Despite an extremely busy beginning of the year, the American Kennel Club Government Relations team, and you as dog lovers, have a lot of successes to celebrate. Some recent successes include:
- Utah House Bill 359 would have required permits and regulations for anyone who breeds and sells even one dog. After extensive discussions with the sponsor and outreach from local clubs, the bill was amended to exempt hobbyists, clarify it did not apply to private homes, and remove the permit requirement. The bill passed the House but did not receive a Senate vote before the end of session.
- Kentucky House Bill 103 would have expanded Kentucky’s animal cruelty laws to criminalize even minor, treatable conditions. AKC and sportsmen worked to get the bill amended to address concerns. It passed the House but was ultimately held in the Senate.
- The City of Lafayette, Colorado, considered a proposal that would have banned the private sales of dogs in the city. AKC coordinated with the federation and local clubs to provide written and oral testimony and the proposal as introduced was tabled.
Another recent success was the Raleigh, North Carolina Canines at the Capitol event. After a three-year covid hiatus, AKC returned to the North Carolina State Legislature with a mini meet the breeds event to educate lawmakers and the public about AKC and to promote responsible dog ownership. The event showcased a variety of dog, including several rare breeds that are being raised in the state. Attendees met a variety of dogs, ranging from a 3-month-old Bracco Italiano, to two very friendly French Bulldogs, to a Border Collie demonstrating her skills on an agility course set out on the lawn of the state legislature. Several lawmakersand staff called the event the “best day ever” and said its “something they look forward to every year”. The event was captured by several news outlets and graced the front page of the Raleigh News & Observer newspaper.
And when our travels take us across state lines, there’s something else that must be checked off the list: Ensuring our dogs meet the veterinary care requirements of the states we’re traveling to. There is a lot of variation among states’ requirements; and while ensuring that our dogs meet our destination state’s requirements can be time consuming and costly, there’s tremendous upside in being able to substantiate our dogs’ health and vaccination status. Moreover, failing to provide evidence that requirements are met can bring about more serious consequences, including removal from event sites, confiscation and quarantine, and fines.
Regardless of whether you and your dogs travel by car, plane, or a combination of both, the American Kennel Club (AKC) urges owners and handlers to know and comply with all laws and regulations that apply to them, including interstate travel requirements. For your convenience, here is a summary of states’ requirements.
Increasingly, we are encountering legislation that impacts the use of working dogs, and particularly law enforcement canines (K9s). To provide more information about this issue, and the role of law enforcement canines, the AKC Detection Dog Task Force hosted a webinar last week with Don Slavik, Executive Director of the United States Police Canine Association. The webinar focused on the crucial importance of high quality training, and discussed the use of Police K9s as a positive law enforcement tool for public safety in our communities. Slavik noted that properly trained and deployed police K9s deflect danger, protect their human partners, and detect scent in a way that is unmatched by any other law enforcement tool.
As many legislatures head towards adjournment over the next few months, we expect an increase in legislative activity – often with very short notice. Be sure your club has provided us with the most up-to-date contact information for your Legislative Liaison, and regularly check the AKC Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org for the latest information.