Taking Command

March 2010

From our Nation's Capitol
Congress is currently in session. 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 AKC. Here are the highlights.
News from the State Capitols
Forty legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in session. The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department is tracking almost 700 bills that carried over from 2009, plus almost 250 new pieces of legislation already introduced in 2010. For the latest information on the approximately 950 state and federal bills being tracked by the Government Relations 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.

View the highlights here.
Local Battles
In addition to state and federal legislation, the AKC Government Relations Department assists responsible dog owners with local dog ordinance proposals. 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 we are monitoring.
U.S. Senate Joins Congress in Unanimous Support for AKC!
The United States Senate adopted Senate Resolution 393 by a unanimous voice vote on February 24, 2010. This resolution, as well as its companion, House Concurrent Resolution 160, recognize the AKC's 125th anniversary and honor its continued commitment to responsible dog ownership.

Read the full press release.

If you have not yet thanked your Congressman for supporting HCR 160, click here and let them know you appreciate their support of the AKC and responsible dog owners and breeders!

AKC Government Relations Unveils Two New Awards for Canine Legislative Efforts
The AKC Government Relations Department is proud to announce two new awards for those who make exemplary efforts in the legislative arena in support of responsible dog owners. Read more.
Letters to the Editor –
Educate Your Community about Canine Legislation!

Many responsible fanciers and breeders are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of public understanding about canine legislation and dog breeding and ownership. While clubs and dog breeders will often communicate amongst themselves on these issues, they do not always take the initiative to talk with the general public.

Writing a letter to the editor of your local paper is a great way to reach your community and start educating them about canine legislation. A letter to the editor allows your neighbors and local lawmakers to directly hear from you a fellow neighbor, voter, dog expert, and member of the community about dog issues.

While it may seem a bit daunting at first, remembering a few simple steps can help you write an effective letter.

New from the GR Toolbox:
Show Your Neighbors How to Be Their Dog's Best Friend!

Canine legislation is often proposed as a response to some well-publicized deed or action by an irresponsible dog owner. As responsible fanciers and breeders, you are the gold standard regarding proper dog care and ownership. You have a wealth of information and expertise to help your neighbors be good dog owners. When you share your expertise, others come to recognize you as an expert and an asset to your community.

Be your dog's best friend and a good neighbor! is the newest tool in the AKC Government Relations toolbox to help you educate your community about responsible dog ownership. This colorful one-page handout provides 12 easy steps to help dog owners take excellent care of their animals and be respected members of the community. Distributing this handout provides a wonderful public service and demonstrates your commitment to responsible dog ownership and care!

This is a great handout to distribute to clients purchasing puppies and dog show spectators. It is also useful for Responsible Dog Ownership Days and club booths at community events. You may also wish to co-brand it and distribute it in conjunction with your local animal shelter, rescue, veterinary offices, or library.

For more information on how you can co-brand and distribute this handout in your community, contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

Help AKC fight anti-dog legislation
The AKC prides itself on our motto: We’re more than champion dogs. We’re the dog’s champion. We commit ourselves to being the dog’s champion through our many public education, research, and legislative efforts. The efforts of our state federations, dog clubs, and responsible breeders and dog owners play a major role in ensuring that our dogs and our rights as responsible owners and breeders are protected.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. On February 23, the United States Senate joined the United States House of Representatives in unanimously commemorating the AKC’s 125th anniversary, and honoring AKC’s continued dedication to the promotion and protection of responsible dog ownership throughout the United States.

We are honored by this recognition, and we realiize that much of our success in the legislative arena has been due to the tireless efforts of dog clubs and breeders, as well as key lawmakers who have the courage to take a public stand in support of sound, reasonable canine legislation and against legislation that would arbitrarily and needlessly restrict responsible breeders and owners. To recognize those efforts, the AKC has established two new awards to honor lawmakers and organizations who make exemplary contributions to promoting responsible dog ownership and the rights of responsible breeders and owners.

The “Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation” and the “James S. Holt Memorial Award for Promotion of Responsible Dog Ownership in Legislation” are named for the late AKC Government Relations Director and AKC Federal Government Relations Consultant, respectively. During their lifetimes, these gentlemen made significant contributions in support of positive canine legislation, and we are pleased to honor their memory and continue their efforts through these awards.

In this spirit, the AKC Government Relations Department continues to work to provide you with new tools to continue educating legislators and your community about responsible dog ownership and the important role it plays in canine policy. We continue to add items to our new Government Relations Toolbox, so be sure to check it often for the latest materials, including our new Be Your Dog’s Best Friend handout, which is highlighted in this issue.

As always, thank you for joining us in this fight to protect our dogs and our rights. Stay tuned to future issues of Taking Command and visit our web page often to get the latest updates on legislation in your area and tools to help you be a successful advocate!

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