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New York, NY - The American Kennel Club (AKC) announced today the following organizational changes in the Judging Operations Department, located in its Raleigh, NC office:

· Mary Ann Alston, Director of the AKC Registered Handlers Program, has been named Director of Judging Operations effective August 31, 2003, replacing the current Director Janet P. Ford who will be retiring after 29 years with the company. Mary Ann's involvement as a former judge, professional handler and teacher will provide the AKC with additional resources in the Judging Operations Department.

· Executive Field Representative Robert Fisher, in addition to his current duties will assume overall responsibility of the AKC Registered Handlers Program and will be assisted by Executive Field Representatives Thomas Glassford and Walter Bebout. Their many years of experience in all aspects of the sport will be an invaluable asset to the continued success of the AKC Registered Handlers Program.

"These executives are assets to our organization," said Dennis B. Sprung, AKC COO. "This expansion of their responsibilities will further allow them to share their expertise and experience with our core constituency."