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Taking Command Newsletter

Federal Issues April 2021

AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor the US Congress for issues of interest to dog owners.

Visit our 2021 Legislation Tracking page and click on “US Fed” on the map to get the latest updates on federal bills currently being monitored by the AKC. Highlights of issues we are currently addressing on the federal level include:

US Congress – Companion measures S 613/HR 1448 direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program on dog training therapy and to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary to provide service dogs to veterans with mental illnesses who do not have mobility impairments. AKC has  recommended amendments to assure behavioral, health and training standards for the dogs. Both measures have been referred to their respective Veterans Affairs committees. HR 1448 has been moved to the consent calendar and could be considered as soon as mid-April.  

US Congress – HR 1016 would establish an Animal Cruelty Crimes Section within Department of Justice to enforce federal animal cruelty laws. This measure has been referred to the Judiciary committee. 

US Congress HR 1022/S951 establishes a Veterans Administration program to establish grants to provide service dogs to certain qualified disabled veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. Grants would be provided for dogs from not-for-profit service dog trainers who meet credentials published by the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans, including passage of multiple levels of AKC CGC tests. The program would also develop appropriate means to measure and report on psychosocial function, therapeutic compliance, and change in reliance on prescription narcotics and psychotropic medications of program participants.