December 2004

The Year in Review: 2004
CALIFORNIA - In August, fanciers across the country celebrated the removal of the amendment banning ear-cropping from SB1548, a bill pertaining to veterinary medicine. The bill would have made it a misdemeanor to crop a dog's ears unless the procedure was performed as treatment due to injury or disease. AKC and fanciers across the country worked tirelessly throughout the summer to oppose the ban.

Read the full article.

Canine Legislation: By the Numbers
In 2004, the Canine Legislation department provided support to thousands of fanciers, Legislative Liaisons, federation members and concerned dog owners on a variety of local, state and federal issues. The department:

---Answered approximately 3,200 email inquires to
---Posted over 60 legislative alerts to AKC's Web site
---Launched the electronic version of Taking Command
---Released the new brochure, Preserve Your Rights as a Dog Owner: Be Your Dog's Owners, Not Its Guardian
---Hosted our second annual Lobby Day in Washington, DC
---Networked with over 10,000 legislators at the National Conference of State Legislators and National League of Cities Conference
---Cosponsored "Pet Night" on Capitol Hill for Members of Congress
---Hosted and/or participated in several legislative workshops across the country

Read the full article.

ARKANSAS - In November, the North Little Rock City Council approved a breed-specific dangerous dog ordinance that bans new "pit bulls," Staffordshire Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and American Bull Dogs from the city. The measure further requires current owners of these breeds to register their dogs with the city and obtain $100,000 in liability insurance. The Canine Legislation department worked with concerned dog owners to oppose the ordinance. For more information, contact Kim Grandison.

Read news from other states.

Season's Giving
As we enter the holiday season, many dog owners choose to give to charities that benefit the animals we love. The AKC commends this decision but advises you to carefully select organizations that best serve your desired ends.

There is a difference between animal welfare organizations and animal rights organizations. Animal welfare involves providing a dog with love and proper responsible care for its entire life. Animal rights include extreme views that disapprove of and seek to eliminate companion animal ownership.

The AKC supports and encourages the best premises of animal welfare. Before making charitable donations to animal-related causes, the AKC urges you to thoroughly investigate, understand, and approve of the programs or ideals your donation will support. Ask for a written summary of the organization's goals or mission. Request and review a recent annual report. Will your funds go directly to help animals or will they be used for administrative costs? Don't be afraid to ask detailed questions about how your donation will be used, or to discontinue donations if you are not fully satisfied with the charity's work.

You may consider donating to worthwhile causes such as your breed's parent club rescue organization, an AKC-recognized federation, a local animal shelter, the AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund, AKC Museum of the Dog, Take the Lead, The Dog Fanciers' Fund, Inc., or the National Animal Interest Alliance, to name a few.

This month's issue brings you our traditional year-end report highlighting the most noteworthy initiatives addressed by AKC and the purebred dog fancy in 2004. I'm pleased to report that thanks to your help, we were able to maintain an impressive success rate once again this year. However, the staggering number of bills we had our eye on is indicative of the growing attention legislators are giving to animal care and control issues. In my six years with the AKC, I have watched that number rise every year, which means we will likely be very busy in 2005. If you haven't already started preparing for the next legislative session, now is the time to do so!

As 2004 draws to a close, the Canine Legislation department would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to all of you working on the front lines on behalf of dog owners across the country. To our federations, Legislative Liaisons and other concerned advocates, thank you for your ongoing efforts.

Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season!

Stephanie P. Lane
Stephanie Lane, Director
Kortni Campbell, Program Administrator
Phone: 919-816-3720 | Fax: 919-816-4275 | Email:

© The American Kennel Club 2004
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