More than one hundred legislators from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut publicly shared their commitment to responsible dog ownership this month by serving as honorary chairs for the Meet the Breeds™ event hosted by the American Kennel Club and Westminster Kennel Club.
Many of the Honorary Chairs, their staff, and families attended this year’s event where they had opportunity to sign the AKC Pet Promise for responsible dog ownership, meet dogs of their favorite breeds, and learn about the importance of supporting responsible dog owners and breeders. Legislators received information about responsible canine legislation, AKC dog shows and dog breeders, and the contributions that AKC kennel clubs and dog enthusiasts bring to their communities. Federation leaders from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) were also on hand to discuss specific legislative issues in their states.
Connecticut Representative Susan Johnson, who served as an Honorary Chair, also presented AKC with an official State of Connecticut Citation for “this important event that celebrates the amazing diversity of dogs, high levels of canine training and athleticism, and the value and importance of responsible dog ownership.”
AKC Government Relations (GR) reached out to federal, state, and local lawmakers in the tri-state area with invitations to participate the event. Participating legislators’ names were featured on signage at the event and in press releases sent to local media. Many legislators also shared photos of themselves with their dogs—that were posted on the AKC Facebook page and other social media channels.
The Meet the Breeds annual event in New York City celebrates responsible dog ownership and features the opportunity for the public to personally meet and learn about more than 150 breeds of dogs from nationally-recognized breed experts. Legislators were surprised to learn that many of the dogs on hand were also competing at the Westminster Kennel Club dog shows in the following days. Legislators, legislative staff, and constituents enjoyed the opportunity interact directly with dog breeders and owners in a fun, family-friendly environment. The enormous crowds of dog lovers attending the event demonstrated to them that there is high interest in purebred dogs and AKC activities.
Check out the full list of Honorary Chairs here. If any of your representatives served as an Honorary Chair, please take a moment to thank them for their involvement in the event and let them know that you also support responsible pet ownership in your community.
Manhattan Boroguh President Gale A. Brewer. Photo © AKC
New York Assemblymember Kenneth Zebrowski. Photo © AKC
AKC Canine Legislation Manager Jennifer Clark and Government Relations Director Sheila Goffe. Photo © AKC
Several of the Honorary Chairs and Legislators who attended the 2016 Meet the Breeds signed the AKC Pet Promise.