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The Westminster Kennel Club show was held last week at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and televised to millions of dog lovers around the World. The show ring is one of the few places where an expert can judge a dog, based on its written breed standard, of how capable it is of doing its original job. To be sure, all the dogs in the ring will be primped and fluffed for the big event, but the show is far more than a beauty pageant. It’s a showcase for preserving and protecting our precious dog breeds and the characteristics that make them unique. These characteristics reflect the peoples and cultures that developed them. They are a snapshot not only of canine history, but our own.

Responsible breeding is all about recognizing and providing proper care for dogs and their unique needs and characteristics. Unfortunately, a bill currently in Congress would undermine all this. The Puppy Protection Act (HR 1624) establishes arbitrary and unworkable one-size-fits all standards that would harm many small specialty and hobby breeders who recognize the unique needs of their breeds. To protect our breeds and responsible breeders, this bill needs to be stopped.

It’s scary to hear about proposed legislation that restricts your rights to own, breed, or exhibit a dog. But getting involved in your community and the political process to prevent or oppose harmful proposals doesn’t have to be!  AKC Government is pleased to introduce new materials related to breeder regulations, pet choice, and preparing for advocacy. The first of the new materials is a comprehensive policy brief regarding Breeder Laws. This document provides lawmakers, advocates, and the public with in-depth analysis, public policy case studies, recommendations, and a compilation of current federal and state laws and regulations impacting dog breeders.

AKC GR also recently released a 90 second animated video that discusses the value of pet choice. Proposals seeking to limit pet choice and enact retail sales bans continue to be prominent in states and communities across the country. A friendly, video-format is a great way to convey a simple message about a comprehensive issue.

Although the AKC Government Relations team tracks and takes action on legislation across the country impacting dog owners, breeders, and our sport, the single most effective voice is yours – dog owners and breeders in local communities who will be directly impacted by laws.  This past week, we introduced Preparing for Advocacy, to help you be even more successful. This new one-page resource provides seven easy steps you can take in advance –even before contacting lawmakers—to make sure you are the best advocates possible for responsible dog ownership and your rights as dog enthusiasts.

Preparing for Advocacy can be printed or downloaded from the AKC Legislative Action Center ( We encourage you to review it and share it with fellow club members, breeders, and dog owners so you can stay on top of canine laws and policies and be effective advocates.