Changes in 2020 Testing: Keeping Healthy Today So We Can Test Tomorrow.

Changes in 2020 Testing: Keeping Healthy Today So We Can Test Tomorrow.

Dear NAVHDA Members,  

Over many years, the members and Chapters comprising NAVHDA International have come together to support one another through difficult times. Knowing how resilient and supportive NAVHDA members are towards one another, we expect that mutual support will be no different while we all navigate through the many unknowns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. During these uncertain times, know that we are concerned with all aspects of the organization and how the pandemic will affect members, Chapters and NAVHDA as a whole. With this in mind, the current situation requires some significant changes in the scheduling of upcoming NAVHDA-sanctioned events and tests, including the Invitational; these changes are described in detail below. We are confident that, by working together, NAVHDA will remain a strong organization through this difficult period. 

In order to keep our members, handlers, judges, and spectators safe, the NAVHDA Executive Council has decided to cancel all NAVHDA sanctioned events through June 30, 2020, including all NAVHDA tests, Aims & Rules (previously known as “Handlers”) Clinics, and all other seminars sponsored or supported by NAVHDA International. This decision was not made lightly, and a wide range of considerations were taken into account. While we are cautiously optimistic that NAVHDA sanctioned events can resume in July, the NAVHDA Executive Council is meeting weekly to actively monitor and re-assess our plans regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to events after June 30th. Additionally, even if public gatherings are currently permitted in your region, NAVHDA International strongly recommends that all Chapters cancel local events and training days, and under all circumstances local Chapters are required to follow all Federal, State and local rules, guidelines, and mandates in regard to COVID-19. 

 Chapters that have cancelled tests either because of Province, State or Local mandates, and/or because of the policy established herein, must have their Test Secretary contact the Director of Testing, Dan Wittman, to provide a list of all Natural Ability dogs that were entered in a test. Because this situation involves a large number of NA dogs, we request that individual handlers do not contact the director of testing directly but rather work with the test secretary for the test they are registered. As stated in earlier communications by NAVHDA International, if a dog enrolled in a NA test cannot run because the test is cancelled or because a handler withdrew due to coronavirus concerns, that dog will be permitted to run in a later test during the calendar year 2020 even if the dog has passed the 16 month age limit. Please note that this applies only to dogs that were already enrolled in a test that was cancelled or from which a handler withdrew due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. 

We are sorry to say that the 2020 Invitational has been postponed. All dogs that were qualified for the 2020 Invitational are invited to participate in the 2021 Invitational, which will be hosted by the Hawkeye Chapter in Searsboro, Iowa. In the near future, more information will be provided directly to the owners of dogs qualified for the 2020 Invitational regarding 2021 Invitational dates and the handling of test entries/fees/reimbursements. Utility dogs that test in 2020 and receive a Prize I qualifying score will be eligible to participate in either the 2021 Invitational in Iowa or the 2022 Invitational, which will be hosted by the Zia Chapter in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  

NAVHDA recognizes that the Corona virus pandemic will have negative financial impacts on NAVHDA International, its’ chapters, and its’ members. Due to the cancelation of many NAVHDA tests and events, and the inevitable negative financial impacts that will have on our local Chapters, Chapter payments for next year’s Insurance will be optional. More information will be provided on this topic to all Chapters when you receive your regular invoice in October. It is our sincere hope that we are all on the road to financial recovery by this fall. Please note that the NAVHDA Insurance policy has not been affected and will remain in place for 2020 and 2021 for NAVHDA and all Chapters.  

Sometime in the coming week NAVHDA President Dave Trahan, along with members of the EC, will offer a video conference call to all Chapter Presidents to address questions and concerns.

Our primary goal in making these difficult decisions is to ensure that our members, families, and friends remain safe and healthyso that we may be able to continue to share in the experiences we cherish as hunting dog enthusiasts after these unusual times are over.  

2020 NAVHDA Executive Committee

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