AKC Presents Bebout Award

12/22/2012 13:24


Bebout Award Presented to Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners has been presented the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.

Named for the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the “Bebout Award” recognizes federations and dog owner/breeder organizations that have been actively involved in educating legislators about responsible dog ownership issues and have worked to preserve the rights of responsible owners and breeders. Organizations honored with the Bebout Award receive a $1,000 donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts. 

The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (MassFed) is the AKC’s state federation for Massachusetts. Its membership includes 39 all-breed, specialty, training and performance dog clubs, as well as individual members. Among its many activities and accomplishments, MassFed:
  • Conducts seminars on legislative action for kennel clubs throughout the state of Massachusetts
  • Maintains its own state legislative alerts system and web page
  • Developed a comprehensive set of policy positions to guide its members and other concerned dog owners
  • Established strong, ongoing relationships with state, local and federal representatives to ensure that the federation and its representatives are seen as the local resource for information on responsible dog ownership issues
  • Conducts lobby or legislative days at the state capitol annually or more often, as needed
  • Works together with other animal groups to defeat bills that would limit the rights of responsible dog owners
  • Presents information booths and provides educational materials at dog shows and events throughout the year
Recently, MassFed worked proactively with a broad range of animal groups within the state to pass a bill that created a state-wide definition of dangerous dog that prevents a dog from being declared dangerous solely because of its breed, provides for reasonable inspection of commercial kennels, and establishes a homeless animal prevention and care fund to assist low income residents with medical care costs for their animals and to provide training for animal control officers.

“MassFed doesn’t only help clubs in their own state, they also have assisted in neighboring Rhode Island, which does not have a federation and has been plagued with extremely bad canine legislation,” said Sheila Goffe, Director of AKC Government Relations.

“The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners, led by President Nancy Fisk and recent past President Virginia Rowland, has long been a model for other states in its level of activity and organization,” Goffe said. “We are pleased to recognize their outstanding efforts and thank them for their service.”