Delegate’s Report 

 

Exhibit A
September 13, 2022 AKC Delegate Meeting
Summary of Voting Items and Their Resolution
Final
No. Voting Item Outcome
Amendments to Bylaws
1 Add “Multi-Breeds clubs back to list of clubs eligible for membership Approved
2 Makes clear that proxy voting is prohibited Approved
3 Remove Term Limits from AKC Board Members Failed
4 Remove Requirement that January meeting be noticed 2 years in advance Approved
5 Cleanup – reference to Article XX in Article XX, Section 6 of Bylaws Approved
Amendments to Rules Applying to Dog Shows
6 Cleanup – move reference to show secretaries from Chap 9 to Chapter 8 Approved
7 Specifies that on-call (or in person) vet Approved
must be available to treat dogs during show hours
8 Amends reference to “obedience trial or tracking test” with generic Failed
“companion event”
9 Modifies requirement that show secretary or superintendent ensure Approved
that a dog is taken to a vet with a requirement that the show secretary
ior superintendent inform owner of requirement that a dog be examined
10 Cleanup – Renames Chapter 10 to more accurately reflect its scope Approved
11 Inserts “or veterinary clinics” after “veterinarian” Approved
12 Amendment to allow championship points to be awarded for placing Approved
2nd, 3rd, or 4th in groups
13 Allow AKC to approve individuals to serve as an on-site show secretary for Approved
more than the show or shows of only one Group or All-Breed Club held
on the same day and site
Amendments to Field Trial Manual
14 Refines how Derby Stake placements qualify a dog to enter a Limited Approved
Stake by allowing additional placements depending upon the size
of the Open Derby Stake

 

Report on the September 2022 AKC Delegates Meetings 

To: Lara Hill, Peg Shaw, Kathy Nusz, Terry Smalley, Ginny Dorris, Gina Rector,  Patricia Buckelew, Dr. Sophia Kaluzniacki, Shelley Hennessy, Steve Kelly, and  Liz Keimon 

From: Neil H. Butterklee, Esq. 

Date: October 13, 2022 

  1. Executive Summary

As the American Chinese Crested Club’s (“ACCC”) delegate to the American Kennel  Club (“AKC”), I participated in the September 12 and 13, 2022 meetings of the AKC Delegates  in Newark, New Jersey. Committee meetings were held on Monday, September 12th and the  official Delegates meeting was held on Tuesday, September 13th. This report is a summary of  significant events from those meetings.  

At the Parent Club Committee meeting on the first day, AKC staff discussed the  organization’s latest outreach efforts to veterinary schools. AKC staff reported that two new  scholarships will be awarded to students at vet schools at North Carolina State and University of  Virginia for the 2023 and 2025 time period. AKC staff also discussed the organization’s new  pilot program at Tufts University Veterinary school which enables veterinary students to get  credit for working with a breeder to whelp a litter. In addition, AKC staff described how its pet  disaster trailer was deployed to assist pets during the floods in Riverside California. 

At the Canine Health Committee meeting, Dr. Charles Garver, Chair of the Canine  Health Foundation, explained how several milestones associated with the establishment of the  AKC Semen Preservation Bank (the “Bank”) have already been achieved. He also discussed the  work left to be done. 

On the second day, the AKC delegates voted on 14 separate amendments to the AKC  Bylaws and Rules Applying to Dog Shows. The controversial vote to eliminate term limits for  board members failed to pass.  

Sheila Goffe, the head of AKC Government Relations, spoke about how the AKC has  quantified the economic benefits of dog shows for host communities. According to AKC, a  typical dog show contributes approximately $2.15 million per weekend to the economy of the  community that hosts a dog show. 

The AKC Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) Ted Phillips reported the key performance  indicators and preliminary financial results for the six months ending June 30, 2002. Of note,  litter registrations for the first six months of 2022 were up coming in at 167,281 as compared to 

164,520 in 2021. For the first six months of 2022, operating revenues were $54.3 million and operating expenses were $40.5 million.  

 

  1. Highlights of the Individual Committee Meetings

On Monday, the following delegate committees met: Canine Health, Parent Club,  Bylaws, Dog Show Rules, Companion Events, All-Breed, Delegate Advocacy, Field Trial and  Hunting, Herding, Earthdog, and Coursing, and Coordinating Committee. 

At the Canine Health Committee meeting Dr. Charles Garver stated that several of the  Bank’s significant milestones have been achieved and a few key ones remain. The incorporation  papers and corporate name were finally approved as were the constitution and bylaws. The  board of directors and officers were selected. The Bank received its employee identification  number (“EIN”) from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), it registered 10 domain names, and  the Bank logo has been designed. So far, at least 21 clubs and 76 delegates have indicated an  interest in participating in this effort. 

Dr. Garver also discussed what is not done yet. IRS form 1023, the application for tax  exempt status, has not been finished and approved. The team is working on a white paper  providing details about the Bank that will be sent to breeders and clubs. The team is working on  registering the Bank in all 50 states so that it can accept donations. The website is currently  under development. At first it will be a static website which will not have updated information.  The team is working on the dispute resolution process. The team is also working on developing  the insurable value of the frozen semen for insurance purposes. Dr. Garver mentioned that the  team still needs to develop the forms that will be used to accept the frozen semen. With respect  to changes in AKC rules, the team is working to eliminate the existing AKC penalty of $200 for  registering a litter fathered by more than one male dog. Dr. Garver noted that while the parent  clubs will have control over the criteria of how the semen is used, subject to AKC approval, the  parent clubs will not have control over who uses the semen in the preservation bank.  

The Parent Club Committee discussed several important topics at its meeting. Of note,  the committee discussed the AKC’s deployment of its Pet Disaster Trailer program. The AKC  representative discussed how the trailer was deployed in Riverside, California due to the  flooding. As of September 2022, the AKC has deployed 100 such trailers. 

The committee discussed AKC’s latest outreach efforts to veterinarian schools. AKC  reported that two new scholarships will be awarded to students at vet schools at North Carolina  State and University of Virginia for the 2023 and 2025 time period. AKC staff discussed the  organization’s new pilot program at Tufts University Veterinary school to allow vet students to  get credit for working with a breeder to whelp a litter. In addition to this pilot program, the AKC  is working with several vet schools to set up visits whereby vet students will be visiting local dog  shows to learn more about specific breeds. 

The committee noted that there are still breed clubs that do not do not have a health  statement on the AKC website. The health statements can be found on the AKC Marketplace,  Breeder of Heart, and Breed pages. Unfortunately, sometimes the information has differed on 

 

each page. AKC staff stated that it is working to fix this inconsistency. AKC staff also noted  that the official letter from specific breed clubs, explaining their breed’s unique health testing  requirements and issues is available on the AKC site.  

AKC staff mentioned that the AKC is requiring that each parent club to name a Breeder  Education Coordinator and that each club list that person on its website. Currently 96 clubs have  appointed junior coordinators. 

The Best practices document outlines have been finished and published on the AKC  website to help clubs learn what they need to do to become a member club. 

The committee is working on a specialty show site survey to see how folks liked the sites  and hotels that were used for shows. This is also a reminder for people to use this site to fill out a  survey or look at the ones that have been completed. 

The AKC announced that it will officially launch its digital library in about two weeks.  This will include AKC publications such as the Gazette and show catalogues. These documents  will now be searchable. Over the next year more publications will be added to the digital library.  

The committee again discussed how Pup Dates is not being fully utilized by member  clubs. So far only 55 clubs are participating in Pup Dates (please see my prior reports). 

Finally, AKC discussed its efforts to preserve the knowledge and legacy of each breed’s  iconic breeders. To accomplish this AKC staff stated that it recently sent a letter to parent clubs  requesting that parent clubs interview or film up to five historic and iconic breeders to preserve  their legacy and to preserve their knowledge for future generations. The AKC has a set of  sample questions to use for these interviews. The AKC wants these interviews filmed so that  they can be streamed on either the club’s website or eventually on the AKC website, so it is  available for future generations. The process is for the interviews to be posted to the clubs’  website and then for the club to notify the AKC. The proposal is for the interview to be roughly  30 minutes long. A sample set of questions along with a cover note will be sent out to the parent  clubs. 

The Bylaws Committee discussed the pros and cons of the upcoming vote on the  amendment to eliminate term limits for AKC Board members. As expected, most of the  committee members indicated that they are in favor of removing term limits since they are the  ones who proposed the amendments.  

I spoke up against terms limits and stated: 

  • The elimination of term limits favors incumbents and inhibits the election of new  board members; 
  • Best practice for profit and not for profit organizations is to have term limits  which helps to level the playing field; 
  • Did the committee look at other proposals such as longer terms, terms limits of  three terms, or two and three terms and then you are off; 
  • Institutional knowledge resides in staff and senior staff of an organization;
  • One of the reasons I heard in favor of this proposal is that the AKC is unique.  The view that the AKC is unique is not a unique argument. That is a view of  many organizations, including for profits corporations, not for profit corporations, and government regulatory agencies; and 
  • There are good candidates amongst the delegate body. 

The vote to eliminate term limits ultimately failed. 

There was a report from the DNA work group. Two years ago, the Coordinating  Committee assigned the Bylaws Committee to oversee the issue of the rules around DNA testing.  Pamela Rossman, a committee member, gave a report of this work group. The work group is  discussing the value of the DNA tests and what is the AKC role here. Should the AKC require  DNA tests? Who owns the DNA used in the DNA tests? This issue is also being discussed in  Canine Health.  

A new issue arose as to whether Show Secretaries should be included in the conflict  section of the rules like that of judges and superintendents. The current conflict rule prohibits  judges and superintendents that charge more than their expenses from becoming delegates. Gina  DiNardo stated that show secretaries are different than superintendents. Specifically,  superintendents are licensed by the AKC and have more responsibilities than show secretaries.  AKC’s rules currently distinguish show secretaries from show superintendents. According to  Ms. DiNardo there are many differences and superintendents have many more responsibilities.  This issue was also discussed in the Dog Show Rules Committee. 

The Dog Show Rules Committee proposed seven rules related to the issue of whether  show secretaries can act as a show superintendents. These proposed rule changes will go to the  AKC Board in October, be read at the December Delegates meeting, and be voted on at the March Delegates meeting. The reason stated for these rule changes is that it will enable smaller  struggling clubs, who cannot afford or find a show superintendent, to hire a person to be a show  secretary to run a show.  

The Committee is also proposing to modify the rules to allow neutered and spayed dogs  to compete in certain shows in “non-regular classes.” It was also discussed that a modification to  these rules will have to be reflected in dog show premiums.  

There was a heated debate on the issue of decreasing the judging entry limit for group  judges from 175 dogs to 150. This issue is still being discussed at the AKC Board. The concern  here is that some show chairs are trying to require that a single judge officiate 175 dogs plus any  groups that judge is eligible to judge plus as many events that are at that show for the day. This  pits show chairs and clubs that want flexibility and lower costs against judges that want a more  reasonable limit and a less tiring workday. The AKC Board is also studying limiting judge  workloads by moving the 175 limit to 150. There is also a jurisdictional issue here in that the  AKC Board believes that this is an AKC board issue and not a delegate committee issue. The  committee believes that the limit be left up to the individual clubs in its contract discussions with  a judge rather than have a limit imposed by the AKC. AKC is also looking to lower the number 4 of hours that a judge is required to work from 7 hours plus a 45-minute lunch to 6 ½ hours plus a  45-minute lunch.  

Another issue discussed is that to save costs. many clubs are not printing catalogues  anymore because results are now available most of the time on the internet and exhibitors are no  longer buying them. But the AKC rules till require that judges get tear sheets for the breeds that  they are judging. Judges need the tear sheet for continuing education and other AKC  requirements. Some superintendents are providing tear sheets electronically and are not  providing catalogues. Some judges are complaining that they want hard copy tear sheets and are  not getting catalogues, and some are complaining that they are getting them and do not need  them. This is a case of some show superintendents moving to a more digital age and some  judges not liking it. 

The Companion Events Committee had a debate on why two judges are needed for  certain titles. The Committee is looking at creating a new category of Rally Choice. All dogs  can be eligible for this. The Committee also discussed inviting dogs to the national  championship in rally. Currently they invite the top three of each breed and then when they do  not have 124 dogs then they invite the next six. The proposal is to just invite the top six to save staff time. The committee also discussed how to get people involved in the companion events  mentoring program.  

The All-Breed Committee discussed the challenges of developing the next generation of  pure-bred dog sport advocates.  

The Delegate Advocacy Committee discussed its updated delegate handbook. 

The Field Trial and Hunting Committee discussion the growing number of animal  rights petitions. 

The Herding, Earthdog, Coursing, and Scent Work Committee continued its  discussion from the last meeting on separating the regulations for Lure Coursing, CAT, and  FastCAT. 

The Coordinating Committee indicated that the December Delegates meeting will  include a Q&A session with the candidates for the open AKC Board positions. 

III. Highlights of the Official AKC Delegate Meeting  

  1. AKC Reports

Day 2 started with the Delegates Forum, which focused on what’s new in AKC  Education. What is new includes increased and updated courses in the canine college, public  education, webinars, and digital library. Coming soon will be a class in canine stewarding 101  focusing on values, responsibilities, and assignments. This will be a series of eLearning classes.  Canine college is working on a series dealing with puppies focusing on researching and prepping for a new puppy and the first 12 weeks of having a puppy. So far it has several eLearning classes including, but not limited to: Am I ready for a puppy, Choosing the right breed, 

Choosing the right breeder, Pure bred rescues, Puppy preschool, Picking up your puppy, Puppy’s  first vet visit, and the First 24 hours home.  

The Forum also covered Baily’s Book Club where the AKC collects dog books and  donates them to underprivileged schools throughout the United States. 

The official Delegates meeting started once the Forum was completed. The first order of  business was to approve the Baytown Kennel Club as a new member club. 

Dr. Thomas Davis delivered the Chairman’s report. He discussed the actions that AKC  has taken to make certain COVID modifications permanent. These include: 

  • Awarding one championship point in some shows where none were previously  available. This added on average seven more dogs per show.  
  • Allowing specialty clubs to travel 300 miles out of their territory (as opposed to  200 previously) to join with another club in their breed to set up a show. This  increased the opportunity to put on dog shows. 
  • Allowing clusters to add an additional show per day. 
  • AKC launching a breed webinar series. 
  • Canine college offering over 800 courses and exams. 
  • Creating virtual activities including rally, agility, obedience and jumping classes,  and virtual scent work 
  • Companion and performance events being modified to minimize the need for  volunteers including using cones and leashes. 
  • Clubs offering companion and performance events can now leave entries open for  up to seven days prior to an event. 

Dennis Sprung gave the President’s report. He stated that the AKC remembers 9/11 and  led everyone in a moment of silence in honor of the victims. He also noted that there is a need  for more stewards for shows. He said that he directed the education department to produce  stewarding courses to help assist in the development of more stewards.  

Sheila Goffe spoke about how the AKC has quantified the economic benefits of dog  shows for communities. She noted that the expenditures of dollars in the community that is  hosting a dog show demonstrates AKC authority and positive credibility and is an important tool  in fighting anti-breeder negative policies. In 2015, the average expenditure in the host  community of a participant in a dog show was $685 per person per weekend. In 2021, it was $863 per person per weekend. The AKC used that figure to estimate that a typical dog show  contributes approximately $2.15 million per weekend to the economy of the community that  hosts a dog show. Plus, as Ms. Goff notes, the AKC does more than just dog shows. 

Among other things, the AKC lobbies against bad dog laws. AKC has individual tear sheets for each state, listing the positive impact the AKC has in each state. She also mentioned  that the AKC is going to study the impact of the top 10 dog events in the country.

AKC CFO Ted Phillips reported the key performance indicators and preliminary  financial results for the six months ending June 30, 2002. Litter registrations for the first six  months of 2022 were 167,281 as compared to 164,520 in 2021. Dog registrations were 389,514  for 2022 as compared to 426,452 for 2021. There were 1,766,017 sports and events entries and  12,442 events in 2022 as compared to 1,424,748 sport and event entries and 9783 events in 2021.  

For the first six months of 2022, operating revenues were $54.3 million while operating  expenses were $40.5 million. As of June 2022, the AKC’s balance sheet is comprised of  236,036 million in net assets, $121,052 million in liabilities for a total of $114,984 in net equity. 

  1. Voting Items

The AKC Delegates voted on several items during the meeting. Exhibit A to this report  contains a list of the items voted on and whether the motions passed or failed. The AKC  Delegates also elected new committee members to fill vacancies on the various committees. 

  1. Administrative

The next meeting of the AKC Delegates will be on December 15 and 16, 2022 at the  Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida.  

This concludes my report. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Neil H. Butterklee, Esq.