Taking Command
September 2012
Election 2012: A Single Vote Could Determine the Future of Dogs in Your Community
Photo by Isabelle Francais
Election Day 2012 is November 6. The President, all 435 members of the US House of Representatives, 33 of the 100 US Senators, 11 state governors, and approximately 6,015 state legislators will be elected on this date. Thousands more will be elected to city, county and municipal offices. These elected officials will have tremendous influence on the direction of animal laws during their terms. Therefore, it is essential for all responsible dog owners, exhibitors, and breeders to be informed and active during the campaign season and to vote.

Read more here.
Tales from the Trenches: Sticker Success at Montgomery County
Guest columnist Judy McMahon is the Legislative Liaison for the Irish Terrier Club of America and an exhibitor and breeder of Irish Terriers. She shares her experiences in promoting dog shows and establishing relationships within the area business community.

As the world of purebred dogs continues to come under attack, it is increasingly important to find creative ways of demonstrating the value of purebred dog ownership and dog events. The Irish Terrier Club of America has developed a business outreach program in conjunction with its National Specialty show that could easily be adopted by dog clubs across the country.

Read more here.
New to the GR Toolbox: Candidate Survey
The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to announce that an updated Canine Legislation Candidate Survey has been added to the AKC Government Relations Toolbox.

An effective way to find out a candidate's views on canine issues is to ask him or her directly. Your questions will help reveal the candidate's opinions and attitudes, and also lets them know that these issues are important to you, the voter. Responses to specific canine legislation policy questions will give you a better idea of the candidate's positions on legislative issue that impact dog owners and breeders.

Visit the AKC GR Toolbox to download and print this new candidate survey. And be sure to check the toolbox often, as new resources are added regularly.
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
Five state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. Bills have been prefiled for the 2013 session in four 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
Everywhere you turn these days, you can see references to the November 6 elections. In this issue of Taking Command, AKC GR brings you a variety of additional resources to reach out to your local leaders, candidates, and fellow dog owners about the value that responsible dog owners bring to the community.

In Election 2012, we provide you with tools to educate the public about threats to dog ownership. In Tales from the Trenches, guest writer Judi McMahon discusses the success of the "I'm Here for the Dog Show" sticker initiative, and how one show-giving club worked with the community to raise awareness of the impact of dog events in the community. And to assist you in researching candidates' views on canine legislation issues, an updated candidate survey has been added to the GR Toolbox.

On the legislative front, most state legislatures have adjourned for the year and candidates are busy campaigning. The U.S. Congress returned to Washington for several weeks but has adjourned until after the November elections. One of the most important bills to impact dog ownership in the United States — the 2012 Agricultural Authorization bill (known as the "Farm Bill") — is likely to be considered at that time.

The quinquennial (every five years) Farm Bill is extremely important to dog owners and breeders because funding for the US Department of Agriculture and its many programs are considered a logical vehicle to make changes to Animal Welfare Act (AWA) rules pertaining to federal dog breeder/dealer regulations.

Previous versions of this extremely lengthy, must-pass legislation have included significant changes to dog breeder/dealer regulations. In many cases, if a bill is controversial, stuck in committee, or simply hasn't received enough interest or momentum to move forward as a stand-alone bill, the measure may be added as an amendment to the Farm Bill.

It is possible that an attempt could be made to attach federal PUPS legislation (HR 835/S 707) to this measure. The AKC has expressed concerns about several key points in PUPS that could harm responsible dog owners, and has asked that the bill not move forward as currently written. AKC GR and AKC's federal advocates continue to monitor this situation very carefully. The Farm Bill passed the Senate in July without attached language from PUPS. It is currently before the House Agriculture Committee.

As always, we are working to keep you up to date on the latest legislative news to ensure that canine legislation/regulation is reasonable and enforceable, and to help defend the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders.

All the best,

Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
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2012 Legislation Tracking
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© 2012 American Kennel Club