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Dear fellow fanciers,
 
I trust this current update finds you and your loved ones healthy.  Within the information I’m  sharing today, please note that among the numerous links there is one which addresses best practices for each of our 26 sports, another which provides updates on our newly planned branding campaign, as well as Government Relations and of course Covid-19 specific efforts.
 
I must point out that in discussions between staff and event chairs and my own interaction with clubs it is very important to remind everyone that most of the postponements and cancellations are a direct result of venues being unavailable.  To date, 10,225 events have been cancelled which is 45% of our annual total.  It is noteworthy to understand that these decisions are not the choosing of our organizations but a direct result of federal and state mandates.  Our clubs want to provide the quality events they are famous for; however, county parks, state fairgrounds, etc. are closed to us. The AKC and clubs have a shared responsibility to one another as well as with superintendents, field representatives, breeders, exhibitors and judges as stakeholders in our enjoyable lifestyle. We must be united in action and spirit to be protective of one another and our beloved dogs, thereby enhancing our collective best interests.
 
Lastly, for your enjoyment we have an hour-long video compilation of Agility competitors who had been scheduled to compete at the National Agility Championship with their senior dogs. Watch the video here.

Sports & Events
    •    Sports and Events Department published Suggested Best Practices for 20 Sports.
    •    Dr. Klein and Public Education held webinar on COVID-19 on 4/8 with over 70 participants.
    •    Klein has been used in publications across the country including in NY Daily News, LA Times, Prevention, Dogster, Fox5 NY, Great Pet Care, NY Daily News
    •    Over 250 followers in the AKC Friends and Family group talking about shows, COVID concerns, new activities, etc.
    •    President’s April and May Gazette letter focused on efforts to help clubs
    •    Emails/Information sent to Delegates, Club Officers, Exhibitors (event specific)
    ◦    AKC Sports and Events Best Practices for Health
    ◦    AKC Noteworthy News
    ◦    AKC Delegates update
    •    Launched Virtual Rally Novice title opportunity 4/29; over 2000 participants since launch

COVID Specific Efforts

    •    Maintaining and regularly updating the COVID-19 page
    ◦    Content Includes
    ▪    Latest information from the CDC and WHO (updated regularly)
    ▪    Latest position from AKC regarding events
    ▪    FAQs
    ▪    Event cancellations
    ▪    Links to additional AKC resources (Government Relations, Canine College, COVID-Dog Resources
    ▪    Suggested Best Practices for Health by Sport
    •    Maintaining and updating the resource page for dog owners coping with COVID-19 crisis
    ◦    Topics include but are not limited to:
    ▪    Training your puppy at home (videos)
    ▪    Breed documentaries
    ▪    Indoor fun and games for your dog
    ▪    Protecting your pets in a crisis
    ▪    Activities for children and dogs

Additional Efforts

Broadcasting, Sponsorship, Licensing and Media
Actively maintaining the ongoing operations in their respective verticals. Engagement with clients, brands, vendors and outside communications are each geared to the proper tonality of the current situation while adapting to and activating the priority projects to ensure AKC mission & financial attributes.
    •    Finalized an agreement with Tractor Supply to be the “Official Rural Lifestyle Partner of AKC”
    •    Began the internal work for Virtual AKC RDO Day with PPI Pet Insurance sponsorship
    •    Working with ESPN for additional AKC Sports televised events
    •    Ongoing client services to Nationwide, Whitebridge Pet and Pet Partners, relating to branded content, the enhancement of creative assets and calendar planning. Assisting these clients is necessary to help sponsorship deliverables.
    •    Completed cut of AKC Sports show delivered to ESPN

Club Relations
    •    Sanctioned club applied for new match date-Oregon Trail Havanese Club – Plan A match rescheduled for August 1, 2020
    •    Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico local Specialty clubs are now eligible for the Reduced Sanctioned Match Program without the usual 25% membership experience requirement- May 2020 Board meeting
    •    Sample Bylaws Study Committee- held its 2nd meeting May 28.  The letter to the Delegates, Presidents and Secretaries is completed and will be emailed shortly.  An email address for the committee to receive replies from the Delegate (or President/Secretary if no Delegate in place) of each member club is pending from ATS.
    •    A separate letter is being drafted for clubs by 3 SBS committee members with respect to methods for holding Club and Board meetings in accordance with bylaws, and State Law.  If not prohibited by State Law, and as applicable laws may so permit, clubs may send a letter of intent to Club Relations to revise bylaws in the near future so that acceptable methods in accordance with State Law may be utilized for convenience and assistance to our clubs.
    •     Based on the outcome of the May 2020 Board meeting, Club Relations was able to assist the Big Apple Working Group Club become eligible for submitting a license presentation by qualifying the club under the Reduced Sanctioned Match Program, waiving the club’s 2nd Plan A match.
    •    A new Agility club was accredited, On Track Agility Club of Maine.
 

Communications
    •    Drafted AKC response for Dutch Kennel Club brachycephalic breed issue with GR
    •    Created and distributed CFO press release
    •    ‘The Retrievist’; created and distributed press release
    •    Multiple media interviews with Dr. Klein for Cosmopolitan.com, Prevention Magazine, Greater Pet Care, Martha Stewart, Fox5NY and more
    •    Pitching AKC Resource for Dog Owners/COVID-19 Page (ongoing)
    •    Pitching AKC online educational resources to art and parenting outlets, secured placements in SF Bay Mom, Modern Dog, Exceptional Parent and others
    •    Worked with GR to prepare a response to HSUS
    •    Canine Partners Anniversary announcement scheduled for June 16, 2020
    •    Revised the press center COVID 19 page with the most up-to-date recommendations
    •    Promoting ACE submissions via social and email blasts (ongoing)
    •    The President’s monthly Noteworthy News sent out 5/29
    •    Provided continued support to AKC CHF
    •    Managing day to day media requests
    •    Dr. Klein “When Do I Need a Vet” took place 5/15.


Government Relations
    •    Developing new online reporting of liability protection legislation by state.
    •    Ongoing daily updates on status of reopening, legislation and executive orders  related to covid-19, located on C-19  page on legislative action center   General
Currently monitoring more than 2,300 bills in 25 states, plus the federal government and local communities.  The vast majority of GR’s work involves day to day activities related to this.  

Legislative Alerts & Testimony - 90% of legislative alerts are accompanied by individually prepared testimony on the relevant measure
    •    Tennessee: Overreaching Bill that Would Grant Expanded Powers to Non-Governmental Humane Societies Could Be Considered TOMORROW, 5/27/20
    •    VT: Governor Asked to Give Green Light to Unregulated Animal Transports
    •    U.S. Congress: AKC Lauds Introduction of Healthy Dog Importation Act to Protect Animal and Public Health
    •    Oak Grove, KY—Second Vote on Animal Ordinance Could be Held Tomorrow (5/19/20)
    •    Join AKC Government Relations for A Webinar on Breed-Specific Legislation on May 27
    •    Not Sure if You Should be Licensed by USDA? Here’s Some Help!
    •    USDA-APHIS Update: Overview of New Animal Care Rules
    •    California Committee Considering Further Pet Store Restrictions on May 21
    •    Update: MA Opposition to Ban on Dogs Outside and Unattended Successful; But Committee Re-draft Proposes Major Changes for All Kennels
    •    USDA APHIS Announces Updates To Animal Welfare Act Regulations Impacting USDA Breeder Licensees
    •    Ask Missouri Legislature to Support Protecting Responsible Dog Owners- Call Today!
    •    A Response to HSUS’s troubled blog of May 7, 2020
    •    Connecticut: Support Proposed Regulations that Will Regulate Animal Shelters, Other Facilities
    •    APHIS Animal Care Provides Update on Plans for Post-COVID-19 Inspections
    •    NC Update: Wildlife Management to Recommend Commission Not Move Forward with Emergency Rule

 

Other Highlights
    •    Healthy Dogs Import Act of 2020 (HR 6921): introduced in Congress by the 3  members of Congress who are also veterinarians. This is a major milestone for AKC following almost 5 years of involvement and advocacy on this issue. AKC and NAIA worked together  on this project.  For more information, view official fact sheet used by sponsors ( and written by AKC)
    •    USDA Final Regs Breeder Licensing Regs released 5/14. These regs are a culmination of numerous AKC recommendations, reports, meetings with USDA and congress regarding breeder licensing issues. AKC was pleased that many of our recommendations were included in the final regs and we are generally supportive of these changes which streamline processes and address major loopholes in USDA Breeder oversight.   
    •    New Key Issues webpage on Pet Imports: Protecting Pet and Public Health launched 5/22    
    •    Jennifer Clark presented an AKC Educational webinar on BSL/Dangerous Dog legislation and advocacy/involvement on 5/27  
    •    New Comprehensive Policy Guide on BSL/Dangerous Dogs released. The overview provides policy and issue analysis, statistics, resources for legislators and constituent, model legislation and other tools to address this issue. The guide will be published online and printed to guide policymakers and the public.  


Marketing
    •    The AKC “If It Barks” campaign won a Bronze “Telly Award”; an industry-based award that is judged by over 200 marketing and advertising experts.
Social
    •    Continued Woof from Home Initiative across platforms
    •    WFH has contributed 4.7M additional impressions on Facebook since March 18
    •    Developed and presented preliminary Virtual RDO Day plans
AKC Shop
    •    Continued “Shop For a Cause” with Teddy The Dog Company; a portion of money from each mask sold goes to Direct Relief to assist Healthcare workers with getting PPE supplies.
    •    Worked with Teddy the Dog to create an AKC exclusive Teddy the Dog face mask for sale on the Shop

Conformation for Beginners
    •    Course enrollments to date: 3,866
    •    Survey sent via email 5/21 continues to capture responses as of 5/28
    •    5/27: Course featured in Nibble Pupdate
GoodDog! Helpline
    •    First GDH webinar will be held 5/22 with over 500 participants
    •    Promotion of webinar included in AKC Communicates, CP Newsletter, GDH Newsletter, Nibble Breeder and Pupdate
    •    GDH ad in Pupdate was the highest clicked link-1008 clicks!

 

Publications
    •    Canine Partners Logo for Canto
    •    Canine Partners Program Certificate design
    •    AKC Marketplace One Sheet for Parent Clubs
    •    Logo Requests (MTB, Canine Partners)
    •    Breeder of Merit Banners revised
    •    Bred with Heart banner revised
    •    June Gazette writing and designing continues
    •    May/June FD Photo Contest Finalists judging (ongoing)
    •    June Secretary’s Pages started
    •    Ad creation for FD July/August



Public Education/Canine College
    •    As of May 28, 2020, 3,866 people have taken the Conformation for Beginners course.
    •    Since the launch of the 50% Breed Course discount on April 2nd, 1,905 breed courses have been purchased.
    •    The Judges Education Webinars served 1,293 judges this week with four webinars (Glen of Imaal Terrier, Otterhound, Samoyed, and English Cocker Spaniel).
    •    As of today, the Judges Education Webinars have been attended more than 11,200 times.
    •    On Wednesday evening, we partnered with Government Relations to host a webinar about Breed Specific Legislation with more than 100 registrants.
    •    More than 7,000 votes were cast as part of the AKC “At Home with My Dog” Art Contest. Four winners were chosen.

Registration and Customer Service
    •    Online Dog Registration the last 7 days:  +35% over same period last year
    •    Online Litter Registration the last 7 days:  +10% over same period last year
    •    May Dog Registration (online and paper):   +31+% compared to same period last year
    •    May Litter Registration (online and paper):   +5% compared to same period last year
    •    Last week the Call Center handled +27% more customer contacts than the same period last year; the Call Abandonment Rate last week was 11%; there were many calls  about Marketplace phishing attempts and these calls require longer than average talk time to resolve
    •    ARR dogs and litter requests were very high again last week, a good sign and a testament to the work being done by Breeder Development Reps and to the increasing interest in AKC registration.
    •    AKC DNA volume last week continued to trend back up to expected levels after sharply declining; it helps that AKC and its lab continue to process incoming samples swiftly;
    •    May DNA Samples received were +5% higher than May 2019
    •    PuppyVisor sales are still running +100% compared to expectations

IT & Support Services
    •    Continue testing, configuration, documentation, and education of virtual meeting tools to support both the June Delegates meeting as well as 10 committee meetings the week before.
    •    Obtained more PPE equipment for existing staff working in the building and beginning to stockpile for when we invite employees currently working remotely to come back (NC)
    •    Completed the 2020 NAC entry refunds for those not wanting to transfer to 2021 NAC
    •    Fixing OLE entries for events that were cancelled and reopened at a later date
    •    Reapproved several events that were cancelled and rescheduled
    •    Working and testing technology for June Delegates meeting
    •    Complete all Annual Event & Title Statistics Reports
    •    Create studbook directories Biewer Terrier & other new breeds

Activities