In late September, the Kennel Club faced its worst dog fight in recent memory – and no dog was involved. Hundreds of members called for vote of no confidence on three top officials, alleging they have lowered the club’s reputation, making it unfit for purpose.
A petition read, “We call upon the Chairman to resign and for a new board to stand up for the rights of the dog owning public and to properly represent them and their dogs. Under the current regime there is bullying and intimidation. We call upon this to end.”
Chairmans Simon Luxmoore, Mark Cocozza and Jeff Horswell have since resigned. A Kennel Club statement reads, “These [resignations] have been taken reluctantly and with deep regret […] in the hope of bringing an end or at least minimising the damage being done to the Kennel Club – an organisation they hold dear and to which they have given unstinting and dedicated service – by media coverage of these matters, which were intended to be managed within a fair and even-handed SGM process.”
However, some believe that the resignations don’t solve the underlying issues, and that the attempt to avoid coverage is the symptom of a lack of transparency in what is perceived as a very elitist organisation – widening a divide between the dog show world and most dog owners. The Kennel Club, they argue, needs to answer to the general public as well as its members. Others think that leaving that door open to everyone, however, would defeat the very purpose of the organisation.
Should the Kennel Club be less of a closed organisation and make everyone who registers a dog a member, like the Swedish Kennel Club does?
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