Celebrate National Dog Week with AKC

National Dog WeekAll week long, AKC is #CelebratingPup! We are asking all dog owners to celebrate their fabulous Fido by sharing photos on social media in honor of #NationalDogWeek!

Fan-submitted photos will be featured every day across all social platforms and in selected WOOFipedia articles. Get started by sharing a pic of your dog on AKC’s Facebook page or by linking @AKCdoglovers on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #CelebratingPup and #NationalDogWeek.

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Victoria’s Highland Fling: The Scots, the English, and All Those Beautiful Breeds

Times Past highland tod

AKC Gazette, “Times Past”: On September 18, Scots went to the polls to decide the issue of their homeland’s independence from the United Kingdom. The measure was narrowly defeated, and Scotland and England will continue their long, sometimes stormy relationship. Somewhere over the Rainbow Bridge, Queen Victoria is looking on with approval.

A passion for all things Scottish pervaded 19th-century England. It was the time of Sir Walter Scott, who fired the British imagination with his novels that romanticized life on the Highlands. And that most influential of all Brits, Queen Victoria, played a role in popularizing Scotland among the fashionable and affluent.

Victoria first visited Perthshire, Scotland, in 1842. The trip kindled a fascination with the Highlands that would last the rest of the queen’s long life. Thanks to Victoria’s love of the region’s traditions, wildlife, and rugged landscape, the sporting pursuits of Scotland became all the rage among English gentry.

Among the artists who immortalized this Scots-mania on canvas was Richard Ansdell (1815–1885). In many ways, he typified the era. Ansdell was an Englishman, from London by way of Liverpool, who fell under the thrall of the Highlands’ austere beauty. “After he had discovered Scotland and had built his own lodge there on the banks of Loch Laggan,” a biographer wrote, “he spent time north of the border whenever he could—painting many Scottish subjects.”

Ansdell poured all he had learned of Scotland’s canine culture into his 1859 painting Highland Tod, Fox Hunter. The picture has been called a visual encyclopedia of the Scottish breeds, and for good reason. The 65-inch-wide canvas depicts the Scottish Deerhound, Gordon Setter, Collie, Border Collie, and Dandie Dinmont, Skye, Cairn, and Aberdeen terriers, along with the Otterhound.

This historically important painting usually hangs at AKC headquarters in New York. Until December 14, however, Highland Tod will be part of the The Dog Show: The Art of Our Canine Companions exhibition on view at the Morris Museum, http://www.morrismuseum.org/ in Morris, New Jersey.

Read the latest AKC Gazette here.



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AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day in Raleigh Tomorrow

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The American Kennel Club hosts its flagship Responsible Dog Ownership Day tomorrow, Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll leash up your dog and join the fun! Activities include AKC’s My Dog Can Do That! where trainers will help you take your dog through beginner agility equipment, breed parades, a microchip clinic for just $10, Canine Good Citizen testing, dog sport demonstrations, raffles, face painting, dog games like musical sit, the NCSU Vet School Surgery Club’s Teddy Bear Repair Clinic, an Ask The Trainer booth staffed by the expert trainers of the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, and AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer tours.

The event is FREE! The first 500 families to enter also receive a free goody bag. Hope to see you there!

Learn more about the event at http://www.akc.org/responsible.

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AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program Turns 25


The American Kennel Club’s groundbreaking Canine Good Citizen program is proud to announce its 25th birthday! Long considered the gold standard for dog behavior in communities across the country, CGC is getting #social with 25 Days of CGC on Twitter to celebrate with its human and canine friends across the country.

From today through October 13th, AKC will share a CGC fact via Twitter @akcdoglovers using the hashtag #CGC25. Dog lovers are encouraged to re-tweet and share their tips for conquering CGC, photos of their dogs who have earned their CGC certificate, and action shots during CGC tests.

Over the past 25 years, more than 600,000 dogs have passed the CGC test and have gone on to be good citizens in their communities, therapy dogs, and so much more. The test has been utilized by businesses, organizations and local governments to create well-mannered and canine-friendly communities. The US Senate and 42 state legislatures have even passed Canine Good Citizen resolutions or proclamations advocating for responsible dog ownership.

Click HERE to learn more about AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program. We look forward to the next 25 years!

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Animal Law Update: Oregon Supreme Court Determines Animals Can Be Considered Crime Victims


By Phil Guidry, Senior Policy Analyst, AKC Government Relations

In a recently issued opinion, the Oregon Supreme Court held that animals are the victims of animal cruelty crimes.  While that decision may sound like common sense to most people, the opinion substantiates a considerable amount of thought on the purpose of the state’s animal cruelty laws.

BACKGROUND: The case resulted from a tip that led to the discovery of dozens of emaciated horses and goats on the defendant’s farm.  A jury convicted the defendant of 20 counts of second-degree animal neglect.  At the sentencing hearing, the state asked the trial court to impose 20 separate convictions because, they reasoned, the jury found the defendant guilty of neglecting 20 different animals.  However, under Oregon law, courts are permitted to “merge” multiple guilty verdicts stemming from a single criminal episode into a single conviction, unless the criminal episode resulted in two or more victims.

The trial court concluded that only people can be “victims” within the meaning of the criminal statute, and as such the defendant had committed only one punishable offense.  The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s sentencing decision, holding that animals can be victims.  The defendant then appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court, arguing that the meaning of the word “victim” includes only people—not animals—and that the victims of animal neglect cases are either the public or the owner of the animal.  The state countered that the ordinary meaning of the word “victim” refers to both animals and humans, and that the text and history of the criminal statute demonstrate the legislature’s intent to protect individual animals from suffering.

The issue confronting the Oregon Supreme Court was limited to whether animals could be considered “victims” for the purposes of sentencing under the animal neglect statute.  If so, then the counts against the defendant would not be able to be merged and he could be sentenced for 20 separate convictions.   (The narrow focus of the issue in question did not impact the legal status of animals as property, which the court explicitly emphasized.)

The court’s decision hinged on the technical aspects of statutory construction and history.  In considering the issue, the Oregon Supreme Court first assumed that the state’s legislature intended that the wording of the law be given its ordinary meaning since it found no evidence of a contrary legislative intent.  (This is an often-used method of reasoning employed by courts when trying to figure out a legislature’s intent behind a law.)  In light of this, the court found that the ordinary meaning of the word “victim” was indeed capable of referring either to human beings or animals, or both.

Next, the court focused on whom or what suffered the harm that the underlying animal neglect statute makes criminal.  It found that the phrasing of the statute revealed that the legislature’s focus was indeed the treatment of individual animals, not (as the defendant argued) harm to the public generally or harm to the owners.

Further, the court considered the historical focus of the state’s century-old animal cruelty laws, and articulated that the second-degree animal neglect statute was part of a more comprehensive set of offenses concerning insufficient animal care that are structured to address the entire extent of animal suffering.  The court held that for each of these laws, the offense is without a doubt committed against an animal, with the relative seriousness of the offense evaluated in line with the relative degree of harm inflicted upon that animal.

In summarizing that animals are the victims in this context, the court reasoned that the defendant’s argument that owners are the victims under the animal abuse statutes could well lead to an inconsistency—that, if the owners themselves had been convicted of negligent treatment of their animals, owners could be both violator and victim in the same case.

The opinion, written by Justice Jack L. Landau, limits the court’s decision to the interpretation of the underlying animal negligence statute.  As explicitly reiterated in the opinion, Oregon law continues to regard animals as the property of their owners.

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My Andy: A Marine’s Heartbreaking Letter Home


“Times Past,” AKC Gazette: Of the thousands of letters the Gazette has received over the decades, perhaps none has epitomized the human-canine bond more vividly than this one delivered to our offices 68 years ago.

Dear Editor:

War is a grim business in which sentiment plays little part. But one of the most touching things in this global conflict is the complete mutual devotion, confidence, and understanding that exist between America’s war dogs and their handlers.

Such was the relationship of Marine PFC Robert E. Lansley of Syracuse, and Andy, an affectionate, alert Doberman Pinscher, formerly owned by Theodore A. Wiedemann of Norristown, Pa. Lansley and Andy went through months of bitter fighting on Bougainville, where the Devil Dog’s keen nose repeatedly saved Marines from certain and sudden death by discovering camouflaged Japanese machine-gun nests. He was cited for his heroism.

Then, one tragic night, Lansley wrote to his mother this letter—a Marine’s simple, yet beautiful tribute to his dog:

Dear Mom: My heart is wide open. My Andy is gone. The darn mutt got out and as he couldn’t hear because of deafness brought on by the shelling, he was run over by a truck.

I got the worst order the Marine Corps ever imposed on me. I had to destroy my Andy.

To think, Mom dear, he saved my life and I had to take his. No matter how many dogs they give me, I’ll never have the faith in them that I had in Andy. It seems that he was my other self.

Bob and his Andy are now together again. The Marine was later killed in action fighting on the island highway to Tokyo. —Clayton G. Going, July 1945

Read the latest AKC Gazette here.

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AKC Pet Disaster Relief Rolls Out Help For Pets In Calvert County, Maryland

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AKC Pet Disaster Relief presented its third trailer in the state of Maryland to officials from Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit this weekend during the Sheriff’s Office Open House.

The National Capital Kennel Club, Capital Dog Training Club of Washington D.C., Chesapeake Kennel Club of Maryland, American Tibetan Mastiff Association, Tibetan Terrier Club of America, Tibetan Spaniel Club of America, and AKC Reunite donated the $22,000 needed to purchase the trailer.

Club members at the presentation received plaques and a “Sheriff’s Salute” from Sheriff Evans in thanks for the donation.

AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers help to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets immediately after a disaster is declared. The trailers house and deliver essential supplies such as fans, lighting and generators; cleaning supplies; maintenance items; and animal care items including crates and carriers, AKC Reunite microchips and an AKC Reunite universal microchip scanner, as well as bowls, collars and leashes. These supplies can be used as co-location shelters, where people can evacuate with their pets, as well as emergency animal shelters for displaced animals

“Safe, effective pet sheltering solutions in times of disaster are incredibly important, and AKC Reunite is helping communities across the nation prepare by mobilizing AKC Pet Disaster Relief,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Reunite CEO. “The trailer donated today will provide animal care services during the first critical hours if a disaster ever hits Calvert County or surrounding areas.”

Captain Steven R. Jones, PIO for the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit said, “This brand-new trailer will allow our agency to help pets by setting up an extensive emergency shelter during future disasters. The efforts of the members of the AKC kennel clubs are appreciated by those of us who want to ensure the safety of our pets.”

Learn more about AKC Pet Disaster Relief at www.akcreunite.org/relief.

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Posted in AKC Reunite, disaster relief

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