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AKC - Community Achievemnet Awards

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA RESIDENT NAMED AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER

New York - The American Kennel Club announced today that Joe Byer of
Punxsutawney, PA has been named the Community Achievement Award winner for his dedication to the Doberman Pinscher Club of America and his efforts to teach dog obedience, dog safety, and responsible dog ownership throughout the community.

The American Kennel Club, the largest not-for-profit purebred dog registry in the country, instituted the Community Achievement Awards in 1993 to support and encourage the efforts of its local clubs to bring the message of responsible dog ownership to the general public. Each honoree receives a certificate and a $1,000 check payable to their club or federation to further their organization's public education or canine legislation efforts.

In 1991 Byer began a quest to raise funds for a new shelter for the local humane society. He conceived and coordinated an annual celebration in his community called "Pet Convention" with proceeds going toward the new shelter. Through hard work, Byer gained the support of community officials and local businesses and has made the event an educational activity for hundreds of people each year.

In 1992 Byer founded and organized a therapy dog group in the area, comprised of the many students and dogs from obedience classes he teaches in the community. Byer also gives seminars on selecting, buying and training dogs to help educate people about responsible dog ownership.

In 2000, Joe Byer and his wife were invited to give classes for the Punxsutawney Community Center, enrolling a combined total of 120 dogs and students each year. The Byers have demonstrated dog obedience and how to be safe around dogs at nearly every school in the area. They also authored and illustrated a pamphlet called "Puppy With A Purpose" for the Doberman Pinscher Educational Foundation.


TRINITY, AL RESIDENT NAMED AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER

New York - The American Kennel Club announced today that Gaylon Dodson of Trinity, Alabama has been named the Community Achievement Award winner for his efforts to teach responsible dog ownership and safety around dogs to the children in his community.

The American Kennel Club, the largest not-for-profit purebred dog registry in the country, instituted the Community Achievement Awards in 1993 to support and encourage the efforts of its local clubs to bring the message of responsible dog ownership to the general public. Each honoree receives a certificate and a $1,000 check payable to their club or federation to further their organization's public education or canine legislation efforts.

A retired teacher and Decatur Alabama Kennel Club member, Gaylon Dodson returned to the classroom to teach his philosophies to children. Dodson believes that young people are not only the future of pet ownership, but can also help shape the opinions and behavior of their parents and friends in the present.

Dodson's one-hour presentation "Best Friends" instructs children on local and state laws regarding pet ownership, and provides information on selecting a puppy, housebreaking, health care, grooming, exercise, obedience, spaying and neutering, and safety around dogs. In 2001, Dodson presented the Best Friends program to 556 children in the community. The children participated by grooming and cleaning the teeth of Dodson's Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

When teaching safe behavior around dogs, Dodson has been known to don dog's ears and get on all fours to help demonstrate how children should react to a threatening dog.

"The kids are so good. I've had such a wonderful experience with this," said Dodson of his visits. "Most of the kids don't have any idea you clean the dog's teeth. Nowadays we can't go anywhere in town without being recognized by a kid," added Dodson. "They always bring up something that they learned from the presentation."

Dodson and his wife have also shared their love of dogs and dog shows through the Big Brother/Big Sister program. With the Dodsons' guidance, 11-year-old twins James and Anna gained a new understanding of dog shows. James had an opportunity to show two of the Dodsons' Cavaliers, while Anna was the official groomer for the dogs.

Dodson continues to donate his time to help his breed and educate the community about purebred dogs. He and his wife provide a foster home for rescued Cavaliers. He also participates in community education, pet therapy, the annual pet fair, all-breed dog shows, agility, the Walk Your Paws fundraiser for the animal shelter, and the annual Halloween Dog Costume and candy distribution at a local mall.


WILLIAMSTON, MI RESIDENT NAMED AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER

New York - The American Kennel Club announced today that Dr. Al W. Stinson of Williamston, Michigan has been honored with an AKC Community Achievement Award for his involvement in the Michigan Association for Purebred Dogs.

The American Kennel Club, the largest not-for-profit purebred dog registry in the country, instituted the Community Achievement Awards in 1993 to support and encourage the efforts of its local clubs to bring the message of responsible dog ownership to the general public. Each honoree receives a certificate and a $1,000 check payable to their club or federation to further their organization's public education or canine legislation efforts.

Lauded by his colleagues and the fancy as a highly dedicated person who strives for the betterment of dog ownership, Stinson, a veterinarian and active member of several dog clubs and federations, spends countless hours promoting legislative awareness and responsible dog ownership.

As a faculty member at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University from 1964 to 1994, Stinson influenced many veterinary students through his classroom lectures. He co-authored a textbook on microscopic anatomy of the dog and produced a film on whelping that is still used to teach veterinary and veterinary technology students. From 1976 to 1991 Stinson organized seminars for dog breeders on canine health problems.

From 1990 to 2002, Stinson organized an educational booth that emphasized the contributions of the College of Veterinary Medicine to the health of purebred dogs at the Detroit Kennel Club Show.

Each year Stinson organizes the Spartan Mid-Winter Dog Match with more than 1,000 dogs participating in the event. Proceeds from the match go to the Michigan State University Purebred Dog Endowment Fund, which provides resources for the study of health problems of purebred dogs. Stinson co-founded and currently serves as executive director of the fund.

In 1994, Stinson became a lobbying agent with the Michigan Department of State and is a member of the Michigan Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on dog laws. He actively monitors bills introduced into the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate. He prepares position papers on those bills affecting dog ownership and the sport of dogs, testifies before legislative hearings, and works closely with the legislators and their staff to make sure they understand the implications of the proposed laws on their district constituents.

He has also developed a legislative alert network of dog clubs in Michigan in order to keep fanciers updated on unfavorable legislative bills so that he can get their input before taking a position. He has persuaded more than 20 local governments in Michigan to draft ordinances that are not breed-specific, but rather, deal with dangerous dogs.

Stinson speaks at dog club meetings throughout Michigan on topics covering health, canine research, dog breeding, dog behavior and legislative activity.