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As we close in on the end of the year, the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) extends our sincerest thanks for all the hard work you demonstrated this past year to protect the dogs we all love so much. We could not do what we do without you showing up at hearings, sending emails, making phone calls, and sharing with your club members and friends.

We are looking forward to the AKC National Championship in Orlando. If you are there, be sure to stop by the AKC GR booth. Once again, acclaimed caricature artist Rafael Diez will be there to draw a picture of you and your dog on an AKC PAC/ National Championship holiday ornament. The ornaments make great gifts and your support of the AKC PAC helps support lawmakers who protect the rights of dog owners, exhibitors and breeders.

Over the last month, the GR team has created several new fact sheets to prepare you for advocacy in the new year. The first is a one pager capturing the specific economic impact of a National Specialty. When you go to your National Specialty, the money you spend on food, lodging, gas, and more plays a huge role in injecting financial resources into the local economy. When a hot issue pops up in a community that hosts these specialties, lawmakers should be aware that purebred dogs and dog sports are beneficial to their community. This fact sheet helps showcase this information in an easy-to-understand way.

Another new addition to the Legislative Action Center is a fact sheet explaining the process of how a bill becomes a law. Understanding the process by which laws are made helps empower individuals and groups to advocate for changes or improvements. By grasping these fundamental steps, citizens can better understand and confidently participate in the democratic process, holding their elected representatives accountable, and contributing to the creation of effective and just laws.

Responsible dog breeding is under attack. Multiple proposals at the federal, state, and local levels seek to restrict or end responsible dog breeding. The federal Puppy Protection Act would prohibit the breeding of female dogs unless approved for breeding by a veterinarian, with no specific details on what the screening would involve or who would make these decisions. At the state and local levels, no fewer than 80 measures seek to curtail skilled breeders who supply dogs as pets or to law enforcement as working dogs. A recent article the in the DC Journal, by AKC VP, Government Relations, Sheila Goffe explains to the public some of the concerns that AKC and responsible dog breeders and owners are facing.

Finally, the AKC GR team has been busy around the country attending conferences and hosting legislative meetings. Meetings this month include: Mississippi, Virginia, and a national conference of city leaders in Atlanta,.

We hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season, and remember, if you will be at the National Championship in Orlando, please stop by and say hello!