVKC is conducting in November about Responsible Dog Ownership.

Prior to the Saturday testing, club members held four-free weekly one-hour obedience training classes. Although we promote these as brush up classes, for several handlers it was the beginning for them to teach their dogs social skills. A total of 50 dogs participated in one or more of the free Wednesday evening classes.

Click on image for larger view.
   



Southern California Responsible Pet Owners Coalition

Encino (Los Angeles), CA -- Presented by the Southern California Responsible Pet Owners Coalition, "Paws in the Park" featured multiple performances in dog agility, obedience, rally, and canine freestyle (dancing), as well as working dog demonstrations, law enforcement dogs, and carting dogs. Dog lovers were able to train and try agility, obedience and rally. The event was held in conjunction with the American Kennel Club's Official Responsible Dog Ownership Day nationwide.

Laddie, the 9th generation of the Weatherwax Lassie dogs, and owner Bob Weatherwax judged the contests and awarded prizes for pet/owner look alike, longest ears, "waggiest" tail, and "stupid" pet tricks. Microchipping by Warner Center Pet Clinic was available on site for cats and dogs.

Pet owners observed demonstrations and collected tips and information about choosing the right pet for their family, training, grooming, kids and dogs together, raw feeding and holistic care, pet disaster preparedness, and animal welfare vs. animal rights.

In addition, a large raffle featured baskets brimming with pet goodies, some for dogs and some for cats.

Pet photographers were on hand to preserve the memories, as were a voter registration table, pet food samples, toys, supplies and tools.

Click on image for larger view.
       



Lawrenceville Kennel Club, Inc.
Gwinnett County, Georgia, September 8, 2007

By: Gail LaBerge, Chairman, RDO Day

The Lawrenceville Kennel Club's RDO Day was held on September 8, 2007. Dr. Rupprecht, the Chief of the Rabies Division for the CDC, was on hand to talk about rabies prevention and being a Responsible Dog Owner. We also had handlers demonstrating Rally and the Reading With Ddogs program that is used in some of our schools.

This is the third year we have celebrated RDO Day and the community seems to enjoy the activities and educational opportunities. The Lawrenceville Kennel Club has received proclamations each of the three years from the County Commissioners declaring the date of RDO Day as Responsible Dog Owners Day in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Gwinnett County has over 700,000 residents. We are sponsored for the proclamations by the County Police Chief, Charles Walters.

Click on image for larger view.