CLEARFIELD – The Mountain Laurel Kennel Club inducted five honorary life members and lauded outgoing president Geremy Kephart at the group’s recent Winterfest annual dinner meeting at the Clearfield-Curwensville Country Club.
Life membership certificates were presented to Curwensville Police Officer Jim Ward and K9 Sergeant Zeus for their exemplary service to the community and Cynthia Provance of East Canton, Ohio, sister of MLKC member Linda Dale and faithful volunteer at the annual Pet Expo.
Also honored for their roles in creating and presenting the annual Pet Memorial and Healing Service were the Rev. Rodger Gorton of Clearfield, organist Tom Owens of Winburne and Aaron Westover and the Kevin A. Beardsley Funeral Home of Clearfield.
“All organizations and clubs have members who help accomplish its goals and dreams. Tonight we honor six non-members who give their time and talents to make us a success in the community. Their contributions as our partners are priceless,” said MLKC member Nancy Myrter.
Incoming President Sue Kordish surprised her predecessor with four copies of Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan’s book, “My Way,” which will be donated to libraries in Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg and DuBois in Mrs. Kephart’s honor.
“When Geremy took over as president, this club had about seven active members. Everything we are today is an outgrowth of her dedication and enthusiasm. We think these books are a perfect way to celebrate her leadership because they teach responsible pet ownership, one of the core tenets of our club,” Mrs. Kordish said.
“Our club has grown quite a bit in the past three years,” Mrs. Kephart said. “I’m proud of our accomplishments, especially the Limit the Litters Fund, which strives to help spay and neuter animals, and our education program, which is still in its planning stage but will make a big difference, especially with kids, this year.
“I also consider our Pet Expo to be a great achievement. More than 400 people and their pets came through the door last year and learned about spay and neuter efforts, training and rescue opportunities in our community. Most importantly, we underscored our pets are members of the family and not just animals in the backyard but our companions,” she added.
Guest speaker Officer Ward and recently-promoted Sgt. Zeus showed off the protective vest the club bought for the police dog last month. Zeus also wore the badge reflecting his new rank.
“He outranks me now and it’s a good thing he can’t speak or he’d probably order me around,” Officer Ward quipped.
Zeus began his most recent training course last month and added methamphetamine detection to his skills sniffing out heroin, marijuana and cocaine.
The duo joined in the search for a bank robber in DuBois several weeks ago and continues to assist area police departments with drug searches and suspect apprehension.
“He’s getting used to the vest and will wear it during his training. It’s really been a great thing to keep him safe and give me more peace of mind. Thank you again,” he added.