September 2011
From our Nation's Capitol
Congress returned to session following its August recess, but are adjourned until September 29. 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
Nine state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session. Three states are in special session, five states have special sessions forthcoming, and 2012 bills have been pre-filed in three states. 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 we are 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 defend responsible dog ownership in your community.

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

Dr. Al Stinson and the Michigan Association for Pure Bred Dogs Honored with Bebout Award
The American Kennel Club is proud to announce that Al W. Stinson, DVM, and the Michigan Association for Pure Bred Dogs are the Second Quarter 2011 recipient of the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.

Read more.
AKC Announces Community Achievement Award Honorees
The American Kennel Club recently announced that the Miniature Schnauzer Club of Northern California and Donald C. Stuart of the Rogue Valley Kennel Club have been honored with Community Achievement Awards for the second quarter of 2011 for their educational outreach and work on behalf of purebred dogs.

Read more.

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.
Summer/Fall Issue of In Session Congressional Newsletter Now Available
AKC's In SessionThe Summer/Fall 2011 issue of AKC's Congressional newsletter In Session is now available. In Session is delivered to members of the U.S. Congress and also is available for you to view online. This issue of In Session features California Congressman Dennis Cardoza and his Jack Russell Terrier, "Rusty."

This issue also highlights recent assistance provided to U.S. disaster victims by AKC and AKC-CAR, introduces three new AKC breeds, and gives an overview of some of AKC's many public education events, including Responsible Dog Ownership Days and Meet the Breeds.

We encourage you to consider printing this newsletter and personally sharing it with your lawmakers. You can access past issues of the state and federal versions of In Session by clicking here.

A New Look for the GR Toolbox
The AKC Government Relations Toolbox has a new look! Are you dealing with a specific issue, such as a proposed dog ownership limit or mandatory spay/neuter law? Are you working to repeal a breed ban or other anti-dog legislation? For your convenience, the GR Toolbox now offers resources sorted by policy issue. Click here to access this new index of issue-specific materials. Topics include:
  • Breed-Specific Legislation/Dangerous Dogs
  • Breeder Regulation
  • Consumer Protection/"Puppy Lemon Laws"
  • Debarking
  • Dog Parks
  • Ear Cropping/Tail Docking/Dewclaw Removal
  • Guardianship
  • Limit Laws
  • Mandatory Spay/Neuter
You can also view the full range of resources available in the GR Toolbox. In addition to policy-related documents, available materials include educational handouts, flyers, narrated presentations, "how to" information, economic impact figures, and many other tools to use when advocating for responsible dog ownership or opposing oppressive legislation.

And in response to your requests, sample letters are now provided in multiple formats, including text files. Be sure to check the AKC GR Toolbox often, as new resources are added regularly.
AKC clubs are more than social or sporting groups; they’re organizations of dog lovers who work together to improve their communities, teach about responsible dog ownership and breed stewardship, provide expert advice to community leaders on issues that involve dogs, and help each other out in times of need.

In this issue, we highlight clubs and individuals that have taken these principles to heart. And to assist with educational efforts in your own community, we’ve provided a new topical index of AKC Government Relations resources.

The Michigan Association for Purebred Dogs under the leadership of Dr. Al. Stinson, DVM, has been named recipient of the second quarter Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation for their years of successful legislative work throughout Michigan. Click here to learn more.

Second quarter recipients of AKC’s Community Achievement Awards, the Miniature Schnauzer Club of Northern California and Don Stuart of the Rogue Valley Kennel Club, also demonstrate this community ethic. Click here to read about their successful initiatives.

Has a club or someone you know gone above and beyond the call of duty to benefit their community? Click here to learn more about AKC awards that honor these good works and provide a cash award to help defray the organization’s expenses for providing exceptional community outreach.

In the past year, dog owners in many parts of the country have been impacted by a variety of deadly natural disasters including tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and record-setting heat and drought. Many AKC clubs and AKC Companion Animal Recovery have provided assistance and financial support to aid displaced dogs. We highlight some of these efforts in the latest issue of AKC’s Congressional newsletter, In Session.

The AKC GR Toolbox is a one-stop shop for resources to assist you in communicating about issues in canine legislation. If you’re seeking background information, analysis, AKC position statements, and sample letters on a particular legislative issue, this new web page conveniently groups related materials.

A complete list of all materials, including general advocacy and educational tools, also remains available. And in response to your feedback, sample letters on a variety of topics are now provided in text format.

All the best,

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

© 2011 American Kennel Club