For the American Kennel Club’s Government Relations department, this summer has had a unique focus on policy issues on the federal level. Topics such as detection dogs, dog importation, and animal welfare have all been hot topics for Congress. The American Kennel Club continues to work closely with members of Congress to educate and advocate on behalf of all dogs.
We encourage you to review our latest issue of AKC GR’s In Session newsletter, which in part highlights the important issue of importation and how it can impact the health of dogs in the United States. Please consider printing this newsletter, and in particular, the article regarding importation, to share with your members of Congress.
In late August, the American Kennel Club hosted the second AKC US Detection Dog Conference in Durham, North Carolina. The conference explored solutions to the shortage of domestic dogs for detection work in the U.S., by bringing together numerous stakeholders in this national security issue including: breeders, trainers, government officials, law enforcement, academia, vendors, and businesses. Internationally known subject matter experts delivered thought-provoking presentations that covered the breeding, training, and deployment of Explosives Detection Canines.
Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-3), delivered the opening remarks for the conference and was presented a Legislator of the Year award for his extensive work on this issue.
AKC GR was a sponsor for the annual Pet Night on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 6. The event was attended by over 400 people, including more than a dozen members of Congress. Leaders from the pet community demonstrated their unity and commitment to increasing awareness of the health benefits of responsible pet ownership, and important programs and legislative initiatives, including the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act and the Farm Bill (HR2).
Also, this month, AKC awarded Michigan State Representative Dan Lauwers with a Legislator of the Year Award for his continued dedication to supporting dog owners and breeders. The St. Clair Kennel Club will be presented the award to him at their September show. We also honored Barbara Reichman of the NAIA Trust of New Jersey with AKC’s Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation for her tireless efforts on behalf of dog owners and breeders in New Jersey.
As fall and winter approach, we tend to see more bills introduced on the local level. We encourage you to stay vigilant in your community. Please be sure to read our latest blog on things you and your club can be doing today to make a difference for your dogs, breeding program, and the sport. Thank you to all who continue to work with us in this fight. As a reminder, if you hear of an issue in your state and community, please contact us at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.