What’s New from AKC Government Relations

Summer is a great time to reach out to lawmakers – and your fellow club members, exhibitors and breeders – to educate them on canine legislation issues.  AKC’s Legislative Action Center has a number of tools and resources available to you, from handouts you can print and distribute, to sample letters and talking points, and even a “Find Your Elected Officials” box to help you easily connect with your state and federal lawmakers.  As legislators are home in their districts or you are at events, it is a perfect opportunity to share these resources and information. 

As legislative sessions wind down, we encourage you to think about those lawmakers or individuals who make a significant, positive impact for dogs and consider nominating them for one of AKC’s awards.  This month, AKC was pleased to present Ann Lettis, founder and president of the Responsible Dog Owners Association of New York, with the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation. Ms. Lettis and RPOA NY have been dedicated to educating about and protecting responsible dog ownership in New York for over 30 years.  If you would like to nominate someone for an AKC Bebout or Community Achievement Award, or have a legislator you believe is deserving of our AKC Legislator of the Year Award, please contact us at doglaw@akc.org.  Also, don’t forget that the AKC PAC can donate to the campaigns of those legislators who have been champions on behalf of dogs and dog owners.  If you have a legislator you would like to nominate for an AKC PAC contribution, contact the AKC PAC at akcpac@akc.org.

Dog owners have achieved a number of successes this year thanks to the efforts of federations, club members and breeders around the country.  In June, Delaware became the became the 19th state nationwide to outlaw breed-specific bans. 

However, many states are still in session, and many local communities continue to consider new dog laws.  We encourage you to read our updates in this issue, and keep checking the Legislative Action Center (www.akcgr.org) for the latest updates and information on how you can get involved. 

At the national level, a new article from Patti Strand of NAIA raises awareness about issues with rescue importation. Appropriate sourcing and selection of pets is a key component to responsible dog ownership. We encourage you to raise this issue when discussing the importance of supporting responsible dog owners. 

Whether you are actively fighting legislation, or looking to help spread the word about these important issues this summer, we are here to help you!  Contact AKC Government Relations if we can be of assistance.  We are proud to partner with all of you in this important fight.