History : Beginnings of the PPCA In August 2001, the first Portuguese Podengo was shown at a dog show in the United States. This was a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Wire Coat imported from Portugal, Chicharro de Viamonte (Manny), who was presented at the American Rare Breed Association's New England Classic in Topsfield, Massachusetts.
Parent Club During the year 2002, more purebred Podengos came to the United States. In the fall of 2002, Marilyn Piurek (owner of Chicharro de Viamonte) developed articles of incorporation for an organization known as the Portuguese Podengo Club of America (PPCA) as the parent club for the breed in America. This application included a Mission Statement, Constitution, Bylaws, and related information. These documents were filed with the Secretary of the State of Rhode Island to achieve non-profit status by Founders Marilyn Piurek and Christopher L. Bergstrom, listed as initial incorporators. In January 2003, the PPCA was issued its papers as a registered non-profit organization in the State of Rhode Island. With this first key step of incorporation having been accomplished, the final papers were prepared and filed on January 15, 2003, PPCA as the parent breed club for the Portuguese Podengo, signed by Marilyn Piurek.
The Constitution of the PPCA, founded in January 2003, states: The purpose of the Portuguese Podengo Club of America is to encourage and promote quality in the breeding of purebred Podengos in accordance with the FCI standard and to support the development of local Podengo specialty clubs in those areas where there are sufficient fanciers of the breed. The PPCA will do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed and to encourage sportsman-like competition at dog shows...PPCA brings together Podengo lovers who share the common interest of raising, training, breeding and competing and are committed to stimulating interest in competitive public showings of Portuguese Podengos and furthering the interests of the Breed.
Charter Members The incorporating Bylaws of the PPCA state that "single members who joined the PPCA on or before July 1, 2003 shall be entitled to the designation "Charter Member." Charter Members and their first Podengos, including date of birth are as follows: Marilyn Piurek: Chicharro de Viamonte 1/16/01 Kip Bergstrom: Dieta de Viamonte 7/5/01 Susan Hunt: Gelado de Viamonte, 2/25/02 Bonnie Braun: Geleia de Viamonte, 2/25/02 Jim & Misa Glenn: Agriao, 3/7/02 Eve Dupertuis: Tilla de la Myosotis, 4/20/02 Robert & Dawn Phillips: Garcia Portobelo da Casa de Sao Domingos, 1/13/03 Eric Preputnick: Alpha of Bramblewood 1/18/03 Dawn Gardner & Patrick Reidy: Amerigo of Bramblewood 1/18/03
Podengo Firsts in America First purebred Podengo Pequeno Smooth Coat in America: Zara do Casal de Pauves, owned by Lucia Moura of New York and brought to the United States in 1995 First purebred Podengo Pequeno Wire Coat in America: Chicharro de Viamonte (Manny) brought to America in 2001 and owned by Marilyn Piurek and Kip Bergstrom First Portuguese Podengo to achieve Champion status in the USA: Chicharro de Viamonte (ARBA/2001 and Rarities/2003). He is also the first American Podengo to be exhibited abroad (Portugal/2003). These are statistics from just our first few years. Kudos to all of our Podengos and the good work they have done representing the breed so handily!
The PPCA is an independent club of people who love these healthy, happy hounds. We exist to protect and promote the breed. Our relationship with the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the Podengo's move to the AKC regular class has brought new and exciting opportunities to show our dogs more widely. PPCA members work for the breed with the UKC, ICKC, AKC and FCPR and FCI and others. We continue to attract new members who are likewise interested in the Podengo. PPCA hallmark programs continue to grow - breeder referral program, code of ethics, popular website, judge education, performance and conformation events, and annual National Specialty, continue to be the best in the USA. We hope you will continue to support the PPCA as it supports the Podengo by renewing your membership annually. Thank you for your support!
Below is a calendar of PPCA's National Specialties over the years, and some snapshots of the early years of the PPCA, when it was working with the rare clubs and working to get the Podengo listed with the AKC,