The results of several elections may still not be official, but our outreach as responsible dog owners, exhibitors, and breeders needs to begin now. Many states elected a large number of new lawmakers on the federal, state, and local levels – most of whom likely know very little about canine legislation.
Most state legislatures will reconvene in early 2021, and many are already pre-filing bills for next session. This is why it is crucial for you as a member of a local club or state federation, or as a responsible breeder and dog owner, to take the next several weeks to educate your lawmakers about the importance of promoting and protecting responsible dog ownership.
To help you with this, AKC GR has been hard at work developing and updating a number of our policy resources to help you communicate with legislators, staff, and the general public on a broad range of important topics, including dangerous dogs, ownership limit laws, and dogs outdoors in inclement weather.
As a reminder, AKC GR also has government relations and legislative resources relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes information on the status of legislatures, state reopenings, COVID-19 liability bills, and a blog with advice on how to reach out to local officials to get approval to hold shows. Visit www.akcgr.org/covid19 for the latest legislative information and resources. And for more information on COVID, including guidance and best practices for dog sports, visit AKC’s web page for updates and more details.
This is in addition to many other resources and tools we have available to help you be effective advocates for your dogs. Check our Legislative Action Center (www.akcgr.org) often for new and updated materials, and be sure to visit the “Key Issues” link for detailed resources and documents on specific policy issues.
This past month, AKC GR also hosted a webinar to introduce the new manager of the Patriotic Puppy Program and provide important updates on this initiative that is seeking to address the shortage of U.S.-bred and raised detection dogs. We encourage you to read our latest blog to learn more about the program and view the webinar.
Finally we want to recognize a significant result in Denver, where voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure that repeals the city’s 30-year ban on certain breeds. This ban will be replaced with regulations and a new licensing for these breeds, which could be lifted after 36 months of no incidents. AKC hopes this important vote is a first step that leads the city to ultimately repeal all breed-specific policies.
AKC Government Relations continues to work to track legislation and provide you with the resources you need to communicate with lawmakers. Visit our online Legislative Action Center or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance in helping educate lawmakers about canine legislative issues in your state or community.