The AKC is pleased to announce that the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners has been named winner of the Bebout Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation for the second quarter of 2022. The Bebout award, a memorial to former AKC GR Director Walt Bebout, recognizes contributions made by AKC federations and dog breeder/owner groups in advocating on behalf of responsible dog ownership and the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders in the public policy arena.
“Good dog owners know the best defense in protecting your rights as a responsible dog owner/breeder/fancier is a good offense,” said Stacey Ober, New England Regional Manager, AKC Government Relations. “This federation has cultivated a culture of organized teamwork resulting in significant support of Maine kennel club members.”
Over the recent year, the federation’s dedication to education, especially with new members of the club, has been unmatched. They have held multiple educational webinars, providing a regular update on Maine kennel laws and the importance of compliance. Federation leaders invite their new members to their board meetings to learn pertinent information and new provide insights on legislative initiatives for the next session. The group also holds face-to-face meetings at the State Capital yearly to promote just and fair legislation, promote purebred dogs, and support animal welfare.
The federation also works hard to get their message out to member clubs efficiently. Investment in new technology early in the year allowed the group to modernize their website, mainedogclubs.org, and add helpful resource links, including AKC GR’s Taking Command newsletter. They also improved member communications by utilizing professional email services for important constituency and advocate outreach, which resulted in an impressive 50% email open rate across multiple messages.
A recent legislative highlight for the federation involved a strong grassroots effort in support of LD 1885, “Enhancing the Veterinary Workforce”, which provides loans to veterinary students committed to working with livestock in underserved parts of the state. The bill was signed into law on May 3, as Chapter 725 of the Acts of 2022.
“The federation has worked tirelessly even through the pandemic to promote & support the right to own, breed, & protect purebred dogs and proper animal welfare,” said federation president Nancy Daniels. “With this award, we will be able to expand our state-wide education efforts.”
About the award:
Bebout award honorees receive a commemorative award and a contribution of $1,000 to defray expenses or assist in ongoing legislative efforts. To apply for or learn more about this award, visit https://images.akc.org/pdf/canine_legislation/BeboutAwardNominationForm.pdf