Birmingham Kennel Club
The Birmingham Kennel Club gave its first all-breed show in the spring of 1912. As we know from the green and white logo on the cover of our present show catalog, it was won by a Bulldog named Jim Cerberus. The club was disbanded in October 1929 due to the Depression, but was reorganized in 1933 and continued to give shows. The first fall show was held in 1941.
As most organizations do, the Birmingham Kennel Club started small, with only a few members organizing the shows and matches. It had more of an air of exclusivity than we do today, with some of the members even superintending the shows. In the 1950s, an extremely active member was able to advance the club significantly by obtaining a vast amount of publicity for the club’s shows, since he was a writer for the Birmingham News. Steadily, the club has grown and broadened its range of activities. In the 1970s a few members launched a slide program to tour some of the area schools. A slide program was added and was frequently used as a part of our exhibitions which were given for schools, churches, and libraries.
The club had certainly come a long way. Its creative obedience trophies and elegant conformation trophies can be easily compared with what must have existed in the early years. We can scan the pages of some of the wonderful older catalogs and see donations of war bonds, automobile tires, and bags of "Full-O-Pep" dog food. Our handling and obedience classes, civic presentations, humanitarian concerns, and generous charitable contributions made BKC an organization that one was truly proud to belong to.
During the mid-1990s, the Birmingham Kennel Club saw a drop in entries at shows, and in its membership, for a myriad of reasons. It seemed that BKC was a thing of the past, its financial position nearly forcing the club to disband. However, as testament to the devotion of several members to this well established organization, sleeves were rolled up and those remaining took on double and triple duties to rebuild BKC. Community activities and classes had to be suspended and a new show site was a necessity in order to secure the club financially.
Today, BKC is continuing to grow and redefine itself from the shake-up of the 1990s. It is an exciting time in the club as we welcome in new people and fresh ideas, and continue to appreciate and learn from those who stuck it out through the hard times, and are even seeing the return of some long-ago members. We have a terrific body of knowledge and ‘dog world wisdom’ to draw from among our members and a great collective enthusiasm to see BKC return to, and surpass, its former highly regarded place among the Southeast dog shows.
In addition to re-establishing the Birmingham Kennel Club website, plans for 2005 included the re-establishment of handling classes, several sanctioned matches for our neighboring fanciers to benefit from, and a return to community projects. Birmingham Kennel Club is very excited about its future and hopes you’ll make yourself a part of it all!!