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Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. In these last days leading up to the election, candidates are vying for your vote. You may receive phone calls, visits from volunteer door knockers, or even a direct appeal from the candidate. As you walk to your polling place for early voting or on Election Day, you may pass dozens of workers with signs, stickers, and hand-outs who seek a last-minute chance to influence your vote. A candidate may introduce him or herself and offer to shake your hand.

If they ask for a moment of your time—give it to them.

It doesn’t matter if you support that candidate or not. Take advantage of this opportunity to make a statement on behalf of your dogs, your sport, and your breeding program. Rather than hanging up the phone, shutting the door, or replying “no thanks” and walking by, use that moment to let them know their actions on canine issues are important to you as a voter.  As mentioned in last month’s issue, AKC Government Relations  (AKC GR) has an Election Guide and Candidate Survey to ensure you are prepared for the election ahead.

In addition to prepping for the election, several clubs throughout the country have been extremely busy with policy-related activity. First, the American Kennel Club Government Relations department wishes to congratulate the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners for winning the Quarter 2 Bebout Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation. Over the recent year, the federation’s dedication to education, especially with new members of the club, has been unmatched. They have held multiple educational webinars, providing a regular update on Maine kennel laws and the importance of compliance. The group also holds face-to-face meetings at the State Capital yearly to promote just and fair legislation, promote purebred dogs, and support animal welfare. In addition to the honor, the federation received a check for $1,000 to help offset future legislative efforts. If you would like to nominate someone for the award, additional information can be viewed here.

Also, this month, AKC GR’s Jacob Hupp attended the Doberman Pinscher Club of America’s National Specialty in Topeka, KS, to share AKC legislative resources and advocacy initiatives with the club. Hupp gave a presentation to the DPCA on canine legislative trends, effective advocacy and shared AKC election resources with the club. The presentation included spirited discussion and feedback from nearly everyone who attended. Club members were particularly interested in discussing how to share their story with lawmakers and how to be more proactive by getting to know their elected officials and local candidates running for office.

In the Southeast, the Mobile Kennel Club (MKC) hosted guests from the Gulf Coast area for a program on current issues in canine legislation. Representatives of clubs in Florida and Mississippi joined MKC members at their October 5th meeting to discuss how positive and problematic laws can affect dogs, dog owners, and club events. Patty Van Sicklen, Regional Manager-Southeast, American Kennel Club Government Relations, presented an overview of legislative trends.

¿Hablas español? Or know someone who does? Our one pager on Service, Emotional Support, and Therapy Dogs has now been translated into Spanish. AKC GR is proud to expand our reach to other communities who may not otherwise have been able to utilize the information.

We also have a version to help children the differences between Service, Emotional Support, and Therapy Dogs.

And lastly, the AKC Detection Dog Task Force is pleased to invite you to join them for a unique discussion with Jay Crafter of Invictus K9 The discussion will involve both detection and tracking disciplines. He looks forward to relaying his operational footprint working in multiple African countries and employing handlers from various backgrounds. The online event will take place Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, at 7:30 PM (ET). Registration is required. At registration, participants will have the chance to submit up to three questions for discussion during the session.