As the weather improves, the flowers bloom, more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and new legislative successes are reported, optimism is in the air. However, there’s still plenty of challenges ahead in canine legislation.
As an “off-election”, or odd-numbered year, all 50 state legislatures are in session. And, as is commonly the case after an election, new leadership and newly-elected lawmakers are anxious to get to work, as we have seen in the more than 2,100 legislative proposals we are monitoring so far this year. Although most legislatures are still in session, there have already been many successes this year on bills that the AKC GR team worked on. Successes cover a broad range of issues. These include stopping a bill in Wyoming that could have caused someone to permanently lose their animals on suspicion of cruelty – even if they are later found not guilty. Or in New Hampshire, for example, AKC GR worked with sportsmen groups to defeat a bill that could have had a negative impact on some hunting/training facilities.
AKC GR continues to fight many proposals that could harm dog owners and breeders. Earlier this month, we published an op-ed in several Pennsylvania newspapers that explains why proposed retail sales bans are not in the best interest of dogs or dog owners. We have also provided a list of 5 things your club can do today to help us fight California Assembly Bill 702. Be sure to also check out our federal, state, and local updates in this issue to see the latest information on legislation pending in your area.
In addition to policy successes, AKC GR has several ongoing projects that are shaping up to help not only dog enthusiasts, but the country as a whole. An Op-ed in the Military Times shared the results of a recent government-sponsored report on the chronic shortage of domestically bred working dogs. The report cited the AKC Detection Dog Task Force numerous times in the work it is doing to help mitigate the shortage and encourage the breeding of homegrown hero dogs that can achieve the rigorous standards necessary to be an explosives detection or military working dog.
AKC GR is pleased to share a new flyer that provides information on recent changes to airline rules for emotional support animals (ESAs) and Service Dogs. The flyer also shares information about Service Dog Pass, a program in development by the not-for-profit American Service Dog Access Coalition, co-founded by AKC, to reduce the burdens faced by disabled individuals when travelling with service dogs and to help address issues associated with poorly trained service dogs. To learn more about Service Dog issues, visit AKC GR’s Service Dog Key Issues Page.
And finally, it’s never too early to start preparing for next year. Volunteers may soon be seen throughout Colorado collecting signatures to put a harmful measure on the November 2022 ballot that they will claim will protect animals in the state. The American Kennel Club joins many other animal welfare, livestock and animal husbandry groups in expressing grave concerns and opposition to the proposal. We urge all dog owners and breeders in the state to NOT sign these petitions should they begin to be circulated.
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