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The weather may be cooling off, but there are several issues on the federal and local levels that are heating up. In a new op-ed for the DC Journal, American Kennel Club Vice President, Sheila Goffe, expresses her deep concern about the removal of funding for breeder education and outreach including   “teachable moments” from the FY 2023 House Agriculture Appropriations bill (HR 8294).

Under the current framework, inspectors — often veterinarians and animal experts — are encouraged to communicate with breeders, helping them improve their operations and resolve or avoid infractions before and during licensure. But if anti-breeder activists get their way, these “teachable moments” will end. Indeed, the proposed provision seeks to prohibit “the prioritizing of education or collaborative approaches to violations or noncompliance ahead of enforcement.” Inspectors will be expected to impose a “gotcha” environment of blocked licenses and punishments in which nobody learns how to improve their kennels and the care of animals.

On the local level, pet store issues and mandatory spay and neuter have been taking center stage. The Texas communities of New Braunfels is considering a pet store ban, and San Marcos is considering a proposal to mandate spay/neuter for a first at-large dog offense as well as a prohibition on pet stores sourcing sourcing puppies from breeders.

AKC clubs and federations are stepping up to assist in the battle against animal rights extremists. The Missouri Federation of Animal Owners (MoFed) was recently interviewed by AKC GR on five actions you can take to advocate for dogs. AKC GR also reminds clubs that discussions with staff are extremely valuable.  AKC GR staff can help relay messages to lawmakers on key issues and ensure they hear the concerns of their dog-owning constituents and interested parties.

AKC GR recently surveyed our grassroots contacts to understand how we may better communicate with you about important legislative issues. If you subscribe to this newsletter, you likely received a questionnaire from us in late September. Thank you to all who participated!  Your input will help us improve our communication with you and other advocates. Learn more about our findings.

If you are aware of pending legislation in your community or have a recommendation for how AKC GR can better work with advocates, please do not hesitate to contact us at

And if you will be at the AKC National Championship in December, look for our booth! We’d love to speak with you in person!