Taking Command
December 2013
2013 Canine Legislation Year in Review
Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
Susan Judge © AKC.
Throughout 2013, the AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR), along with AKC state federations, clubs, breeders and sportsmen around the United States, worked together to protect the rights of responsible dog owners on the federal, state, and local levels. Along with some challenges, there were also many victories and encouraging trends.

Read more here.
Announcing the AKC Dog-Friendly Community Award
The American Kennel Club is pleased to announce a new program to honor dog-friendly communities. The AKC Dog-Friendly Community Award recognizes communities—or community officials—for specific actions that promote responsible dog ownership within the community. Examples include establishing a responsible dog ownership committee...

Read more.
AKC CLSF Announces Westminster Getaway Winner
The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to announce that Jerilyn Lamy is the winner of the Ultimate 2014 Westminster Getaway drawing. This year’s prize package included two tickets to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10 and 11, 2014, two nights’ hotel accommodations, two tickets to the Take the Lead event, two tickets to the Barkfest at Bonhams event, and more.

Read more.
New in the GR Toolbox: Issue Analysis on Non-Economic Damages Awards for Pet Injuries
AKC Government Relations is pleased to announce that a new Issue Analysis is available online in the GR Toolbox. It’s About the Dogs! Non-Economic Damages Claims Harm Animal Wellbeing discusses why allowing non-economic damages in pet injury cases represents poor public policy, and in the long run may actually harm pets.

AKC GR Issue Analyses provide in-depth looks at prominent issues in canine legislation. These articles, originally published in AKC GR’s In Session Congressional and state legislative newsletters, are available for you to print and distribute to lawmakers, colleagues, and others to help educate about canine legislation and how policies impact responsible dog owners and breeders.

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.
A Reminder to AKC Club Members—
Support the Club Presidents Challenge
Thank you to the clubs and individuals who have contributed to the AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund (CLSF) through their participation in the 2013 Club Presidents Challenge. Your donations go toward supporting positive legislation, fighting anti-dog/anti-breeder measures, securing formal representation for the interests of responsible dog owners and breeders in Congress and statehouses, educating legislators about responsible and fair policy for dog breeding, and underwriting AKC legislative conferences.

If your club has not yet accepted the challenge, please join the fight against repressive canine legislation by sending your donation today. For more information, contact doglaw@akc.org or call 919-816-3720.
2013 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 examples of 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
Five state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session, one state is in special session, and bills have been prefiled for 2014 in 20 states. This year, more than 1,200 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
As year’s end approaches, it’s time to reflect on experiences and lessons learned over the past year and to anticipate the challenges ahead.

On behalf of the American Kennel Club, we thank you for your dedication to protecting the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders in 2013. Your continued hard work and dedication to advocating for responsible dog ownership—whether as a Legislative Liaison, club member, a participant in a federation, an individual breeder, or donor—have helped ensure many legislative successes.

In the past year, the AKC Government Relations team has worked with many of you to monitor and address more than 1,300 legislative measures throughout the country that could impact dogs or dog ownership. Together, we supported a variety of bills that would make positive improvements for dogs, and provided alternatives or successfully opposed advancement of others that would be harmful for dogs and dog owners. For more information on these issues, please view the 2013 Canine Legislation Year in Review.

Although we were disappointed by the new USDA/APHIS “retail pet store” regulations that were finalized in September, we appreciate the clarifications APHIS has made regarding some of our concerns. As we begin 2014, we will continue to monitor implementation and enforcement to determine the true impact the new regulations will have on small/hobby breeders and whether further action may be necessary to protect the rights of responsible breeders. New information will continue to be posted to AKC GR’s Regulations Resource Page as it becomes available.

We also reflect on the crucial role that responsible dog ownership plays in creating dog-friendly communities and reducing unnecessary regulation. As part of our ongoing commitment to advancing responsible dog ownership, we are pleased to announce the new AKC Dog-Friendly Community Award. This award honors dog-friendly communities (or community officials) that have worked with a local AKC club or federation to promote responsible dog ownership in that community. AKC provides the award, but your club or federation gets to take the lead by nominating a local recipient and presenting the award to your community leaders at a local dog show or other public event. We hope this award will provide you with a unique opportunity to develop new relationships with community leaders and to honor those who honor the responsible dog owners and breeders in their midst.

Thank you again for the time and effort you spent on behalf of dogs in 2013. We look forward to working with you again in the coming year.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,

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

© 2013 American Kennel Club