Taking Command
May 2013
Newest Issue of In Session Congressional Newsletter Now Online
In Session
The Spring 2013 issue of AKC Government Relation's In Session Congressional newsletter is now available online. This canine policy newsletter, which is sent to each member of Congress, is designed to educate lawmakers about key issues and trends in canine legislation. Each edition of the newsletter addresses a policy issue and provides an in-depth policy analysis. Each issue also highlights a member of Congress and their dog.

North Carolina Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and her Golden Retriever “Dixie” are featured in the current In Session.  An analysis of the unintended consequences of the federal “PUPS” bill and the controversial proposed USDA/APHIS rules for dog breeders is provided. This edition also highlights how the AKC and its affiliates work to help animals and those caring for them in the aftermath of a natural disaster, and two new AKC breeds, the Chinook and the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, are introduced.

Consider printing out copies of In Session to share with fellow dog lovers and to hand-deliver to your lawmakers. Click here to access current and past issues.
AKC GR Welcomes Two New State Federations
The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) is pleased to welcome two new state federations of dog clubs to the family of AKC-affiliated state federations. The newest federations are the Associated Dog Clubs of New York State, which in addition to the Responsible Dog Owners Association of New York, represents dog owners in New York State, and the Tennessee Federation of Dog Clubs.

AKC GR works closely with state federations of dog clubs and other allied groups to educate the public about responsible dog ownership and care, to support positive measures that protect dogs and dog owners, and to assist with legislative matters impacting dog owners in their state.

As residents and constituents, state federations and their members have a powerful voice in addressing legislation that affects them directly. When united, the voice of responsible dog owners can be a powerful political tool. Click here for a list of state federations and allied organizations. If your state or region is not represented, click here to learn more about state federations and how to organize one.
New to the GR Toolbox: Article — "Unintended Consequences"
GR Toolbox
AKC GR is pleased to provide a new downloadable article entitled “Unintended Consequences: Pair of Measures Designed to Regulate Internet & Commercial Puppy Sales could Devastate America’s Responsible Small/Hobby Breeders.” This article discusses the negative consequences of the proposed federal “PUPS” bill and APHIS regulatory rule and explains how these measures would do irreparable damage to the future of responsibly-bred purebred dogs.

Be sure to visit the GR 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 practices.
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.
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
Twenty-two state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. Two states are in special session. So far this year, more than1,100 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
This month marks a year since the USDA division that is responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS), proposed an administrative rule change that would impact a wide variety of breeders.

The proposed rule would have a number of effects, but those most dramatically impacted would likely be small/hobby breeders who sell relatively few dogs. The proposed rule would require those who own more than four “breeding females” and who transfer one or more pets sight unseen to obtain USDA licensing and comply with regulations designed for large commercial/wholesale kennels. The term "breeding female" is not defined, but would include multiple species including dogs and/or cats.

If adopted in its current form, this proposal would have many unintended consequences and create unreasonable hardships on small/hobby breeders. It would threaten the future of a vast number of small responsible dog breeders, and even the existence of some rare breeds in the United States.

During the public comment period AKC submitted extensive formal comments, which included a copy of AKC’s online petition to protect small hobby breeders. More than 71,000 concerned individuals signed the petition by the August 13, 2012 deadline.

In the past month, APHIS has completed a review of the comments it received and has submitted a draft final rule, which takes substantive comments received into consideration, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. No further information has been made public about what is in the final rule. Once the rule is reviewed by the OMB, USDA will likely issue a final version of this rule in the Federal Register. Visit AKC GR’s online Regulations Resource Center to read the proposal and obtain the latest information.

AKC GR continues to express concerns about the proposed rule to members of Congress, APHIS and the OMB. We encourage you to do the same.

All the best,
Sheila Goffe
Director, AKC Government Relations

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
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