July 2010

From our Nation's Capitol
AKC Government Relations and AKC’s federal advocacy team in Washington, D.C., continue to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2010 Legislative Tracking Page and click on “US Fed” on the map to get the latest updates on all federal bills currently being monitored by the AKC. Check out the latest edition of AKC’s congressional newsletter In Session for interviews with congressional dog owners, policy analyses, and other articles that help us demonstrate to Congress our commitment to the promotion of responsible dog ownership.

Here are a few of the bills we’re tracking in Congress.

News from the State Capitols
The U.S. Congress, 12 state legislatures, and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session; California, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are in special session. Throughout 2010, AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) has tracked over 1,100 bills at all levels of government. For the latest information on the state and federal bills being tracked by the Government Relations (GR) Department, visit our 2010 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated daily, provides the latest bill text, status, and Legislative Alerts posted by the AKC.

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

Here are some highlights.

Local Battles
The AKC Government Relations Department continues to work with responsible dog owners to help with canine legislation issues in their local communities. If you hear of an issue in your town or county, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org. We will be happy to provide you with the resources, tools, and support you need to help fight for responsible dog ownership in your community.

Here are some examples of the local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR.

AKC Announces Community Achievement Award Recipients
The Belle-City Kennel Club of Belleville, IL, and the Lawrenceville Kennel Club, Inc. of Lawrenceville, GA, are recipients of AKC Community Achievement Awards for the second quarter of 2010.

The AKC Community Achievement Awards support and recognize outstanding public education and legislation efforts of AKC-affiliated clubs, AKC-recognized federations and individual members of AKC dog clubs. The AKC selects award recipients who promote purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership. Read more.
New from the GR Toolbox:
Establishing a Dog Park in Your Community

As more and more people enjoy outdoor activities with their dogs, many communities are choosing to establish a local dog park. If you are interested in starting one in your community, we can help! The AKC Government Relations Department has turned our former Establishing a Dog Park in Your Community booklet into a printable, 4-page document full of helpful tips and suggestions on how to establish a dog park, talking points to use when promoting the idea to local lawmakers, and suggestions on dog park design and general rules and regulations.

Establishing a Dog Park in your Community

This is one of many useful resources that can be found in the Government Relations Toolbox. The toolbox provides materials to help you educate yourself and others about canine legislation and effectively promote positive dog laws in your community. Be sure to check it regularly for updates.

Welcome to the July issue of Taking Command.

This issue looks at the important role that we as responsible dog owners and breeders can play in our community.

With many state legislatures winding down or already adjourned for the year, scores of legislators are returning to their districts and looking for ways to connect with constituents before the fall elections.

Now is a great time to invite your lawmakers to participate in community dog-related activities. Consider also inviting them to a kennel club meeting to meet their constituents and share views on responsible dog ownership. Take 15 minutes to drop by your legislator's local office and introduce yourself, or call their office and ask for a brief appointment.

Whenever you have a chance to meet with your representatives, tell them you are a responsible dog owner/breeder and tell them about the many other local kennel club members who are involved in the community.

For inspiration on ways you and your club can get more involved – and a reminder of things you may already do that should be shared with policymakers – look to the example of two outstanding community achievement award recipients who are highlighted in this issue.

If you are already heavily involved in community activities, consider applying for a Community Achievement Award of your own. Winners receive a certificate of appreciation and a check for $1,000 to support your club's ongoing community activities. The AKC will cover your award in various newsletters and publications and provide press releases to local media about your club's award and activities.

We encourage you to think of new ways you can promote responsible dog ownership and positive dog policy in your community. Consider dropping off some timely AKC public education materials such as our Canine Summer Safety Tips, Canine Travel Tips, or AKC Government Relations' Be Your Dog's Best Friend and a Good Neighbor flyers to your lawmakers' offices for them to distribute to the public. Likewise, consider taking copies of these handouts to local community centers, libraries, and animal shelters.

By helping your local leaders provide community service information with the AKC or your kennel club's logo, you are reinforcing the message that your club/group plays an important role in the community and should be consulted when issues of canine policy arise.

Finally, another great way to increase membership, socialize local dogs and improve community relations is to establish a dog park. We have created a newly revised version of Establishing a Dog Park in Your Community that you can download and share with fellow dog lovers and community leaders. This document and many other resources in our Government Relations Toolbox are designed to help you communicate with your lawmakers and neighbors about canine legislation and the importance of supporting responsible dog ownership.

Thank you for all you do.

All the best,
Sheila Goffe
Director of Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
Legislative Alerts
2010 Legislation Tracking

© 2010 American Kennel Club