New York, NY – The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and advocate for all dogs, is pleased to announce the winners of our newest award, AKC My Canine & Me. This award honors children and young adults who are making a positive impact on the world with their dogs or achieving personal growth and success utilizing their knowledge of dogs and their dog ownership.
To be considered, students had to be nominated by a parent, teacher, mentor or another adult familiar with their efforts. They must also be in good academic standing, and a short essay should also be included describing the bond between the child and their dog, and the reason for the nomination.
“These children demonstrate how having a canine companion can be the key to personal growth” says Ashley Jacot, Director of Education. “They also show the wonderful things they can accomplish together for a better future, which is why we are honored to present them with the AKC My Canine & Me Award.”
The winners of this year’s AKC My Canine & Me Award are:
Personal Achievement Award: Celebrating children who have overcome personal challenges with the help of their dog.
Bianca Baker: Bianca has overcome having anxiety attacks by showing her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Radar. She self-taught Radar all the tricks he performs and has won several trick dog titles. Since training and competing with Radar, she has gained a great deal of poise and confidence.
Cassandra Pardee: Cassandra was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was 4 years old, and experienced severe anxiety attacks to the point where she couldn’t speak to adults. Years later her grandmother who was an English Setter breeder gave her a dog, and under her guidance started showing her dog named Carly. Participating in dog shows helped her overcome anxiety attacks, and she even gained the confidence to compete during the 2019 AKC National Championship.
Community Achievement Award: Celebrating juniors who show commitment and passion through fundraising and contributing to their community for the welfare of dogs.
Caroline Wetherington: Caroline has shown her dedication and love for animals by giving back to them. During the last holiday season, she baked and sold dog treats, and earned a total of $1,000. She donated all the proceeds to a local animal shelter and continues to help dogs in need.
Winners were awarded $1,000 scholarships which can be used toward tuition, additional training classes or another dog-related activity. Additionally, they received a plaque honoring their achievement and a mention and interview on AKC.TV.
If you would like to nominate a child for the AKC My Canine and Me award, please visit AKC.org to learn more about the program.