Federal Issues: June 2015

The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2015 Legislation Tracking page and click on “US Fed” on the map to get the latest updates on federal bills currently being monitored by the AKC. Highlights of issues we are currently addressing on the federal level include:

H.R. 674/HR 749, — The Pets on Trains Act would establish an Amtrak pilot program that would allow train passengers to travel with their pets on certain trains operated by Amtrak. AKC is working with the bill sponsor and actively supporting this measure. The measure has been added to HR 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, which was approved by the House and is pending in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Read AKC’s legislative alert for more information on this bill.

H.R. 1258 /S. 1559 — The Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS) would add federal protections for the pets of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. It would include pets in protection orders for human victims and would provide that a person who commits an interstate violation of a protection order would be subject to fines and/or imprisonment and could be required to pay restitution for veterinary care of a victim’s pet that was harmed as the result of an offense. It creates an Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program to award grants to eligible entities to carry out programs to provide assistance to victims of crimes related to stalking and domestic violence. The AKC supports this measure and is working with members of Congress to advance it. At the request of AKC and other groups, a Senate companion bill S. 1559 was introduced by Senators Ayotte and Peters in mid-June. The Senate version has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee. Read AKC’s legislative alert for more information.  

H.R. 528 — This bill directs federal public land management officials to facilitate use of and access to public lands for fishing, sport hunting (including field trials and the training of hunting dogs), recreational shooting and other purposes. AKC supports this measure, which could improve opportunities for dog owners and sportsmen to use federal public lands for field trials and dog training.

HR 1735 – Section 352 of the FY 2016 Defense Authorization bill clarifies the adoption policy of the US Military Working Dogs Programs with regard to providing preference for former Military Working Dog handlers who seek to adopt a dog they handled at the end of its working career.