A Word or Two from AKC President & CEO Dennis Sprung

    Dennis Sprung

    Happy New Year! We are excited to begin to share with you the many wonderful things AKC has in store to be helpful to our core constituencies in 2024. Your contributions, commitment, dedication, and volunteerism to AKC are vital and appreciated. There is an abundance of announcements to start off this year and we are thrilled to share some with you.

    We begin by congratulating the AKC National Championship Best in Show Winner, “Comet,” a Shih Tzu. He triumphed over more than 5,700 competitors this year at the AKC® National Championship Presented by Royal Canin, held December 16-17, 2023 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, to earn this prestigious title. Comet, owned by Bonnie J. Miller, Susan Carter, and Luke & Diane Ehricht of Monclova, Ohio, bred by Luke and Diane and handled by Luke, was crowned “America’s National Champion” by Best in Show Judge Mr. Clay Coady and is America’s only National Champion in Conformation for 2023.

    In January, we recognized the 201st breed. We are very happy to have the Lancashire Heeler join the AKC registry. The Lancashire Heeler, also known as Heeler, is an affectionate, versatile, and intelligent breed whose history dates back to the 17th century. Heelers are small yet sturdy, energetic workers and would be a great companion for active families. We look forward to seeing them competitive in various AKC sports.

    Lastly, we are pleased to share with you that we have launched AKCRx as a new health and wellness initiative. AKC is working with Allivet.com, an award-winning pet pharmacy authorized to dispense pet medications in all 50 states. This program will offer a full complement of FDA and EPA over-the-counter and pharmacy selections for a wide range of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, livestock, fish, and birds. Orders that are placed on AKCPetRx.com are processed and filled by Allivet.com. AKCRx welcomes every dog enthusiast. Our goal is to provide a trusted, easy, and effective way for breeders and owners to secure the medicines their pets need. New registrants will receive a complimentary dose of Simparica Trio, valued at up to $32.

    I am appreciative of your contributions as responsible breeders, exhibitors, owners, and judges. You are truly what makes us great. We are excited to see what this year has in store!

    DENNIS SPRUNG

    Dennis B. Sprung is the President of the American Kennel Club. Sprung has been involved with AKC shows since 1968. He and his wife Susan served in many capacities in clubs and bred Afghan Hounds and Greyhounds. Dogs they owned or bred have won both Parent Club national specialties and over 175 all breed Best In Shows. He joined the AKC as an Executive Field Representative in 1989. In April of 1990, he was promoted to Assistant Vice President in the Dog Events department and a year later assumed the additional responsibility of Director of the Field Staff. In March of 1994, he was appointed Vice President of Dog Events. In 1997, Sprung took over the responsibility of Vice President of Planning and Development, which included relocating the AKC headquarters. In 2001 he was named Vice President of Corporate Relations. In 2002, Dennis created DOGNY, a fundraising and public art project which increased awareness of the AKC’s commitment to Search and Rescue dogs, raising $2.5 million. Most recently, he was elected as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Kennel Club in April, 2003. He also serves as Vice President of AKC Companion Animal Recovery a 501C(3). Prior to joining AKC, Sprung was a Delegate for 10 years from the Bronx County Kennel Club and also served as President. In 1993 he was honored with the “Fido” award for Dog Man of the Year. The Sprung’s share their home with Ruby, a five-year-old Pekingese.

    • Dennis B. Sprung is the President of the American Kennel Club. Sprung has been involved with AKC shows since 1968. He and his wife Susan served in many capacities in clubs and bred Afghan Hounds and Greyhounds. Dogs they owned or bred have won both Parent Club national specialties and over 175 all breed Best In Shows. He joined the AKC as an Executive Field Representative in 1989. In April of 1990, he was promoted to Assistant Vice President in the Dog Events department and a year later assumed the additional responsibility of Director of the Field Staff. In March of 1994, he was appointed Vice President of Dog Events. In 1997, Sprung took over the responsibility of Vice President of Planning and Development, which included relocating the AKC headquarters. In 2001 he was named Vice President of Corporate Relations. In 2002, Dennis created DOGNY, a fundraising and public art project which increased awareness of the AKC’s commitment to Search and Rescue dogs, raising $2.5 million. Most recently, he was elected as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Kennel Club in April, 2003. He also serves as Vice President of AKC Companion Animal Recovery a 501C(3). Prior to joining AKC, Sprung was a Delegate for 10 years from the Bronx County Kennel Club and also served as President. In 1993 he was honored with the “Fido” award for Dog Man of the Year. The Sprung’s share their home with Ruby, a five-year-old Pekingese.

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