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AKC announces new award honouring pet media for efforts to educate public on responsible dog ownership

New York – The American Kennel Club (AKC) has announced that it will sponsor a new annual award through the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA). This “Special Category” award, titled the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award, is open to all newspaper and magazine writers who consistently use their public platform to educate pet owners about responsible dog ownership. The award consists of a plaque and a $1000 cash grant and will be bestowed at the DWAA Awards dinner in February 2005.

Any published writer may apply, including those who are not members of DWAA. To be considered, writers will be required to submit three different pieces of work, each demonstrating the use of consistent and specific educational messages about being a responsible dog owner. Themes such as taking the time to research and think through the commitment of getting a dog, finding a reputable breeder, making sure all of a dog’s exercise, healthcare, nutrition and companionship needs are met, and any other topic that enhances people’s understanding of what it means to be a responsible pet owner will be considered.

In addition, two other DWAA Special Category awards are sponsored by the AKC:

· The AKC Club Publication Excellence Award for the best article in a national, regional or local dog club publication; magazine or newsletter format. The award consists of a plaque and a $500 cash grant.

· The AKC Canine Health Foundation Research Communication Award for the work that best informs the public about canine health research through any form of media. The award consists of a plaque and $1,000 cash grant.

The AKC will also continue to sponsor the DWAA’s Distinguished Service Award, which is given annually to one person for extraordinary achievement and communications excellence.

It recognizes those who, by word, deed, exemplary conduct, public communication and professional excellence promote the best interest of the sport of dogs. The award consists of a plaque and $1,000 cash grant.

“All of the awards that AKC sponsors are given to exceptional professional writers who share our passion for dogs and are committed to bettering the lives of dogs,” said Daisy Okas, AKC AVP Communications. “We have seen many wonderful examples of how pet columnists use their platforms to educate the public on the responsibilities of dog ownership and we are pleased to recognize the important contribution these writers make.”

For more information regarding the DWAA awards, how to apply, visit www.dwaa.org