Everywhere I turn the past few days there are signs of Spring flowering trees and folks out
doing yard work. But in the world of dogs we seem to be in a time of Spring like renewal as well.
Besides an abundance of litters hitting the ground, we seem to be taking a fresh look at our sports and our roles as preservers of our breed.
First up is our new DPCA BOD. With Ann Wulbrecht at the helm, it has been my experience that the BOD has been quite responsive to pertinent subjects brought to their attention. One such subject was that which was brought by the Public Education Committee on establishing a grant for fourth year veterinary students or established veterinarians wishing to learn the art of ear cropping, and connecting them with a licensed veterinarian to teach them. And just days following a prompt from me on a subject relevant to the protection of our breed’s history, the BOD created a task force to pursue the matter. So, I give an enthusiastic “Kudos” to Ann, her fellow Officers and Directors for their dedicated efforts to tackle issues promptly as well as for greater communication with the membership as to the thought processes behind their actions.
One sure sign of Spring is the AKC’s publication of the upcoming year’s point schedule for each division. This year the schedule begins on May 11th and can found in this issue. Snap a pic of it and save it in your phone so it will always be handy!
On the heels of the #MeToo movement, another sign of new things to come is a push to take a pro-active stance against abuse and misconduct towards youth in the conformation realm. Greatly driven by Carissa Shimpeno reaching out to Field Rep, Mary Dukes, the AKC Registered Handler Program department has mandated that all RHP handlers must complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport course as this year’s continuing education. Authorized under the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (which became Public Law No: 115-126 on February 14, 2018) the U.S. Center for SafeSport develops “resources and policies to safeguard athletes from bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct.”
On March 17th, Michael Hill moderated a moving discussion about such abuses within our sport with Mary Dukes, Carissa and fellow AKC RHP, Stacy Threlfall. The 51-minute video production of Canine Chronicle TV is free for viewing at www. caninechronicle.tv/michael-hill-safesport-discussion/ I encourage EVERYONE to watch this video. It is an emotional wake-up call that all of us should be trained to recognize the warning signs so that we can intervene, or better yet as Carissa says, “to educate ourselves as a whole so the villain simply has no home here.”
Anyone can take the 90-minute primary SafeSport course for only $20. There are tailored courses for adults (parents, coaches, volunteers, mandatory reporters, administrators, officials, training support teams, athletes, or staff) as well as free ones for youth (ages pre-K through high school). To learn more about SafeSport and take their course, go to uscenterforsafesport.org.
By the signs of Spring, 2021 is going to be a year to remember, in a very good way.