October 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
Eight state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session. Six states are in special session, four states have special sessions forthcoming, and three 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 doglaw@akc.org.

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

Local Issues
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.
AKC in the Community
ACE Honoree Tugg
Two important elements of the American Kennel Club's mission are to advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion and advance canine health and well-being.

In keeping with this mission, last month AKC announced the five purebred dogs to be honored with 2011 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). In the coming months, these remarkable dogs will be recognized at national and local events that highlight the value of purebred dogs in our communities.

And for the 20th year, the AKC Scholarship Program for Veterinary Medicine has invested in the health and well-being of all dogs by awarding $16,000 in scholarships to six aspiring veterinarians.

Read more.
AKC Announces Third Quarter Community Achievement Award Honorees
The American Kennel Club recently announced that Barbara Wicklund of the Berkshire Valley Basset Hound Club and Donna Herzig of the Louisville Kennel Club have been honored with Community Achievement Awards for the third quarter of 2011.

The AKC Community Achievement Awards support and recognize outstanding public education and legislation efforts of AKC-affiliated clubs, AKC-recognized federations and their members. 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 to the GR Toolbox: Breed-Specific Legislation Sample Letters
Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) continues to be a prominent issue in canine legislation. To assist you in communicating on this issue, AKC GR has created a sample letter for lawmakers and a series of sample letters to the editor that you can personalize.

Sample letters addressing BSL and other legislative issues can be found in the AKC Government Relations Toolbox. You can view all sample letters available by clicking on the “View all resources” link (scroll to the bottom of the page). View letters for a specific topic by clicking on the “View resources by policy issue” link.

Please continue to check the AKC GR Toolbox often, as new resources are added regularly.
Donate Today for Your Chance to Win
Win a Westminster Getaway and support a great cause!
Click here for a ticket order form and drawing rules. For more information, please contact the AKC Government Relations department at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720.
A good breeder studies the pedigrees and attributes of generations of dogs before ever making a breeding decision. Such dedication is not immediately apparent the day a litter of puppies is born. But all that unseen work pays enormous dividends down the road when the puppies turn into beautiful adults with correct temperament and structure.

Successful legislative advocacy is similar. Attention to detail and effort that is not immediately noticed can pay off in big dividends later. Likewise, while the vast majority of legislation that you hear about in this newsletter takes place at the state level, the American Kennel Club does a lot more than meets the eye.

One example is federal legislation. The AKC works with a top lobbying firm in Washington D.C., and continually monitors federal legislation that could damage the future of responsible, small-scale, home-based breeding programs. Much of this work is accomplished by keeping a watchful eye on congressional activity, maintaining relationships with congressional offices, and by educating decision-makers and their constituents on a day-to-day basis.

Quite often, AKC Government Relations' most successful efforts are those that you do not hear about: the bills that never get introduced or never move forward. These successes stem from strong relationship building, credibility and involvement in the legislative process. It's not flashy, it's done outside the spotlight, but the hard work and credibility pays off.

In this issue of Taking Command we celebrate a number of people and projects whose hard work and actions have generated big results. Our third quarter Community Achievement Award winners have taken these messages to heart, working hard, often outside the spotlight, and achieving great things for their communities.

We encourage you to participate in supporting this kind of important work by contributing to the Canine Legislation Support Fund (CLSF). Currently, as a special promotion, a $25 donation to the AKC CLSF gives you a ticket for a drawing (you can get 5 tickets for $100) to win a Westminster Getaway, including three nights hotel in New York, tickets to Westminster, tickets to great events, and even a catalog and commemorative poster. The drawing is limited to 1,000 tickets and will take place on December 20, 2011. Click here for drawing details.

Thank you again for all you do to support responsible dog ownership.

All the best,

Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
Legislative Alerts
2011 Legislation Tracking
GR Toolbox

© 2011 American Kennel Club