November/December 2011
From our Nation's Capitol
The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Capitol Hill 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 measures we are currently tracking on the federal level.
News from the State Capitols
Six state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session. Two states are in special session, and eight states are accepting pre-filed bills for 2012. AKC GR has been tracking more than 1,100 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

Here are some highlights of the state bills AKC GR is currently tracking.

Local Issues
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 We will be happy to provide you with the resources, tools and support you need to help support and 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 makes a difference! Visit the 2011 Legislative Successes page to view some recent results of their good work.
Tales from the Trenches: Wisconsin Federation Hosts "Breed Showcase" as part of Legislative Day at State Capitol
One of the most proactive and effective ways to combat bad canine legislation is to educate lawmakers about responsible dog breeding, dog events, and dog ownership.

Recently, the Dog Federation of Wisconsin (DFOW) hosted a "breed showcase" event as part of their third annual legislative day at the state capitol. State legislators and their staff members met with responsible dog owners and breeders in a fun, relaxed atmosphere that allowed them to put a face with those who are directly impacted by canine legislation. Lawmakers were introduced to well-behaved dogs ranging from AKC Grand Champions to herding dogs from Wisconsin family farms.

Read more.
Westminster Getaway Drawing
Don't miss your opportunity to win a Westminster Getaway and support the AKC Canine Legislation Support Fund!

Win a Westminster Getaway and support a great cause!
Dog owners, hobbyists and breeders around the country face many of the same legislative and anti-breeder challenges. The mission of the AKC Government Relations department is to educate, inform and provide tools and resources for you to be successful in taking on legislative battles in your jurisdiction.

Last month I wrote about the importance of behind-the-scenes work as one type of strategy in achieving successful legislative outcomes. Effective legislative strategies, however, can be as broad and varied as legislation itself. A significant benefit of the network of AKC Federations, clubs, and AKC Legislative Liaisons comes from the opportunity for participants to learn from the experiences of each other.

In this issue of Taking Command, we introduce “Tales from the Trenches” – stories from or about our colleagues across the U.S. – and their experiences, ideas and lessons learned in their efforts to fight bad legislation and support responsible dog ownership and breeding.

This month, we highlight the Dog Federation of Wisconsin's recent Legislative Day at their state capitol in Madison. The federation combined the event with a "breed showcase" in which legislators got to meet a variety of dogs and breeds and their owners/breeders in person, right at the capitol. The fun event generated excitement and expanded positive outreach and attention for responsible breeders among state legislators, staff and local media. We hope their experience will inspire your own creative ideas and strategies for your next lobby day and public outreach event.

If your club, federation or dog owners group has a story to tell, let us know. We’d love to share your experiences with other readers.

All the best,

Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations
CORRECTION: In the September issue of Taking Command, it was incorrectly reported that AKC Community Achievement Award honoree Donald Stuart of the Rogue Valley Kennel club serves as an evaluator for Therapy Dogs International. Mr. Stuart is a tester/observer for Therapy Dogs Incorporated (TDInc.).
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