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Lisa Unleashed: Patricia W. Laurans wins 2017 AKC Lifetime Achievement Award

Published: November 20, 2016

Each year the American Kennel Club (AKC), as the governing body of canine sports in the Unites States, surveys its more than 600 member clubs to select the winners of its Lifetime Achievement Awards in three sports areas — Conformation (evaluating breeding stock via dog shows), Companion Events (agility, obedience, rally and tracking), and Performance Events (field trials, hunt tests, lure coursing, herding trials and a variety of other field-based sports.)

According to AKC, this year’s winners are Newtown’s own Patricia W. Laurans in Conformation, Elizabeth (Tibby) Chase in Companion Events, and Jim Campbell in Performance Events. The awards, created by AKC President Dennis Sprung, are presented in recognition of exceptional participation and achievement within the dog fancy world. The finalists and winners, based on nominations from AKC member clubs, have impacted the dog sport on a national level through club involvement, judging, exhibiting, breeding, and teaching.

The honorees, who were selected from votes cast by AKC member clubs, will receive engraved Revere bowls on Friday, December 16, at the Delegates luncheon held in conjunction with the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in Orlando, Fla. A sterling silver Tiffany & Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at AKC headquarters in New York City.

Conformation Winner

Ms Laurans has been active in dogs for more than 50 years as an exhibitor, all-breed handler, and breeder of Best in Show, National Specialty winning and top producing German wirehaired pointers. She has served as delegate for the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America for more than 30 years. During that time she was elected to the AKC Board of Directors and started an AKC Breeder Education program and helped establish the Junior Scholarship program.

When Ms Laurans left the Board of Directors in 2000 she was elected to the Delegate Parent Club Committee and has served as its chairperson ever since. During this tenure she helped establish the Parent Club Conference Program and chaired three National Parent Club Conferences. In 2013, she helped establish the AKC Reunite Pet Disaster Trailer Program and serves as its co-chairman.

I met Ms Laurans for the first time via telephone in 2001. I had recently become an AKC delegate and had mentioned it in my bio at the bottom of my Newtown Bee column. The conversation was something like, “Hi, this is Pat Laurans. You’re a delegate. You live in Newtown, let’s talk.” She introduced me to the wonderful world of AKC governance through Delegate body. She introduced me to a wonderful family of caring dog people. She became a great mentor to me. She asked me to write articles for the Delegate newsletter, she invited me to come to the Parent Club Committee and learn more about national breeds clubs. And I am also proud to say that I attended all three of the Parent Club Conferences that she chaired. First in 2002 as a Delegate, the second one in 2004 as a newly hired AKC employee, and the third one as a keynote speaker to the general session and the presenter of the Public Relations session in 2007. It was through my association with Pat that I grew professionally. I even used her as a reference on my AKC employment application.

She has this great knack for discovering a person’s talents, and then mentoring them in such as way to help them succeed. Whether its being a Delegate, breeding dogs, being an active club member, or even a judge. In all these areas, I can say I have always looked to Pat for sound advice, genuine enthusiasm for a project, and true friendship in the dog world. I was very happy to hear of her winning this honor in our sport.

AKC Reunite Pet 
Disaster Trailer Program

I remember when Pat first called me to discuss the idea of the AKC Reunite Pet Disaster Trailer Program. I was a little leery that the program wouldn’t make the big national media splash I wanted all AKC programs to make. I had not really grasped the powerful grassroots potential this program would have. Pat, through her devotion, explained how it would all work. And in the end, she was right. Today, this program has donated more than 150 trailers nationwide. Here’s how it works.

AKC Reunite, working in conjunction with AKC clubs, is raising funds to help supply stocked mobile AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers that deliver essential, nonperishable necessities for sheltering pets when and where needed to local emergency management. The trailers provide animal care services during the first critical hours following a disaster, before FEMA support and services can be deployed.

AKC Reunite asks AKC clubs and local groups to raise funds for the trailers. Additionally, AKC Reunite has pledged $250,000 over the next two years to assist with funding. Clubs are encouraged to promote AKC Pet Disaster Relief to both club members and individuals and organizations within the local community to raise funds to source the trailer. Clubs can team up with other area AKC clubs to raise trailer funds together. Approved organizations that raise a minimum of $1,000 will have their logo featured on the AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer. The AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer is stocked with essential supplies to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 50 displaced animals directly after a disaster is declared.

Congratulations to Patricia W. Laurans of Newtown. You Go Girl!

Lisa Peterson writes about horses, hounds and history at She is the owner of Barn Girl Media, a communications consultancy company, contact her at

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