VKC Constitution & Bylaws
SECTION 1. Eligibility. Members shall be classified as active and honorary. While membership is to be unrestricted as to residence, the club’s primary purpose is to be representative of the breeders and exhibitors in its immediate area.
- Active: All persons 18 years of age or older, who are in good standing with the American Kennel Club, Inc., who subscribe to the objects of the club, and who have attended three regular meetings of the club within twelve months shall be eligible to make application for membership. Active members enjoy all the club privileges including the right to vote and hold office.
- Honorary: Members shall be entitled to all privileges except the right to vote and hold office. They shall be exempt from the payment of dues. Honorary members shall be created by two-thirds vote of the members of the club present and in good standing at any regular meeting.
SECTION 2. Dues. Membership dues shall not exceed $50.00 payable on or before the first day of January of each year. Any change in membership dues shall be recommended by the Board of Directors and approved by two-thirds of the members of the club present and in good standing at any regular meeting. Any member whose dues are not paid by February 1st shall automatically be dropped from membership, unless other action is taken by the Board of Directors. No member shall vote whose dues have not been paid for the current year. During the month of November, the Treasurer shall send to each member a statement of his dues for the coming year. Dues of members joining on or after the first day of October shall be credited to the coming year.
SECTION 3. Election to Membership. Each applicant for membership shall apply on a form as approved by the Board of Directors and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by these constitution and bylaws and the rules of the American Kennel Club. The application shall state the name, address, and occupation of the applicant and it shall carry the endorsement of two members in good standing who have been members of the club for not less than one year and who have known the applicant for not less than six months. Two letters of recommendation from the applicant’s former American Kennel Club recognized club, one of which must be from the President of the club, may be accepted in lieu of Virginia Kennel Club member endorsement. Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit dues payment for the current year. Each endorser of an application shall mail a letter of recommendation to the Recording Secretary of the club.
All applications shall be retained by the Recording Secretary and each application shall be read at the first Board of Directors meeting following receipt of said completed application. The Board of Directors shall determine the eligibility of each applicant. The names of those eligible for membership shall be sent to each member prior to the next general meeting. At the next club meeting the applications will be voted upon by secret ballot and affirmative votes of three-fourths of the members present and voting at that meeting shall be required to elect the applicant. All applications for membership that are not eligible or incomplete shall be returned to the applicant with an explanation and rules for reapplying.
Applicants for membership who have been rejected by the club may not reapply within twelve months after such rejection.
SECTION 4. Termination of Membership. Memberships may be terminated:
- By resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the club upon written notice to the Recording Secretary, but no member may resign when in debt to the club. Obligations other than dues are considered a debt to the club and must be paid in full prior to resignation.
- By lapsing. A membership shall be declared as lapsed and automatically terminated by the Board of Directors upon written notice from the Treasurer that such member’s dues remain unpaid thirty days after the first day of the calendar year. In no case may a person be entitled to vote at any club meeting whose dues are unpaid as of the date of that meeting.
- By expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these bylaws.
Meetings and Voting
Section 1. Club Meetings. Meetings of the club shall be held monthly in the greater Richmond area at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Notice of each such meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the Recording Secretary at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting. This may be announced in the club’s newsletter. American Kennel Club policy states that clubs may send members notification of club meetings via email, provided that: The member has signed an authorization agreeing to this method of communication. Such authorization, which is revocable, will also release the club from any liability should the notification be received late or not received by the member due to circumstances beyond the club’s control. Twenty percent of the members (in good standing) present and voting shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION 2. Special Club Meetings. Special club meetings shall be held in the greater Richmond area and may be called by the President to be held at such date, hour and place as may be designated by the President or by a quorum of the members of the board; or by the Recording Secretary upon receipt of a written request signed by no fewer than ten members of the club who are in good standing, to be held at such date, hour and place as may be designated by the Recording Secretary. Notice of such meetings shall be mailed or emailed by the Recording Secretary at least five days and not more than fifteen days prior to the date of the meeting. Such notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other club business shall be transacted thereat. The quorum for such a meeting shall be at least twenty percent of the active members in good standing.
SECTION 3. Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at least four times a year in the greater Richmond area, or may be held by teleconference or videoconference, at such hour and place as may be designated by the board. Notice of such meetings may be mailed or emailed by the Recording Secretary at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the board.
SECTION 4. Special Board Meetings. Special meetings of the board may be called by the President; and shall be called by the Recording Secretary upon receipt of a written request signed by at least three members of the board. Such special meetings shall be held in the greater Richmond area, or may be held by teleconference or videoconference, at such place, date and hour as may be designated by the person authorized herein to call such meeting. Notice of such meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the Recording Secretary at least five days and not more than ten days prior to the date of the meeting. Such notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other business shall be transacted thereat. A quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the board.
SECTION 5. Annual Meeting. The annual meeting shall be the regular meeting held in May.
SECTION 6. Voting. Each active member in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to one vote at any meeting of the club at which he or she is present. Proxy voting will not be permitted at any club meeting or election.
Officers, Directors, Executive Committee and Delegate to the AKC
SECTION 1. Officers. The club’s officers consisting of the President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the club and its meetings and the board and its meetings.
- The President shall reside 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. The President shall have the authority to sign checks, notes, drafts or other orders for payment of money. The President shall sign and make all contracts and agreements in the name of the club provided such official action has been authorized by the Board of Directors of the club or the general membership.
- The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President’s death, absence or incapacity.
- The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the club and the board and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the club. The recording Secretary shall keep a roll of the members of the club with their addresses, which shall be sent to any member in good standing upon written request not more than once every club year, notify members of meetings, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these Bylaws. The Recording Secretary shall have the authority to sign checks, notes, drafts and other orders for payment of money t.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall have charge of all correspondence, notify new members of their election to membership, notify officers and directors or their election to office, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed by these bylaws.
- The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due or belonging to the club. The Treasurer shall deposit the same in a bank approved by the board, in the name of the club. The club’s books shall be at all times open to inspection of the board, and the Treasurer shall report to them at every meeting the condition of the club’s finances of every item of receipt or payment not before reported. A written monthly report will be made available to the membership at the meeting. At the annual meeting the Treasurer shall render an account of all monies received and expended during the previous fiscal year. The Treasurer shall have the authority to sign checks, notes, drafts or other orders for payment of money. The Treasurer shall report to the Board of Directors all members who have not paid their dues by February 1st. It will be the Treasurer’s responsibility at the direction and approval of the Board of Directors to order an uncertified audit to coincide with filing of fiscal year tax returns.
(f) The offices of Recording and Corresponding Secretary may be held by the same person.
SECTION 2. Board of Directors. The board shall be comprised of the President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Delegate to AKC and six other members. The elective members of the board shall be elected as follows: Two members shall be elected to the board for a term of three years. The outgoing President shall be a member for one year, with full voting rights. A majority of the board present and voting shall constitute a quorum. General management of the club’s affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors, except in cases where expenditures in excess of $100.00 are being considered for gifts or contributions to any organization as recommended by the board, in which cases the matter must be approved by the membership at a regular meeting.
SECTION 3. The Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, the Recording Secretary, the Treasurer and three members of the Board of Directors. This committee shall be elected by the Board of Directors at the first board meeting following the election of officers. Duties of the Executive Committee shall be the same as those of the board, unless the board by resolution from time to time, limits such power. All acts of the Executive Committee are subject to approval of the Board of Directors at the ensuing meeting of the board. The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the President or upon written request of two members of said committee.
SECTION 4. Delegate to the American Kennel Club, Inc. Upon the recommendation of the nominating committee, a delegate to the American Kennel Club, Inc. shall be elected by the membership of the club at the annual meeting. The delegate shall serve for a term of three years. The delegate is to be a voting member of the Board of Directors. Duties and responsibilities of the American Kennel Club delegate include attending at least two American Kennel Club delegate meetings per year to represent interests and concerns of the Virginia Kennel Club. The Delegate will act as liaison between the American Kennel Club and the Virginia Kennel Club and vote as directed by the Virginia Kennel Club membership.
SECTION 5. Vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the board or among the officers during the year shall be filled until the next annual election by the majority vote of all members of the board at its first regular meeting following the creation of such vacancy, or at a special board meeting called for that purpose; except that vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the Vice President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of Vice President shall be filled by the board.
SECTION 6. All officers, board members and chairpersons must be residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
SECTION 7. The President, Treasurer and Recording Secretary shall be bonded in such amount as the Board of Directors shall determine.
The Club Year, Annual Meeting, Elections
SECTION 1. Club Year. The club’s fiscal year shall begin on the first day of January and end on the 31st day of December. The club’s official year shall begin immediately at the conclusion of the election at the annual meeting and shall continue through the election of the next annual meeting.
SECTION 2. Annual Meeting. The annual meeting shall be held in the month of May at which officers, directors and the American Kennel Club Delegate shall be elected by secret written ballot from among those nominated in accordance with Section 4 of this Article. They shall take office immediately upon the conclusion of the election, and each retiring officer shall turn over to his or her successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within 30 days after election.
SECTION 3. Elections. The nominated candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected. The nominated candidates for the two three year terms of the board who receive the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected.
SECTION 4. Nominations. No person may be a candidate in a club election who has not been nominated. During the month of January, the board shall elect a nominating committee consisting of three members and two alternates, not more than one of whom may be a member of the board. The Corresponding Secretary shall immediately notify the committee members and alternates of their selection. The board shall name a chairman for the committee, and it shall be his or her duty to call a committee meeting which shall be held on or before March 1st.
- The committee shall nominate one candidate for each office and two candidates for the three year positions and, if applicable, one candidate for the AKC Delegate, and any vacancies filled by the board in accordance with Article III, Section 5; and, after securing the consent of each person so nominated, shall report their nominations to the Corresponding Secretary in writing not later than March 15th.
- Upon receipt of the nominating committee’s report, the Corresponding Secretary shall notify each member, in writing, of the nominating committee’s slate at least two weeks prior to the April meeting. This may be accomplished through the club’s newsletter.
- Additional nominations may be made at the April meeting by any member in attendance, provided that person so nominated accepts when his name is proposed; and provided further that if the proposed candidate is not in attendance at this meeting, his or her proposer shall present to the Recording Secretary a written statement from the proposed candidate signifying his or her willingness to be a candidate. No person may 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.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall notify each member of the proposed slate plus any additional nominations made at the April meeting. This may be accomplished through the club’s newsletter prior to the May meeting.
- Nominations cannot be made at the annual meeting or in any manner other than as provided in this section.
SECTION 1. As soon as possible after the annual meeting, the President, with Board approval, shall select standing committees to advance the work of the club. This committee report shall be given by the President at the first regular board meeting. Special committees may also be appointed by the board to aid it on particular projects. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board.
SECTION 2. Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the board upon written notice to the appointee, and the board may appoint successors to these persons whose services have been terminated.
SECTION 1. American Kennel Club Suspension. Any member who is suspended from any of the privileges of the American Kennel Club automatically shall be suspended from all privileges of this club for a like period.
SECTION 2. Charges. Any member may prefer charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the club. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Recording Secretary together with a deposit of $100.00 which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the board 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. 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. If the board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date of a hearing by the board not less than three weeks nor more than six weeks thereafter. The board shall determine whether counsel may attend the hearing. 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.
SECTION 3. Board Hearing. Should the charges be sustained, after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant, the board may, by a majority vote of those present, reprimand or suspend the defendant from all privileges of the club for a period of time as determined by the board. And, if it deems that punishment insufficient, it may also 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 or her fellow members at the ensuing club meeting which considers the board’s recommendation. Immediately after the board has reached a decision, its 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 board’s decision and penalty, if any.
SECTION 4. Expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the club may be accomplished only at a meeting of the club following a board hearing and upon the board’s recommendation as provided in Section 3 of this Article. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the club to be held within 60 days but not earlier than 30 days after the date of the board’s recommendation. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his or her own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the board’s findings and recommendations, and shall invite the defendant, if present, to speak in his or her own behalf if he or she wishes. The meeting shall then vote by secret written ballot on the proposed expulsion. A two-thirds vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted, the board’s suspension shall stand.
SECTION 1. Amendments to the constitution and bylaws may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Recording Secretary signed by twenty percent 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 members with recommendation of the board by the Recording Secretary for a vote within three months of the date when the petition was received by the Recording Secretary.
SECTION 2. The constitution and bylaws may be amended by a two thirds vote of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for the purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting and mailed to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting. The vote shall be by secret ballot.
SECTION 3. No amendment to the constitution and bylaws that is adopted by the club shall become effective until it has been approved by the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club.
SECTION 1. The club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than two-thirds of the members in good standing. In the event of the dissolution of the club other than for purposes of reorganization, 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, as selected by the Board of Directors.
Order of Business
SECTION 1. At meetings of the club, 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 President
- Report of Secretaries
- Report of Treasurer
- Reports of committees
- Election of officers and board (at annual meeting)
- Election of new members *
- Unfinished business
- New business
(* this should come after the election of officers and the board, if taken up at an annual meeting.)
SECTION 2. 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 the last meeting
- Report of Secretaries
- Report of Treasurer
- Report of committees
- Unfinished business
- New business
SECTION 1. The rules contained in the current edition of “:Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised” shall govern the club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any other special rules of order the club may adopt.
VIRGINIA KENNEL CLUB, INC.
Name and Objects
Section 1. The name of the club shall be the Virginia Kennel Club, Inc.
Section 2. The objects of the club shall be:
- To promote the interest of dogs and breeders of purebred dogs;
- To stimulate an interest in public exhibition of dogs by the holding of dog shows and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows;
- To further safeguard the interests of the breeders and exhibitors of dogs and to promote better laws for their protection;
- To conduct sanctioned matches, dog shows, obedience trials and any other event for which the club is eligible under the Rules and Regulations of the American Kennel Club.
Section 3. The club shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder or residue from dues or donations to the club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.
Section 4. The members of the club shall adopt and may from time to time