In late June, the AKC Government Relations team joined members of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs (NJFDC) for their annual lobby day at the state capitol in Trenton. A new video provides a glimpse into the message, hard work and accomplishments of that day.
Federation members brought several dogs to help meet and greet legislators, set up information booths at the capitol building, met with their legislators throughout the day, and attended a hearing. They also presented Senate President Steve Sweeney with AKC’s legislator of the Year award for 2015.
The predominant legislative issue during this event was a bill (SB 63) that, as introduced, would repeal consumer protection laws for pet purchasers and further reduce consumer protections by requiring that pet shops source pets only from shelter or rescue dealers, which are not subject to the same health and welfare standards required of dealers for purpose-bred pets. Although problems with the bill remain, the bill has since been amended to address these specific issues.
“Our goal is to give the legislators the facts (about breeders and responsible dog ownership”, said Jeffrey Ball, president of the NJFDC. “The response today has been exceptional.”