The American Kennel Club’s Government Relations Department (AKC GR) has been on the road this summer and will continue to cover ground across the United States.
On the weekend of July 13th, the GR team hosted a two-day legislative conference in the Denver, Colorado area where dozens of dog owners, breeders, and community leaders met to learn about how to be effective advocates and protect their rights. Other conferences will be held soon, including one in the Sacramento, California, area on October 6, and another in Kentucky or Tennessee. AKC GR will provide more information on these events in the coming weeks.
GR staff also attended the National Association of Counties (NACo) meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, where they spoke directly with county lawmakers and officials from across the country, answered questions, provided resources to promote responsible dog ownership, and discussed effective canine policy. As a direct result of this conference, a county official in Maryland reached out immediately to AKC GR and worked with the team to develop reasonable solutions to some dog tethering and cruelty concerns in the county.
Later this summer, members of the GR team will also attend the National Conference of State Legislatures in Los Angeles, California and the American Legislative Exchange Council Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. These national conferences provide AKC GR with a unique opportunity to directly interact with lawmakers from across the United States and let them know that we are a resource for positive, effective solutions to canine legislative concerns.
The GR team has also been monitoring important issues on the federal level that are affecting our beloved dogs. Sheila Goffe, Vice President of the Government Relations Department, recently published an article on FOX News examining the public health risks associated with importing randomly-sourced dogs from overseas as pets. A federal initiative by the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) and AKC to study and address these concerns is part of the federal Farm Bill (H.R. 2) currently in congressional conference committee. Additionally, the AKC has been involved in stakeholder discussions regarding the enforcement and improvement of the Animal Welfare Act.
The GR team is committed to making sure your rights are protected and will continue to work with you and with legislators at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure our decision makers are well educated and aware of unattended consequences of their policy action. It is also essential that lawmakers hear from dog owners and breeders in their constituency who will be directly impacted by new policies. We can partner with you and provide you tools and resources to be an effective advocate for your dogs in your state and community. If you know of policy that is being considered in your area, please contact the Government Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.