A11 disciplinary case – Miss M Spavin

At its meeting on 28th June 2018, the Kennel Club Disciplinary Committee considered a complaint brought by the Kennel Club under Rule A11 a (1) (b) against Miss Melanie Spavin; namely that she behaved discreditably and prejudicially to the interests of the canine world with verbal abuse to a show official at the Manchester Championship Show on 18th January 2018.

The complaint is upheld and the committee imposed the following penalties:


To warn her as to her future conduct

A11 j (1)


To censure her

A11 j (2)


To disqualify her from exhibiting at, taking part in, attending and/or having any connection with any event licensed by the Kennel Club. If any person disqualified under this
sub-paragraph shall attend any canine event whilst disqualified the Board shall have the power to increase the period of disqualification

A11 j (4)


To disqualify her from judging at any event licensed by the Kennel Club

A11 j (8)




The above listed disqualifications are effective as from 28th June 2018 until 11th March 2019.

The committee, following the impositions of these penalties, would draw the attention of the respondent to the effect of Rule A11 sub-section n.

In her initial response, Miss Spavin admitted the incident and apologised. This contrition was diluted by the later submissions given in mitigation, much of which was not accepted by the committee.

The committee noted that Miss Spavin suggested that she did not intend or direct the abusive language towards the show official who witnessed the incident. The incident occurred in the passageway leading from the Secretary’s office.

Miss Spavin should have been aware that in the context of a breed show there is not likely to be anywhere that is truly private and there will always be the potential for an official, exhibitor or spectator to be an audience or to bear witness to one’s behaviour.

To air a grievance in such in an unrestrained way in what amounted to a tantrum with unacceptable expletives is not conduct expected of anyone attending a Kennel Club licensed event, irrespective of the cause or grievance.

Declaration of Interest

The committee members included Mr Mark Cocozza, Mr Nigel Smith, Dr Ian Gabriel and Mrs Sue Garner. Two members of the committee declared that they have prior knowledge of Miss Spavin from the breed show context but not such as to be material or that would create a conflict of interest or affect, influence or preclude them from determining the matter.