June 2011

From our Nation's Capitol
The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2011 Legislative Tracking page and click on “US Fed” on the map to get the latest updates on federal bills currently being monitored by the AKC.

Here are some highlights of bills we are currently tracking on Capitol Hill.
News from the State Capitols
Sixteen state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session. Four states are in special session and two states have special sessions forthcoming. AKC GR is tracking more than 1,000 state bills thus far in 2011. For the latest information on state and federal bills being tracked by AKC GR, visit the 2011 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated each weekday, 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 of the bills we are currently tracking.

Local Battles
The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) assists dog owners with canine legislation issues in their local communities, but we can't help unless we are aware of the proposal! If you hear of an issue in your city or county, please 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 defend responsible dog ownership in your community.

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

Legislative Successes
The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to partner with state federations, dog clubs and concerned owners to protect the rights of dog owners. The tireless response of responsible breeders, owners and fanciers across the country truly make a difference! Visit the 2011 Legislative Successes page to view some recent results of their good work.
A Message for Members of AKC-Affiliated Clubs
Please click here if you are a member of an AKC Member, Licensed or Sanctioned club.
New to the GR Toolbox: Why Breed Specific Legislation Doesn't Work Educational Presentation
RottweilerThe AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to present the second in a series of online PowerPoint presentations that discuss important issues in canine legislation. These informative presentations, narrated by AKC GR staff, can be downloaded or played directly from the AKC website at club meetings and educational events. New this month is:

Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn’t WorkThis presentation provides an overview of breed-specific legislation, the inherent problems with these laws, and specific anecdotes of cases where it has proved ineffective. It also mentions allies in the fight against BSL and provides positive alternative solutions for communities dealing with dangerous dog issues.

Please note that presentations will take a few seconds to a few minutes to download, depending on your connection speed. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to view and to download the presentations.

Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn't WorkAKC clubs and federations are invited to use this and future presentations to educate members and guests about current legislation and how to work together to protect the rights of responsible dog owners.

To access this downloadable presentation, go to the AKC Government Relations website and click Presentations in the left panel or visit the AKC Government Relations Toolbox. Be sure to check the toolbox often, as new resources are added regularly.

The past five months have been busy ones for the Government Relations Department, and the summer is shaping up to be equally busy.

I would like to take a moment to congratulate the numerous AKC federations, clubs, and breeders across the country that have succeeded in defeating or amending legislation in their states that would have negatively impacted responsible dog owners. To learn more about some of the legislative successes so far this year, please visit the AKC Government Relations web page.

Although many legislatures have adjourned, there are still many state and local legislative issues pending across the United States. I encourage you to review them to see how you can help, and also to get a feel for the broad range of issues facing responsible dog owners and breeders around the country. The legislation that your neighboring city or county is considering today may be a glimpse of what you are likely to see in the future.

Legislators tend to be most attuned to local issues when they are in their district offices, so this is a great time to schedule a brief meeting with them or to invite them to an upcoming club event or dog show. These kinds of events are a great way for lawmakers to get to know you and your club, and to let them know that you – and responsible breeders generally – are the true experts when it comes to dogs and dog issues in the community.

For the third year in a row, breed-specific legislation is proving to be the most common legislative issue that AKC GR is tracking. Numerous bills have been introduced and considered this year at both the state and local levels.

This month, we are pleased to launch the second in our series of online narrated educational PowerPoint presentations. Our latest feature – Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn't Work – provides an overview of the problems associated with breed specific legislation and recommends positive alternatives for addressing the problem of dangerous dogs.

We hope you will take a few minutes to review this presentation and consider using this and our other presentations as low-cost educational programs for your club. This program is just one of the many resources available online in the AKC GR Toolbox that will help you to reach out to lawmakers, fellow dog owners and exhibitors, and the general public about breed-specific legislation and other canine legislation issues.

Finally, please remember that even if your state legislature has adjourned, local councils are still meeting and may be introducing new legislation. Don't forget to pay attention to local media and public notices, and if you see an issue in your area, be sure to contact us! The AKC Government Relations team provides a variety of services to help you take a stand. You may contact us by phone at (919) 816-3720 or e-mail at doglaw@akc.org.

Thank you for all you do to help us protect and promote responsible dog ownership and breeding. We look forward to continuing to work with you.

All the best,
Sheila Goffe
Director of Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
Legislative Alerts
2011 Legislation Tracking
GR Toolbox
Two Ways to Protect your Rights

© 2011 American Kennel Club