What’s New from AKC Government Relations
It’s safe to say this summer has turned out to be different than any other before. Whether you turn on the news, social media, or talk to your friends and family, COVID-19 continues to be top of mind. While you may assume that this has caused a hiatus on all other legislative efforts, including animal welfare, the American Kennel Club Government Relations (AKC GR) team continues to track legislation, often under the radar, that could potentially have extreme impacts on your life with your dogs.
For example, the Chicago City Council put forward a proposal that would essentially prohibit all hobby breeding in the city unless you obtain a permit that may be virtually impossible to obtain in a residential area. It also removes important pet store consumer protection laws. Fortunately, the city has temporarily postponed a vote on this measure and AKC GR continues to work to develop a better alternative.
Additionally, the AKC GR department published a blog discussing the unintended consequences of new, overreaching policy impacting dog sports. For example, if you are competing in agility, could your dog be considered “at large” because he is not on a leash?
We continue to see legislation introduced that could impact dog owners, but we have also seen a number of successes as well. GR has been pleased to partner with clubs, breeders, and federations across the country to defeat or successfully amend legislation that would have negatively impacted dogs and dog owners.
While the department is continuing to work hard despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, it is equally important to ensure that legislators know of the great work our community does. If you or your club is active in programs and activities that better your community as a whole, please consider applying for the Community Achievement Award. Recipients of the award are selected for successfully promoting responsible dog ownership within their communities or for effectively introducing, monitoring or responding to legislative issues affecting dog ownership. For the first quarter of the year, Mary McFaun was awarded the Community Achievement Award. Mary serves on Vermont’s Animal Cruelty Advisory Investigation Board (ACIAB) and is the President of the Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs.
As always, we want to hear from you. If you know of any impending legislation or problems in your town or state, please let us know. We are here to help.
Please stay safe and be well.