The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our sport, clubs, judges, exhibitors, and lives in unprecedented ways. In the last two weeks we have seen over 5,100 event cancellations, more than 25% of our annual total. In many cases there have been statewide and countywide orders that have eliminated event participation, denying our clubs the opportunity to decide whether to hold an event or not. We are proud of dog people and the sports we love and have devoted our lives to. We know our clubs are resilient and will once again hold quality events.
During this turbulent time we have had to face difficult decisions and the American Kennel Club wants you to know that every department remains open and is serving our core constituency.
Amongst our 5,000 independent clubs there are 26 different sports, some are very small and others are spread over large venues. We are working diligently to assist each type of club with rescheduling and providing guidance on ways to proceed in these very uncertain times. The Sports and Events Department has been working to ensure that they stay up to date on rescheduled events and cancellations minimizing any backlog. Staff is providing a host of options to clubs as well as assisting with corresponding dates, mileage checks, judges conflicts, the 30-day/200 mile policy, etc. No matter what decision a club makes, the AKC is here to assist in this difficult time.
We are confident our nation will win this battle and each of us will return to competing with our beloved dogs. With no end in sight and more difficult days ahead in this temporary lifestyle interruption, we must each find ways to come together and help one another, exactly what dog people have done for generations.
Our sports have survived difficult times before and come through bigger, better, and stronger from the experience. We remain confident that it will soon be safe enough for us to hold events, celebrating our dogs, sharing good times and being with the lifetime friends we hold so dear. Together, we will definitely get through this.
We are winners and will win this battle!