July 2012
Get Active —
Ideas for Identifying and Supporting Dog-Friendly Candidates

Results of primary elections are narrowing the slates of candidates for federal, state and local offices, and the November election date is fast approaching. As campaigns heat up and candidates make increasingly impassioned appeals to voters, it's important to identify dog-friendly candidates and use your vote to elect those who will protect the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders.

Read more.

The Important Role of AKC Legislative Liaison
Does your AKC club have a Legislative Liaison? Appointing a Legislative Liaison and keeping the AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) team up to date with your liaison's contact information are among the easiest things your organization can do to help safeguard your rights against bad dog laws.

AKC Legislative Liaisons are your direct contact to the AKC Government Relations team. They serve as an information link between your club members and AKC GR, let AKC GR know about any potential dog legislation or ordinances in your community, and forward GR alerts to members of your club. With an increasing number of dog-related bills and ordinances introduced in Congress, state legislatures, and local communities each year, having a dedicated Legislative Liaison is more important than ever.

Read more.
Survey Notification —
Help AKC GR Provide You and Your Policymakers with Better Economic Impact Information

In the coming months, entrants at selected dog shows will receive emailed surveys to collect information on their travel and expenditures at that specific show. If you receive a survey, please take time to reply!

The results of these surveys will be used to update the data found in the Economic Benefits of AKC Dog Shows brochure. This information is used by AKC and its member and licensed clubs to demonstrate that AKC dog shows make major economic contributions to their host communities.

If you have questions about the survey, please contact Patty Van Sicklen at pvs@akc.org.
Your Comments Still Needed on Proposed Federal Breeder Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the comment period on proposed new regulations that would require people who keep more than four "breeding females" (this term is not defined) and who sell a puppy sight unseen to obtain a USDA commercial breeder license and be subject to federal regulations and inspections as a USDA commercial breeding kennel. The new deadline for comments is August 15, 2012.

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 makes a difference! Visit the 2012 Legislative Successes page to view some recent results of their good work.
New in the GR Toolbox: Limit Law Sample Letters
Proposals seeking to limit animal ownership are something that AKC GR frequently encounters at the state and local levels. It is important for responsible dog owners to clearly communicate why these laws are not in the best interest of dogs, responsible owners, or even the community at large.

AKC GR is pleased to announce that new sample letters regarding animal limit laws are available in the online AKC Government Relations Toolbox. To view these new sample letters, click here and scroll down to "Limit Laws." All letters are available in three different formats for you to download and customize.

Sample letters that address breed-specific legislation, breeder regulations, mandatory sterilization, and other legislative issues can also be found in the toolbox. You can view all available sample letters by clicking on the "View all resources" link and scrolling to the bottom of the page. View letters for a specific topic by clicking on the "View resources by policy issue" link.

Be sure to visit the AKC Government Relations Toolbox often for the latest materials you can download and print for legislative battles, community and dog-related events, and club meetings to help educate about the importance of preserving and protecting the rights of dog owners and breeders.
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
Six state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. So far this year, AKC GR has tracked more than 1,400 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.
The American Kennel Club's support for responsible dog owners, breeders and the future of responsible breeding programs is part of our enduring commitment to the future of dogs. As AKC Chairman Alan Kalter expressed earlier this month, AKC's good works are unparalleled by any other dog organization. Today, more than ever, AKC truly is the dog's champion.

The AKC Government Relations team takes this commitment seriously, and we rely on hearing from you to ensure that we are as well informed as possible and can assist when you face challenges in your community.

An important way to make a positive difference is to watch the political candidates and campaigns in our communities. It's more important than ever to educate candidates about responsible dog ownership and breeding, and to support candidates for office who respect our right to own and breed dogs responsibly. Be sure to check out this month's Get Active article for tools and ideas for educating, identifying and reaching out to dog-friendly candidates.

Last month, we asked you to join AKC in sharing concerns about the unintended consequences of a proposal by APHIS to radically change breeder regulations in the Animal Welfare Act. Since then, tens of thousands of concerned dog owners and breeders have signed the Join with AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition. This demonstrates the strength of our shared commitment to reasonable laws, responsible breeding practices, and a belief that AWA enforcement should focus on the welfare of dogs – not the mechanics of how a sale is conducted.

Many of you also provided constructive comments to APHIS based on your real-life experiences. Your shared knowledge and expertise as breeders and hobbyists are invaluable in assuring the future of our dogs. Thank you for taking time to sign the petition and comment. If you have not yet done this, we urge you to take advantage of the newly-extended comment period to get involved.

The heroes of AKC's grassroots involvement include many of our club-based Legislative Liaisons (LLs). LLs serve as the primary link between AKC GR and club members/breeders potentially impacted by legislation in their communities. They not only pass along geographically-targeted email alerts and motivate members of their clubs and community; they also inform AKC GR about local issues.

In this month's Taking Command, learn more about the important role AKC Legislative Liaisons play. Please take a moment to thank your club’s LL for their work. If your club doesn’t have one, why not volunteer?

All the best,

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