Legislatures are in full swing across the country and AKC Government Relations (GR), clubs, breeders, and federations are walking the halls in capitols across the country to advocate on behalf of our dogs, breeding programs, and sport. In addition to the outreach and advocacy work conducted by AKC’s four regional GR staff, GR team members joined a number of local clubs and federations for special advocacy days at state houses around the country.
In January, Jennifer Clark, AKC Director of Legislative Outreach, and the Greater Lafayette Kennel Club joined the Indiana Council for Animal Welfare for a day at the capitol in Indianapolis where, along with homemade baked goods, AKC staff and breeders distributed information on the benefits of purebred dog breeders, the economic impact of dog events, and the good things AKC and its clubs do for the communities. Several lawmakers stopped by, including the Lieutenant Governor, who addressed the breeders in attendance, and thanked them for what they do to benefit Indiana.
GR staff also joined the Georgia Canine Coalition at Sportsmen’s Day at the state capitol in Atlanta in January. Staff met with numerous legislative leaders, allied groups and the Commissioner of Agriculture regarding specific legislation and key issues.
In February, Jennifer Clark met with the Kansas Pet Professionals and other organizations at a legislative day in Topeka, designed to celebrate purebred dog breeders and pet choice. AKC hosted a booth at the event and discussed AKC’s policy positions on key issues impacting breeders and pet sellers, and AKC’s commitment to the care and condition of animals bred and raised in the state.
Most recently, AKC joined the Iowa Show and Sport Dog Alliance and regional clubs for two days of advocacy and education at the Iowa State House. AKC joined regional clubs in hosting an information and educational table in the rotunda, and shared information about AKC’s commitment to responsible dog ownership and the economic impact of dog shows in the state. Legislators were invited to attend dog shows in their districts and to attend educational and other events hosted by AKC and the clubs in the state.
“Legislators and staff were delighted to meet with AKC, breeders, and dog clubs,” said Jennifer Clark, Director, Legislative Outreach. “We were continuously thanked for all we do for dogs, and the common-sense, fact-based approach we bring to our advocacy efforts. It’s encouraging to see so many lawmakers excited to work with us to protect dog ownership.”
The AKC thanks the clubs and federations who invited GR staff to participate with them in state advocacy days over the past month, as well as the many other federations, legislative liaisons, and breeders across the country who are working tirelessly to speak out on behalf of dogs in their states. Be sure to visit the AKC Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org for the latest information on legislative issues in your state.