The Maryland General Assembly

January 9 @ 12:00 pm - April 8 @ 5:00 pm

The Maryland General Assembly will reconvene on January 9th 2019.

RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF MARYLAND, INC.

CONSTITUTION
Article 1

Name and Objectives

Section 1 - The name of the organization shall be the Responsible Dog Owners of Maryland ("RDO-MD").
Section 2 - The purposes of forming the RDO-MD are:

  • To promote and protect the interests of responsible dog owners.
  • To actively assist and participate in local, state and national legislation concerning dogs and dog owners.
  • To bring such legislation to the attention of the membership and the public.
  • To promote responsible dog ownership.
  • To use all legal means to promote the general welfare of dogs and dog owners.
  • To disseminate information and knowledge regarding dogs.
  • o promote and protect responsible dog breeding.

Section 3 - The RDO-MD shall not be conducted or operated for profit, and no part of any profits or remainder or residue of dues or donations to the RDO-MD shall benefit any member or individual. All monies accruing to the RDO-MD shall be devoted to the above stated objectives or made as specific bequests to such charitable organizations as shall be approved by a majority of the Board of Directors at a meeting held in person, teleconference, or email.

Section 4 - The members of the RDO-MD shall adopt, and may from time to time revise, such bylaws as may be required to carry out the purposes of the RDO-MD.

BYLAWS

Article 1

Membership

Section 1 - Eligibility. There shall be three types of memberships open to all organizations and individuals who subscribe to the purposes of the RDO-MD. The RDO-MD’s primary objective is to be representative of the dog owning public in the State of Maryland.

a. Member Club: Open to all AKC member and licensed clubs and independent dog associations with a membership of ten (10) or more that is preferably domiciled in the State of Maryland and that supports the objects of the RDO-MD. Member Clubs will have two (2) delegate votes.

b. Associate Member: Open to all persons eighteen (18) years of age or older who support the objects of the Organization. Each Associate Member will have one (1) vote

c. Sponsor: Open to all professional, commercial, educational, and non-profit organizations and/or individuals who support the objects of the Organization. Sponsors do not have voting privileges.

Section 2 - Dues. Membership dues shall be:

  • Member Clubs: $50 per year and shall not exceed $100.00.
  • Associate Member: $15 per year and shall not to exceed $100.00.
  • Sponsor: Any amount, suggested donation $100 minimum.

Dues are payable on the first day of July of each year and shall not be prorated. No member whose dues are not paid for the current year may vote on RDO-MD matters. During the month of April, the Treasurer shall send to each member a statement of dues for the ensuing year. To reflect the needs of the RDO-MD, membership dues may be adjusted annually by a majority vote of the Board of Directors but are not to exceed limits established by this section. A member may appeal to the Board of Directors for a reduction of dues due to loss of revenue or other mitigating circumstances. The Board may, at its discretion and by a majority vote, permit a reduction of dues for the current year.

Section 3 - Election to Membership. Each applicant for membership shall apply on a form as approved by the Board of Directors and which shall require that the applicant attest to abide by the RDO-MD constitution and bylaws. In the case of Member Clubs, the application shall state the name of the organization, the number of members, and the name, address, and telephone number of its two delegates to the RDO-MD. The delegates will remain the Member Club’s recognized representatives of the RDO-MD until the Corresponding Secretary has been notified in writing of any change. In the case of Associate Members or Sponsors, the application shall state the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the applicant.

Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit dues payment for the current year. All applications are to be filed with the Corresponding Secretary and each application is to be read at the first scheduled meeting of the RDO-MD Board of Directors in person or teleconference following its receipt. Affirmative votes of the majority of the Board of Directors present and voting at that meeting shall be required to elect the applicant. The Corresponding Secretary shall provide a written or emailed notice of acceptance or rejection of the membership application.

Section 4 - Termination of Membership. Memberships may be terminated:

a. By resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the RDO-MD upon written notice to the Corresponding Secretary, but no member may resign when in debt to the RDO-MD. Dues obligations are considered a debt to the RDO-MD incurred on the first day of each fiscal year.

b. By lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member's dues remain unpaid 30 days after the first day of the fiscal year; however, the Board may grant an additional 30 days of grace to such delinquent members in meritorious cases. In no case may a person be entitled to vote at any RDOMD meeting whose dues are unpaid as of the date of that meeting.

c. By expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these by-laws.

Article II

Meeting and Voting

Section1 - Annual and Regular Meetings. In addition to the Annual Meeting, at least one regular meeting of the RDO-MD shall be held each year, at such place, date, and hour as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Written or emailed notice of each meeting shall be sent by the Corresponding Secretary at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The quorum for such meetings shall be 20% of the combined Member Club delegates and Associates in good standing.

Section 2 - Special Meetings. Special RDO-MD meetings may be called by the President or by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, who vote by mail or email and shall be called by the Corresponding Secretary upon receipt of a written petition signed by 15 combined Member Clubs or Associate members of the Club who are in good standing. Such meetings shall be held at such place, date, and hour as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice of such a meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the Corresponding Secretary at least 14 days and not more than 30 days prior to the meeting. The notice of the meeting shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other Club business may be transacted. The quorum for Special Club meetings shall be 10% of the members in good standing attending. Such special meetings shall be held in the State of Maryland.

Section 3 - Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such times and places as are designated by the President or by a majority vote of the entire Board. Written notices of each meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the Corresponding Secretary to each member of the Board at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for a Board Meeting shall be a majority of the Board voting in person. Board Meetings can also be conducted by teleconference.

Section 4 - Special Board Meetings. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President and shall be called by the Corresponding Secretary upon receipt of a written request signed by at least three (3) members of the Board. Such special meetings shall be held in person or teleconference in the State of Maryland at such place, date, and hour as may be designated by the person authorized herein to call such a meeting. Written or emailed notice of such meeting shall be sent by the Corresponding Secretary at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting. Any such notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other RDO-MD business may be transacted. A quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board. The Board may authorize the President to conduct emergency meetings without notice; such meetings may be conducted by teleconference.

Section 5 - Voting. Each of the two RDO-MD Member Club’s delegates in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to one vote each at the meeting of the RDO-MD at which he/she is present. Associate members in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year are entitled to one vote at any meeting of the RDO-MD at which they are present. Sponsors shall be non-voting. Voting by proxy is not permitted at any RDO-MD meetings or elections.

Article III

Officers and Directors

Section 1 - Board of Directors. The Board shall be comprised of seven persons to include the President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and two (2) Directors, all of whom shall be members in good standing. All officers shall be elected annually for a one-year term and Directors for a two (2) year term. All shall be elected at the Club’s annual meeting as provided for in Article IV and shall serve
until their successors are elected. General management of the Club’s affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors. The President and Vice President shall be elected for no more than two consecutive one-year terms. Directors shall be elected to serve two (2) year terms. Directors will be limited to two (2) consecutive two (2) year terms. They may not serve as Directors for one year following the end of such terms. The Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected for two (2) year terms. Members elected and serving as Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer are not term limited

To initially stagger terms, Officers and Directors elected in the Club’s election shall serve the following indicated terms:

President 2 years Vice President 1 year Recording Secretary 1 year Corresponding Secretary 1 year Treasurer 1 year Director 1 1 year Director 2 2 years (To ensure continuity one (1) Director shall be elected in even years and the other Director in odd years. President and Vice President shall not be elected in the same year.) Section 2 - Officers. The Organization's Officers, consisting of the President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer, shall serve in their respective capacities during both the RDO-MD and its meetings and the Board of Directors and its meetings.

a. The President shall preside at all meetings of the RDO-MD and of the Board. This office shall have general supervision over the affairs of the RDO-MD, subject to the control of the Board, and shall have such duties and power incidental to the office of the President and such other duties as assigned by the board.

b. The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in the event of the President’s death, incapacity, or absence.

c. The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the RDO-MD and of the Board and of all other matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Board of Directors. The Recording Secretary shall have charge of all books, records, and papers of the RDO-MD, and shall perform all duties incidental to the office of Recording Secretary and shall carry out such duties as may be assigned by the Board.

d. The Corresponding Secretary shall have charge of all correspondence, notify all members of meetings, notify applicant of their membership election or rejection, notify Officers and Directors of their election to office, and keep a roll of the members of the RDO-MD. The Corresponding Secretary shall file with appropriate agencies all reports, statements, and other documents required by law, and shall keep records of same, shall carry out such other duties as prescribed in these By-laws.

e. The Treasurer shall collect and keep an account of all moneys due or belonging to the RDO-MD and all the funds expended by the RDO-MD. The Treasurer shall deposit all funds in such depositories as shall be approved by the Board. The books shall be open for inspection by the Board and the Treasurer and shall report to the Board at every meeting on the condition of the finances of the RDO-MD and items of receipt and payment not previously reported. At the Annual Meeting, the Treasurer shall render an account of all moneys received and expended during the previous fiscal year, a copy of which report, along with minutes of the Annual Meeting, shall be sent to all member organizations within 30 days following the Annual Meeting. At the expiration of this term, the Treasurer shall turn over to his successor in office all books, moneys, vouchers, invoices, and other properties in his possession.

Section 3 - Vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Board of Directors during the current year shall be filled for the unexpired term of office by a majority vote of all the then members of the Board at its first regular meeting following the creation of such a vacancy, or at a special Board meeting called for that purpose, except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the Vice President. Any Officer or Director absent without cause for more than two Board meetings in succession may, upon review of his reasons for absence by the Board, be replaced by the Board.

Article IV

Year, Annual Meeting, Elections

Section 1 - Year. The Organization's fiscal year shall begin immediately on the first day of July and end on the 30th day of June. The RDO-MD official year shall begin immediately at the end of the election at the Annual Meeting and shall continue through the election of the next Annual Meeting.

Section 2 - Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting shall be held during the month of July at which the Officers and Board of Directors for the ensuing year shall be elected by secret, written ballot from among those nominated by the Nominating Committee in accordance with Section 4 of this Article and those additional nominations made in accordance with Article 4, part b of this article The elected Officers and Directors shall take office immediately upon election. Each retiring Officer shall turnover to his/her successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within twenty (20) days after the election. Notification of the Annual Meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the Corresponding Secretary on or before June 1st.
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Section 3 – Elections. The nominated candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected. If any nominee, at the time of the meeting, is unable to serve for just reason, such nominee shall not be declared elected and the vacancy so created shall be filled by the new Board. In case of a tied vote for any position, the Delegates in attendance at the time of election shall decide by ballot which of the candidates will be elected.

Section 4 – Nominations and Ballots. No person may be a candidate in a RDO-MD election who has not been nominated in accordance with these By-Laws. The Nominating Committee shall be chosen by the Board of Directors by February 15th each year. This Committee shall consist of three (3) members and two (2) alternates, and not more than one shall be a member of the Board. The Corresponding Secretary shall immediately notify the committee and alternates of their selection. The Board shall name a chairman for the Committee and it shall be his/her duty to call a meeting during the month of March. The Committee may conduct its business by teleconference, email, or USPS mail.

a. The Nominating Committee shall nominate one candidate for each office and for each other position on the Board. The Nominating Committee shall procure the acceptance of each nominee so chosen. The Nominating Committee shall then submit this slate of candidates to the Corresponding Secretary no later than April 1st. The Corresponding Secretary, on or before April 15th, will notify each candidate so nominated by email or USPS mail.

b. Prior to May 15th, additional nominations may be made by written petition to the Recording Secretary. Such petition must be signed by a minimum of five members in good standing and must be accompanied by the written acceptance of each such additional nominee signifying his willingness to be a candidate. No person shall be a candidate for more than one position, and the additional nominations which are provided for herein may be made from among only those members who have not accepted a nomination of the Nominating Committee.

c. If one or more valid additional nominees are received by petition, the Recording Secretary shall, on or before June 15th, notify the membership in writing of those additional nominations. This notification shall be mailed along with the notification of the Annual Meeting in July.

d. If no valid additional nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before June 15th, the Nominating Committee’s slate shall be declared elected at the Annual Meeting but no later than July 15th and no balloting shall be required.

e. If one of more valid nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before May 15th, he/she shall, on or before June 1st, email or mail to each member in good standing a ballot listing all the nominees for each position in alphabetical order, together with a blank envelope and a return envelope addressed to the Recording Secretary (or an outside accounting firm) marked “Ballot,” and bearing the name of the member to whom it was sent. The Ballots shall be returned to the Corresponding Secretary by June 15th, so that the ballots remain secret, each voter, after marking his/her ballot, shall seal it in the blank envelop which in turn shall be placed in the second envelope addressed to the Recording Secretary (or an outside accounting firm). The inspector of election shall check the returns against the list of members whose dues are paid for the current year prior to the opening of the outer envelopes and removing the blank envelopes and shall certify the eligibility of the voters.

f. Nominations cannot be made at the July Annual Meeting or in any manner other than as provided for in this section.

Article V

Committees

Section 1 – Standing Committees. Each year, the Board of Directors may appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Organization. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to aid it on specific projects.

a. Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the Board, upon written notice to the appointee, and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose service has been terminated.

b. Committee appointments shall be considered terminated at the end of the RDO-MD year unless reappointment is made by the new Board.

Section 2 – Finance Review Committee. The Finance Review Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the President and approved by the Board of Directors. This committee shall review records of the Treasurer during the last month of the fiscal year and report its findings to the RDO-MD membership at the Annual Meeting.

Article VI

Discipline

Section 1 – Charges . Any member shall have the right to prefer charges against another member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the RDO-MD. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Corresponding Secretary together with a deposit of $100.00, which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Board following a hearing. The Corresponding Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to each member of the Board, and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the RDO-MD. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct which would be prejudicial to the best interests of the RDO-MD it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction.

If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date of hearing by the Board not less than three (3) weeks or no more than six (6) weeks thereafter. 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 accused may personally appear in his own defense and bring witness if he so desires.

Section 2 - Board of Director Hearings-Suspension: The Board of Directors shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend any hearing, but both complainant and accused shall be treated uniformly in that regard. Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and accused, the Board may, by majority vote of those Board members present, suspend the member from all privileges of the RDO-MD for not more than six (6) months from the date of the hearing. If the Board deems that punishment is insufficient, it may also recommend to the membership that the penalty be expulsion. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the accused’s right to have their representative appear before his fellow members at the ensuing RDO-MD meeting which considers the Board’s recommendation. Immediately after the Board has reached a decision, its findings shall be put into written form and filed with the Corresponding Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary, in turn, shall then immediately notify in writing each of the parties of the Board’s decision and penalty, if any.

Section 3 – Expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the RDO-MD may be accomplished only at a meeting of the RDO-MD following a Board of Directors hearing and upon the Board’s recommendation as provided in Section 2 of this Article. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the RDO-MD to be held within 60 days but not earlier than 30 days after the date of the Board’s recommendation of expulsion. The accused shall have the privilege of appearing in his own behalf, although no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Board’s findings and recommendations, and shall invite the accused, if present, to speak on his own behalf if he wishes. The meeting shall then vote by secret, written ballot on the proposed expulsion. A two-thirds vote of those present at the meeting, including the combined number of Member Club Delegates and Associates members, shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted, the Board’s suspension shall stand.

Article VII

Amendments

Section 1 - Amendments. Amendments to the Constitution and By-laws may be proposed by the Board of Directors by written petition to the Corresponding Secretary, signed by 20% of the combined Member Club Delegates and Associate members in good standing. Amendments proposed by such a petition shall be promptly considered by the Board and must be submitted to the members with recommendations of the Board by the Corresponding Secretary for a vote within three months of the date when the petition was received by the Corresponding Secretary.

Section 2 – Adoption. The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, provided that the proposed amendment has been included in the notice of the meeting and sent by mail or email to each member at least 30 days prior to the date of the meeting.

Article VIII

Dissolution

Section 1 – Dissolution. The RDO-MD may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than two-thirds of the combined Member Club Delegates and Associate members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose. In the event of the dissolution of the RDO-MD, whether voluntary, mandatory, or by operation of law, the property or proceeds from any sale thereof, or any assets remaining, shall, after payment of debts incurred by the RDO-MD, be given to a charitable entity or organization located within the State of Maryland dedicated to the benefit of dogs.

Article IX
Order of Business

Section 1
At meetings of the Club or Board, the order of business so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows: ▪ Roll Call ▪ Minutes of the Last Meeting ▪ Report of the President ▪ Report of the Recording Secretary ▪ Report of the Corresponding Secretary ▪ Report of the Treasurer ▪ Reports of the Committees ▪ Election of New Members ▪ Unfinished Business ▪ New Business ▪ Adjournment

Section 2
At meetings of the board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present, shall be as follows: ▪ Reading of minutes of last meeting ▪ Report of Secretary ▪ Report of Treasurer ▪ Report of Committees ▪ Unfinished Business ▪ Election of new members ▪ New Business ▪ Adjournment ARTICLE X

Parliamentary Authority

Section 1. The activities of the RDO-MD are conducted in accordance with the provisions contained in the RDO-MD constitution and bylaws. In any special situations or circumstances where Maryland State law and the RDO-MD constitution and bylaws 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 RDO-MD constitution and bylaws, would be considered null and void.