CATS By-Laws

CATS By-Laws

THE CANINE AGILITY TRAINING SOCIETY, Inc.

By-laws
First Accepted 3/13/91
Amended 12/13/95, 12/9/98, 12/8/99, 12/1/00, 1/16/05, 1/8/2006, 1/7/2007, 1/6/08, 1/10/10, 1/16/11, 1/8/12, 1/14/15, 3/14/18, 1/27/21

ARTICLE I NAME AND PURPOSES

Section 1.01 Name 
The name of the Club shall be THE CANINE AGILITY TRAINING SOCIETY, INC. 

Section 1.02    Purposes 
The objectives of the Club shall be: 
A. To promote the sport of Agility in the spirit of good sportsmanship, while enhancing the human and dog relationship. 
B. To promote canine good citizenship through the sport of Agility regardless of the heritage of the dog. 
C. To follow generally accepted standards and policies from the agility community at large. 

ARTICLE II MEMBERSHIP

Section 2.01 Eligibility 
There shall be one class of membership, Full (divided into subcategories, as necessary), open to all individual people who subscribe to the purposes of this Club.  While membership is to be unrestricted as to residence, the Club is to be primarily representative of Agility enthusiasts in its general area.  Full membership is available to individuals working with dog(s) for agility training.  Full members are eligible to vote as provided in Article II Section 2.02.   

Section 2.02 Dues 
During the month of December, a notification of dues for the upcoming year shall be sent to each member.  Membership dues shall be payable on or before February 1 of each year.  All membership privileges shall be suspended until dues are paid for the current year.  No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year.  Any new approved membership paid after October 1 shall also entitle that individual to membership in the following year.  Dues shall be reviewed at the Annual meeting and rates set for the new business year. 

Section 2.03 Election to Membership 
Persons seeking election to membership shall apply on a form approved by the general membership and will include a statement that the applicant agrees to abide by these by- laws. The prospective member shall submit dues and application for the current year to the Treasurer. 

Section 2.04 Termination of Membership may be terminated by: 
Membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member’s dues remain unpaid after February 1, however the Board may grant a 90 day grace period of payment of dues in special situations and meritorious cases.   

Any member may be expelled as provided in Article VIII Section 8.05 of the by-laws. 

ARTICLE III MEETINGS

Section 3.01 Club Meetings 
Meetings of the Club shall be held every other month at 7:00 pm on the 2nd Wednesday of January, March, May, July, September, and November. Meetings may be held in person at Monadnock Humane Society or remotely using commonly accepted digital technology.  The quorum for such meetings shall be one fifth of the current paid membership or ten people, whichever is the larger.

Section 3.02 Special Club Meetings 
Special Club meetings shall be called either at the discretion of the Board or by a majority vote of the members of the Board who are present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the Board, or upon receipt by the Secretary of a petition signed by three members in good standing.  Such special meetings shall be held at such hour and place as may be designated by the person(s) authorized herein to call such meeting.  Unless the special meeting is announced at a regular monthly club meeting, written notice of such meeting shall be e-mailed or other commonly accepted means of communication using digital technology, by the Secretary at least 5 days prior to the date of the meeting and said notice shall state the purpose of the meeting.  No other Club business shall be transacted at a special meeting. The quorum for such meeting shall be the same as for regular membership meetings. 

Section 3.03 Board Meetings 
The Board shall meet four times per year in February, June, October and December.  The quorum shall be two-thirds of the Board (6).  Meetings may be held in person or remotely using commonly accepted digital technology.  Additional meetings of the Board may be held at the call of the President or two members of the Board at such hour and place as may be designated.  Notice of such meetings will be given at least five days prior to the date of the meeting.  The quorum shall be two-thirds (6) of the Board.

ARTICLE IV DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS 

Section 4.01 Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer,  Secretary and five representatives, all of whom shall be elected at the Annual membership meeting. The term of each board member shall be for three years to start and end after the applicable Annual Meeting. The officers shall be elected to serve for one year in that capacity at an Annual Meeting, and may be elected to serve as an officer for any year during which they are serving as a board member. The term of each officer shall be for one year to start at the conclusion of the applicable meeting and to end after the next Annual Meeting.   

Section 4.02 Officers 
The Club’s officers, consisting of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings. 
A. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and of the Board and shall have the duties and powers normally assigned to the office of the President in addition to those particularly specified in the by-laws. 
B. Vice-president shall have the powers and exercise duties of the President in case of the President’s absence, incapacity, or death. 
C. Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies, dues and financial records of the Club and receipt, therefore.  The Treasurer shall deposit all monies in a bank satisfactory to the Board, in the name of the Club.  The Treasurer’s books shall at all times be open to inspection of the Board and the Treasurer shall report to them at every meeting the condition of the Club’s finances and be accountable for every item or receipt of payment not before reported; and at the Annual meeting, the Treasurer shall render an account of all monies received and expended during the previous year.  
D. The Secretary shall keep written records of all meetings and will give written notice of such meetings as required. 

Section 4.03 Vacancies 
Any vacancies occurring on the Board during the year shall be filled for the remaining term of office by a majority vote of all the present members of the Board at its first regular meeting following the occurrence of the vacancy, or at a Special Board meeting called for that purpose; except that a vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled automatically by the Vice President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of the Vice

President shall be filled by the Board. 

Section 4.04 Term Limits 
Officers may be elected and serve for a term limit of 3 consecutive years.  Directors may be elected and serve for a limit of two consecutive 3-year terms. Officers shall be elected annually and may serve for no more than the term limit of 3 consecutive years.  Any individual serving consecutive years must still be nominated and elected to such position each year.

ARTICLE V FISCAL YEAR

Section 5.01 Club Year 
The Club’s fiscal year shall begin on the first day of January and end on the thirty-first of December.  The Club’s official year shall begin immediately at the conclusion of the election at the Annual meeting and shall continue through the election at the next Annual meeting. 

ARTICLE VI ANNUAL MEETING AND ELECTIONS

Section 6.01 Annual Meeting 
The Annual meeting shall be held in the month of December unless the Club agrees to postpone the meeting, in which case the Annual meeting must be held prior to/or in conjunction with the regularly scheduled February Club meeting. At the Annual meeting board members filling new terms shall be elected from among those nominated in accordance with Section 6.04 of this Article VI.  They shall take office immediately upon conclusion of the election and each retiring officer shall turn over to the successor all properties and records related to the office within thirty days after the election.  At the request of any one member a written ballot will be used. 

Section 6.02 Proxies and Absentee Balloting 
Proxy voting shall not be permitted in any Club meeting or election.  Absentee ballots will be extended to members in good standing who make a request in writing to the Board of Directors at the Board meeting scheduled prior to the Annual meeting where the vote will be taken.  The completed absentee ballot should be returned to the Secretary via postal service, email, or other commonly accepted communication using digital technology prior to the Annual meeting when the vote will be taken. 

Section 6.03 Elections 
The nominated candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected.  The four nominated candidates for other positions on the Board who receive the greatest number of votes for such positions shall be declared elected. 

Section 6.04 Nominations 
No person may be a candidate in a Club election who has not been nominated.  During the month of September, the Board shall select a Nominating Committee consisting of three members and one alternate with a quorum of three. The Secretary shall immediately notify the people of the committee and alternates of their selection.  The Board shall name a Chairperson for the committee and it shall be that person’s duty to call a committee meeting which shall be held on or before the club’s October monthly meeting.  No member of the nominating committee may be a candidate for nomination. 

  1. The standing Board of Directors will make recommendations to the Nominating Committee for officers of the Board for the next year. Officers may be selected from the general membership as well as from the standing Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee shall then nominate up to two (2) candidates for each office and one for each of the remaining board member seats with expiring terms of office.  These nominations shall be reported to the Secretary in writing, for reading at the next membership meeting. 
  2. The Chairperson shall notify each of the candidates so nominated. 
  3. Any person so nominated who refuses to be a candidate for the position to which he/she has been nominated shall notify the nominating Chairperson in writing within ten days of the date of the Chairperson’s letter of notification. 
  4. Additional nominations may be made at the November membership meeting by any member in attendance provided that the person so nominated does not decline when his/her name is proposed and provided.  If the proposed candidate is not in attendance at this meeting, the proposer shall present to the Secretary a written statement from the proposed candidate signifying the person’s willingness to be a candidate.  No person may be a candidate for more than one office, and the additional nominations that are provided for herein may be made only from those members who are not nominated by the Nominating Committee or who declined such nomination as provided.  However, no person who has declined the Committee’s nomination may be nominated at the November membership meeting for the same position. 
  5. Nominations cannot be made at the Annual meeting or in any other manner other than as provided in Section 6.04 of this Article VI. 
  6. After the November meeting, the Secretary will e-mail written notice at least ten days prior to the Annual meeting to all members informing them of the candidates for election. G. Following acceptance of the Nominating Committee’s report, the Committee will be dissolved. 

ARTICLE VII COMMITTEES

Section 7.01 Committees 
At its first or second meeting of each official year, the Board shall appoint the following standing committees: 

  1. Equipment Committee consisting of members who shall be in charge of keeping the equipment in safe, and operable condition, and to keep abreast of all changes within the sport of agility. 
  2. Events Committee shall consist of people who shall be responsible for the planning and performances of all matches, sanctioned events and exhibitions. 
  3. Training Committee shall consist of people who are responsible for providing training sites, scheduling training sessions, creating and enforcing rules of training, and general safety during these sessions. 
  4. Auditing Committee which shall consist of a minimum of two members, who beginning in November, shall examine and compare bank statements along with the year-to-date financial records of the Treasurer. A written report of findings shall be given to the Secretary for presentation to the Club at the Annual Meeting. Areas of concern shall be communicated immediately to the President. The Treasurer shall at all times cooperate with the Auditing Committee by providing full access to the Club’s records (both digital and hard copies) as well as answering questions. The Treasurer, although involved, is not a member of the Auditing Committee and must give the Committee its privacy and freedom to audit. When another individual is also an authorized signer on the Club’s account(s), that individual is also excluded from serving on the Auditing Committee. The Committee may find it prudent to consult with an accountant or financial professional. The Committee should review the prior year’s tax returns (state and federal), confirm that the Club remains a tax-exempt organization, and has completed all other necessary filings.
  5. Such committees as are considered necessary. 

ARTICLE VIII DISCIPLINE

Section 8.01 Agility Association Suspension 
Any member who is suspended from privileges of any club approved agility sanctioning organization shall automatically be suspended from privileges of this Club for a like period. 

Section 8.02 Charges 
Any member may bring charges against another member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the Club.  Written charges must be filed in duplicate with the Secretary, together with a deposit of ten dollars which shall be forfeited to the Club if such charges are not sustained.  The Secretary shall promptly notify the Board which shall meet and set a date of a Board hearing not less than three weeks nor more than six weeks thereafter.  The Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by certified mail and return receipt together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his/her own defense and bring witnesses if the person so wishes. 

Section 8.03 Board Hearing 
The Board shall have complete authority to decide whether both parties may have counsel to attend the hearing.  The Board shall hear all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant. If the Board deems the charges to have sufficient merit for further action, the Board shall by majority vote of those present, select one or more of the following options:  

  1. Mediation. The contending parties shall meet together to try to resolve the issue(s) with someone appointed by the Board to act as mediator.  If necessary, the Board may appropriate funds from the Club budget to cover mediation costs.  
  2. Warning. A Club member may be given a written Warning from the Board, but only for the first infraction. 
  3. Probation.  A Club member may be placed on Probation for a period of six months.  While on Probation, the member shall have all the rights and duties of his/her membership status, but with the limitation(s) that the Board has chosen from the following options:  
    1. Loss of club-voting status 
    2. Restriction from service as an officer, Board member, or CATS Instructor 
    3. Removal from all committees.  
  4. Suspension.  A Club member may be suspended from all privileges of the Club for not more than six months from the date of the hearing. 
  5. Expulsion.  If the Board deems the above actions to be insufficient, the Board may recommend Expulsion from the Club, according to the provisions of Article VIII, Section 8.04. 

Immediately after the Board has reached its decision, its finding shall be put in writing and filed with the Secretary.  The Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties by certified mail of the Board’s decision and penalty, if any. 

Section 8.04 Expulsion 
Expulsion of a member from the Club can only be accomplished at a meeting of the Club following a Board hearing and upon the Board’s recommendation of expulsion.  Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the Club to be held within sixty days but not earlier than thirty days after the Board’s recommendation of expulsion.  The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his/her own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting.  The President shall read the charges and the Board’s findings and invite the defendant, if present, to speak in his/her own behalf if desired.  The meeting shall then vote by written ballot on the proposed expulsion.  If expulsion is not so voted; the Board’s suspension shall stand. 

ARTICLE IX AMENDMENTS

Section 9.01 Amendments 
The by-laws may only be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present and voting at the Annual meeting.  Any proposed amendments must be presented to the Board prior to November 1.  The proposed amendments must be e-mailed to each member at least two weeks prior to the meeting date.  The proposed amendments will be included in the notice of the Annual meeting per Article VI Section 6.04F. 

ARTICLE X DISSOLUTION

Section 10.01   The Club may be dissolved at any time by written consent of not less than two-thirds of the members.  After payment of all debts of the Club, its property and assets shall be donated to other non-profit Club(s) or organization(s) as decided by the membership. 

ARTICLE XI ORDER OF BUSINESS

Section 11.01   Club Meetings 
At meetings of the Club, the order of business, so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows: 
Attendance record 
Reading of Membership Application(s) 
Minutes of the previous meeting 
Report of Board 
Report of President 
Report of Secretary 
Report of Treasurer 
Report of Committees 
Election of Officers and Board (at Annual meeting) 
Unfinished Business 
New Business 
Adjournment 

Section 11.02   Board Meetings 
At meetings of the Board, the order of business shall be as follows: 
Minutes of previous meeting 
Report of Secretary 
Report of Treasurer 
Report of Committees 
Unfinished Business 
New Business 
Election of new Board member(s) 
Adjournment