AKC GR Out and About: AKC GR Expands Outreach at Legislative Conferences

Over the past three weeks, AKC Government Relations staff has traveled around the country to interact with state and county lawmakers at national legislative conferences. 

AKC GR hosted legislative information booths at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference in Denver, CO, the National Association of Counties (NACo) conference in Columbus, Ohio, and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Boston, Massachusetts. 

These national conferences provide AKC GR with a unique opportunity to directly interact with lawmakers from across the United States and provide them with information on positive solutions to canine legislative concerns. 

“It is such a gratifying feeling to see the enlightenment on someone’s face when they truly come to understand what our involvement is with the future of purebred dogs,” said Melissa Ferrell, AKC Research Analyst, who attended the ALEC and NCSL conferences. 

AKC proved to be among the most popular booths at each of these conferences, with lawmakers stopping by to share stories and photos of their dogs and discuss canine legislation issues in their communities. 

In addition to legislative conferences, AKC GR Vice President Sheila Goffe represented AKC GR at a Congressional Sportsmens Caucus event in Washington, D.C., and at the AKC Canine Health Foundation conference in St. Louis, Missouri, sharing information on the many programs and tools the department offers to address canine legislation. 

“Public outreach is an essential component of the role of AKC Government Relations,” said Sheila Goffe, Vice President, AKC Government Relations.  “The ability to meet face-to-face with legislators, legislative staff, and other organizations and share our message of the importance of protecting purebred dogs and promoting responsible dog ownership and breeding makes a tremendous impact.  We are proud to have gained the reputation of providing positive, reasoned solutions for canine policy issues and legislation.”

Looking forward – On September 24, AKC GR will be hosting a Southeast regional conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This event offers an opportunity for Southeastern clubs and advocates to meet their AKC GR Regional Manager, Patty Van Sicklen, plus opportunities for Legislative Liaisons and State federation leaders, club members and special guests to network, develop new advocacy and educational skills, share experiences, and learn about new trends, strategies and tips for legislative success. For more information, contact Patty Van Sicklen at 919-816-3645 or pvs@akc.org.


Jennifer Clark, Director, Legislative Outreach, and Patty Van Sicklen, Regional Manager at NACo conference in Columbus, OH.