-- Happy 125th Birthday AKC --
New York, NY - This Thursday, September 17, 2009, marks AKC's 125th
anniversary. Since 1884, we have maintained the definitive registry of
purebred dogs and governed thousands of annual canine competitions. We
have always remained true to our original mission of promoting the
sport and breeding for type and function but have also continually
broadened our purview. Advancing canine health, upholding the
integrity of the registry, protecting the rights of all dog owners and
promoting responsible dog ownership have all been priorities for many
decades. As we celebrate our latest birthday, we can proudly say that
the AKC is the leading animal welfare organization for dogs.
Beyond this year being a historic milestone, the AKC has seen the
introduction of many new programs and initiatives that mark our
continued commitment to all dogs. We launched our S.T.A.R Puppy
program, an offshoot of our popular AKC Canine Good Citizen® test
which more than 600,000 dogs have taken since its inception in 1989;
held an enthusiastic first meeting of the Canine Health & Welfare
Advisory Panel and launched
to collectively share information and promote greater public awareness
about health concerns relevant to all dogs; and, as of October 1,
2009, we will welcome mixed-breeds into the AKC Canine Partners
program which will offer access to the world of AKC, including
competition in companion events. Our affiliates also saw high points
this year: AKC Companion Animal Recovery enrolled its four millionth
companion animal and the AKC Canine Health Foundation funded its 550th
Throughout the year, a special 125th Anniversary logo has been
widely used and is currently featured in an advertising campaign in
Dog World, Dog Fancy, Pet Age and Pet Business magazines.
The dog-loving public is also celebrating with us in a variety of
ways. We are looking forward to our first stand-alone Meet the
BreedsTM event in New York City in October. And, to reflect on the
role dogs have played in our culture and personal lives throughout the
years, we've collaborated on a poll on AOL's Paw Nation Web site. This
interactive look at memorable canines from different categories such
as movies, music, cartoons, mascots and others will help us select the
"125 Top Dogs in Popular Culture" in celebration of our anniversary.
to vote for your favorites.
In November, a new book titled Dogs: The First 125 Years of the
American Kennel Club, will be available as an update to the well-known
AKC Sourcebook last printed in 1984. This new hardcover chronicles the
history of the sport and the AKC and features many highlights and
famous competitors from the past 125 years.
And wrapping up the year's festivities will be a spectacular dog
show -- an open-entry AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Over 260,000
square feet of space will be utilized for Conformation, 30,000 square
feet for Obedience, and a 60,000 square foot tent will host our AKC
Agility Invitational (this unique structure has been used at four
Superbowls and the Democratic National Convention). AKC Meet the
Breeds® will continue to be one of the many signature events taking
place over this weekend.
Further commemorating the show will be an online catalog
permanently archived at
where exhibitors can post up to four photos of their dogs. We are
pleased to have the participation of more than 130 parent clubs
holding specialties and supported entries and hope exhibitors will
enjoy the variety of medallions, mementos and other keepsakes being
offered to remember this anniversary experience.
We hope you are making plans to join us in Long Beach, Calif. on
Dec. 12 and 13 for what promises to be AKC's biggest birthday party
ever. I couldn't be prouder to wish the AKC a happy 125th birthday and
am confident we'll see many more "yappy" returns.