What’s New from AKC Government Relations

Happy Holidays from the Government Relations team! As we wrap up the year, we want to thank you again for all your time, energy, calls, and emails that have helped to protect the rights of responsible dog owners, breeders, and exhibitors in 2017.  There have been many challenges, but thanks to your hard work, 2017 has brought many successes as well.  To learn more, be sure to read the 2017 Legislative Year in Review.

2017 has been a year of growth. To assist you better, the GR department hired new staff, expanded outreach with a series of regional and national conferences, began placing regional staff in the field, developed new policy guidance on emerging and ongoing issues, provided Opinion Editorials (Op Eds) to the national media, developed new policy positions and issues briefs, held legislative/educational days at the national and state capitols, and expanded collaboration with other stakeholder groups. The team monitored and responded to approximately 2000 legislative proposals at the state, federal and local levels and hundreds of regulatory changes.

Some of the most recent updates include three new canine legislation position statements covering: Working and Detection Dogs, Groomer Licensing and Safety, and Civil Damages in Cases Involving Injury to Pets. Each of these issues has expanded in canine public policy significance and impact in the last year.  For an example of our work to raise awareness about one emerging canine issue, read our piece on Fox News about the shortage of domestically bred working and detection dogs and what the American Kennel Club is doing to help.

We are also pleased to welcome Robert Miller, AKC GR’s new Legislative Analyst/Community Outreach Coordinator for the Western Region. Robert will be based in Sacramento, California, and oversee legislative analysis and outreach in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and Montana. He comes to AKC with experience as a reporter and two decades of work in state and local government, where he has served as a legislative analyst and public information officer.  Along with his wife, Lisa Boyer, DVM, and children, he breeds, trains, and hunts Wirehaired Pointing Griffons. They also share their home with a Giant Schnauzer, a Maltese, and a terrier mix.

In case you missed it, the latest issue of In Session, our newsletter for members of Congress and other policymakers, has just been released. This issue delves into the security challenges posed by the shortage of American-bred explosives detection dogs and shares AKC’s commitment to assist with devel­opment and procurement of quality, domestically-bred dogs suitable for training as military working dogs. It also features a profile of Congressman Ralph Abraham from Louisiana’s 5th district. Abraham, a sponsor of the National Purebred Dog Day resolution, is both a medical doctor and a veterinarian, and calls on this experience in his role as a member of Congress. Click here to read In Session

The AKC GR team worked on nearly 2,000 bills and ordinances throughout 2017 on the state, federal, and local level. The GR department saw an influx of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), especially on the local level. We also saw a huge increase in cruelty-related bills and disaster preparedness bills. The increase in disaster preparedness bills may be a result of the numerous national disasters our country faced this year. You can read a more in depth look into our legislative year here.

As always, we want to know if you hear of legislation or proposed public policy that could impact responsible dog ownership where you live. Reach out to the GR team at our main number 919-816-3720 or via doglaw@akc.org. We’re here to be a resource for you.

The American Kennel Club and the AKC Government Relations Department wish you a happy and healthy 2018.