Members of the Sequoia Kennel Club stand alongside members of the Kings County Sheriff’s office (left to right: Janice Pardue, President; Pat Noland, Treasurer; Terri King, Secretary; Rod Shulman, Senior Deputy; Hans, Shulman’s K9 partner; Dave Robinson, Sheriff).
Since the mid-1950s, the Sequoia KC has been promoting purebred dogs in one of the Golden State’s most productive agricultural regions. “We held our first show on November 10, 1957,” says Pardue. “In the beginning, we were [part of] the Raisin Circuit, with three clubs involved. We had 1,500 to 2,000 entries on a Friday.” As times changed and entries declined, the club became part of a cluster of shows held in Bakersfield. “We started going in with Kings Kennel Club,” recalls Pardue, who points out that the dog clubs in her area have always been more than just show-giving organizations. “Our philosophy is … to keep enough from what we make at our dog show to have a show the following year,” she says. “Whatever is left over goes to [local] organizations. It’s the way it’s supposed to be!
In addition to supporting local police departments, the Sequoia KC provides assistance to the area’s college-bound students. “We give two scholarships a year with UC Davis,” says Pardue. “We have the option to designate a student if they are from our area and if their grade-point average is good enough for UC Davis. This year, one of the top students happens to be from the Kings County area.”
Banners are hung across the main thoroughfares of downtown Hanford, Calif., to announce the dog shows held at the Kings County Fairgrounds on the second weekend in March.
All of the good work that is done by the Sequoia Kennel Club, including donating to the Hanford and Oak Valley SPCAs, the Valley Animal Center and Hope Animal Foundation, is a tribute to the spirit of its organizers. Founding members Elizabeth Adams and Frank and Mary Fasso set the example for the club’s current membership to follow. “They were kind of special. They were the glue that held all of us together, no matter what.” As the club’s current President and show chair, Pardue works with a close-knit group that includes Vice President Judy Rhoades, Secretary Terri King, Treasurer Patricia Noland and Board Members Melvin Pardue, Ken Noland and Kelly Rhoades. “The club would not be a club without the members who do the work,” Pardue says. “It’s kind of a family thing. We’re just like best friends — all of us.” Which just goes to show that even small dog clubs can have a mighty impact on their local communities.