When people get together to discuss the forming of a new Dog Club they should appoint from amongst themselves a few people to undertake some background work and report back before any move is made to hold a formal inaugural meeting. The sort of questions which require answers are :-
(a) What type of Club do you wish to form? All Breeds, Group, Specialist, Obedience, Training etc. Any specialist Breed Club intended may only be for a breed currently recognised by KUSA.
“All Breeds Club” means a Club, the objects of which include the welfare of, interest in, breeding of all recognised breeds of pure bred dogs and whose predominant activity is the provision of Shows for dogs of all breeds.
“Group Club” means a Club, the objects of which include the welfare of, interest in, breeding of pure bred dogs, all of which are classified in the same group or limited to a group of dogs characterised by the same physical traits or limited to a group of dogs whose country or continent of origin is the same and all of which are eligible for exhibition in any Show held by such Club.
“Specialist Club” means a Club, the objects of which include the welfare of, interest in, breeding of a recognised specific single pure breed of dog which may include facilities for training of such dogs, in accordance with training tests approved for the breed, hold Breed Shows, provide information on breeding and rearing such dogs and, generally, promote the Breed through Club activities in bringing breeders, members and other interested parties together to encourage interest and involvement in Club affairs to the betterment of the Breed concerned.
“Training Club” means a Club, the main object of which is the training of dogs which may include pure bred pedigree dogs and dogs of any ancestry (which are not eligible for entry to the Breed Registers of the KUSA).
(b) Are there any similar Clubs in the area in which you wish to operate?
(c) Can letters of sponsorship be obtained from KUSA Affiliated Clubs with similar interests in the same area or, if there are no similar Clubs in the same area, elsewhere in the country?
(d) What are the aims and objects of the proposed Club?
(e) Will enough people become members of the Club to remain viable?
(f) Is a copy of the KUSA specimen Club Constitution available on which to base the proposed Club Constitution? If not, obtain one and study the contents thoroughly prior to discussing it at any meeting, where you may be asked questions on it (e.g. has the Committee full discretion to accept or reject applications for membership without assigning a reason for its decision?).
(g) What name will you give the Club, bearing in mind that the name should indicate the local geographical area where it is founded?
(h) Has an extract from the Kennel Union Constitution on the procedure to affiliate to the KUSA (Article 8 of the KUSA Constitution) been obtained?
The next move is to call an inaugural meeting to inform and attract those persons who could be interested in the formation of the Club.
Before calling your Inaugural Meeting, your group should deputise at least three (3) people to form a Steering Committee (interim Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer). It will then be their responsibility to arrange the date, time and venue of the meeting; to ensure that as many interested people as possible are told about the forthcoming meeting; to run it and make sure that proper Minutes are taken. In this regard, remember that at the commencement of the meeting, and for that meeting only, the Chairman will have to establish whether a motion will be accepted by a simple majority of those present or by some other majority, such as two-thirds of those present.
Once the Constitution has been adopted, meetings will be governed by its terms and conditions. Remember also that all motions have to be proposed and seconded before they can be discussed. Once a motion has been discussed and voted upon, the Minutes must record the motion, the names of the Proposer and Seconder and the decision of the vote. (Where there is an equality of votes it is usual for the Chairman of the meeting to have a casting as well as a deliberate vote).
In addition to the people you have already notified, in order to try to obtain a wider membership you should also consider advertising the holding of this meeting in the Kennel Union Official Magazine, KUSA E-mag, local press, the commercial dog press and possibly on local radio. It would be to your advantage to contact the local Kennel Union Provincial Council to arrange for an observer to attend the meeting.
The Agenda to be drawn up must include your proposed Constitution and provision for Election of Committee, and possibly Officers. Copies of the Agenda and Constitution should be circulated to all known potential members before the meeting and extra copies of both should be available for people who arrive at the meeting without having given previous notice. The Inaugural Meeting is very important as the success, or otherwise, of your proposed Club will, to a large extent, depend on how well this meeting is attended, conducted and by the decisions taken at it. Before your meeting commences you should make sure that you have the signatures, full names, addresses and telephone numbers, both work and home, (and, if available, fax numbers and e-mail addresses), of everyone attending. It is also useful to know if any of those present are either Members of other Clubs, are on the Committees of other Clubs or represent other organisations. Their experience will prove invaluable. In terms of the Constitution of Southern Africa people have a freedom of choice and freedom of association, therefore, a Club may not refuse a person to work on their Committee if they are already on the Committee of another Club. It is already difficult to find people to work on Committees so this offer of voluntary service should only be refused if it is felt by the members that this person is already overloaded.
Remember at all times to put the prospective Club’s address, contact telephone numbers on all correspondence. It is ESSENTIAL that you give KUSA a daytime contact number, even though the number given to members might be an evening one only. At the conclusion of the Inaugural Meeting you should have a basis on which to run your Club as you should now have :
(a) A Committee to elect the Club Officers (if not done at the Inaugural Meeting).
(b) Constitution which includes affiliation to the KUSA in the objects.
(c) Settled on an Annual Subscription (and via the Constitution, a financial year), for the various classes of members which, if possible, should be collected at the meeting so as to give you initial working funds. (Note: It is most unwise to include actual subscription or other amounts in your Constitution. If you do so, it means amending the Constitution every time you have a fee change).
(d) Arrange to open a banking/deposit account with a financial institution to which all funds must be credited, and arrange for a minimum of two (2) signatories for withdrawals, who should not be close relatives or members of the same household. Tentatively you might like to ask for a financial donation from the people present at the Inaugural Meeting to give you funds to cover initial running expenses, to organise the proper financial basis on which the Club’s funds should be founded. The next move which you should make is to apply for affiliation to the KUSA.
(e) There must be sufficient Breeder/owners for that specific Breed if a Specialist Club to make it viable. ( At least 9 Breeder/owners for a Specialist Club to be considered viable.)
Before being granted Affiliation to the Kennel Union of Southern Africa a set procedure has to be followed in terms of the KUSA Constitution. You must:
(a) Make an application in the form of a letter giving the Club’s proposed title with at least two (2) alternatives. In this respect KUSA will decline to approve names which includes the words “of South/Southern Africa” or “South African”. This latter wording would be rejected as it would preclude any other Club being formed in the country for the same breeds or groups.
However, you may use wording such as “of Eastern Gauteng”, “of Western Province”, “of the South Coast” etc. The letter should also state whether it is the Club’s intention to hold Championship and other Shows. It is worth pointing out that no newly formed Club can hold a Championship Show from the date of affiliation until it has successfully held two Non-Championship Shows and a Qualifying show and then only provided the Club proves its capability to organise and hold a Championship Show. In the case of Breed Shows, qualifies with certain minimum number of dogs on exhibition, which varies with the type of Club. However, Clubs are not obliged to hold Championship Shows.
At the time affiliation is granted by KUSA a new Club is allocated to a KUSA Administrative Centre and application may be made through the Provincial Council for that Centre to apply for a licence to hold a maximum of two (2) Non-Championship (Open) Shows for a particular type of event (e.g. Breed (Beauty), Obedience, Working Trials etc.) in any one (1) calendar year. Any additional Non-Championship Shows may be held only with dispensation granted by the Executive Committee of KUSA.
(b) One (1) copy of the Club’s Constitution and Rules/By-Laws, together with a set of the Minutes of the meeting accepting the Constitution/By-Laws.
(c) One (1) copy of a list of all your members giving their names and addresses.
(d) The current fee payable to the Kennel Union for Affiliation. (See enclosed Fees Leaflet).
(e) A letter of sponsorship from at least one (1) KUSA Affiliated Club with similar interests to your own. (The names of such Clubs are attached). Before the Executive Committee (acting on behalf of the Federal Council) can consider granting Affiliation, existing Clubs in the same Centre or area must be given the opportunity to express any views on the necessity or desirability of an increase or otherwise in the number of Affiliated Clubs.
It must not be overlooked that Affiliation to KUSA means, amongst other things, agreeing to abide by the Code of Ethics (copy attached).
In the case of Clubs formed in Gauteng, Mpumulanga, Northern and North Western Provinces, all the information and documents referred to above, must be sent to the Honorary Secretary, District of Gauteng and Surrounds (D.O.G.S.) or Northern Areas Provincial Councils of the KUSA and, in the case of Clubs elsewhere, direct to the Secretary, Kennel Union of Southern Africa, P.O. Box 2659, Cape Town 8000, in order to fulfil the conditions of the KUSA Constitution.
The next part of the process is as follows :
(i) District of Gauteng & Surrounds Clubs & Northern Areas
The Provincial Councils of the KUSA examines your Constitution etc., and, if acceptable, forwards it to the Executive Committee for approval. If there is something amiss, your Constitution will be returned to you requesting the necessary amendments.
(ii) All other Areas
Your club’s request for Affiliation, will be tabled at meeting of the local Provincial Council for discussion and approval. Upon confirmation of acceptance, your Constitution will be forwarded to the Executive Committee. If there is something amiss, your Constitution will be returned to you requesting the necessary amendments.
Once your Constitution etc., has been accepted in terms of (i) or (ii) above it will be placed on file at the KUSA office as your approved Constitution. As soon as this is done you will be notified and a copy of the letter sent to your local Provincial Council. At this stage, you will be sent copies of the Kennel Union Constitution etc.
If you have any queries, have them sorted out before you send in all your documentation. The KUSA office will always offer help and advice.
1. Copy of KUSA Specimen Club Constitution
2. Fees Leaflet
3. KUSA Code of Ethics