AKC Lauded for 2020 National Championship Dog Show Safety Protocols

The American Kennel Club’s commitment to event participant safety during the COVID-19 pandemic received high marks from Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) leadership.

“In December, the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin hosted nearly 6,000 attendees across nearly 1 million square feet of exhibit space in the North-South Building. I saw firsthand how the staggered attendance, proper social distancing through signage, floor stickers, and safety protocols were implemented to create a safe and controlled gathering,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester.

Show, Shop, and Leave was the theme of the 2020 AKC National Championship, held on December 11-13, 2020 in conjunction with the AKC National Obedience Championship, AKC Rally National Championship, AKC Agility Invitational, AKC Fast CAT Invitational, and other competitions planned and presented with safety foremost in mind. Among other requirements, participants signed health disclosure forms and received daily temperature checks as conditions of admittance.

“The ANC was cited by OCCC officials as one of their most successful and safest events since the pandemic started,” said Sheila Goffe, Vice President, AKC Government Relations.  “By working with public officials and venue staff to comply with requirements, implementing AKC’s recommended safety measures, and following Centers for Disease Control tips, AKC clubs can continue to explore safe opportunities to hold events in this challenging time,” Goffe said.

A joint message issued by the AKC Board of Directors and AKC Staff encourages each of AKC’s 5,000 clubs to adhere to federal, state, and local restrictions pertaining to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.  As states gradually begin to reopen, clubs are strongly urged to follow every regulation for large gatherings.

The AKC Sports and Events Department has developed “Suggested Best Practices for the Well-Being of Dog Sport Participants” that include event-specific guidelines for more than 20 of the dog sports AKC sanctions/recognizes.

Additional COVID-19 resources and information on COVID-19 civil liability limit legislation are available from the AKC Government Relations Legislative Action Center.

  • Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club 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 more than 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 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred and mixed breed 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 Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org. AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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