EDUCATION     RESPONSIBILITY     EXCELLENCE

THE AMERICAN GERBIL SOCIETY INC.
18893 Lawrence 2100
Mt Vernon, Mo 65712
BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I:
NAME: The name of the organization shall be The American Gerbil Society, Inc., an
Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3) non profit/tax exempt organization, hereinafter
referred to as the AGS.
ARTICLE II:
MISSION STATEMENT
The AGS shall support and educate breeders, caregivers, exhibitors and other gerbil
enthusiasts and promote the humane treatment of gerbils and other rodents.
The AGS mission statement shall be achieved through the accomplishment of the
following goals. The AGS shall:
• Provide information on the humane keeping, breeding, and exhibiting of gerbils.
• Educate breeders and judges to adopt the highest standards of excellence.
• Work with other organizations to create, adopt, and maintain the standards by
which gerbils will be judged.
• Compile and maintain a breeder listing, member/kennel records, gerbil
registration records, and show records.
• Create and maintain an Internet resource to facilitate membership, gerbil
registration, and owner education.
• Work with state and federal officials and related organizations, including, but not
limited to, the SPCA and Humane Society, to assist in small animal rescue and
placement and increase their awareness of the need for laws to govern the humane
treatment of gerbils and other rodents.
• Work with other national and international organizations and societies towards
creating and promoting humane guidelines and laws governing the treatment of
gerbils and other rodents, including high standards of care for laboratory animals.
ARTICLE III:
PURPOSE:
The purpose of the AGS shall be to promote the responsible keeping,
breeding, and exhibiting of Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)
and other species of gerbils and jirds as they become available to North
American breeders and owners; to publish the definition of the true and
healthy types as the recognized and unvarying standards; and to adopt
these standards for varieties as they present themselves. The AGS will
support the exhibition and exhibition competition for the purpose of
advancing and promoting the interest in gerbils. The AGS will also work
to urge the adoption and maintenance of standards of excellence and
responsibility in keeping, breeding, showing and selling of gerbils.
Additionally, the AGS will promote education on the proper care and
breeding of gerbils and the understanding of gerbils generally.
The AGS will encourage responsible husbandry of gerbils and jirds,
including, but not limited to: acceptable breeding standards with regard to
record keeping, proper registration of breeding pairs, careful and
conscientious attention to selling/giving of surplus animals to reputable
and honest homes whenever possible, attention to local laws with regard to
gerbil keeping, appropriate standards of breeding to protect lines from
genetic defect, and providing gerbils with the complete nutrition, housing,
stimulus devices, and companionship they require.
ARTICLE IV:
Membership
Section 1. (a) Classes of Members:
The AGS shall have three classes of members. These are Full, Family and
Junior as outlined hereinafter. All members must be members in good
standing as described within these BY-LAWS and must abide by all AGS
rules and regulations also included in these BY-LAWS. The term
“member” when used hereinafter shall mean member in good standing
unless otherwise indicated.
Section 1. (b) Full Members:
Full members shall bear the responsibility for the direction and operations
of the AGS by their right to vote for Officers and Committee members, as
well as motions brought before them by the Executive Board
Section 1. (c) Family Membership:
A family membership consists of one full member and at least one other
family member (living in the same household). Each family membership
can consist of no more than two (2) voting members, over the age of
thirteen, and any number of non voting family members residing in the
same household. Family members may consist of the following: spouses,
significant others, unmarried children, or the parents of the full member.
At any time, a family member may choose to become a full member and
pay full dues.
A family membership shall cost one and one half (1 ½) times the full
membership dues in effect at the time of their application. Family
members will have access to the entire AGS web site and member
services.
Section 1. (d) Junior Members:
Junior membership shall be available to pre-teen aged individuals, that is,
individuals under the age of thirteen (13). Junior membership shall require the
written consent of at least one parent or guardian of the applying pre-teen. Such
parental/guardian consent shall be obtained solely by use of the “AGS Parental
Permission for Junior Membership Form.” Said form shall be amended by the
Executive Board from time to time as may be required by the then prevailing
circumstances. Completed forms shall be mail, as instructed on the form using
Postal Services.
Junior members shall pay one half (½) of the full membership dues in effect at the
time of their application. Junior members will have access to the entire AGS web
site and member services. Junior members shall not have voting privileges until
attaining the age of thirteen. After the members thirteenth (13th) birthday, and
upon his or her annual due date, he/she will become a full member, and shall pay
the full membership dues in effect at that time.
Section 2. Privileges of Members:
All members are entitled to use the Gerbil Registration Services, the AGS
Pedigree and receive a copy of the AGS newsletter and to participate in
and to attend all AGS sponsored events and functions. Full members and
full members only will have voting privileges.
Section 3. Suspension and Expulsion:
o Any member of the AGS found to be in violation of the standards or
rules of the AGS is subject to expulsion by the Executive Board.
Members believed to be in violation of the AGS standards shall be
subject to suspension until the Executive Board can review the facts
and circumstances.
o In any case in which the conduct of the member shall, in the opinion of
the Executive Board, be determined to be contrary to the objectives of
the AGS, the Executive Board will have the authority to suspend that
member’s privileges until a review can be made. A review shall be
conducted as soon as administratively feasible.
o A hearing will be held to review the facts in the case. Upon
completion the status of the member will be determined by a majority
vote of the Board. If the grounds are unfounded the member may be
returned to full membership. If the member is found in violation of the
AGS standards the Board may vote to suspend or expel the members
from the AGS, based on the severity of the charges.
o Members shall be permitted a summary of the review of the actions
which precipitated the action and the presentation of the evidence to
those actions.
o Members may file a written appeal of the Board’s decision by
notifying the Secretary/Treasurer by e-mail or Postal Service mail
within ten (10) business days of the Board’s decision. Such appeal
shall include a complete explanation of the reasons for believing that
the decision of the Board is unreasonable and insufficiently
substantiated.
o The President (or Vice President in the event of absence of the
President) shall have the authority to convene an Executive Board
meeting for the purpose of hearing or reviewing an appeal, or denying
the application for appeal. An application for appeal shall not
unreasonably be denied.
o Members on suspension may not vote or participate in any meeting,
show exhibition or competition, or Gerbil Registration Service.
o Members on expulsion status shall be denied all AGS privileges. If an
AGS registered breeder, the kennel name and number, as well as the
then existing gerbil registrations for such expelled member, shall be
revoked.
ARTICLE V:
DUES:
Each member’s dues shall be payable to the AGS on the anniversary of his
or her membership. Any member (s) whose dues are outstanding thirty
(30) days after their due date, shall be notified by e-mail or by postal mail
service that he/she shall be removed from the membership rolls and forfeit
all membership privileges unless dues are paid within thirty (30) days of
notification. Dues shall not be prorated for a membership/calendar year.
Any necessary change in dues schedule for any class of membership shall
be determined by a majority vote of the Board.
ARTICLE VI:
VOTING:
Voting privileges shall be reserved for full members only. Ratification of
any proposal, unless otherwise specified, shall be made by a majority vote
of the voting membership at the time ratification is being considered,
provided a quorum of eight (8) full members are present. Voting shall be
made by e-mail or Postal Service mail or any other medium approved by
the Executive Board prior to the motion for a vote.
ARTICLE VII:
Amendments to the BY-LAWS:
Amendments to these BY-LAWS shall be made in accordance with the
following procedures: any proposed amendment must be dated and
submitted to the AGS Executive Board after being endorsed by at least
ten (10) full members. The proposal must be submitted in writing to the
President for a substantive review, as well as clarification, grammatical,
and syntax review. After the substantive review, if accepted by the
Executive Board, and at the sole discretion of the Executive Board, the
proposed amendment shall be submitted to the membership for review and
discussion no less than thirty (30) days before it is to be voted upon. It
may be presented to the membership at a special Internet chat meeting,
through e-mail, or by Postal Service mail. Ratification of the amendment
shall be made by the affirmative majority vote of the voting membership
present at the Internet chat, or respondents.
If the Executive Board determines that the proposed amendment is not
substantive in nature or not in the best interest of the AGS, the proposed
amendment shall not be presented to the membership and shall be returned
to the parties who submitted such proposed amendment with a written
explanation outlining the reasons for declination.
ARTICLE VIII:
Section 1. (a) Governing Officers:
Governing officers of the AGS shall form the body of the Board. Such
governing officers shall include:
• President
• Vice President
• Secretary/Treasurer
• Up to Three Board Members
The Board shall hold meetings as deemed necessary by the President or
by motion made by any Board member and approved by the President.
Meetings shall be conducted by Internet chat, teleconferencing or any
other medium approved by a majority of the Board.
The President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer shall form the
Executive Board.
Section 1. (b) Trustees:
There shall be as many as five (5) AGS trustees. As Founders of the
American Gerbil Society, Inc., Janet Morrow and Donna Anastasi, form
the first Board of Trustees. A Trustees terms shall be for the earlier of
A) resignation or B) life.
Section 1. (c) Eligibility:
Eligibility for the Board of Trustees shall be to any member of the
Executive Board who has served for not less than five (5) years, at which
time their names will be added to a list of possible Trustees. The current
Trustees shall vote from time to time, as needed, for new Trustees. A
unanimous vote is required to add a new Trustee.
Section 1. (d) Role of the Trustees:
Trustees shall exercise supervisory control over the then existing Board.
If the Trustees agree, through a majority vote, that the AGS has become
compromised the Trustees shall have the authority to step in, dissolve the
board and assume the leadership.
Suggested amendments to these BY-LAWS must first be reviewed and
authorized by the Trustees before presented to the membership body for a
vote.
The Trustees will select a Spokesperson for the Trustees. The Trustees
shall deliberate on matters put before them by the AGS Board in a
manner decided upon by the Trustees. The Trustees shall always act in a
prudent manner given the facts and circumstances at the time that is
always in the best interest of the AGS and consistent with the spirit of
these BY-LAWS.
Section 1. (e) Removal & Impeachment of a Trustee:
All Trustees shall be AGS members in good standing. If a Trustee’s
AGS membership lapses, or he/she is inaccessible to the Board of
Trustees for one month without taking a Sabbatical; that Trustee shall be
considered to have resigned his/her position. In such a case, nothing shall
prevent the reinstatement of a former Trustee by a majority vote of the
Board of Trustees.
Any Trustee may be brought up on charges by any two full members in
writing and presented to the Trustee Spokesperson for review and
presentation and voted upon in such a manner as are amendment proposals
described herein. Should the Spokesperson be charged as prescribed, the
charges should be given to any other Trustee or an AGS Executive
Board member.
If deemed necessary he/she may then be removed with a majority vote of
the Trustees and Executive Board.
Section 2. Voting:
Any decisions made by the Board shall require a majority vote of the
Board members. The vote may be taken by any means, which is
acceptable to the members of the Board including proxy vote.
Section 3. Duties of the Board:
Section 3. (a) President:
The President shall preside over the meetings of the general membership
and those of the Board; call for general membership and Board votes;
approve projects/activities; make team assignments, oversee activities of
the Vice President and the Secretary/Treasurer; inform the general
membership via e-group of changes, progress and committee projects, and
Board projects.
Section 3. (b) Vice President:
The Vice President shall preside over Board meetings in the absence of
the President; and call for Board votes in his/her absence. The Vice
President will oversee the Ethics Committee, the Alternate and Intern
Programs, and other committee projects as assigned by the President. If
the President resigns, takes a Sabbatical, or is unable to serve out his/her
term the Vice President will assume the role of Acting President.
Section 3. (c) Secretary/Treasurer:
The Secretary/Treasurer shall preside over Board meetings in the absence
of the President and Vice President; call for Board votes in their absence;
maintain minutes and records of meetings and approved motions; maintain
current list and contact information of Board members and Alternates;
prepare annual reports for the AGS general membership; prepare any
necessary annual government filings which may be required. In preparing
such government filings, the Secretary/Treasurer at his/her sole discretion
may utilize the services of a reputable CPA or accountant on a fee for
services basis. Additionally, the Secretary/Treasurer shall collect dues and
deposit said dues, contributions, and any other remuneration payable to the
AGS; keep records of all AGS finances, transactions, and accruals of all
tangible assets of the AGS. The Secretary/Treasurer shall report these
transactions and records to the members and the Board on a regular basis.
The Secretary/Treasurer shall perform any other duties customary with
this office.
Section 3. (d) Three AGS Board Members:
The Board members shall be responsible, with the Executive Board, for the day
to day running of the AGS. They shall serve on committees and projects as
assigned by the Executive Board. Members of the Board shall maintain all
official AGS registrations and updates including, but not limited to: kennels,
breeders, members, gerbils, and show points; expand and maintain the AGS
website and ensure the “What’s New” section is current through regular updates.
ARTICLE IX:
ALTERNATE PROGRAM
The Alternate Program is designed to give new and inexperienced adult
members, over eighteen (18) years of age, a chance to participate in the
Board, while developing an in-depth understanding of the inner workings
of the AGS. Alternates will work with the Board, assisting with projects
and research, have a voice on the Board discussions, but no vote.
ARTICLE X:
INTERN PROGRAM
The Intern Program is designed to provide young members with an
opportunity to participate on the Board. Interns will: work with the
Board, assist with projects and research; be assigned a Board member as
a mentor; have a voice in Board discussions, but no vote. Interns must be
a Junior or Family member between the ages of thirteen (13) and eighteen
(18) and secure parental or guardian permission to serve as interns.
Interns shall adhere to all the rules and regulations governing the Board.
ARTICLE XI:
ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND TERMS OF OFFICE:
The term of office for each of the Board officers shall be for three (3)
years. The officers may succeed themselves if so elected. Elections shall
be held in November for the next term of office. The new officers assume
office on January 1 of the year for which they were elected.
Section 1. Eligibility:
Eligibility for the Board shall be opened to full members that are/have
serving as Alternates. Eligibility for the Executive Board shall be open
to full members that are/have served as Board members. Board members
appointed to fill vacancies on the Board may be accepted from these
eligibility requirements.
Section 2. Nominations:
All nominations shall be opened in September and shall close in October.
Voting for officers will be held in November.
Section 3. Voting:
The voting shall be conducted as outlined in Article VI.
ARTICLE XII:
SABBATICAL/LEAVE OF ABSENCE:
Absences of three or less days by Board members do not require Board
notification. A notice to the Board is required for an absence of more than
three days. Sabbatical, for duration of one to two (1-2) months, can be
requested by a Board member needing to be temporarily relieved of
his/her responsibilities. A Board member may take no more than four (4)
months of sabbatical per calendar year. If a Board member requires more
than four (4) months sabbatical without sufficient cause and explanation
having been presented to the other Board members, said Board member
shall be considered as having resigned his/her position. In such a case,
nothing shall prevent the reinstatement of a former Board member by a
majority vote of the Board.
ARTICLE XIII:
VACANCIES
If vacancies exist on the Executive Board, such vacancies may be filled
by the remaining Board members by a majority vote. Any member so
elected to the Executive Board shall serve out the remaining term of the
Board member he/she replaced.
The Board may, when necessary appoint any full members to fill any
Board Vacancies by a majority vote. Any member appointed to the
Board shall serve out the remaining term of the Board member he/she
replaced.
ARTICLE XIV:
IMPEACHMENT:
Any Board member may be brought up on charges by any two full
members in writing and presented to the Secretary/Treasurer for review
and presentation and voted upon in such a manner as are amendment
proposals described herein. Should the Secretary/Treasurer be charged as
prescribed, the charges should be given to any other officer as agreed to by
the Board.
ARTICLE XV:
GENERAL MEETINGS:
A general meeting of all members in good standing will be held at least
once annually at a time and date determined by a majority vote of the
Board. Members will be notified of meeting dates, times and agendas by
e-mail or any other method practical at least thirty (30) days before the
meeting. Such meetings shall be held by Internet chat or any other
medium proposed by the Board and approved by a majority vote of the
voting membership body. Eight (8) members may form a quorum.
Motions by members must be made in advance of any membership
meeting by notifying the Secretary/Treasurer in writing of the motion at
the AGS business address noted earlier in these BY-LAWS. Notification
must be received at least twenty (20) days before the membership
meeting.
ARTICLE XVI:
DISSOLUTION
In the event of dissolution, all the remaining assets and property of the
AGS shall after necessary expenses thereof be distributed to another
organization exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue
Code of 1954, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax
laws, or to the Federal government, or state or local government for a
public purpose upon approval of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the
State of Missouri.