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Taking Command Newsletter

What’s New From GR March 2020

In these unprecedented times, the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department remains committed to ensuring that you and your dogs are protected. Although we have taken our operation remote, we are still available by phone (919-816-3720) and email (, and we will continue to bring you the most up to date information, including whether you will be able to buy dog food or other supplies at the pet store, or if your state legislature will be hearing that bill you have been worrying about.

COVID-19 shut-downs may mean you have new, unexpected free time. We are pleased to provide materials to further the ongoing challenge of protecting the right to own and breed dogs. AKC GR has a new resource for actions you can take to stay up-to-date and continue to act on legislation from the comfort of your own home. This includes subscribing to AKC newsletters and alerts, taking the time to learn about your state and local advisory boards, understanding how to quickly and effectively communicate with your legislator on key issues, and making friendly calls or emails.

With elections coming up, there’s never been a better time to signal to candidates in your community that canine issues matter — and to find out where they stand by sending them a candidate survey.

AKC GR has been working hard to ensure you have access to the pet food, care and supplies you need during the COVID-19 crisis response.  AKC and pet care industry leaders including the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) have been busy urging government officials to help ensure the well-being of animals by allowing businesses that provide products and services for the care of pets to continue to operate. Dennis Sprung, AKC President/CEO, along with more than 780 pet care professionals from across the U.S., sent an open letter to federal, state, and local government officials urging that pet food and service suppliers be deemed “essential” services that are exempt from mandatory closures. AKC GR has additionally reached out to many states and communities individually to assure access to crucial pet care, food and services. To keep track of our state by state list of which pet related services are exempt from mandatory closure, visit the AKC Legislative Action Center.

As always, AKG GR relies on you to let us know about pending canine legislation or issues in your city or county, so please stay alert and involved! When local laws or regulations are discussed or proposed, please advise AKC GR at  We also encourage you to continue to check the Legislative Action Center (, which is updated daily with the latest information to keep you informed about how you can continue to protect your dogs and your rights in these uncertain times.

Please stay safe and be well.