Taking Command
March 2013
Tales from the Trenches —
An Experienced Dog Enthusiast Takes Office in New Hampshire
Guest columnist Janice Gardner is an AKC judge and club president, legislative liaison, and delegate for the Rockingham County Kennel Club (NH). She shares her experience as a recently-elected member of the New Hampshire state legislature.

"The Honorable Janice S. Gardner, New Hampshire General Court, Representative–Strafford 15, Member of the Environment & Agriculture Committee."

Sort of a mouthful, isn't it? That is my official title following the swearing-in ceremony at the New Hampshire state capitol on December 5, 2012. So how did I come to be a state legislator? Here's my story:

I am a new member of the New Hampshire General Court. I represent the citizens of Dover, NH's Ward 3, Strafford County 15th District, in the NH House of Representatives.

Read more here.
Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs and Stone City Kennel Club Honored with AKC Community Achievement Awards
The American Kennel Club announced recently that the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs and the Stone City Kennel Club (IL) have been honored with AKC Community Achievement Awards for the first quarter of 2013.

Read more here.
New in the GR Toolbox: 2012 State Economic Impact Statistics

AKC GR is pleased to announce that updated 2012 statistics have been added to GR's flyers on the economic impact of purebred dogs by state. Click here , and then click on your state for information on the number of AKC events and entries and the economic value of AKC registered dogs in your state.

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 others about the importance of promoting and protecting responsible dog ownership and breeding.

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 2013 Legislative Successes page to view some recent results of their good work. Highlights of successes from 2012 can be reviewed here.

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-three state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session, and bills have been prefiled in Louisiana. So far this year, more than 1,000 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 the 2013 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
Earlier this month, Rhode Island state officials visited a pet expo in Providence and asked exhibitors at a cat show to produce health certificates for the animals being exhibited. The state was enforcing a law passed in 2012 requiring that exhibitors have this paperwork available for inspection. Unfortunately, many shocked exhibitors were unaware of these requirements and quickly left the show to avoid a run-in with the authorities.

This begs the question, could this happen at a dog show? The answer is yes.

Many states require a variety of vaccination or health certificates for animals exhibited in their state. Often, requirements vary according to whether the animal permanently resides in the state, and if not, how long the animal will be in the state. For more information, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) maintains information about specific health requirements by state (be sure to review the comments sections, which may include exemptions for dogs traveling or temporarily in a state).

The AKC is concerned about a patchwork of differing state laws that make travelling with healthy and well-cared-for dogs overly burdensome for show exhibitors, particularly when requirements for “health certificates” lack definition or vary from state to state. We will continue to express our concerns when unreasonable or vague requirements are proposed, and we encourage you, as members of show-giving clubs, to also consider the impact that such proposals may have on potential out-of-state visitors to your events.

At the same time, AKC reminds you that as a responsible dog owner it is also your responsibility to know, understand, and obey the laws of the jurisdiction you are in. Best practices for travelling with your dogs include always keeping your dog’s vaccinations up to date and carrying a copy of your vaccination records and rabies certificate when you travel. The AKC Events Department’s Show Trial Manual also provides specific guidance for clubs when it comes to reminding show exhibitors about health and vaccination requirements for their shows (contact eventplans@akc.org for more information).

With the spring dog show season upon us, I wish you happy, safe, and well-prepared travels.

All the best,
Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
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2013 Legislation Tracking
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