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New York, NY - The AKC Board of Directors proclaimed September 17, 2003 "AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day." This day commemorates the date AKC was founded in 1884 and will focus on educating the public about the importance of responsible dog ownership. While many clubs and organizations commendably do this all year round, our hope is that creating a central focus for efforts will bring increased attention to the issue.

As of this writing, over 100 organizations from across the country including AKC clubs, veterinary hospitals, animal shelters and 4-H groups have already signed up to hold an event celebrating AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day in their own communities. A range of activities, including Canine Good Citizen tests, microchipping clinics, rescue booths and much more are planned on the weekend of September 20-21 across the country (a list of these events is posted on our website). We have also had support from our international friends, with events confirmed in Singapore, Canada and Denmark.

To celebrate AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day in New York City, the AKC will hold an event in Central Park on September 17 that will highlight the many programs and services that we offer to pet owners. In addition, Olympic gold medallist and dedicated dog lover Greg Louganis has agreed to generously lend his support to the effort by conducting media interviews in New York City and appearing at the Central Park event on the 17th. Louganis, who currently lives with 3 canine companions, is a long time dog lover, the author of a book on dog ownership and an active participant in obedience and conformation competition.

In addition to the festivities in New York, AKC's Canine Legislation team is working hard to organize AKC "Lobby Day." Club legislative liaisons will be visiting the Capitol on September 17 to meet with various lawmakers in order to highlight issues that are of importance to the dog fancy.

If you haven't already done so, I urge you to consider scheduling an event to coincide with AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day. It's a wonderful way to demonstrate to the public the commitment that the fancy has to helping dog owners be thoughtful, involved pet owners.

For more information on AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day, or to sign up to host an event, contact or visit