Georgia Canine Coalition Awarded CLSF Educational Grant

By Sarah Sprouse, Legislative Analyst

The American Kennel Club Government Relations team is pleased to announce that the Georgia Canine Coalition has been awarded a Canine Legislative Support Fund (CLSF) Educational Grant. CLSF Educational Grants are designed to assist AKC dog clubs and federations with educational or advocacy efforts to educate dog owners, the public and elected officials about responsible dog ownership and  to ensure that the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders are protected. These small grants, of up to $500, may also be used for specific public outreach events that highlight AKC positions as they relate to pending state and local policy issues.

The Georgia Canine Coalition received a grant to sponsor an educational luncheon for the Georgia House and Senate Rural and Sportsman’s Caucuses. These legislators were chosen because the sportsmen have a natural affinity with dog owners and issues of animal husbandry. In Georgia, as in many places around the county, activists are pursuing restrictive measures at the local level when they are unsuccessful at the state level. The luncheon proved a good opportunity to educate these legislators about the ineffectiveness of proposals such as mandatory spay/neuter and kennel and breeding restrictions.

AKC Government Relations Director Sheila Goffe spoke at the event and Georgia Canine Coalition President Gail LaBerge said that Goffe’s presence raised the stature of the Georgie Canine Coalition by highlighting their alliance with the American Kennel Club.

Finally, the event provided an opportunity for the GCC to solicit support for Senate Bill 184, which would prohibit local governments from banning specific breeds of dogs. The measure was approved in committee later that day. It has since passed the Senate and is eligible to be heard in the House when the legislature returns in 2016.

LaBerge said the Georgia Canine Coalition will reap the benefits of this event for years as it has established the Georgia Canine Coalition as an industry leader in canine and animal issues.

If your organization is planning an outreach or educational event please consider applying for a Canine Legislative Support Fund Grant or contact the AKC Government Relations team directly at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720.