Before Best in Show judging at the Raleigh Kennel Club show on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, club president Pat Babuin, accompanied by treasurer Bill Pfeiffer, made three presentations to local organizations on behalf of the club.
The first, a check for $1,000, was presented to the North Carolina Canine Emergency Response Team, an all-volunteer group of search and rescue professionals who work with law enforcement and emergency management agencies, as well as fire departments and other agencies, to help locate people in natural or manmade disasters, drownings or other situations where a person is missing.
This is the first time RKC has donated to the group, which will use the funds to help bring new dogs into the program.
Theresa Cummings, accompanied by her Bloodhound Huntsalot Southern Rebel, accepted the check on behalf of the response team.. ‘Rebel’ specializes in scent-specific trailing. CERT is comprised entirely of search and rescue professionals who all have regular jobs outside their SAR commitments. Dogs are trained in wilderness and cadaver searches for both land and water. CERT is funded entirely by donations from the local community.
The emergency response team members pay for their own equipment, and typically also cover other costs such as gas, food and medical training. Contributions help defray the costs of equipment such as radios and first aid kits, as well as costs of training and travel. In addition to performing actual search and rescue operations, volunteer members also have an active public education program designed to reduce the incidence of outdoor emergencies and prevent situations that will require search and rescue.
The second presentation went to the North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Over the past 20 years the Raleigh KC has donated approximately a quarter-million dollars to the vet school. The $6,500 check presented on Sunday is part of RKC’s $25,000 commitment toward the new Randall B. Terry Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center, the 110,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2011.
Previous funds donated to the vet school by RKC have gone to research in various disciplines, including cardiology, internal medicine and theriogenology, the study of animal reproductive health. The club has also donated to the school’s scholarship trusts, and sponsors a free microchip clinic at the annual “Dog Olympics,” thanks to the generosity of treasurer Pfeiffer.
The last check was presented to the Raleigh Police Department K9 Unit, specifically to a fund that will help pay medical expenses for retired canines.
When K9 officers retire from active duty, they remain in the homes of the police men and women who have partnered with them. The officers become 100 percent responsible for the care of these dogs for the rest of their lives, which in some cases causes financial strain. A 501(c)3 was set up to create a permanent fund to help pay expenses for these dogs in their twilight years.
Police officer Keljin Adams and his dog Kato, a Belgian Malinois, along with officer Patrick Kellogg and German Shepherd canine officer Rocky, accepted the donation on behalf of Raleigh Police Department K9 Unit. Kato and Rocky, both veterans, will soon be eligible to enjoy the benefits of the RKC donation.
In closing the 15-minute presentation, Babuin thanked the audience for coming to the show and making the donations possible. “Without you, the Raleigh Kennel Club could not make these presentations. Thank you to the professional handlers, amateur handlers, exhibitors, breeders and spectators who come to our shows,” she said.
RKC has also made donations to the county law enforcement K9 units.