The Great Dane Club of
Constitution and By-Laws
Name and Objects
SECTION 1. The name of the Club shall be the Great Dane Club of New England, hereinafter referred to as the Club.
SECTION 2. The objectives of the Club shall be:
A. To encourage and promote quality in breeding purebred Great Danes and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection.
B. To encourage the membership to a lifetime responsibility for their Great Danes, their Danes' offspring and to the education of others, as all are necessary for the protection and advancement of the breed.
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 Great Danes shall be judged and to encourage the study of the standard by breeders, judges, dog show committees and others interested in the advancement of the breed.
D. To do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at all dog events.
E. To conduct sanctioned matches, specialty shows, obedience trials and other events for which the Club is eligible under the Rules and Regulations of the American Kennel Club, and to generate awareness on any matter affecting the welfare of the breed.
F. To encourage dedication to the health and welfare of the breed.
G. To encourage the participation in a rescue program in the Club's area.
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 be used to the personal benefit of any member or individual.
SECTION 4. The members of the Club shall adopt and may, from time to time, revise such by-laws as may be required to carry out these objectives.
SECTION 1. Membership. There shall be five (5) classes of membership open to persons in good standing with the American Kennel Club who subscribe to the purposes of the Club, provided such person(s), or any member of their immediate family, owns or has owned a Great Dane and/or is interested in the welfare and advancement of the breed.
A. Regular Membership Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older and in good standing with the American Kennel Club may make application for regular membership in the Club.
B. Family Membership. Any persons eighteen (18) years of age or older and in good standing with the American Kennel Club and their children residing in the household may make application for a family membership.
C. Junior Membership. Any person between the ages of nine (9) and seventeen (17) years of age inclusive, in good standing with The American Kennel Club may make application for junior membership.
D. Associate Membership. Any person recommended by a Regular or Family member in good standing, but who are not currently active members. Associate members are entitled to all Club privileges except voting and office holding.
E. Honorary membership may be conferred only upon a person who has rendered a distinctly valuable service to the Club or the breed, but will be limited to one new honorary member per year, and in no event will exceed five memberships at any one time. Honorary members shall be exempt from dues and initiation fee, and shall enjoy all the privileges of the Club except that they may not vote or hold office. Upon the recommendation of the Executive Board honorary membership may be conferred by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the regular members present and voting at any regular meeting or any special meeting called for such purpose. A member so honored may maintain active (regular) membership status by paying the appropriate yearly dues.
SECTION 2. Election to Membership
A. Each applicant for Regular, Family and Junior membership shall apply in writing, directed to the Corresponding Secretary, on a form approved by the Executive Board. In the case of Family membership, adults in that household shall apply for the membership. The form shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by the Club’s Constitution and bylaws, the Breeders Code of Ethics, and the rules of the American Kennel Club, and is cognizant of the Breeder’s Color Code.
B. Each application shall be accompanied by a check payable to the Club in the appropriate dues amount and the appropriate application fee, as specified on the application form. The application will be sponsored by two members in good standing and not of the same household, one of whom will know the applicant personally.
C. Upon receipt of any application all dues and appropriate fees shall be immediately forwarded to the Treasurer of the Club.
D. The Corresponding Secretary shall read each application at the next Executive Board meeting following receipt of the application. The Secretary will then disseminate the names of the applicant(s) and sponsors to the entire membership. At the Board meeting following the first reading of the application, the Secretary shall read the application again, and after discussion, if desired, the Board members present at the meeting will vote on acceptance of the applicant. A majority vote of the Executive Board present and voting shall be required to accept the applicant.
E. Any applicant who is not approved for membership shall be refunded all dues paid within thirty (30) days of such negative vote.
F. Any person elected to regular membership shall have full privileges of the Club, including the right to vote and hold office, providing his/her dues are paid in full, except that no member shall have the right to vote for the election of officers until thirty (30) days after his/her election to membership. Only Regular Members shall be eligible for such privileges.
G. A regular member is entitled to one vote; a family membership shall have a maximum of two votes.
H. Associate members shall be recommended by a Regular or Family member in good standing and will require a majority vote of the Executive Board. If an Associate Member wishes to apply for Regular Membership he/she may do so on a form and in a manner approved by the Executive Board.
I. Any member who has been dropped from membership shall be required to make application as provided for new membership in the Club.
SECTION 3. Dues. All dues are subject to change by the Executive Board provided notice is given of such change at least thirty (30) days prior to January 1st of any calendar year unless otherwise changed at any annual meeting of the Club by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership present and voting.
Membership dues shall be determined annually by the Board at the September meeting and shall not exceed an increase of $10.00 annually, payable on or before the first day of January of each year. No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year. During the month of November the Treasurer shall send to each member a statement of his/her dues for the ensuing year.
Any person elected to regular membership after September whose dues are paid shall be considered fully paid for the following year.
SECTION 4. Termination of Membership.
Members may be terminated:
A. By resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon written notice to the Secretary.
B. By lapsing. A membership shall be considered lapsed and automatically terminated if such member’s dues remain unpaid after March 1st of any fiscal year. The Executive Board may grant an additional grace period (not to exceed sixty (60) days) to such delinquent members in meritorious cases as long as said member personally contacts, in writing, the Treasurer or the Executive Board for an extension period prior to the March 1st deadline. Voting by the Executive Board must be by majority vote. In no instance may a person whose membership has lapsed be entitled to any of the privileges and benefits of the Club.
C. By Expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these by-laws.
D. By permanent denial of privileges by the American Kennel Club.
E. Whenever any rescue organization certifies to the Club that a Great Dane surrendered to that rescue organization within the most recent sixty (60) days was bred by, owned by or co-owned by one or more current members of the Club, and that member or members have been contacted by the rescue organization but have refused to assist with rehoming or caring for that animal, the Corresponding Secretary, within ten (10) days shall send written notification of these assertions to the member(s) in question, together with a regular reply form previously approved by the Executive Board, and shall send a copy of the notification to each member of the Executive Board. Within thirty (30) days thereafter, each member so notified shall reply to the Corresponding Secretary in writing to acknowledge or disprove the relationship to the animal and in cases where the relationship is acknowledged, shall document the steps said member took personally to assist with rehoming or caring for the animal. The Executive Board shall have the power to decide whether the reported relationship to the animal is factual. If the relationship to the animal is not deemed factual, the matter shall be closed. In cases where the relationship to the animal is deemed factual, the Corresponding Secretary shall confirm with the rescue organization that the steps documented in the member's reply were taken. If the rescue organization does not corroborate that the steps were taken, or if no steps were taken within the thirty (30) day period allotted for this purpose, or if the member fails to reply as herein required to the Corresponding Secretary, each such member shall be dropped from membership, and for the immediately subsequent period of two (2) years, shall not be eligible to apply for new membership. In the case of such termination, all documentation will also be sent to the Great Dane Club of America.
Meetings (Defined as gatherings where attendees see and/or hear each other. This includes meeting (in person) “physically” in the same room or conducting a meeting by videoconference or teleconference or chat room/ internet)
SECTION 1. Time and Place of Meetings. Meetings of the club will be held at least four (4) times a year at a place, date and hour designated by the Executive Board. Written and/or electronic (email) notice of the meetings will be sent by the Secretary at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting.
SECTION 2. Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting of the Club shall be held on the third Wednesday in January, weather permitting, or on a date designated by the Executive Board.
SECTION 3. Regular Meetings. Regular monthly meetings of the Club will be held on the third Wednesday of the month, or on a date designated by the Executive Board. If deemed necessary, club meetings can be held via teleconferencing & videoconferencing or in conjunction with and or in-place of a meeting although no more than half of the regular meetings may be held in this manner.
SECTION 4. Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by the President or by a majority vote of the Executive Board present at a meeting of the Board or by any ten (10) members eligible to vote. No Special Meeting shall be called unless written (via e-mail or mail) notice of said special meeting shall be sent to all members at least five (5) days prior thereto and shall state the purpose thereof, and no other Club business may be transacted.
SECTION 5. Notices. All written notices required by these by-laws shall be given by the Corresponding Secretary by mailing or e-mailing the same to each regular member of the Club and to the Great Dane Club of America as necessary.
SECTION 6. Quorum at Members’ Meetings. At any meeting of the membership, nine (9) members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a lesser number may adjourn any meeting from time to time. Notice shall be given to all members of the time and place of any such adjournment. When a quorum is present at any meeting, a majority of the members present may decide any question brought before such meeting, except as otherwise provided by law or these by-laws.
SECTION 7. Voting by E-Mail in Lieu of Meeting. Any action that could be taken by a vote of the membership at a meeting can be voted upon by E-mail. A matter may be presented to the membership for e-mail vote upon direction of the President, by a majority vote of the Executive Board present at a meeting of the Board or by ten (10%) per cent of the members eligible to vote and shall be presented by the Secretary at the written request of a majority of the Executive Board or ten (10%) per cent of the members eligible to vote.
Directors and Officers
SECTION 1. Executive Board.
A. The Executive Board shall be comprised of the Officers and Directors of the Club. There shall be three (3) Directors. All Directors and Officers will be elected by the general membership and shall all be members in good standing of the Club.
B. A member selected as an Officer or Director shall agree, as a condition of his/her acceptance of the position, that in the event such Officer or Director fails to attend two (2) or more meetings in any one calendar year, his/her resignation from said position shall be automatically submitted to the Board and the Board shall accept such resignation unless such absences are deemed excused by the Board. Any vacancy arising from such resignation shall be filled pursuant to the provisions of these by-laws.
C. The Executive Board shall be vested with the authority
and responsibility for the general management of the Club’s property and
affairs, so far as this delegation of authority is consistent with the laws of
D. Meetings of the Executive Board (Defined as gatherings where attendees see and/or hear each other. This includes meeting (in person) “physically” in the same room or conducting a meeting by videoconference or teleconference or chat room/ internet)
1. Designated Meetings. The first meeting of the Executive Board shall be held following the annual meeting of the membership.
2. Other Regular Meetings. All other meetings of the Executive Board shall be held in such place and at such time as the Executive Board may by vote from time to time determine.
3. Special meetings of the Executive Board may be held at any reasonable time and place, if called by the President or a majority of the Executive Board. Three (3) days written notice of such meeting, stating the purpose thereof, shall be sent to each Board member by the Corresponding Secretary, and no other business may be conducted thereat.
4. Meetings of the Executive Board may be held at any time without formal notice; provided all the members are present and those not present have waived notice thereof. Such meetings shall be held at such time and place as the notice thereof or waiver may specify.
5. Quorum of the Executive Board. A majority of the members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Executive Board; but a lesser number may adjourn any meeting from time to time. Notice shall be given to all members of the Executive Board of the time and place of any such adjournment.
6. Business of the Executive Board may be conducted in person or by mail, electronic mail, fax or teleconference. Any action or vote taken by teleconference must be subject to ratification of the Executive Board by mail or electronic mail within ten (10) days. Business of the Executive Board may be conducted by electronic mail provided the following precautions are in place.
a. Every board member must be provided with the means to participate;
b. A procedure must be in place to verify the identity of the individuals participating to ensure that they are the eligible board members;
c. A mechanism must be in place to verify that the eligible board members are “listening”.
d. All Board members must agree to participate
SECTION 2. Officers & Directors. The Club’s Officers and Directors shall consist of:
B. Vice President
C. Secretary or Secretaries
E. 3 Directors
No member shall hold more than one office. Each Officer and Director shall be a regular member and shall be elected by the regular membership by ballot at the annual election, and shall hold office for a period of one (1) year or until their successors is duly elected.
All Officers and Directors shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties.
1. The President, when present, shall preside at all meetings of the membership and of the Executive Board. All standing committees shall be appointed by the President within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the annual meeting. Such appointments can be overruled by the vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire Executive Board, and its decision shall be final. All committees not appointed by the President shall be appointed by the Executive Board. The President shall perform all duties commonly incident to the office and shall perform such other duties, as the Executive Board shall from time to time designate.
2. The President shall, by virtue of the office, be a member of all Committees (see Article IV of these by-laws), and as such, shall have full voting privileges on such committees.
In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall preside at all meetings of the membership and of the Executive Board, and shall perform such other duties as are commonly incident to the office and have such other powers and duties as the Executive Board shall from time to time designate.
There shall be two (2) Secretaries of the Club: the Recording Secretary and the Corresponding Secretary. At the discretion of the Executive Board, these two offices may be combined in one person.
1. The Recording Secretary
The Recording Secretary of the Club shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings of all meetings of the members and of the Executive Board in books provided for that purpose, which books shall be open at all reasonable times to the inspection of any regular members. In the absence of the Recording Secretary from any such meeting, a Secretary pro tempore shall be chosen who shall record the proceedings of such meetings in the aforesaid books.
2. The Corresponding Secretary
The Corresponding Secretary shall perform such other duties and have such other power as the Executive Board shall from time to time designate, to include but not limited to notifying members of meetings, providing results of elections, keep a listing of contact information of the members of the club.
1. The Treasurer shall have the care and custody of the funds of the Club and shall have and exercise, under the supervision of the Executive Board, all the powers and duties commonly incident to the office. The Treasurer will submit all unpaid bills at each regular meeting of the Club for approval of the members, provided, however, that he/she may, at his/her discretion, pay any bill that does not exceed the sum to be set by the Executive Board without such approval, but at the next regular meeting of the Club he/she will secure ratification of the payment of same.
2. The Treasurer shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as may be delegated by the Executive Board from time to time. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all of the Club’s financial records. All records shall be retained for the period of time required by the Internal Revenue Service.
E. Directors. The Directors, along with the Officers of the Club, (the Executive Board) shall have the entire management of the affairs of the Club and control of all Club property. The Executive Board is hereby vested with all the powers possessed by the Club itself, so far as this delegation of authority is not inconsistent with the laws of the land or with these By-Laws.
Meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President at any time, and members must be notified in writing not less than three (3) days prior to the meeting.
Meetings of the Executive Board may also be called by a majority of the Officers and the Directors.
SECTION 3. Appointments. One (1) or more person(s) may be appointed by the Executive Board to assist the Officers and Directors listed above in the performance of their duties.
SECTION 4. Vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Executive Board or among the offices during the year shall be filled until the next election by a majority vote of all the then members of the Executive Board, except that a vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled automatically by the Vice-President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of the Vice-President shall be filled by the Executive Board.
SECTION 5. Terms. No President will serve more than two (2) consecutive terms, but may be selected after one or more intervening terms.
SECTION 1. Standing Committees
A. Specialty Show Chair – Awards; Judges Nomination; Grounds, Etc.
B. Match Committee
C. Nominating Committee
D. Membership Committee
E. Web site
F. Delegate to the Great Dane Club of
Each committee shall present to the Executive Board, for approval, a set of rules and regulations for the operation of that committee. These shall be amended, if needed, by each new chairperson appointed to say committee. Such committees or persons shall always be subject to the final authority of the Executive Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Executive Board to assist it on particular projects.
All appointed committees shall serve only until the new Officers and Directors shall take office.
Club Year, Voting, Nominations and Elections
SECTION 1. Club Year. The Club’s fiscal year shall begin on the first (1st) day of January and end on the 31st day of December.
The Club’s official year shall begin immediately upon the conclusion of the annual meeting and shall continue through the next annual meeting. The elected Officers and Directors shall take office immediately upon the conclusion of the annual meeting and each retiring Officer shall turn over to his/her successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within thirty (30) days after such annual meeting.
All regular members in good standing may vote in the annual election.
SECTION 2. Voting
A. At all meetings of the membership each member shall be entitled to one (1) vote if present or by written ballot cast by e-mail on such items deemed necessary by the Executive Board and on such items as prescribed by these by-laws.
B. Voting shall be limited to those regular members who are members in good standing of the Club.
C. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
SECTION 3. Nominations
The President, with the ratification of the Executive Board, each year on or before November 1st, will designate three (3) members of the Club in good standing whose duty it will be to nominate candidates for the several offices for election at the next annual meeting of the Club. The members of the Nominating Committee will make their selection of the candidates from among the regular members of the Club and report their nominations in writing to the Secretary of the Club on or before December 1st. The Corresponding Secretary of the Club will, on or before December 5th, send a notice to each regular member of the Club setting forth the names of those candidates selected. Any regular member of the Club, in good standing, whose name does not appear on the list so selected by the committee will be eligible for election if, and only if, his or her name is endorsed in writing by at least three (3) members in good standing in the Club, and sent by registered mail, or delivered in hand to the Corresponding Secretary on or before December 15th, in which event it is the duty of the Secretary to notify each member of the name or names of the candidates so nominated or proposed on or before December 28th.
No nominations may be made from the floor at the annual meeting of the Club. In the event of a candidate accepting an office and then withdrawing his name from that office, the candidate must notify the Nominating Committee of such a move by December 15th. At that time, the Nominating Committee has the right to choose another candidate in place of the one who withdrew. No candidate will be allowed to have his or her name submitted unless it is in writing and mailed to the Corresponding Secretary of the Club.
SECTION 4. Annual Elections. The annual election of Officers and Directors shall be conducted at the annual meeting. The person receiving the largest number of votes for each position shall be declared elected. If any nominee, at the time of the annual meeting, is unable to serve for any reason, such nominee shall not be elected and the Executive Board in the manner provided by Article III, Section 4, shall fill the vacancy so created.
Discipline of Members
SECTION 1. Any member who is suspended from the privileges of the American Kennel Club or the Great Dane Club of America shall be automatically suspended from the privileges of the Club for a like period.
SECTION 2. Trial Board. A Trial Board shall be appointed from time to time by the Executive Board of the Club and shall consist of not less than three (3) members, one of whom shall be a Director of the Club. The appointed Director shall be the chairperson of this Board. In the event one or more members of the Trial Board shall be unable to sit in any given case, the President, or in his/her absence, the Vice-President, shall appoint, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, a substitute or substitutes.
SECTION 3. Charges
A. The Executive Board or any regular member may prefer charges against a Regular, Family, Associate or Junior member.
SECTION 4. Nature of Charges.
The charges may be based upon:
A. The commission of any act inconsistent with or the omission of any act prescribed by the by-laws of the Parent Club or of this Club.
B. Conduct or misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Great Dane Club of New England or of the breed.
C. Violation of any prescribed rule, regulation or By-Law.
D. Violation of any agreement or contracts of the Great Dane Club of New England.
SECTION 5. Filing Charges. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Corresponding Secretary, together with a deposit of twenty-five ($25.00) dollars, which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained. The Corresponding Secretary shall promptly notify the Trial Board of the Club, which shall promptly meet to determine the validity of the charges. The Trial Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the Club or the breed. If the Trial Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct, which would be prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Trial Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges it shall fix a date for a hearing by the Trial Board, not less than three (3) weeks nor more than six (6) weeks thereafter. The Corresponding Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by certified mail with return receipt or e-mail, together with a notice of the hearing date and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his/her own defense and may bring witnesses if he/she so wishes. Any member shall have the right to appear and be represented by counsel.
SECTION 6. Findings. A majority vote of the Trial Board shall determine and decide all matters before it. Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence, testimony or affidavits presented by the complainant and defendant, the Trial Board may suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six (6) months from the date of the hearing. If it deems that punishment insufficient it may also recommend to a meeting of the membership that the penalty be expulsion. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the defendant’s right to appear before the next regular meeting, or any special meeting of the membership called to consider the Trial Board’s recommendation. Any member shall have the right to appear and be represented by counsel. Immediately following the decision of the membership its findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary who, in turn, shall notify the defendant(s) of the decision by the meeting and the action taken.
SECTION 7. Expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at a meeting of the membership and upon the Trial Board’s recommendation. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the membership, which must be held within sixty (60) days, but not earlier than thirty (30) days following the decision of the Trial Board. Notice shall be sent at least ten (10) days in advance to all regular members and to the defendant of the date, time and place of any meeting at which any recommendations of the Trial Board shall be considered. The notice shall further set forth the full name of the defendant, the charges preferred, and a copy of the findings of the Trial Board and state that the recommendation of the Trial Board is to be acted upon. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his/her, or its own, behalf though no evidence shall be taken at the meeting of the members. The President or Chairperson of the meeting shall read the charges and the Trial Board’s findings and invite the defendant, if present, to speak in his/her own behalf if desired. The meeting shall then vote by secret written ballot on the proposed expulsion or revocation of membership. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at such meeting shall be necessary for expulsion or revocation of membership. If expulsion is not so voted, the Trial Board’s suspension shall stand.
SECTION 1. Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws may be proposed by the Executive Board or by written petition addressed to the Secretary signed by twenty (20%) per cent of the membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Executive Board and must be submitted to the membership within three (3) months of the date when the Secretary received the petition.
SECTION 2. The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any time provided a copy of the proposed amendment(s) has been mailed by the Secretary to each member in good standing on the date of 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 thirty (30) days after the date of mailing by which date the ballots must be returned to the Secretary to be counted. The favorable vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the membership in good standing who return valid ballots within the time limit shall be required to effect any such amendment.
SECTION 3. No amendment to the Constitution and By-laws that is adopted by the Club shall become effective until it has been approved by the Executive Board of the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. and the American Kennel Club
SECTION 1. The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of its membership. In the event of the dissolution of the Club other than for purposes of reorganization, whether voluntary or involuntary or by the operation of law, none of the property of the Club or any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Club shall be distributed to any members of the Club. After payment of the debts of the Club, its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization selected by the Executive Board for the benefit of dogs.
Order of Business
SECTION 1. At meetings of the Club the order of business, so far as the character or nature of the meeting may permit shall be as follows:
B. Minutes of Last Meeting
C. Report of President
D. Report of Secretary
E. Report of Treasurer
F. Report of Committees (in alphabetical order)
G. Election of Officers and Board (at annual meeting)
H. Unfinished Business
I. Election of New Members
J. New Business
SECTION 2. At meetings of the Executive Board the order of business, unless otherwise directed by a majority vote of those present, shall be as follows:
B. Secretary’s Report
C. Treasurer’s Report
D. Report of Committees (in alphabetical order)
E. Unfinished Business
F. Election of New Members
G. New Business
SECTION 1. All meetings and parliamentary procedures shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, unless this is in conflict with the requirements of this Constitution and By-laws, in which case the Constitution and By-laws shall take precedence.