History of AKKAOA The Original AKK Breed Club
The Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America (AKKAOA) was formed in 1988.
Initial Board of Directors:
Linda S. Spurlin, President – Wasilla, Alaska
Richard A. (Rick) Spurlin – Wasilla, Alaska
Stephen P. (Pat) Keisor/Kearney – Wasilla, Alaska
Sharon L. Sweeny, Vet. Tech. (Advisor) – Wasilla, Alaska
Cheryl L. (Chris) Scarborough/Shackelford – Wasilla, Alaska
Eileen Gregory, Secretary – Colorado Springs, Colorado
AKKAOA was incorporated as a Domestic Non Profit Organization by Linda S. Spurlin, (breed developer of the Alaskan Klee Kai) Richard A. Spurlin and Stephen P. Keisor in 1990 under the name Klee Kai of Alaska-Alaskan Chapter. A direct quote from the original incorporation papers say the purpose was,” To initiate the initial parent club, as suggested by nationally recognized kennel clubs, so as to promote and improve knowledge of a newly developed breed of dog hereafter known as the ‘Klee Kai’. This initial organization will educate and set the standards by which future groups interested in forming similar dog clubs of this breed shall have as a set guide-line for which to base their club’s activities.”
Linda Spurlin carefully chose the initial Board of Directors for this new corporation from amongst her trusted friends and associates. With the interest of other people to breed the Klee Kai growing the Board of Directors set about getting down on paper the thoughts, dreams and visions that previously had only needed to be verbal, such as the Breed Standard, and the Rules and Regulations for selecting breeding stock, the Bylaws for the Organization and establishing and maintaining the Registry for the Breed.
With the desire to educate and to continue the careful development of the breed in mind, the Board allowed in the Bylaws for a period of time to be known as the Formative Years, in which all owners of the breed would automatically have free membership in the club, and under the watchful eye of Mrs. Spurlin and the Board of Directors the breed was allowed to be shared with others and cautiously grow. Also during this time the Registry for the breed was transferred from the beginning paper files to more organized computer files.
AKKAOA held their first meeting and picnic in Peyton, CO.
Klee Kai Breed Standards Revised – Effective April 1, 1993
Klee Kai Breed Standards Revised – Effective January 1, 1994
The Rocky Mountain Pet Expo in Denver, CO invited the AKK to attend; it was a weekend event featuring exhibitor booths, seminars, demonstrations and tons of toys, products and free samples, as well as the final round of an Amazing Pet Tricks Contest. The AKK were introduced to the public and the public was educated about this new rare breed. The AKK were invited and attended once again in 1995.
Linda Spurlin retired as President of the Association and Registrar for the breed. AKKAOA is eternally grateful for the contribution Linda S. Spurlin (the breed developer) has made to the world of dogs and appreciates her continued support and participation in association affairs.
Eileen Gregory, the Association Secretary and Linda’s Representative in the Continental U.S. took over as Registrar.
The AKK Registry, and the Association Office was moved to Colorado. The Association was growing, the breed was growing, the paper work and expense to handle the Registry was growing, so finally dues needed to be charged. With this also came the right of the members to vote on breed affairs.
Members voted to change the name of the breed from ‘Klee Kai’ to “Alaskan Klee Kai” which was felt to be more in keeping with other breeds who list their place of origin first in the breed name. The club name was then changed from ‘Klee Kai of Alaska-Alaskan Chapter’ to “Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America, Inc.” herein referred to as AKKAOA or the Association.
Much to the credit of Eileen Gregory, the Association gained full recognition for the breed with the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) upon first application. Alaska’s Own Nellie Juan bred by Linda Spurlin and owned by the Gregory’s became the first ARBA Champion.
AKKAOA gained full recognition for the Alaskan Klee Kai with The Federation of International Canines (FIC), again on first application.
In mid 1996 AKKAOA applied to the United Kennel Club (UKC) for recognition of the Alaskan Klee Kai. The Board of Directors was instructed on how to re-write the breed standards into an acceptable UKC format. Once the re-write was completed the revised standards were sent to the Membership for approval and then to UKC for formal approval.
January 1, 1997:
The United Kennel Club (America’s second largest registry) gave full recognition to the Alaskan Klee Kai breed and took over ownership and responsibility for the breed’s growing Registry. 1/1/1997 UKC AKK Breed Standard According to the contract with UKC, there was to be an initial period of 5 years in which AKKAOA would still be responsible for approving breeding stock and all AKK had to undergo and pass an adult examination to qualify as breeding quality. Only AKK that were born to parent dogs that had undergone examination and were found to be free of disqualifying faults would be registered with UKC. With UKC now maintaining the Registry for the breed AKKAOA concentrated on a book of records that reflected adult quality, health issues, personality traits, size, color, eye color and which dogs had been spayed/neutered.
UKC Alaskan Klee Kai Breed Standard - Effective January 1, 1997
Dr. Carmen Cetrone Jr. dedicated space on the internet for the Association to use to promote and educate the public on the new breed, the Alaskan Klee Kai. Dr. Cetrone started the first AKK WebRing.
Once AKKAOA had gained full recognition for the Alaskan Klee Kai with UKC, Association changes and rewrites were necessary in order for the Association to comply with UKC policies and apply for recognition as the UKC Parent Club for the breed. The Board chose to begin with the difficult task of re-writing the Rules and Regulations first so that members would have the information they needed for registration purposes with UKC. It was a long and difficult task, only to find out later that UKC would not be approving of Rules and Regulations for a club.
At UKC’s suggestion the Board of Directors then set about working on the re-write of the Association’s Constitution and Bylaws. With numerous phone calls to UKC for guidance they were written and rewritten time and again only to be repeatedly refused with UKC asking for adjustment on one point or another. That would be fixed according to UKC’s desires and something else would be found that needed adjustment. It was a frustrating task for everyone involved.