Taking Command
July 2013
Outreach and Education:
Invite Your Lawmakers to Attend and Support Local RDO Events
American Eskimo Dogs
AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day (RDO) events offer wonderful opportunities for governmental officials to observe firsthand how responsible dog owners and dedicated breeders are assets to their communities. Many state legislatures have adjourned for the year and lawmakers are back in their home districts, but even in the “off-season” their calendars fill up quickly. Take time now to invite your elected representatives and key governmental officials to attend RDO Days held in their districts.

Read more.
Jeffrey Ball Honored with AKC Community Achievement Award
Jeffrey Ball, president of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs (NJFDC), has been honored with the AKC Community Achievement Award for the second quarter of 2013.

Mr. Ball took action when the local Ridgewood town council proposed a fee hike for owners of “potentially dangerous” dogs.  He organized experienced dog trainers, club members and dog owners to testify on the importance of providing public education and resources to pet owners before dog problems develop in the community.  Town leaders agreed to establish the Ridgewood Responsible Pet Ownership Committee with the assistance of the NJFDC.

Read more.
Good Things We Do —
Reunited Pets Featured on AKC CAR Facebook Page

AKC Companion Animal Recovery
Welsh Corgi “Stanley” is a lucky dog — he was wearing his AKC CAR tag when he escaped from his yard. The person who found him called the AKC CAR phone number listed on the tag and he was quickly and safely returned home. Stanley’s story was recently featured on the AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) Facebook page

AKC CAR has reunited nearly half a million lost pets with their owners and the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund has donated more than $4 million to support canine Search-and-Rescue teams and to help our nation’s pets during natural disasters.

Click here to learn more about AKC CAR and its many programs in support of pet owners, rescue organizations, and shelters.

AKC and VVMA Express Outrage at PETA Approach to Euthanasia in Animal Shelter
The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) recently issued statements to highlight their vehement disapproval of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’s apparent policy of euthanizing animals frequently at its shelter in Norfolk, VA. Furthermore, the AKC has called for the PETA shelter to take steps towards balancing its adoption and euthanasia rates for dogs and cats in its shelter. Read AKC’s statement 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
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
Every August, AKC Government Relations participates at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislators. Over the years we’ve learned that the American Kennel Club booth is one of the most popular at the event because we provide information and materials about dogs and canine policy that is positive, accurate, and informative.

When you love dogs and advocate on behalf of dogs, responsible dog owners and breeders, it’s easy to be positive. As a registrant or club member, you’re part of the American Kennel Club family. We urge you to join us in sharing all the positive things we, as responsible dog owners and breeders, do in our communities and for the wellbeing of all dogs.

No other organization does more to protect dogs than the AKC. Being “the dog’s champion” means, among other things, donating more than $24 million to canine health research, conducting kennel inspections, and offering more educational programs for responsible dog owners than any other organization. AKC breed parent clubs and affiliate organizations make up the largest purebred dog rescue group network in the country. This issue of Taking Command provides a glimpse of some of the positive things dog owners, club members, and breeders can be proud of.

AKC Community Achievement awards honor and support AKC clubs and federations that promote responsible dog ownership in their communities. Check out the latest honoree — Jeffrey Ball of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs

AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) is more than just the nation’s largest not-for profit microchip and recovery service. AKC CAR recently donated more than $400,000 to disaster relief and Search-and-Rescue teams, and they help out many community shelters as well. This month, in conjunction with the passage of a North Carolina bill that requires shelters that have microchip scanners to use them to help reunite pets with their owners, AKC CAR is offering 20 universal scanners to needy NC public shelters.

September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Consider holding or participating in an educational RDO event in your community and competing for one of the special Community Achievement Awards AKC offers to clubs for outstanding RDO Day events.

There are so many reasons that responsible dog owners and breeders are proud members of the AKC family. Join us in celebrating in those accomplishments! Send us news about your community outreach, and don’t hesitate to contact AKC GR if there are legislative issues of concern in your community – we’re here for you!

All the best,
Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations

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Email: doglaw@akc.org
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