What’s New from AKC Government Relations

This fall has been a very busy one for the AKC Government Relations team, as we continue to advocate for the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders and promote positive canine legislative policy. 

Earlier this month, Sheila Goffe testified before Congress on the issue of shortage of appropriate, domestically bred dogs available for work as explosive detection dogs. This shortage of detection dogs presents a significant threat to U.S. national and public security. As of Summer 2017, the US Government was importing between 80-90% of the dogs that enter U.S. explosives detection training programs.

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and AKC has long been a leader in advocating for victims and their pets. The AKC Humane Fund has provided grants to more than 150 domestic violence shelters since the program began in 2010.  These grants enable victims of domestic violence to bring their pets with them when they need safe haven. Earlier this month, the Humane Fund established a new crowdfunding campaign to raise money to advance this project. The American Kennel Club is working with members of Congress to advance The Pet and Women Safety Act of 2017 (the 2017 “PAWS” act- H.R. 909/S. 322).  These bills would amend current federal domestic violence protections to include pets in protection orders for human victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.

This fall AKC GR has also been focusing on public outreach to legislators and fellow advocates on positive canine including the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day flagship event (Raleigh, North Carolina), Pet Night on Capitol Hill (Washington, DC), and an AKC Government Relations regional conference in Atlanta, where advocates from the region came together to learn how to protect their rights to own and breed dogs. 

If you want to help empower your fellow club members and dog lovers, or reach out to your local legislators, remember that we are here to help!  Contact AKC GR or visit www.akcgr.org to learn about all the tools and resources we offer to help you advocate on behalf of your beloved dogs!