A Brief History of YCKC

The York County Kennel Club of Maine, Inc. was founded in the 1980s as the York County Kennel Club of Maine. Started as a not-for-profit organization of dog enthusiasts, breeders, exhibitors and pet owners, YCKC is committed to protecting and advancing the interests of all breeds of purebred dogs. With just a handful of members, the first meetings were held at the Lions' Club on Eldridge Rd. in Wells, Maine. The meetings later moved to the Wells Firehouse on Shore Road in Wells.

Barbara Keenan, a renowned dog show judge and first president of the club, Dr. David Spahn D.V.M., David Hughes now a show judge, and Charlotte and Maria Micheliche were instrumental in starting the club. Since there were no dog clubs in the Southern Maine or New Hampshire areas, the goal of the club was to get involved in showing, obedience, and handling dogs. Charlotte Micheliche, with 20-plus years' experience in breeding and handling dogs, held handling classes at the Wells Firehouse. The club was in existence for 1 year before it held its first match show; it then held one match a year for the next 6 years.

Due to lack of membership, the club deteriorated. For approximately 8 years, they endured with only five members in the club. In 1997, the American Kennel Club contacted one of the club's members, regarding another club who wanted to merge with the York County Kennel Club. The two groups got together, and the York County Kennel Club of Maine was reborn.

YCKC is licensed by the American Kennel Club and is governed by its rules and regulations. The club has been working to establish good relationships between dog owners and the non-dog-owning public, to promote sportsman like behavior, and with other dog clubs provide community education activities, and to promote the welfare of dogs in general. It has offered education programs on dog-related topics, engaged in community work with visits to elementary schools to educate fifth graders about the responsibilities of pet ownership (American Kennel Club Best Friends Program), and Adult Education for Dog Ownership  -- Responsibilities and Safety. YCKC has also participated in parades and held booths at community festivals.

In November 2001, the York County Kennel Club of Maine became incorporated.

In May 2002, YCKC held its very first and second point shows at the Biddeford Ice Arena. The show was such a tremendous success that YCKC had to move to Howard's Sport Center in Saco, Maine for its 2003 shows, in order to accommodate the huge turnout.

After the 2003 shows, YCKC turned to the Acton Fairgrounds for 2004. These shows proved extremely successful and with the positive feedback from spectators, exhibitors and the AKC representative on site the club decided to return to the fairgrounds for another six years. 

For 2005 YCKC added rally, a new and widely popular new performance event in which the handler and dog must complete a course set up by the judge. Although the weather was windy and rainy that weekend, the show went on. YCKC discovered it could set up its rings inside the fairground buildings to protect exhibitors and spectators.

Due to economic constraints and the trend of other dog clubs to work together in forming four-day shows, YCKC approached Vacationland Dog Club to form a new show cluster at their show site in Wassamki Springs Campground, Scarborough, Maine. In 2010 the two clubs hosted their first Southern Maine Coastal Classic cluster, held annually in May.

YCKC had earlier teamed up with Vacationland Dog Club to host its first Meet the Breeds Showcase at the Saco Armory in 2005. The showcase presented the public with various dog breeds set up in booths inside the armory. Club members present brought their dogs and various information about their breeds and field questions that everyone should ask when searching for a specific dog. Members also performed various obedience activities, including a Dance with Your Dog presentation. Both clubs continue to hold Meet the Breeds annually outdoors at the Tractor Supply Company in Scarborough, Maine, as part of AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Days in September.

YCKC welcomes all dog enthusiasts, breeders, exhibitors, and companion dog owners who ascribe to the purpose of the club and who are in good standing with AKC. Residence in York County is not a prerequisite for joining. YCKC offers four membership options: Regular, Household, Associate, and Junior. YCKC holds its monthly business meetings in the Community Room of the York County Federal Credit Union’s Biddeford branch on the last Monday of every month at 7 p.m., with no meetings in June and July. We extend an invitation to all past and future members to come and see how much we have grown and to consider joining.