Taking Command Newsletter

What's New From GR


April 2015

Thirteen state legislatures have adjourned for 2015 and elected officials in those states are returning to their districts.  This is a great time to meet with legislators while they are close to home.

Did your state senator or representative introduce or vote in favor of positive dog-related measures, such as a bill to end breed-specific legislation?  If yes, they need to hear that you support their actions.  Take a moment to express your thanks, and ask other dog owners in the district to join you in requesting a meeting or writing personal letters of appreciation.  If a good dog-related bill did not pass in 2015, encourage your lawmakers to continue working on it in 2016. Politely urge them to strongly oppose legislation that is not in the best interest of dogs or that would restrict the rights of responsible dog owners.  

If you’re a member of an AKC club, share with your lawmakers the great things your club members do on behalf of dogs and dog owners.  Last month’s Taking Command focused on the importance of generating positive publicity to ensure that your elected officials, law enforcement authorities, and policymakers are aware of the tremendous knowledge and value your AKC club brings to your community.

For example, the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs is bringing focus to the special value and contributions of purebred dogs by working with the Colorado state legislature to officially designate May 1 as “National Purebred Dog Day” in their state. Read more about how this resolution was introduced and enacted. In Georgia, the Georgia Canine Coalition sponsored an educational luncheon for the state House and Senate Rural and Sportsman’s Caucuses.  This educational event was funded in part by a Canine Legislative Support Fund (CLSF) Grant.

Positive outreach to lawmakers helps establish that experienced dog owners, breeders, trainers and exhibitors are the best sources of information about dog care and should be the first to be consulted on dog-related policy.  Your AKC club or AKC-affiliated federation may be eligible for a CLSF Grant to assist with educational programs for dog owners, the public, and elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. Grants 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 AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720 for more information about how to qualify and apply for a grant.