Sunday, April 13, 2014


If you are an ABC member or an ABC member club member who is planning to attend the American Boxer Club National, please note that the annual membership meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday evening, May 7 at 8:00 pm.

At this meeting, we will be asked by the ABC to vote on the expulsion from the American Boxer Club of three longtime members, even though none of us has seen all the evidence that resulted in the request for a vote on expulsion. The American Boxer Club has published only one side of this issue on the ABC website – that of the ABC member who brought charges of neglect of a dog against the three other ABC members.

The defendants in this case have not responded publicly to the charges, except to say that they are innocent and that their attorney has advised them to say nothing further. Of course, you may assume that their lack of a public response is proof of guilt. A number of very vocal people have done just that in various forms of social media. We have the right to do the same and let others make this decision for us.

By the same token, we also have the right to insist upon seeing all the evidence in this case before we vote, so we can decide for ourselves whether or not the defendants deserve expulsion. It is not unreasonable to want to see and hear evidence from both sides before acting as judge and any jurisdiction. In fact, that’s the way things are usually done in this country.

Thank you for listening.

Virginia Zurflieh
Past member of the ABC Board of Directors (Class of 2012)


  1. If you want to see the evidence for the defense, ask the defense to provide it to you. They were given the opportunity to make it public and chose not to, but perhaps they will share it privately.

    As well, they will be given an opportunity to speak on their own behalf at the meeting, before the vote is cast. (They cannot present evidence at that time, however.)

    It is certainly not unreasonable to want to see all of the evidence, but if this were an actual court of law and the accused chose not to present a defense, the case would not be thrown out. It would be decided on the basis of the evidence that was present. Our Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury of one's peers -- it does not guarantee that the court will present the defendants' case for them, if they choose not to do so.

    The ABC Bylaws do not allow evidence to be presented at the membership meeting. If this is a problem, then we need to change the Bylaws -- but it will have no effect on this particular vote.

    1. As you know, Jen, the board hearing was held in "executive session," a confidential hearing that the ABC said would remain confidential "to protect the privacy of all parties." Then the ABC board published only one side of the story -- the complainant's side -- on the ABC website in violation of the confidentiality rules of their own executive session. Considering how logical and fair you usually are, I am amazed that you're ready to cast a vote without having seen all the evidence in this case. IMO, that's a very sad comment on how this very volatile situation was handled by the ABC.

  2. The Board has as much right to remove items from executive session as they do to consider items in executive session. There is no violation.

    I am not casting a vote until I hear what the defendants have to say at the meeting. It is entirely due to my logical and fair nature, however, that I cannot fault the ABC or the system for the defendants' decision to not present their evidence. They had every opportunity for a truly fair hearing, and chose not to take advantage of it. If they feel, later, that they have not gotten a fair 'trial', they have no one to blame but themselves.

    The ABC Board has handled this situation impeccably and completely within the guidelines of the Bylaws. They could not have done anything differently. They, in fact, had no obligation to share *any* of the evidence with the membership, but in acknowledgement of the seriousness of the charges and the highly emotional nature of the situation, allowed both sides to present their case to the membership well ahead of the vote.

    You know well that I am not one to blindly rah-rah the Board, and I am more often at odds with them than not. In this situation, however, I have not one complaint. They cannot compel the defendants to make their evidence public, and they cannot in good conscience (or probably legally) publish the evidence without the permission of the defendants.

    What more would you have them do?

    1. Jen,
      You are entitled to your own opinion. I strongly disagree that the ABC treated all parties to this dispute fairly or equitably. That is my opinion. Neither of us has seen all the evidence.

  3. Well, of course, you're entitled to your own opinion, too. :) I do wonder, though, what you would have the Board do differently?