Taking Command
November 2013
AKC's Formal Request for Clarification

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has submitted a formal request for clarification regarding numerous provisions of the Final Rule to Redefine Pet Stores to Dr. Gerald Rushin of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS). During the AKC/APHIS conference call held on September 20, 2013, and in subsequent discussions with AKC staff, Dr. Rushin committed to responding in writing to AKC’s questions. Please click here to view AKC’s letter.

As additional information is received, it will be posted to the AKC Government Relations USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page.

Latest Issue of In Session Congressional Newsletter Is Now Online
In Session PDF
The Fall 2013 edition of AKC Government Relation's In Session Congressional newsletter is now available online. In this issue, Arkansas Congressman Rick Crawford discusses his family’s recent experience with purchasing a puppy from a responsible hobby breeder. A timely new Issue Analysis reviews how non-economic damages awards for pets, which might sound good on the surface, can actually harm dogs and negatively impact public health. This issue also profiles the five canine heroes that were recently honored with 2013 AKC Awards for Canine Excellence.

In Session, AKC’s canine policy e-newsletter, is sent to each member of Congress and is designed to educate lawmakers about key issues and trends in canine legislation. Each edition addresses a policy issue, provides an in-depth policy analysis, and highlights a member of Congress and their dog.

Please 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.
A Reminder to AKC Club Members —
Support the 2014 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.
Here's Another Way to Contribute to the AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund
Ultimate Westminster 2014 Getaway

There is still time to contribute to the AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund (CLSF) and receive tickets for the Ultimate Westminster 2014 drawing. The drawing will be conducted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, and proceeds benefit the CLSF. Make your contribution and get your tickets today!  

Please click here for a contribution form and drawing rules. For more information, please contact doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720.

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 and bills have been prefiled for 2014 in 13 states. 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

November is a month for giving thanks, and the AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) team sends our sincerest thanks to the dedicated dog owners and breeders who commit their time and resources to preserving and protecting our rights to own and enjoy purebred dogs. We salute you for the countless hours you spend writing letters, making calls, visiting lawmakers, educating others, and for your devotion to the wellbeing of all dogs.

We also recognize that a great deal of effort takes place behind the scenes that is never acknowledged. This is the nature of politics, and it requires a strong and ongoing commitment to reach out and establish positive relationships with a continually changing group of elected officials and policymakers. And just as one legislative session ends, another follows close behind with a new set of challenges!

Among current legislative trends to watch for in the remaining sessions and the coming year are proposals that would allow juries to award large, undefined financial awards in lawsuits involving injuries to pets as the result of accidents. An article in the latest issue of In Session, AKC’s Congressional e-newsletter, discusses why allowing non-economic damages in pet injury cases represents poor public policy, and in the long run may actually harm pets.

On the regulatory front, AKC GR has formally requested clarification from USDA/APHIS on provisions of the Final Rule to Redefine Pet Stores and how it will impact small and hobby breeders. Answers to these questions will assist breeders in determining how and if the rule affects them.

As part of our educational outreach, AKC GR will have a booth at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on December 14-15. If you’re coming to Orlando, please stop by so we can thank you in person.

Warmest wishes for the Thanksgiving Holiday,

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