The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department is pleased to announce that longtime purebred dog advocate Stormy Hope of California has been named the recipient of the First Quarter 2021 Bebout Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.
For the past 25 years, Hope has been a proud member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA). She was involved in the resurgence of the club’s legislative committee and became the GSDCA’s legislative liaison, including writing articles beginning in 2009 and developing a legislative awareness Facebook page for the club in 2013.
Everywhere she has gone, she has worked to not only advocate for animals, but organize and motivate others to do the same. In the early 2000s, she and other members of the Rocky Mountain German Shepherd Dog Club started a legislative committee. As a resident in Colorado, she also worked to fight some of the early breed bans in that state.
Upon returning to California, Hope worked with other advocates and dog owners to organize the opposition to AB 1634, a failed proposal that would have established statewide mandatory spay/neuter requirements. Together with fellow dog owners, she founded the California Responsible Pet Owners organization which continued the fight on the local and state level to protect dogs and responsible owners. She has also served as secretary of the Kennel Owners and Breeders Association, an organization founded in 2012 to fight the animal rights agenda in Los Angeles.
Today, in addition to her role as the Corresponding Secretary for the Lake Los Angeles Town Council, Ms. Hope remains a member of the GSDCA, the German Shepherd Dog Club of Reno, and the NAIA Trust.
Ms. Hope is currently the Legislative Liaison for the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, a member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of Reno, a member of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) Trust, and a member of the Lake Los Angeles (California) Rural Town Council – a community advocacy organization in Lake Los Angeles.
When asked why it is important to be involved in canine legislation, Stormy responded, “Because if we don’t, they will – and it won’t be pretty.” She also added that while her “passion” is for purebred dogs, “I am very determined that my involvement in animal legislation goes to all animals.”
This passion is evident with her history with her breed: In 1994, she bought her first German Shepherd Dog and “immediately dove in head first”. Shortly thereafter, she “took a big plunge as a naive and foolish breeder, but ended up with the most wonderful litter of 9 gorgeous GSDs” Of that litter, “one became a Champion in Mexico minus the gunshot test, another was twice Mexico’s GVX, and another was one point shy of CH when she went back home to Hawaii.” Over the years she bred a couple more litters and had a few more AKC champions.
“The American Kennel Club, and AKC GR are truly grateful for the enormous contribution that Stormy Hope has made to canine advocacy in California and across the country,” said Sheila Goffe, Vice President, Government Relations, AKC.
“It is a privilege to present this well-deserved award to Stormy Hope,” said Jennifer Clark, AKC Director of Legislative Outreach. “Even though she says she has scaled back on many of her former advocacy activities, she still remains a valuable resource and advocate for dog owners. Her institutional knowledge, experience and insights – and true heart for animals and purebred dogs – are invaluable.”
About the Bebout Award
The “Bebout” Award recognizes federations and owner/breeder organizations that have demonstrated leadership in educating legislators about responsible dog ownership issues and have worked to preserve the rights of responsible owners and breeders.
Clubs or federations recognized by the Bebout Award receive a donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.
Do you know of a club or organization that is deserving of the Bebout Award? To learn more about the award or make a nomination, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.