American Bloodhound Club Constitution
as ratified and approved by the American Kennel Club on August 9, 2016
Names and Objects
The name of the club shall be the American Bloodhound Club
The objects of the Club shall be:
(a) To encourage and promote quality in the breeding of purebred Bloodhounds and do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection;
(b) To encourage the organization of independent local Bloodhound Specialty Clubs in those localities where there are sufficient fanciers of the breed to meet the requirements of the American Kennel Club;
(c) To urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Bloodhounds shall be judged;
(d) To do all in it's power to protect and advance the interests of the breed and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows, tracking tests, trailing tests, and obedience trials;
(e) To conduct sanctioned matches and specialty shows, tracking tests, trailing tests, and obedience trials under the rules of the American Kennel Club.
The Club shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of profits or remainder or residue or donations to the Club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual..
The members of the Club shall adopt and may from time to time revise such bylaws as may be required to carry out the objects.
as ratified and approved by the American Kennel Club on August 9, 2016
Eligibility: There shall be three types of membership.
- Active members: Individual or family membership shall be open to all persons 18 years of age and older who are in good standing with the American Kennel Club, and who subscribe to the purposes of the American Bloodhound Club. An individual or family membership shall have one vote.
- Junior members: Junior membership shall be open to those under 18 years of age. The Junior member shall enjoy all the priveleges of membership except for voting or holding office.
- Honorary members: Individuals who have instituted, performed or accomplished some outstanding service in the interests of Bloodhounds may be elected to Honorary membership by a 2/3 majority vote by mail of the Board of Directors. The Honorary members shall enjoy all the privileges of membership for life.
Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the American Bloodhound Club shall be held in conjunction with the National Specialty. If there is no National Specialty for a particular year, the annual meeting of the American Bloodhound Club shall be held within a period beginning with the Saturday preceding Memorial Day and ending with the Monday following July 4th on a rotational basis from one section of the country to another. The hour and place will be designated by the Board of Directors. There shall be three other regular meetings of the American Bloodhound Club each year at a time and place designated by the President with approval of the Board of Directors. Written notice of each meeting shall be published in one of the official American Bloodhound Club publications or may be mailed by the Corresponding Secretary to each member at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The quorum for meetings shall be 10% of the members in good standing.
Special Club Meeting. Special Club meetings may be called by the President or by a majority vote of the members of the Board who are present at a meeting of the Board or who vote by mail or email, and shall be called by the Corresponding Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by 15 members of the Club who are in good standing. Such meetings shall be held at such place, date, and hour as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice of such a meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the Corresponding Secretary at least 14 days and not more than 30 days prior to the meeting. The notice of the meeting shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other Club business may be transacted. The quorum for Special Club meetings shall be 10% of the members in good standing.
Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such times and places as are designated by the President or by a majority vote of the entire Board. Written notices of each meeting shall be mailed or emailed in accordance with AKC policy by the Corresponding Secretary to each member of the Board at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for a Board Meeting shall be a majority of the Board voting in person or by mail or email.
The Board of Directors may conduct its business by mail through the Recording Secretary.
Directors and Officers
Board of Directors. General management of the Club's affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording secretary and Treasurer who shall be elected to serve one year terms. The immediate Past president shall be a non-voting member of the Board of Directors in an ex officio status for the year following his or her term in office. Five other Directors shall be elected to serve two year terms, two being elected in even-numbered calendar years and three being elected in odd-numbered calendar years. The Officers and Directors shall be elected as provided in Article IV, and shall serve until their successors are elected. Other than the Corresponding and Recording Secretaries and Treasurer, no member serving a full two year term as a Director shall be elected to consecutive terms in any one office.
Officers. The Club's Officers, consisting of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and it's meetings.
(a) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and of the Board, and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those particularly specified in these bylaws.
(b) The First Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President's death, absence, or incapacity. The Second Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President's and First Vice President's death, absence, or incapacity. In the death, absence, or incapacity of the First Vice President, the Second Vice President would automatically assume the position of First Vice President.
(c) The Corresponding Secretary shall have charge of the correspondence, notify members of meetings, notify new members of their election to membership, notify Officers and Directors of their election to office, keep a roll of the members of the Club with addresses, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these bylaws.
(d) The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and of all votes taken by mail, and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Club, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these bylaws.
(e) The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due to or belonging to the Club. He/she shall deposit the same in a bank approved by the Board, in the name of the Club. His/her books shall at all times be open to inspection by the Board and he/she shall report to them at every meeting the condition of the Club's finances and every item, receipt, or payment not before reported; and at the annual meeting he/she shall render an account of all monies received and expended during the previous fiscal year. The Treasurer shall be bonded, the expense to be paid by the American Bloodhound Club.
(f) The Delegate to the American Kennel Club shall be elected by the membership to a two year term of office. The Delegate shall attend all meetings of the American Bloodhound Club but shall exercise those privileges appurtenant to the Board only if an elected member of the Board as set forth in this article. It shall be the duty of the delegate to attend all Delegate meetings of the American Kennel Club, and to vote on all matters presented there according to the advice and instruction of the Board of Directors of the American Bloodhound Club. The Delegate to the American Kennel Club shall not be limited to the number of consecutive terms of office he/she may serve.
Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring on the Board or among the Officers during the year shall be filled until the next annual election by a majority of all the members of the Board; except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the First Vice President, and the office of First Vice President shall be filled automatically by the Second Vice President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of Second Vice President shall be filled by the Board.
The Club Year, Voting, Nominations, Elections
Club Year. The Club's Fiscal year shall begin on June 1st and end on May 31st.
The Club's official year shall begin on August 1st and end on July 31st. The elected officers and directors shall take office August 1st. Each retiring officer and director shall turn over to his/her successor in office all properties and records relating to that office by September 1st.
Voting. At the annual meeting, or at a special meeting of the Club, voting shall be limited to those members in good standing who are present at the meeting, except for the annual election of Officers, Delegate and Directors, amendments to the constitution and bylaws and the standard for the breed, and such other specific questions as the Board of Directors may decide to submit for decision of the members by written ballot cast by mail in accordance with Section 4(d) of this Article. The Board of Directors may decide to submit other specific questions for decision of the members by written ballot cast by mail or email. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
Annual Election. The election of Officers and Directors, and Delegate to the American Kennel Club (who may but not need be a Director or Officer of the Club) shall be conducted by ballot. Ballots, to be valid, must be received by the Recording Secretary by July 1st. Ballots shall be counted by three inspectors of election who are members in good standing and who are neither members of the current Board nor candidates on the ballot and who shall be appointed by the Board to count ballots. The Board may designate an outside accounting firm to receive and count results mailed to the current Officers and Board by July 15th. The person receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected. The nominated candidates for the other positions on the Board of Directors who receive the greatest number of votes for such positions shall be declared elected. If any nominee, at the end of the meeting, is unable to serve for any reason, such nominee shall not be elected and the vacancy created shall be filled by the new Board of Directors in the manner provided by Article III, Section 3.
Nominations and Ballots. No person may be a candidate in a Club election who has not been nominated in accordance with these bylaws. A Nominating Committee shall be chosen by the Board of Directors before January 1st. The Committee shall consist of five members from different areas of the USA and two alternates, all members in good standing, no more than one of whom may be a member of the current Board of Directors. The Board shall name a chairman for the Committee. The names of the Nominating Committee shall be included in one of the official Club publications prior to February 1st. The Nominating Committee may conduct it's business by mail, email or teleconference.
(a) The Nominating Committee shall nominate from among the eligible members of the Club, one candidate for each office and the other positions on the Board, as specified in Article III, Section 1, and a candidate for the Delegate to the American Kennel Club and shall procure the acceptance of each nominee so chosen. The Committee shall consider the geographical representation of the membership on the Board to the extent that it is practicable to do so. The Committee shall then submit it's slate of candidates to the Recording Secretary by March 1st. The name of each candidate and the name of the state in which he/she resides, shall be included in any one of the Club's official publications on or before April 1st, so that additional nominations may be made by the members if they so desire.
(b) Additional nominations of eligible members may be made by written petition addressed to the Recording Secretary and received at his/her regular address on or before May 1st signed by five members and accompanied by the written acceptance of each such additional nominee signifying his/her willingness to be a candidate. Except for the position of Delegate, no person shall be a candidate for more than one position and the additional nominations which are provided for herein may be made only from among those members who have not accepted a nomination of the Nominating Committee.
(c) If no valid nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before May 1st the Nominating Committee's slate shall be declared elected on July 15th and no balloting shall be required.
(d) If one or more valid nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before May 1st he/she shall, on or before June 1st, mail, first class, to each member in good standing a ballot listing all the nominees for each position in alphabetical order, with the names of the states in which they reside, together with a blank envelope and a return envelope addressed to the Recording Secretary (or an outside accounting firm) marked "Ballot", and bearing the name of the member to whom it was sent. The Ballots shall be returned to the Recording Secretary by July 1st. So that the ballots remain secret, each voter, after marking his/her ballot, shall seal it in the blank envelope which in turn shall be placed in the second envelope addressed to the Recording Secretary (or an outside accounting firm). The inspection of election shall check the returns against the list of members whose dues are paid for the current year prior to the opening of the outer envelopes and removing the blank envelopes and shall certify the eligibility of the voters.
(e) Nominations cannot be made at the annual meeting or in any manner other than as provided above.
The board may each year appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Club in such matters as dog shows, tracking tests, trials, obedience trials, trophies, annual prizes, membership and other fields which may well be served by committees. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to aid it on particular projects.
Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the Board upon written notice to the appointee, and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose service has been terminated.
American Kennel Club Suspension. Any member who is suspended from the privileges of the American Kennel Club shall be automatically suspended from the privileges of this Club for the like period.
Charges. Any member may prefer charges against another member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed. Written charges with specification must be filed in twelve (12) copies with the Recording Secretary together with a deposit of $250.00 which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Board or a Committee following a hearing. The Recording Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Board or present them at a Board meeting, and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or of the breed. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct that would be prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or of the breed it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges it shall fix a date of a hearing by the Board or a Committee of not less than three members of the Board, not less than 3 weeks nor more than 6 weeks thereafter. The Recording Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by registered mail together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his or her own defense and bring witnesses if he or she wishes.
Board Hearing. The Board or Committee shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard. Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by the complainant and defendant, the Board or Committee may by a majority vote of those present suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six months from the date of the hearing, or until the next annual meeting if that will occur after six months. And, if it deems that punishment insufficient, it may recommend to the membership that the penalty be expulsion. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the defendant's right to appear before his/her fellow members at the ensuing Club meeting which considers the recommendation of the Board or Committee. Immediately after the Board or Committee has reached a decision, it's findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties of the decision and penalty, if any.
Expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at the meeting of the Club following a hearing and upon the recommendation of the Board or Committee as provided in Section 3 of this Article. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his/her own behalf though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the findings and recommendations, and shall invite the defendant, if present, to speak in his/her own behalf. The meeting shall then vote by secret written ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present and voting at the annual meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not voted the suspension shall stand.
Amendments to the constitution and bylaws and to the Standard for the breed may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Recording Secretary signed by 20% of the membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board of Directors and must be submitted to the membership (via one of the official Club publications). Members shall have a specified period of sixty days to offer comments or suggestions to the Bylaws committee and/or the Board (through the Recording Secretary) before a final draft is submitted to the membership for a vote. Amendments must be submitted with recommendations of the Board by the Recording Secretary for a vote within four months of the date when the petition was received by the Recording Secretary. Amendments to the Bloodhound Breed Standard are limited to changes every five (5) years from effective date to effective date.
The constitution and bylaws and the Standard for the breed may be amended at any time provided a copy of the proposed amendment has been mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member in good standing with the date of the mailing, accompanied by a ballot on which he/she may indicate his/her choice for or against the action to be taken. The notice shall specify a date not less than 30 days after the date of mailing by which date the ballot must be returned to the Recording Secretary to be counted. The favorable vote of 2/3 of the members in good standing who returned valid ballots within the time limit shall be required to effect any such amendment.
No amendment to the constitution and bylaws or to the Standard for the breed that is adopted by the Club shall become effective until it has been approved by the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club.
The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of the members. In the event of the dissolution other than for purposes of reorganization of the Club whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, none of the property of the Club nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Club shall be distributed to any members of the Club but after payment of the debts of the Club its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization for the benefit of dogs selected by the Board of Directors.
Order of Business
At meetings of the Club or Board, the order of business so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows:
- Roll Call
- Minutes of the Last Meeting
- Report of the President
- Report of the Recording Secretary
- Report of the Corresponding Secretary
- Report of the Treasurer
- Reports of the Committees
- Election of New Members
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
At meetings of the board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present, shall be as follows:
- Reading of minutes of last meeting
- Report of Secretary
- Report of Treasurer
- Report of Committees
- Unfinished Business
- Election of new members
- New Business
The activities of the American Bloodhound Club (ABC) are conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in the ABC constitution and bylaws. In any special situations or circumstances where the New Jersey State laws and ABC constitution and bylaws are silent, parliamentary procedure as set forth in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be followed. Robert's Rules, if found to be in conflict with the provisions of the ABC constitution and bylaws, would be considered null and void.
The new Code of Ethics is on Standing Book of Rules - Appendix A, pages 61-62, of the SBR.
Code of Ethics
(material added 5/28/2017 to replace earlier version)
The American Bloodhound Club (ABC) Code of Ethics was developed in1993 and approved in 1994. This updated version of the ABC Code of Ethics was begun in 2016 and completed in 2017.
ABC members, through their responsible and caring stewardship of Bloodhounds, their relationships with other club members, and their interactions with the general public demonstrate the core values of personal integrity, honesty, fairness, and accountability set forth in this code. Acceptance of and commitment to the ABC Code of Ethics are an implicit part of membership in the American Bloodhound Club.
Members of the American Bloodhound Club Agree ―
To uphold and to abide by the American Bloodhound Club Code of Ethics.
To protect and improve the Bloodhound, putting the welfare of the Bloodhound above personal gain or profit.
To provide each owner of our Bloodhounds, whether purchased or transferred, with accurate records regarding pedigree and certificate of health, including the name, address, and telephone number of the attending veterinarian.
To provide a written contract/agreement for each transfer of ownership or service, including special conditions related to that transfer of ownership or service.
Not to provide any Bloodhound, either by sale or donation, to any individual, commercial wholesaler, sales agent, or retailer for the purpose of resale or any other transfer of ownership to a third party; or as a lottery, auction, raffle, or similar prize; or for research.
Not to promote indiscriminate Bloodhound breeding practices (for example, by advertising the availability of "breeding pairs" or "bitches in whelp” for sale). We agree to act instead with due diligence in breeding Bloodhounds, basing decisions to breed on a careful study of factors such as family history, structure, breed type, temperament, and working ability, as well as tests (taking into account advancing technology and testing as recommended by the American Bloodhound Club Health Committee) and certifications; and to fully disclose test and other information about the sire and dam to prospective puppy buyers. We also agree not to release any puppy, under normal circumstances, to its new owner prior to seven weeks of age or what the local ordinance states. In breeding decisions and the release of puppies, medical exceptions and circumstances may be taken into consideration.
To assume responsibility, upon written notification, for any Bloodhound, on whose papers or by microchip identification we are shown as breeders, co-breeders, or owners, that either becomes homeless or requires re-homing. Ideally, we will resume immediate physical custody of the Bloodhound at our own expense. If the Bloodhound’s condition (including, but not limited to physical infirmity, age, etc.) would be best served by an alternative solution, we agree to assume full financial responsibility for the Bloodhound until suitable disposition of the Bloodhound can be determined.
To educate the public about Bloodhounds, through honest representation of the breed’s inherent personality, breed characteristics, and known health issues.
To offer assistance, encouragement, and mentorship to other ABC members and, in particular, to those who are new to the breed. We also agree not to degrade or make negative comments about other exhibitors/breeders or their dogs, whether in person or on all forms of electronic and social media.
To act in a sportsmanlike manner, as Bloodhound owners and as participants in any dog-related event or activity; to demonstrate goodwill; and to act with dignity when representing the Bloodhound breed.
Violations of the American Bloodhound Club Code of Ethics may be subject to sanctions and/or disciplinary actions as set forth in the American Bloodhound Club Standing Book of Rules.
Social Media Ideals - "Think before you post"
The American Bloodhound Club Board would like to share some information that we believe our members would benefit from regarding the topic of cyberbullying in dogs.
The American Bloodhound Club Board understands the role social media plays in our everyday personal and professional lives. It’s important for people to understand posts made on Blogs, Facebook, email lists and chat groups are in essence, “public domain” and what is written online is not only a direct reflection of those posting, but a reflection of the organizations and clubs that they are associated with. It is hoped and encouraged that when you are faced with a disagreement or conflict with another, you take a moment to carefully consider what you are about to post. It’s up to each one of us to understand and abide by good social netiquette and our own Code of Ethics, and realize as members of the American Bloodhound Club, we are all a part of a greater mission, and like it or not, we are family.
Our mission and passion of preserving the health, history, standard and welfare of the Bloodhound breed is tantamount. Our breed depends on each one of us to contribute to the betterment of the breed, both in and outside of our programs. There is no acceptable place for cyberbullying against other members or breeders over social media. The most important issue that we should consider above our personal issues with others, is protecting the integrity of the Bloodhound breed in every aspect. We would like to encourage our membership to become more involved in the ABC and our regional clubs and put aside personal feelings so that we can all work together to make our club the best it can be.