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Taking Command Newsletter

What’s New from GR July 2021

Do you know the local dog laws where you live? When a new animal law is proposed in your city or county, would you even be aware that it is happening—and how to take action?

Extremely restrictive local dog laws are being passed every day across the US. For example, read this letter received by an AKC club member and breeder following enactment of a local ordinance. Then stop to consider, could this happen to you?

There are tens of thousands of local governments in the US, from giant metropolitans to the smallest towns. AKC Government Relations tracks federal and state bills that potentially affect dog owners, but there is no mechanism for tracking local legislation. AKC GR relies on residents to let us know when dog laws are discussed or proposed in their communities.

Don’t let a summons taped to your front door be your first notification that a bad dog law was passed! Now more than ever, it is crucial to stay informed and involved about local legislation. Please share the letter and recommended actions with your fellow dog owners, exhibitors, breeders, and club members, and ask them to join you in monitoring and being proactive on local issues.

Animal laws passed in one community are often copied in the next. Bad dog laws can spread rapidly when extremist groups and activists go city-to-city and county-to-county lobbying for their enactment. To assist you with canine legislative issues on all levels of government, AKC GR maintains an online Legislative Action Center with tools, key issue information, and other resources.

AKC, our clubs, and our affiliated organizations are assets to your community. Making sure local communities recognize the good we do—whether it’s funding a new K-9 for local police, assisting in rehoming dogs, or providing real expertise on dogs and breeding issues—is crucial to preventing bad policy.

The AKC Detection Dog Task Force (DDTF) will provide updates on two organizations working with AKC GR to protect national and local security. Join the DDTF for a webinar on July 14th at 7:30pm ET and learn about the work of the United States Police Canine Association and the AKC Reunite Adopt a K-9 Cop matching grant program that helps AKC clubs purchase police K-9s for local law enforcement departments. Read USPCA’s article about AKC’s work to remedy the shortage of quality US-bred detection dogs.

On the federal level, dog importation remains a hot topic following introduction of  HR 4239, the Healthy Dog Importation Act (HDIA). Members of Congress worked with AKC, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) , the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), and allied organizations on this bipartisan bill that offers a viable and lasting solution to deal with the ever-increasing numbers of diseased and potentially contagious dogs trafficked into the US.

The HDIA will help ensure that imported dogs are subject to verifiable health protocols, and we hope the measure will be instrumental in providing a positive alternative to temporary dog importation restrictions announced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that begin July 14. View AKC’s memorandum about HR 4239 and factors that led to its introduction.

For assistance in supporting positive laws and opposing/amending problematic measures, please contact AKC GR at for information on how you, your club, and your fellow dog advocates can get involved.