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If you're reading this…you're probably someone who loves animals, especially dogs. And at AKC's eighth annual Meet the Breeds event, Piers 92 and 94 were packed full with dog lovers of all kinds. Families, breeders, agility competitors, and more all came out to NYC to meet different dog and cat breeds and work together to promote responsible pet ownership.

One special dog lover and attendee of today's event is only in 5th grade but is already a Governor…Connecticut's Kid Governor, that is.

Jessica Brocksom, of Milford, was elected in November 2016 as Connecticut's second-ever Kid Governor. Brocksom ran on a platform of promoting the humane treatment of animals.

Connecticut's Kid Governor program teaches 5th graders across the state about government, elections, and the importance of civics engagement through a real-life election that coincides with Election Day in November. To earn the position of Kid Governor, Brocksom had to make a campaign video and win the most votes throughout the state.

AKC got the chance to talk to Brocksom about her platform and love for animals.

AKC: Why did you choose animal cruelty as your platform?
Jessica Brocksom: I chose animal cruelty as my platform because I've always loved animals and knew that some were not being treated right and I thought that was something people needed to act against.

Do you have any pets of your own?
I do. I have three cats, one dog, and two horses.

Are you excited to be here at Meet the Breeds?
I am extremely excited to be here.

What is the number one thing you're excited about and looking forward to?
I just want to meet all the dogs and I just think it's really cool.

Is there a certain breed you're most excited to meet?
The Husky.

How excited were you when you found out you won the Kid Governor position?
I was extremely excited and I just felt overwhelmed at first when I found out, and I knew it was going to be an awesome year.

So what's your favorite part about animals and helping them?
My favorite part about them is they're always loyal to you and you can always be happy with them. And when I'm helping them, when I'm done, I just get the warm feeling that an animal was happy about something.

Have you ever thought about joining dog sports?
I haven't thought of it before, but I might start thinking about it.

If you had to give a tip about responsible dog ownership what would your number one tip be?
My number one tip would be not to think that raising an animal is hard or too easy, you have a lot of responsibility, it's not just giving it food and water and playing with it all the time.

It was great talking to Jessica Brocksom and having her at Meet the Breeds presented by Purina® Pro Plan® to meet some dogs and help us promote responsible pet ownership.

Connecticut’s Kid Governor is an award-winning statewide civics program created by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN). The free program, in its second year, teaches 5th graders about state government, elections, and the importance of civic participation through a real-life election that’s timed to coincide with Election Day in November. To learn more about Connecticut’s Kid Governor–both the program and student–visit the program’s website, Learn more about Jessica and the Kid Governor program here.
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