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Taking Command Newsletter

What’s New From GR November 2018

Election results are being finalized across the country and there’s a new crop of lawmakers in Congress, statehouses, and local communities across the country. Now is a good time to reach out to your newly-elected legislators. This month’s Taking Command includes a communications action plan for dog advocates so you can start now in taking important steps on behalf of your club, breeding program, and your dogs.

Also, if you wish to recognize incumbent federal or state legislators who have worked on behalf of dogs and dog owners in the past year, consider nominating them for the AKC Legislator of the Year Award.  For more information and a nomination form, please send a request to

All 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia will hold legislative sessions in 2019. Bills in most states (Virginia and New Jersey are exceptions) that didn’t pass in 2018 will be “dead” at the end of this year; therefore, it’s time to get ready for the introduction of new legislation. Look for the most up-to-date information on federal and state resolutions and bills that affect dog owners at This Legislative Action Center gives you access to AKC’s Legislation Tracking Page,  recent legislative alerts, and blog posts. Please check back often, as we are constantly adding new materials.

Effective advocates work to educate and form alliances among stakeholders that share our interests and dedication to the wellbeing of all dogs. The Responsible Dog Owners of Maryland (RDO-MD), AKC’s newest federation, organized this year as a result of several concerned Maryland residents who wanted to get involved more heavily in county and state-wide canine legislation. Since its conception, RDO-MD has been involved in legislative issues ranging from pet stores to tethering and continues to educate the public and lawmakers on the importance of protecting our right to own, breed, and exhibit dogs. If you live in Maryland, consider joining this federation. Participation in your state’s federation is an excellent way to join with other concerned dog owners and breeders to establish a stronger, more effective voice at your state legislature.  To learn more about AKC Federations or to get more involved, visit the AKC State Federations page.

The AKC Government Relations team is committed to ensuring that you have the tools and skills you need to work with your legislators to promote reasonable and responsible legislation and stop harmful legislation.

Recently, AKC GR has held legislative conferences in California, Colorado, Indiana, and Alabama. GR team members have also been busy participating in meetings and conferences of lawmakers and government officials to introduce AKC to policymakers, answer questions and introduce AKC as the expert resource on canine policy issues. To learn more about what’s is being done in your state, reach out to the AKC GR representative for your state.

Are you headed to Orlando in December for the AKC National Championship Dog Show presented by Royal Canin? We invite you to visit the AKC Government Relations booth on December 15-16.  The AKC PAC will have a caricature artist available to sketch you and your dog— and we’d love to meet you.

Finally, as we approach Thanksgiving, we want to say how grateful we are for all of you who work so tirelessly on behalf of our dogs and our sport. We couldn’t do this without you!  Thank you for your commitment and for partnering with us!