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Holt vs Cooke PAWS Debate Raleigh NC 2005

Exclusive Interview with John Schoeneman


Mr. Schoeneman is NC Federation of Dog Clubs, Vice President, Event Chair/Coordinator.  We caught up with him at the Raleigh shows.


TDP: Mr. Schoeneman, who invited Dr. Holt?

JS: “My understanding is that was Bill Pfeiffer, the Raleigh KC Delegate. Bill said he knew some people who were personal friends with Jim Holt and offered to do the initial contact.”


Was Dr. Holt told there would be an opposing view?

JS: “Well yes, I’d have to say he was, according to email from Bill Pfeiffer to the effect that someone who was credible and respected would also be found who could give an opposing viewpoint.  I think it was Frank Fletcher who agreed to find a knowledgeable speaker and eventually talked with Cindy Cooke.


TDP:  There was to have been a $5 admission fee which would have helped to defray expenses.  We’ve learned that upon being told of the fairgrounds rules regarding ticket sales, the NCFDC immediately agreed to waive the $5 admission, thus negating that “technical problem.”  Is that true?

JS: “Yes, when we learned that was one of the factors that prompted denial of the scheduled program, I had conversations with Pat Baubin (Raleigh KC Show Chair and Cluster Coordinator) and followed up with emails during which she was made aware we would waive the admission so the fairgrounds wouldn’t object.  The problem is she jumped from one objection to another, such as the number of people that could attend and that it was open to the public.  I reminded her that everyone knew the room held 200 people and that had been perfectly okay.  She knew back in July that Bill Pfeiffer was publicizing the event for us.  The intent and format of the program had never changed from day one! 


“After Pat Baubin sent an email to Bob Peters in which she stated permission for our scheduled event was rescinded due to a “match by the Cary KC” and a “potential overload and possible disruption to the match activity.”  I emailed her early evening on 8/19 requesting a phone conversation.  Although she read the email the next morning (read confirmed) at 9:42, even with expediency an issue, Pat did not call, she replied with sent on the 21st at 10:20 P.M. in which she stated “this decision is firm and was mine” and goes on to say she is the “Keeper of the integrity of the Cluster” this decision is in the best interest of the dog shows and cluster.


“She also said in the email that because we had opened the meeting (it was that way from the beginning) “additional security would have to be hired with full arrest authority.”  She says the match for a club in formation has precedent and was secured before she was approached for our program.  She closes by saying “I will not be able to accommodate your organization on this.


“I was able to speak with her twice and she said she would contact her attorney and board but that it will “take a while.”  I reminded her that travel and other arrangements had been made and time was of the essence.  I received nothing for a week, and then an 11th hour notice from Jim Holt that he rejected our offer to speak to the Delegates and attendees.”


TDP:  Okay, so Raleigh KC officers and Mr. Holt knew from the beginning that it was a PAWS debate arranged primarily for the NC Federation Of Dog Club Delegates but it would be open to the public up to the 200 seat limit.  What exactly was the format, and when was that decided?

JS: “It was finalized in early July after several discussions about how long each presenter should speak.  Some said 30 minutes but it was finally agreed that 10 minutes to present their respective positions, followed by a 3 minute rebuttal for each speaker, then the moderator would present questions that the Delegates or general audience had previously written down and submitted on cards.  It was organized just like a Presidential debate except neither speaker would know in advance what the questions would be.”  (obvious grin in his voice)


TDP: To reiterate then, the NCFDC “Confederacy of Tail Waggers” had met and resolved every objection offered by Pat Baubin?  You had secured another venue when you were told the newly formed Cary KC needed the one you had been guaranteed.  You waived the small admission charge. The exact format had been restated, at that point Dr. Holt and Ms. Cooke were still confirmed, and you were still told by officers of the Raleigh KC that the debate could not go on?  Is that true and if so, what other reason could possibly have been given to you?

JS: “Yes, it is all true. We met every condition that was raised after everything had already been agreed upon by all parties back in July and that included the Raleigh KC.  What we couldn’t resolve was what could never happen.”


TDP:  What do you mean?

JS: “Well, in the end, Bill Pfeiffer and Pat Baubin asserted that it would “get out of hand” and Pat said she had been at such things when people threw nails in the rings and opened crates and….  How could that happen?  The meeting room was no where near the rings or where dogs were crated.  And how could they think that AKC Delegates were going to act that way?  It made no sense.”


TDP:  I see.  Who informed Dr. Holt of the problems and when?

JS: “I can’t say with any certainty but I had one phone call with him in which he was rude and very disagreeable and finally he ended the call by saying he and the AKC were not going to debate.”


TDP: TheDogPress is told there is a meeting scheduled for this Sunday.  True?

JS: “Yes, it is scheduled but it is closed to all but the Delegates.  It is to discuss preparing a Position Statement and to vote on the Confederacy position.  We hope for a quorum but the legality of the meeting has been challenged by the President Bob Peters who feels it is not important to have a position now.  Members are being told the next meeting is soon enough but that is not until October.”


TDP:  Well time will tell.  We hope your meeting goes well and would appreciate an update.


As an aside, we have been told that Mr. Peters, whom we have interviewed, is working with AKC on the entry service problem which TheDogPress covered.  It joined the show superintendents in opposing AKC’s entry into the entry service business, in direct competition with its own service providers.  It seems that AKC has backed off from that vigorously opposed idea so Bob Peters must be making some headway.  For everyone’s sake, we hope that opposing the AKC position regarding PAWS and this debate did not interfere with the problem of entry service competition.  We trust that AKC can keep its goals compartmentalized.


Thank you for the interview. 



A great deal has since transpired and details will continue to develop. 

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