Advocates Awarded Canine Legislation Support Fund Grant

The AKC Government Relations team is pleased to announce that a California grassroots advocacy organization has been awarded an AKC Canine Legislative Support Fund (CLSF) Grant.  

The Long Beach Responsible Dog Owners Association, an organization formed to combat a proposed mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) ordinance in Long Beach, CA, includes participants in dog shows, agility, obedience, and canine sports; dog trainers; dog owners; and breeders.

Association members provided Long Beach lawmakers with information packets that included statements from national humane organizations opposing mandatory spay/neuter, scientific research demonstrating health risks associated with canine sterilization, and data on the increased animal control costs that MSN policies generate. They created a PowerPoint presentation that illustrated the ineffectiveness of mandatory spay/neuter legislation. 

Representatives networked with local dog owners who are experienced in Long Beach politics, organized speakers for public meetings, and provided placards and lapel buttons to dog owners at city council meetings to help ensure that the council members could visually identify opponents of the proposal, including those who did not speak.  They met with councilmembers and staff in all nine districts and the Mayor’s office.

Although the Long Beach City Council ultimately enacted the ordinance, the outreach and educational efforts by the association laid a foundation to revisit this issue in the future.

“We wish to thank Long Beach Councilman Al Austin for his vote in opposition to the ordinance,” said association member Connie Koehler.

AKC CLSF Grants are designed to assist AKC clubs and federations with educational or advocacy efforts to educate dog owners, the public, and elected officials about responsible dog ownership and to ensure that the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders are protected. These small grants, of up to $500, may also be used for specific public outreach events that highlight AKC positions as they relate to pending state and local policy issues.  Please contact doglaw@akc.org or call 919-816-3720 for more information.

Long Beach Responsible Dog Owners Association members (back row) Terry Martin, Susan Murphy, Judi McMahon, (front row)  Kimberley Buchanan, Connie Koehler, and John Zappe (not pictured). Photo by Teddy Lei.

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