April Dunford


 Born 3/27/1954 in Wilmington, Ohio - Died 3/11/2016 Pinellas Park, FL

April moved to Florida when she was an infant. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy high school in St. Petersburg, FL. She then attended Tomlinson Adult Business School in St. Petersburg and studied accounting and bookkeeping.

April met Ken Dunford when she was 17 yrs old. Ken worked part time at a local gas station (full service back then). April and her friend would stop at the gas station on their way home from school. One day he looked up her phone number and called her for a first date. He said he knew he was in trouble when she had to ask her mom if she could go out with him. She was 17 and he was 22. They were married the next year.

April got her first Sheltie in 1989. She named him Bandit, because he had stolen her heart. One day April and Bandit went to watch a local dog show exhibition -- the rest is history! She was hooked on obedience and especially on Shelties. April began by showing Bandit and latter Smokey in obedience. She put Utility titles on Smokey & Bandit along with several agility titles. She put a MACH 3 title on Cooper (Summerloves Coop De Ville).

April became involved in sheltie rescue in the mid 1990's and started Suncoast Sheltie Rescue. Over the years she rescued and found homes for over 100 shelties. She loved to keep in touch with their new owners, offering training advice and grooming advice and advice on almost anything they might think of to ask her.

April soon became interested in showing in conformation. In 1996 April talked Lorrie Reed of Summerlove Shelties into placing Dillon (Summerloves The Marshall) with her in a co-ownership. Dillon was April's first conformation show dog. He earned his first point in 1998 with April owner-handling him at the West Volusia KC show. Soon after, April joined Lorrie in Summerlove Shelties and that was the beginning of a wonderful partnership and career in showing and finishing many conformation titles as well as performance titles on Summerlove shelties. April was very proud of the fact that she owner-handled many Summerlove dogs to their ASSA Versatility titles.

April was especially proud of Summerloves Zak Attack (co-owned with R. VonPusch). April showed him to his championship title and then he went on to became the first Summerlove dog to earn 300 best of breed wins, award of merit at the Westminster KC Show and several best in show wins (handled by L. Guihen & K. Dziegiel).

April loved all of her shelties, but her "heart" dog was Fonzie (Sunburst One Cool Dude, co-owned with the Alderman's). Fonzie was a grandson of a Summerlove dog that had been placed with Sharon Crawford (Sunburst Shelties) several years earlier. April loved showing Fonzie and owner handled him to multiple group wins and best in show wins. When April could no longer show Fonzie, she entrusted her friends (D. Miles, G. Grosso, J. Erickson, A. Hoover) to finish what she had started and to put agility titles, rally titles and a herding title on Fonzie. It was always April's dream to get the ASSA Versatility Ex title for Fonzie.

April was a life member of the Dog Training Club of St. Petersburg where she served as instructor, training director, treasurer and Board Member for many years. She was also a member of the Tampa Bay Area Shetland Sheepdog Club where she spent many years as the club treasurer. She was a member of the St. Petersburg Dog Fanciers Association, and the American Shetland Sheepdog Association. She will be missed by all those who knew her.

April and her 1st Sheltie "Bandit" 


Cooper & April - 1st MACH


Dillon & April - 1st Champion
and 1st ASSA Versatility Ex + CH

Zak & April - 1st Group 1

Fonzie & April - 1st Best In Show



Fonzie & April - 100 Best of Breed Wins


April and her Best Buddy - Fonzie 


Our Boys | Our Girls | Family Friends | News | Puppies | Rescues | Favorite Links