AKC's Taking Command
A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department
May 2009

News from the State Capitols
The U.S. Congress and 34 state legislatures are currently in session. Sixteen states have adjourned their regular sessions. Through the quarter ending March 31, the AKC Government Relations (GR) Department addressed approximately 750 state and local-level issues, a volume far exceeding that of any other first quarter in the department's history. To date, the Government Relations Department has tracked almost 800 state bills. Over 100 onerous breeder regulation/oversight bills have been introduced. Here are some of the highlights.

For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

Click here
for access to pending canine legislation, bill text, official legislative summaries, the latest legislative developments, the progress of specific bills, and AKC legislative alerts and messages.

The AKC is pleased to offer this service as a reference tool, but recognizes that numerous bills are being introduced nationwide. We still rely on local expertise to notify us of new legislation. If you hear of a bill we should add to the list, please contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

2009 Legislative Success
The AKC Government Relations Department is working hard with local federations, dog clubs, and concerned owners to protect the rights of responsible dog owners. Despite the many challenges we have seen so far this year, there have been a number of victories for owners, breeders, and fanciers at the state and local level. Read about the most recent successes since March 2009. To review the previous legislative successes, check out our previous issue of Taking Command.
Local Battles
Many local municipalities are also considering ordinances that will have a tremendous impact on dog owners and breeders.

The AKC is unable to track every single city and town in the country, so if you hear about an issue in your community, be sure to contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org. We have a number of resources available to help your efforts to protect your rights as a dog owner in your community. Here are some of the highlights so far in 2009.
42 States Pass AKC Canine Good Citizen® Resolutions
As a testament to the important role that training and responsible dog ownership play in ensuring that dogs are well behaved members of society, a growing list of states has passed American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good CitizenŽ (CGC) resolutions. AKC CGC is a 10-step certification program that rewards dogs with good manners at home and in the community. The resolutions signify an endorsement of the AKC CGC program at the state level. Read more.

AKC Canine Good Citizen
Crop/Dock Bans Threaten the Rights of All Dog Owners
Several state legislatures have introduced bills this year that would ban the practice of cropping and docking. This is a dangerous precedent that impacts ALL dog owners and breeders, regardless of the breed they own. Once such bill, New York Assembly Bill 7218 would even criminalize the exhibition of docked-tail dogs shown in New York, impacting thousands of out-of-state purebred exhibitors who strive to show their dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club and other New York shows each year. The AKC is working closely with fanciers and parent clubs to stop this dangerous precedent. Read more about the AKC's position on this issue and how it will affect you if your state decides to enact these bans.

Click here for this printable flier to distribute with information on how to help stop New York's proposed tail docking ban.

  Director's Letter The past several months have held an unprecedented level of legislative challenges for responsible dog owners and breeders. Likewise, the AKC Government Relations Department has been active throughout the country, assisting state federations and local clubs in fighting a variety of anti-dog initiatives. As a department, we are also tracking nearly 850 state and local measures.

Many of the bills we are seeing are strongly supported by Animal Rights groups and clearly appear to be a part of their national agenda to limit the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders. These bills are strikingly similar in language and content – most contain numerical limits on ownership, excessive regulation including strict one-size-fits-all engineering standards, mandates on breeding ages without regard to reproductive differences within breeds or the use of reproductive technology, and in many cases, provisions that would allow for warrantless searches of private property including breeders' homes.

To help in the fight against negative canine legislation, we're pleased to announce the addition of two new tools in the AKC Government Relations toolbox:

We are now providing you with legislative tracking information for all the state and federal canine legislation that we are currently tracking. To use this service, go to the AKC Government Relations web page and click on the large "AKC Government Relations 2009 Legislation Tracking" icon (also at left). This brings you to a clickable map of the United States where you can access, by state, pending canine legislation, bill text, official legislative summaries, the latest legislative developments, the progress of specific bills, and AKC legislative alerts and messages.

Another exciting new feature is the Two Ways to Protect Your Rights web pages, which explain why donations to the AKC Political Action Committee or the Canine Legislative Support Fund – even small ones – can make a huge difference in helping the AKC to fight the onslaught of anti-dog legislation we're encountering throughout the country. One hundred percent of all donations to these funds go directly to education or advocacy efforts, or in the case of the PAC, to helping support political candidates that respect dog owners' rights.

Thank you for joining our efforts to support the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders throughout the country. Please don't hesitate to contact us personally at 919-816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

All the best,

Sheila Goffe
Director of Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Fax: (919) 816-4275
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
Legislative Alerts
2009 Legislation Tracking