December 2005

Editor's Note
At this time each year, the Canine Legislation department traditionally looks back on legislative highs and lows. December is a time to reflect on the past year because we can all learn a great deal from both successes and failures. It is also a time to think about the year ahead-one of new beginnings and, assuredly, challenges. The purebred dog community has tackled a host of issues this year, most with great success. We know however that since most states and Congress have sessions that carry over into 2006, we must, as advocates for purebred dogs, be ever-vigilant and ever-prepared. More importantly, we must continue to work together to increase our voice in government if we are to preserve our right to own, breed and enjoy our dogs.

The Canine Legislation department's success relies heavily on dog owners to carry our legislative message directly to their elected officials. Our Legislative Liaisons, dog clubs and federations, and thousands of concerned dog owners led many heartfelt grassroots efforts in 2005, and for that we thank you. We could not effectively impact legislation were it not for your countless hours of hard work. May you spend a peaceful and relaxing holiday season with your favorite canine companions.

Stephanie Lane

AKC Chairman Testifies Before Senate on PAWS
New Bill Language Would Exempt Qualified Breeders
Sen. Rick Santorum, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Research, Nutrition and General Legislation, listened attentively as AKC Chairman Ronald Menaker and six other witnesses testified in support of the newly-modified Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) on November 8th. The revised bill will now include an exemption for breeders who sell dogs or cats only at retail and are in compliance with kennel inspection standards certified by the Secretary of Agriculture. Dealers will also have the option of a third-party compliance inspection. Read more.

Representative David Lewis Honored for CGC Work
The American Kennel Club welcomed Representative David Lewis to its operations center in Raleigh on Tuesday, November 22nd. Rep. Lewis, who represents Harnett County in the North Carolina General Assembly, was instrumental in getting a Canine Good Citizen Proclamation passed in the Tar Heel state this year. The proclamation officially recognizes the AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program as one that promotes responsible dog ownership and good manners in dogs. AKC employee Sharon Wilson, who is a constituent of Rep. Lewis, spearheaded efforts to have the proclamation introduced. Read more.

Around the Nation: Legislation That Affects You
ARIZONA – The Phoenix City Council’s Public Safety Committee has voted to decriminalize incessant barking. Under the new proposal, the first offense would be a civil violation, with a minimum fine of $150. Second and subsequent violations will remain criminal offenses.

See news from other states.

Year in Review: Legislative Highlights from 2005
CALIFORNIA -AB418, a bill to ban ear cropping, remains in the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, a notorious graveyard for contentious bills. Hard-working fanciers mounted a massive opposition effort to defeat this bill, with support from AKC. There is a chance the bill could be released from the Suspense File next year, so fanciers should continue to monitor this issue closely in 2006. Read more.

AKC's Canine Legislation Department-Fast Facts From 2005
Thousands of fanciers, Legislative Liaisons, federation members and responsible dog owners across the country benefited from the AKC Canine Legislation department's efforts in 2005. In the past year, the department:
  • Responded to a record-setting 4,000 email inquires to
  • Posted over 60 legislative alerts to AKC's Web site.
And much more!

Stephanie Lane, Director
Sarah Sprouse, Program Administrator
Phone: 919-816-3720 | Fax: 919-816-4275 | Email:

© The American Kennel Club 2005