CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF BLOODHOUNDS WEST, INC.
Name and Objectives
Section 1. The name of the Club shall be BLOODHOUNDS WEST. The Club shall be divided into Northern and Southern Chapters.
Section 2. The objectives of the Club shall be:
(a) To further the advancement of Bloodhounds.
(b) To operate a dog club for the exclusive use and enjoyment of members.
(c) To encourage and promote responsible breeding of purebred Bloodhounds; to promote good sportsmanship.
(d) To engage in social and recreational activities designed to stimulate and promote interest in the care and development of Bloodhounds.
(e) To educate the general public concerning the Bloodhound.
(f) To conduct American Kennel Club (AKC) Companion and Field Events and American Bloodhound Club (ABC) Trailing Events.
Section 3. The Club shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder of residue from dues or donations to the Club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.
Section 1. Eligibility. All persons who are in good standing with the American Kennel Club and who subscribe to the Code of Ethics and the purposes of the American Bloodhound Club are eligible for membership.
Section 2. Classification of Membership. Adult members are composed of individuals who have attained the age of eighteen years or more. Junior members are individuals who have attained ten years of age but who have not attained eighteen years of age; they shall enjoy all the privileges of membership except voting or holding office. Honorary members are individuals who have been selected by the Board (as defined in Article IV, Section 1) based on significant contributions to the breed or to the Club. Honorary members shall have voting rights and not be subject to annual dues.
Section 3. Election to Membership. Each applicant for membership shall apply on a form as approved by the Board and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by the Code of Ethics and the Constitution and By-Laws of the AKC and ABC. Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit the membership dues for the current year. The completed application shall then be endorsed by one member of Bloodhounds West, and then be submitted to the Membership Chair. At the next general membership meeting of the appropriate Chapter, the Membership Chair shall present the applicant's information for consideration. The application shall be voted upon and an affirmative vote of the majority of members in attendance shall be required to elect the applicant. In the event the next membership meeting is not for 30 days or more, the application and all related information may be presented to the membership by email from the Membership Chair and voted on by return email within 10 days.
Section 4. Dues. The Club, by a majority of those present at any regular meeting, may levy upon the general membership such dues as shall be deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Club within its objectives as set forth in Article I. Membership dues shall be 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 Membership Chair shall send to each member, via email or US mail, a statement of their dues for the ensuing year. The Membership Chair shall send a reminder on the first day of March to those who have not yet paid. Membership in the club shall lapse if dues are not paid by April first.
Section 5. Termination of Membership. At the termination of membership, the former member shall satisfy any debts owing to the Club and shall return, at their own expense, any items belonging to the Club within 30 days of termination.
Membership may be terminated:
(a) By resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon written notice (mail, email, or direct delivery) to the Corresponding Secretary or Membership Chair, but any member who does resign is under an obligation to satisfy any debts owing to the Club if there be any.
(b) By lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member’s dues remain unpaid 90 days after the first of the year. In no case may a person be entitled to vote at any Club meeting whose dues are unpaid as of the date of that meeting.
(c) By expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at a meeting of the Club following a Board hearing and upon recommendation of the Board after a full and complete hearing. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the Club to be held within 60 days but not earlier than 30 days after the date of the Board’s recommendation of expulsion. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing on his own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Board’s findings and invite the defendant, if present, to speak on his own behalf if he wishes. The meeting shall then vote by secret ballot of the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion.
(1) Charges. Any member may prefer charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Corresponding Secretary together with a deposit of $100.00. The deposit shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained. The Corresponding Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by registered mail together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his own defense and bring witnesses if he wishes.
(2) Board Hearing. The Board shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard. Should charges be sustained, after hearing all evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant, the Board may, by majority vote of those present, suspend the defendant from all privileges of Bloodhounds West for not more than six months from the date of the hearing. The Board may also recommend to the membership that the penalty be expulsion. Suspensions shall not restrict the defendant’s right to appear before his fellow members at the ensuing Club meeting which considers the Board’s recommendation. After the Board has made their findings, the findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Recording Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary shall notify each of the parties of the Board’s decision and penalty, if any.
(3) Parent Club Suspension. Any member who is suspended from the privileges of the American Kennel Club or the American Bloodhound Club shall automatically be suspended from the privileges of Bloodhounds West for the same time period.
Meetings and Voting
Section 1. Club Meetings. General membership meetings of the Club shall be held in Northern California (Northern Chapter) and Southern California (Southern Chapter) five times a year; the first meeting of the year shall be identified as the “annual meeting” and be held in the month of January. Four other meetings shall be held during the remaining months of the year, at such hour and place as may be designated by the President. Each Chapter should extend a meeting invitation to the other Chapter’s President to facilitate interclub coordination. Written notice of each meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the President or Corresponding Secretary at least thirty days prior to the date of the meeting. Suggestions for agenda items shall be submitted to the President or Corresponding Secretary at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for general membership meetings shall be five (5) or more members in good standing. Special additional Club meetings may be called by the President, or by a majority vote at any regular meeting of the Board, or by the Corresponding Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by five (5) members of the Club who are in good standing. Special additional meetings must state the purpose of the meeting and no other Club business may be transacted at that meeting. Meetings may be conducted by email, conference call, or in person.
Section 2. Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board shall be held in California as outlined in Section 1, five times a year, generally prior to the general membership meeting. The quorum for such meetings shall be twenty-five percent of the Board membership. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President or by the Corresponding Secretary upon receipt of a written or emailed request signed by at least five members of the Board. Notice of the special meeting shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other business shall be transacted thereat. Ten days notice shall be required, in writing, and mailed or emailed by the President or Corresponding Secretary to each Board member. Meetings may be conducted by email, conference call, or in person. Board members need not be in California when participating by email or conference call.
Section 3. Voting. Each member in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to one vote at any meeting of the Chapter for which their dues are paid and at which they are present. Proxy voting will not be permitted at any Club meeting or election. Members in good standing in either Chapter (or both) are entitled to one vote in Bloodhounds West elections.
Officers and Directors
Section 1. Board. The Board shall be comprised of the President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer together with five (5) directors.
Section 2. Officers. The Club’s Officers, consisting of President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings. Officers shall be elected for one-year terms. Terms start at the annual January meeting as provided in Article V. Officers, except for Treasurer and Recording Secretary, shall not serve more than four consecutive full one-year terms in the same office. An interim appointment as an Officer to serve the remainder of an un-expired term shall not count toward the term limit.
(a) Northern Chapter. The Northern Chapter shall elect its own Officers as described in Article IV, Section 2.
(b) Southern Chapter. The Southern Chapter shall elect its own Officers as described in Article IV, Section 2.
(c) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and of the Board and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition tothose particularly specified in these Constitution and By-Laws. The immediate past president shall be a non-voting member of the Board in an ex officio status for the year following his or her term in office.
(d) The Vice President shall have the powers and exercise the duties of the President in case of the President’s absence, incapacity, or death.
(e) The Corresponding Secretary shall have charge of the correspondence, notify members of meetings, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these Constitution and By-Laws. The Corresponding Secretary shall make available to the Recording Secretary whatever information is relevant and necessary for the Recording Secretary to perform the duties of that office.
(f) The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Club. The Recording Secretary shall make available to the Corresponding Secretary whatever information is relevant and necessary for the Corresponding Secretary to perform the duties of that office.
(g) The Treasurer shall collect, receive, and record all moneys due or belonging to the Club. The books shall at all times be open to inspection by the Board and the Treasurer shall report to the Board at every meeting the condition of the Club's finances and every item, receipt, or payment not before reported. At the annual meeting the Treasurer shall render an account of all monies received and expended during the previous fiscal year. All funds shall be deposited in a bank satisfactory to the Board, in the name of the Club. The bank account shall have the President and Treasurer authorized to sign checks; only one signature shall be required on checks.
Section 3. Directors. Directors shall be elected to serve two-year terms, two directors being elected in even-numbered calendar years and three being elected in odd-numbered calendar years. Directors shall not serve more than two consecutive full two-year terms. An initial appointment as a Director to serve the remainder of an un-expired term shall not count toward the term limit.
(a) Northern Chapter. The Northern Chapter shall elect its own Directors as described in Article IV, Section 3.
(b) Southern Chapter. The Southern Chapter shall elect its own Directors as described in Article IV, Section 3.
Section 4. Vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Board in any office or in the position of Delegate to the American Kennel Club during the year shall be filled for the unexpired term of office by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board. A vacancy of the President shall be automatically filled by the Vice President at the first meeting of the Board following creation of such vacancy.
Section 5. Delegate to the American Kennel Club. Should this Club ever qualify for membership in the American Kennel Club (AKC), a delegate to the AKC shall be elected by the members of the Northern and Southern Chapters of Bloodhounds West. The term of the Delegate shall be determined by a majority vote of the Board of the Northern and Southern Chapters.
The Club Year, Annual Meeting, Elections
Section 1. Club Year. The Club’s calendar year shall begin on the first of January and end on the thirty-first of December. The Club’s official year shall begin immediately at the conclusion of the election at the annual meeting, held in the month of January, and shall continue through the election at 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 successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within thirty days after the election.
Section 2. Voting. At the annual meeting, general meetings, or at a special meeting of the Club, voting shall be limited to those members in good standing who are present at the meeting (in person or via conference call). The annual election of officers, directors, and delegate shall be decided by written ballot cast by mail. Uncontested election of officers and directors shall be conducted in accordance with Section 4.
Section 3. Annual Meeting. At the annual meeting, the newly elected Board members will be seated at the conclusion of the meeting.
Section 4. Nominations and Ballots. No person may be a candidate in a Club election who has not been nominated in accordance with these by-laws. A nominating committee shall be chosen by the Board before September 15th. The committee shall consist of five (5) members and two alternates, all members in good standing, no more than two of whom shall be members of the Board. The Board shall name a chairman of the committee. The nominating committee may conduct its business by mail or by email.
(a) The committee shall nominate from among the eligible members of the Club, one candidate for each open position on the Board and shall obtain the acceptance of each nominee in writing. The committee shall then submit its slate of candidates to the Recording Secretary who shall mail or email the list to each member of the Club, on or before October 15th, so that additional nominations may be made by the members if they so desire.
(b) Additional nominations of eligible members may be made by written or emailed petition addressed to the Recording Secretary and received on or before November 15th, and accompanied by the written or emailed acceptance of each additional nominee signifying their willingness to be a candidate. No person shall be a candidate for more than one position and the slate of nominees selected by the nominating committee shall be declared elected if no additional nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before November 15th. Unless additional nominations are received, no balloting will be required. The slate of the nominating committee shall then be declared elected at the annual meeting held in January.
(c) If one or more nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before November 15th, the Recording Secretary, on or before December 1st, shall mail to each member in good standing a ballot listing all the nominees for each position, placing the names of the nominees in alphabetical order, together with an envelope addressed to the Recording Secretary marked “Ballot” and bearing the name of the member to whom it was sent. In order that the ballots may remain secret, each voter, after marking the ballot, shall seal it in a blank envelope, which in turn shall be placed in the second envelope addressed to the Recording Secretary. Three (3) inspectors of the election shall be appointed by a vote of the Board. The inspectors of the election shall check the returns against the list of members whose dues are paid for the current year. The checking of the returns shall be done before opening any envelope.
Section 1. The Board may each year appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Club in such matters as dog shows, obedience trials, trailing trials, trophies, annual awards, membership and other fields which may be served by committees. Such committees shall report to the Board.
Section 2. Any committee may be terminated by majority vote of the Board and upon written notice to the members of the committee after Board action terminating the committee.
Section 1. Any member who is suspended from the privileges of the American Kennel Club or the American Bloodhound Club shall be automatically suspended from the privileges of this Club for a similar period of time.
Section 2. Charges. Please refer to Article II, Section 5, (c), (1).
Section 3. Expulsion. Please refer to Article II, Section 5, (c).
Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws may be proposed at any time by the Board or by written petition addressed to the Corresponding Secretary signed by 20% of the members in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board and must then be submitted to the membership. Each Chapter Board shall appoint two members to a joint Amendment Committee to facilitate the review process. The Corresponding Secretaries shall mail or email a copy of the proposed changes to each member in good standing on the date of the mailing, accompanied by a ballot on which the member may indicate a choice for or against the action to be taken. The notice shall specify a date not less than 30 days after the date of the mailing, by which date the ballots must be returned (mail or email) to the Recording Secretaries to be counted. A favorable vote of two-thirds of the members in good standing who return valid ballots within the time limit shall be required to affect any such amendment.
Section 1. The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than ninety percent of the members in good standing. In the event of dissolution, none of the property of the Club nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Club shall be distributed to any members of the Club but after payment of the debts of the Club, its property and assets shall be given to the ABC or a charitable organization for the benefit of dogs.
Order of Business
Section 1. At a meeting of the Club, the order of business, so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows:
Minutes of the last meeting
Report of the President
Report of the Corresponding Secretary
Report of the Treasurer
Report of Committees
Election of Board members (annual meeting)
Election of new members
Section 2. At a meeting of the Board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present, shall be as follows:
Minutes of the last meeting
Report of the Corresponding Secretary
Report of the Treasurer
Report of Committees
Election of new members
The activities of Bloodhounds West are conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in the Bloodhounds West Constitution and By-Laws. In any special situations or circumstances where California state law and the Bloodhounds West Constitution and By-Laws are silent, parliamentary procedure as set forth in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be followed. Robert's Rules, if found to be in conflict with the provisions of the Bloodhound West Constitution and By-Laws, would be considered null and void.
As amended in June 2017.