Taking Command
January/February 2013
Canine Legislation – Trends from 2012, and Onward in 2013
Newly-elected and reelected lawmakers have been sworn in, and the AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) is busy with 2013 legislative session and the more than 850 new dog-related bills. Here’s a quick look back at 2012 as we begin work in 2013.

Read more here.
New in the GR Toolbox: “How a Bill Becomes a Law” Flyer
How a bill becomes a law.
Experienced dog owners can provide valuable information to lawmakers about the responsible care, training, exhibition, and breeding of dogs. But many dog owners are not familiar with how laws are made, and are sometimes puzzled about how and when to voice their opinions and share their expertise with lawmakers regarding proposed laws.

AKC GR is pleased to announce the latest addition to the online AKC Government Relations Toolbox, a new flyer entitled “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” This new resource describes how a typical bill advances from introduction through enactment.

By understanding the legislative process, concerned dog owners will be better empowered to communicate with their elected representatives about measures they support and to effectively oppose laws that would restrict their rights of responsible dog owners and breeders.

Be sure to visit the GR 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 others about the importance of promoting and protecting responsible dog ownership and breeding practices.

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 2013 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
Forty-eight state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session and bills have been prefiled in two states. So far this year, more than 850 state bills have been filed that could impact dogs and dog ownership. For the latest information on state and federal bills being tracked by AKC GR, visit the2013 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
Congress, many state legislatures, and local jurisdictions are ramping up for new legislative sessions. As we prepare for the legislative challenges ahead, now is a good time to assess experiences from 2012, anticipate trends in 2013, and make sure we’re ready to hit the ground running.

Reach out to your legislators. Most states had legislative elections last fall, and legislative redistricting means that many of us have new representatives in Congress and in our statehouses. Take time to reach out to these representatives, either individually or by attending one of the many town-hall style meetings that legislators hold with their constituents this time of year. Town hall meetings and other community events can be found on your legislators’ websites and in local newspapers.

Legislative Procedure. For many of us, high school civics was a long time ago. So it’s easy—especially when we’re confronted with threatening anti-breeder legislation—to forget the process that bills must go through in order to become law. To help explain this, How a Bill Becomes a Law, the newest flyer in the AKC GR online toolbox, provides a simple summary of typical legislative processes and the opportunities you have at each stage of the process to express your views to legislators.

Does your club have a Legislative Liaison? If so, is your Legislative Liaison (LL) registered with AKC GR?  This is important because AKC LLs serve are the primary contact point between the AKC GR team and your club.  When we learn of a bill that could impact you, we reach out to you first through your LL.

The AKC GR team is here to help you defend your rights as responsible dog owners and breeders. Our team consists of six professional staff, each with specific functional and geographic responsibilities. To learn more about the team member representing your region, click here. Plus, if you have questions, you can always reach us at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720

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

© 2013 American Kennel Club