Taking Command
August 2013
Get Active Locally—
Five Things Clubs Can Do This Fall
Alaskan Malamute
Many AKC clubs return from summer hiatus and resume club operations in September. Meanwhile, most state legislatures are in recess for the remainder of 2013. This confluence of events offers timely opportunities to meet with your state representatives while they are in their home districts; to establish your club members as reliable sources of factual information on dog issues; and to organize an effective communications network.

The AKC Government Relations Team (AKC GR) suggests that you add the following five action items to the agenda for your club's upcoming meetings...

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AKC Community Achievement Award—
Send Your Nomination or Update Previously-Submitted Information
Do you know a great advocate for responsible dog ownership? Does your AKC club provide innovative educational programs for dog owners in your community? Has a member of your AKC club or federation taken the lead in sponsoring positive legislation on behalf of dogs or fought against bad proposals? Nominate your AKC club, your AKC-affiliated federation, or that outstanding individual member for an AKC Community Achievement Award.

Read more.
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
Seven state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. One state is in special session. So far this year, more than 1,100 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
Do you ever wonder, "Where does all this anti-dog and anti-breeder legislation come from?" Most often, bills are written in an attempt to remedy a real or perceived problem, or in response to a request from a constituent, lobbyist, or special interest group.

Consider this: When was the last time your elected representatives heard from you and other like-minded dog owners? Are they hearing about the great lives enjoyed by the vast majority of the 83 million owned dogs in the US? Are they hearing about the more than 56 million dog-owning households in the US that take good care of their family pets? Are they considering the jobs and tax revenue that result from the $53 billion pet industry? Do they know about the hard work and contributions that you and your fellow responsible dog owners/breeders and AKC club members make on behalf of dogs?

Or do your lawmakers only hear about the criminal actions of animal abusers? We all abhor animal abuse and want to see it stopped. But unless governmental officials hear from true animal lovers and responsible breeders—unless they are reminded that almost all dogs in the US are cherished companions—they may form opinions and cast their votes based on rare, but dramatic horror stories presented to them by organizations with an agenda to end animal ownership.

This month's Taking Command suggests five basic steps that you and your club members can take to establish yourselves as the true dog experts in your communities and to organize a communications network for effectively sharing information when animal legislation is discussed. Get ready now to spread the word quickly when measures are considered in your state or community, and always remember there is strength in numbers.

All the best,

Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
Legislative Alerts
2013 Legislation Tracking
GR Toolbox
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