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Taking Command August 2018

What’s New From Government Relations August 2018

Summer is winding down and many legislatures are in recess or have adjourned, but AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) has remained extremely busy working around the country to protect the rights of dog owners and educate legislators on canine legislation issues.

AKC GR is pleased to announce that there have been numerous legislative victories as a result of the tireless efforts of clubs, breeders, and state federations.  These include a positive bill in Illinois, initiated by the Illinois federation, which requires shelter reporting requirements that will provide essential data on exactly where and why animals are coming into Illinois shelters and what happens to them once they are there. Other successes include the defeat of a measure that would have essentially banned field trials in Montana and a bill that would have harmed dog enthusiasts and responsible breeders in Massachusetts.  In Springfield, Missouri, voters overturned the city’s breed-specific ban with an overwhelming majority.  Visit AKC’s website for more highlights of 2018 legislative successes.

These successes, which are just highlights of the many victories for dogs and dog owners throughout the country, are not possible without local dog owners and clubs getting involved.  This month, be sure to check out our new blog for four things your club can do today to be effective advocates and work with us to get the information and resources you need.  This is the first in a new series of articles that will provide simple ideas and action items your club can do to protect your dogs and your rights as dog owners.

The AKC Government Relations team has also been on the road, with staff attending both the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Summit and the annual American Legislative Exchange Council Conference. AKC GR’s exhibits again proved to be among the most popular stops for lawmakers, and team members welcomed lawmakers and legislative staff from across the country and educated them about effective, positive solutions to dog issues in their states.

Do you know of a federal, state, or local elected official who has taken a stand to protect responsible dog ownership? Make sure to nominate a deserving legislator for the AKC Legislator of the Year Award. This is a great way to recognize lawmakers who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting responsible dog ownership, the well-being of dogs, and protecting the rights of dog owners, exhibitors, and responsible breeders. It’s important as constituents, to honor the legislators you work with and build on your existing relationships. AKC GR is now accepting nominations. Please use this form to submit your nominations.

Finally, AKC GR was saddened to learn about the loss of Dr. Al Stinson, who was a tremendous advocate for purebred dogs in Michigan. Read more about his lasting legacy. 

AKC GR is proud to partner with dog owners, breeders, and federations to help protect your rights.  Be sure to check out our Legislative Action Center ( for talking points, sample letters, and a wealth of other information to share with lawmakers and fellow dog owners.  Finally, if you hear of an issue in your community, be sure to reach out to us at or (919) 816-3720.  Thank you for working with us to protect the dogs and sport we love!