Date: November 16, 2012
Contact: AKC Communications
Phone: 212-696-8228


New York, NY – The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) announced recently that the Lehigh Valley Kennel Club (PA) and the Obedience Training Club of Wichita Fall, Inc. (TX) have been honored with AKC Community Achievement Awards for the third quarter of 2012.

The AKC Community Achievement Awards support and recognize outstanding public education and legislation efforts of AKC-affiliated clubs, AKC-recognized federations and their members. The AKC selects award recipients who promote responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership.

The Lehigh Valley Kennel Club (LVKC) two-day AKC Canine Learning Experience is one of the largest on the East Coast.  The 2012 event offered educational presentations, grooming demonstrations, games for children, canine health clinics, and obedience and conformation matches.  Participating clubs from the surrounding area hosted breed booths and provided information about their breeds and activities.

Barbara Dunkling, LVKC Secretary, reported that the Canine Learning Experience reaches 5,000 people.  The club is always looking for new ways to reach more of the public.

Members of the LVKC Public Education Committee visit children’s groups, community organizations, area malls and schools to provide information about responsible dog ownership.  A typical program includes a short video, an obedience demonstration, different breeds of dogs for the audience to meet, educational handouts and a question-and-answer period.

Each year, LVKC makes donations to organizations dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs.  Dunkling reported that the club has donated canine oxygen masks to most emergency squads in the area.  The AKC Canine Health Foundation, canine bloodmobile, local K-9 police units, and the University of Pennsylvania canine cancer research are just a few recipients of LVKC’s many donations.

Members of the Obedience Training Club of Wichita Falls (OTCWF) participate in numerous community events throughout the year.  Club members provide educational information about responsible dog ownership at health and children’s safety events, present agility and obedience demonstrations, and host a public education booth at the five-day Texas-Oklahoma County Fair.

“Club members and their well-mannered dogs staffed the booth during fair hours.  Lots of AKC materials were distributed, including educational coloring books and responsible dog owner bookmarks for children. Questions were fielded by our club members, all of whom are volunteer instructors in our obedience and agility classes,” said OTCWF President Dana Goff.

The OTCWF donates building space and provides instructors for obedience training classes for 4-H members from surrounding counties.  They also support and provide resources for a program that pairs at-risk teenagers with shelter dogs.  These teens learn valuable life skills through their interaction with the dogs and in return, the dogs become more adoptable through learning obedience skills from their teenaged handlers.

“We are pleased to recognize the Lehigh Valley Kennel Club and the Obedience Training Club of Wichita Falls for their outstanding educational programs in their communities.  Their ongoing programs for children and young people help guide and educate the next generation of responsible dog owners,” said Sheila Goffe, AKC Director of Government Relations.

Nominations for the AKC Community Achievement Award are accepted year-round. Honorees receive a certificate of appreciation and a $1,000 check payable to their AKC club or AKC-recognized federation to further public education and government relations efforts. Click here to nominate an individual, club or federation.


The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 20,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recover!
y and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit

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