Taking Command - October/November 2012
Taking Command
October / November 2012
Club Presidents Provide Legislative Leadership
Thank you to the presidents of AKC clubs whose leadership inspired their clubs to donate to the AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund through the AKC Club Presidents Challenge.* One-hundred percent of these donations will go toward educating legislators and fanciers about responsible and fair policy for dog breeding and ownership, opposing legislation that restricts the rights of responsible dog owners, supporting fair measures that protect dogs, and securing formal representation of our interests in Congress and statehouses.

Read more here.
More Than 100 Lawmakers Support AKC Meet the Breeds Event
Rob Calarco at MTB
Suffolk County (NY) Legislator Rob Calarco meets Great Dane "Kenzy" at AKC Meet the Breeds. Photo by Jennifer Clark ©AKC
More than 100 federal, state, and local lawmakers in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) served as Honorary Chairs for the 2012 AKC Meet the Breeds® event on October 21–22 at the Javits Center in New York City.

In serving as Honorary Chairs, these lawmakers demonstrated their support for responsible pet ownership. Many signed the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Pet Promise, posted it on their social media pages and web sites, and forwarded it to their constituents to ask them to join in promoting responsible pet ownership in their communities.

Read more here.
Lehigh Valley Kennel Club and Obedience Training Club of Wichita Falls Honored with AKC Community Achievement Awards
The American Kennel Club announced recently that the Lehigh Valley Kennel Club (PA) and the Obedience Training Club of Wichita Fall, Inc. (TX) have been honored with AKC Community Achievement Awards for the third quarter of 2012.

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's Letter to Congress Regarding the Federal "PUPS" Bill
Click here to view AKC's most recent letter to members of Congress regarding AKC's concerns with H.R. 835/S. 707, the "Puppy Uniform Protection & Safety Act" (PUPS) bill.
AKC's Letter to the AVMA Regarding Cropped and Docked Breeds
The American Kennel Club's canine legislation position statement on ear cropping, tail docking and dewclaw removal states: "The American Kennel Club recognizes that ear cropping, tail docking and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided."

In September, AKC President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Sprung urged the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Animal Welfare Committee to reconsider its cropping and docking policy. Click here to read Mr. Sprung's letter.

Additional information and issue analysis on cropping and docking are available in the AKC Government Relations Toolbox.
2013 Westminster Getaway: Donate Today for Your Chance to Win
Ultimate Westminster 2013 Getaway
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.
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
Six state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. Bills have been prefiled for the 2013 session in 16 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
One of the best ways to provide lawmakers with a balanced perspective on canine issues is to ensure that they have the opportunity to personally interact with responsible dog owners, fanciers, and breeders.

Now that the elections are over, many states have new lawmakers or incumbents who will be representing new constituents due to redistricting. This is an excellent time to reach out to your lawmakers. Send a brief note of congratulations (view a sample letter here) or call your lawmaker's office to schedule a 15 minute meeting to introduce yourself.

Invite them to participate in a club or dog-related event in the community and respectfully offer to share your expertise as a dog owner, trainer, exhibitor or breeder if canine policy issues arise in the upcoming session. Educational policy materials from the AKC GR toolbox make great leave-behinds for legislators.

Simple, friendly gestures like these provide a foundation for building good working relationships with your legislators. And these relationships — the ability to get the ear of a legislator — can make all the difference if you need to reach out to a legislator in the future.

The American Kennel Club Political Action Committee (AKC PAC) also helps you foster these kinds of relationships by supporting the campaigns of legislators who share our concerns about canine public policy issues.

AKC PAC campaign contributions not only help ensure that supportive lawmakers have the resources needed to conduct a successful campaign, but also provide an opportunity for constituents to personally meet their legislators.

In the past year, the AKC PAC supported the campaigns of approximately 80 Congressional and state legislative candidates in 25 states who have demonstrated support for responsible dog breeders and owners. (Approximately 70 percent of these candidates won their elections.)

AKC PAC contributions are supported solely by individual AKC club members, many of whom made generous donations in conjunction with the 2012 AKC Club Presidents Challenge. On behalf of the AKC and the AKC PAC, we thank all the AKC club leaders who accepted the Challenge, and all the club members who contributed to the AKC PAC and the AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund.

We hope the good works of the AKC and its affiliates will encourage you to make contributions to these funds an ongoing club initiative.

Thank you for your participation.

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