Dr. Kammi Kai Hefner has been involved with breeding, raising, training, showing, and managing pure-bred dogs (American Foxhounds, Bedlington Terriers, Chinese Shar-Pei, Dachshunds, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, and Shih-Tzu) since early childhood. She often jokes that she was actually “born in a whelping box!” Her dedication and commitment to the Dog Fancy began when she was 6 years old and I witnessed the first breeding and whelping of a litter of her mom’s Dachshunds. Officially she began my career at the tender whelp of thirteen, when she showed Miniature Schnauzers in the breed ring, competed in Junior Showmanship with Car-Lee’s Love With Gusto RA10280, and completed her first Companion Dog (CD) title in October 1975 on Hefner’s Blue Jean Britches, CD RA115692.
Dr. Hefner acquired her first Chinese Shar-Pei in 1984, Chou-Dee’ who was bred only once and who lived 16½ wonderful years. One pup from this litter, Ada, was bred twice and place 4th at the 1996 CSPCA National Specialty in Tulsa, OK out of the Veterans class. Six months later Ada passed from complications of amyloidosis. Over these 16 years she finished several dogs while the breed was only recognized in the Miscellaneous Group. Having been born and raised on AKC principles, OFA and health screening tests, she was forced to end her Shar-Pei breeding program due to the lack of tests for eliminating amyloidosis. However, the Shar-Pei remains dear to her heart.
Dr. Hefner has continued to be involved with dog-related activities via Kushinda Rhodesian Ridgebacks (founded by Kimma B. Hefner). Dr. Hefner helped whelped the first Ridgeback she acquired in 1989. She bred her first litter, Champion, and Dual Champion in 1993. She is recognized for establishing a renowned Lure Coursing kennel known throughout the country for producing the fully functional Ridgeback. Kushinda is complete with having earned more than 250 AKC Titles. She recognized as an Owner/Breeder/Handler showing to Conformation Championships from the Bred-by-Exhibitor class! One of her most recent accomplishments was 2014 when she finished two DUAL CHAMPIONS, Mr. Edmund and LiZeTTe! Kushinda also recorded its 50th CHIC Ridgeback in 2019!
Dr. Hefner began conformation judging in 1996, bringing a fresh combination of identifying function in the show dog while maintaining the highest regard for conforming to the Ridgeback standard. She is now licensed via the AKC to judge Ridgebacks, 16 other Hound Breeds, eight Working Breeds, Golden Retrievers, Bedlington Terriers, Chinese Shar-Pei and All-Breed Juniors. Currently, she is in the process of applying for additional breeds in the Hound and Working Groups.
Dr. Hefner, as President of CBARRC, and 15-year member, accepts this honor with the humbled anticipation of leading its membership into 2020 with renewed direction for collaborating resources to support all Ridgeback enthusiasts through organized activities in accordance with Section 2 of the Constitution and By-Laws. Her primary focus is to raise funds to support Ridgeback Rescue via Lure Coursing and CAT events. As a professional educator herself, she will be on promoting educational activities for the general public, breeders, and other rescue organizations and humane societies. Special attention will be brought forth to continue CBARRC activities during the Pandemic.