Fri, 04/30/2021 - 7:06pm

Editorial: April 30, 2021

The AKC -- part of it, anyway -- embraces SafeSport training program


Safe Meetings


The April board meeting of the American Kennel Club always makes for interesting reading. In this time of COVID, social distancing and face masks have become the norm, and the America Kennel Club has held board meetings and delegate meetings remotely. 

Now the staff will present a bylaw amendment that will clarify that the American Kennel Club may hold board meetings electronically, as allowed by New York State law. Organizations larger and wealthier than the American Kennel Club have held their board meeting in this fashion for some time. What a nice cost saving, if regularity put to use.

A recent virtual board of directors meeting of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club proved to be a great success without the travel time and cost. 


Safe Sport


The recent disclosures of sexual, mental and physical abuse by leaders in several sports have brought awareness to the general public. World-famous coaches, physicians and trainers have all been brought to trial and convicted, and now are serving prison sentences. We in the world of purebred dogs have gone relatively unscathed by the above issues. Bringing them to light, while uncomfortable to discuss, needs to be addressed. So the American Kennel Club has arranged for its staff to attend webinars by SafeSport.

SafeSport concentrates on three areas: 1. Sexual-misconduct awareness education; 2. mandatory reporting, and 3. emotional and physical misconduct. 

All of the Executive Field Staff (field reps) plus Dennis Sprung, Gina DiNardo and Tim Thomas have completed SafeSport. The balance of the American Kennel Club staff will be required to take this course. In addition, all members of the American Kennel Club’s Registered Handlers Program will be required to take the video course in order to maintain their membership on the organization. 

So why just professional handlers and ignore two other professions of those who work or are approved and recognized by the American Kennel Club? The licensed show superintendents and – the largest in number – approved AKC judges are in all areas of competition. Some would ask why the oversight?


Safe Spring


In order to comply with local restrictions, indoor dog shows only have outdoor grooming areas. So while the building might be air-conditioned, the heat can be a factor outside. Every year we hear of some heat-related incident that results in a dog’s death. So, please, as the weather improves and the temperature rises, be a little more cautious. 


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