February 2006

Editor's Note

As most dog fanciers are aware, a Colored Bull Terrier named "Ch Rocky Top's Sundance Kid," a.k.a. "Rufus," took home the Best In Show trophy at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this year. Rufus is a seasoned show dog, having won several other top honors, including taking the Terrier group at the recent AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. The morning after his win, invitations were already pouring in for Rufus to appear on a host of tv shows and at various events. Ironically, however, Rufus is not welcome in many communities due to the fact that he is a Bull Terrier—a breed that is often mistakenly characterized as a “pit bull” and thus the target of breed-specific legislation.

Rufus is perfect example of why breed-stereotyping is an ineffective way to which dogs pose a danger to communities. This well-mannered canine would be prohibited or restricted in various cities, regardless of his good behavior. He is judged by his breed, rather than his deed. AKC is dedicated to fighting laws that unfairly punish dogs like Rufus and instead works for passage of well-enforced animal care and control laws that put responsibility for a dog’s behavior at the right end of the leash—with the owner. Please join us in our on-going efforts to educate elected officials and the general public about the inherent failures of breed-specific legislation.

Stephanie Lane

Effective Grassroots Campaigns
The American Kennel Club's Canine Legislation department has long understood that in a representative democracy, people can have an enormous impact on the legislative process. Many of our Legislative Liaisons and federation members have seen first hand that average citizens really can influence the way our elected officials vote. However, there are certain strategies that are more successful than others. To be truly effective, grassroots lobbying efforts must use effective targeting, convey a personal concern, and be presented in a timely manner.

Read the full article.

Around the Nation: Legislation That Affects You
ALABAMA -- S82 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. S82 is the companion measure to Rep. Ward's H27. The bills establish a procedure by which a dog can be declared dangerous, provide an appeal process and require that a dog found to be a significant threat to public health and safety be humanely euthanized. Owners of dangerous dogs may be fined up $300 for the first offense and $600 for a second offense. The dog is also required to be registered with the city or county for an unspecified fee.

See news from other states.

Surprising Statistics
A recent study by the American Kennel Club reveals that a large dog show can bring in up to $1,075,000 into the local community in a single weekend! AKC has long known that dog shows were a benefit to the local economy, and now our newly-revised brochure "Economic Benefits of AKC Dog Shows" will help us share this information with the fancy and local leaders.

Read the full article.

Stephanie Lane, Director
Sarah Sprouse, Program Administrator
Phone: 919-816-3720 | Fax: 919-816-4275 | Email: doglaw@akc.org

© 2006 The American Kennel Club