Taking Command - October/November 2012
Taking Command
December 2012
Bebout Award Presented to Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners has been presented the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.

Named for the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the "Bebout Award" recognizes federations and dog owner/breeder organizations that have been actively involved in educating legislators about responsible dog ownership issues and have worked to preserve the rights of responsible owners and breeders. Organizations honored with the Bebout Award receive a $1,000 donation to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.

Read more here.
Northeastern Indiana Kennel Club, Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club and Spokane Kennel Club Honored With AKC Community Achievement Awards
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recently announced that the Northeastern Indiana Kennel Club (IN), the Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club (MD) and the Spokane Kennel Club (WA) are winners of the fourth quarter AKC Community Achievement Awards for hosting successful AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events.

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 responsible dog ownership within their communities or who have successfully introduced, monitored and responded to legislative issues affecting dog ownership.

Read more here.
AKC CLSF Announces Westminster Getaway Winner
The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to announce that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America is the winner of the 2013 Ultimate Westminster Getaway contest. One hundred percent of the proceeds went to the AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund (CLSF), which supports AKC's outreach, educational and advocacy efforts on responsible dog care and legislative issues that impact dog owners, exhibitors and breeders.

This year's Ultimate Westminster Getaway prize package included two tickets to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 11 and 12, 2013, four nights hotel accommodations, two tickets to the Take the Lead Party, two tickets to the Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch, and more.

The AKC CLSF Advisory Committee extends their appreciation to all who helped make this fundraiser a success: those who donated to the CLSF in conjunction with the drawing; those who donated the prizes, including Mr. Lee Arnold, Mr. Alan Kalter, Dr. William Newman, Mr. Dennis Sprung, and the Westminster Kennel Club; everyone who purchased tickets; and those who sold tickets and spread the word about the CLSF and the drawing.

Click here for more information about how you and your organization can donate to the AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund. .
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 2012 Legislative Successes page to view some recent results of their good work.
From Our Nation's Capitol
The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2012 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
Five state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. Bills have been prefiled for the 2013 session in 30 states. So far this year, AKC GR has tracked more than 1,450 state bills that could impact dogs and dog ownership. For the latest information on state and federal bills being tracked by AKC GR, visit the 2012 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
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 assistance 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.
Help AKC fight anti-dog legislation
Director's Letter
As we approach the end of the year, thoughts turn to the events and accomplishments of the past twelve months. In 2012, AKC’s Government Relations (GR) team tracked a record 1,500 pieces of federal, state and local legislation, as well as a variety of regulatory changes at the state and federal levels.

A study of trends in canine legislation this year reveals that restrictive breeder regulation (mandatory spay/neuter and new kennel laws) replaced breed-specific legislation (BSL) as the most common issue (40% of all measures) addressed by AKC GR. BSL now accounts for about 25% of the team’s time, while the third most common issue is dog ownership limits (15%).

In addition to fighting anti-dog and breeder legislation, AKC GR also was involved in a number of positive proactive measures whose passage will improve the lives of dogs and responsible dog owners. Here are just a few examples:

Oklahoma: Following the passage of problematic commercial breeder legislation in 2011, AKC’s Oklahoma federation and other coalition partners made positive changes to the new law by dissolving a controversial Commercial Pet Breeder Board and moving oversight to Oklahoma Department of Agriculture; changing the definition of an adult animal from 6 months to 12 months of age; and changing the definition of an intact adult female from 6 to 9 months of age. (HB 2921)

Ohio: AKC worked with breeders and its federation in Ohio to pass two major laws to protect responsible dog owners and breeders. Ohio House Bill 14 removed the term "pit bull" from the state's definition of "vicious dog" and created a new definition of "dangerous" dog based solely on a dog's behavior. Passage of this bill brought to an end Ohio’s dubious distinction of being the only U.S. state with breed-specific state dangerous dog laws.

More recently, Ohio Senate Bill 130 established licensing and oversight of commercial dog breeding operations based on a reasonable threshold that defines commercial breeders based on commercial activity – in this case, the whelping of 9 litters and sale of 60 or more puppies in a 12-month period.

Other aspects of this measure include annual inspections for commercial breeders, which may be conducted by knowledgeable veterinarians and overseen by the state Dept. of Agriculture. The law also requires rescue organizations to register with the state and allows for inspection of such organizations as necessary, but does not charge rescues licensing fees.

Massachusetts: AKC’s Massachusetts federation worked proactively with a broad range of animal groups within the state to pass SB 2192, which created a state-wide definition of dangerous dog that prevents a dog from being declared dangerous solely because of its breed, instead opting for a designation of dangerous that relies on the actions of a specific dog, regardless of breed.

These are just a few examples of positive legislation that AKC assisted with in 2012. For highlights of additional successes, visit AKC’s online legislative success page. Such successes are possible because of the tremendous work by dog experts and responsible dog owners like you who are dedicated to preserving the future of our dogs.

We honor you, we’re pleased to support you, and we thank you for all you do!

With best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season,

Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
Legislative Alerts
2012 Legislation Tracking
GR Toolbox

© 2012 American Kennel Club