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Senator Sweeney AKC Legislator of the Year

The American Kennel Club (AKC) honored New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney with the AKC Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his strong advocacy for responsible dog ownership.

Sheila Goffe, AKC Vice President, Government Relations; Jeffrey Ball, President of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs; and representatives of area AKC dog clubs presented the award to Senator Sweeney on June 16, 2016 at the New Jersey State House.

“We are pleased to honor Senator Sweeney as AKC Legislator of the Year, with our appreciation for his ongoing support for responsible dog owners and his dedication to protecting the health and wellbeing of dogs. His thoughtful, insightful approach to canine legislation demonstrates that he is both a knowledgeable statesman as well as a friend to New Jersey dog owners,” Goffe said.

The presentation was part of an annual capitol legislative day sponsored by the AKC and the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs. Dog lovers from some of the state’s more than 100 AKC dog clubs, along with several therapy dogs, spent the day meeting with legislators and sharing concerns about a proposed repeal of consumer protection laws (NJ Senate Bill 63) for pet purchasers.  Read more about SB 63, and look for updates on this legislation on the AKC Government Relations Legislative Alerts web page.

The James S. Holt Memorial Award for Promotion of Responsible Dog Ownership in Legislation, also known as the Legislator of the Year award, was established to honor legislators who demonstrate a commitment to promoting responsible dog ownership, the well-being of dogs, and protecting the rights of dog owners, exhibitors, and responsible breeders. The award is a memorial to the late Dr. James S. Holt, who served for 17 years as the AKC’s federal legislative consultant, participated in the sport of purebred dogs for more than 40 years, and served as an AKC Delegate and Board member.

Photo:  Dog lovers honored New Jersey Senator Steve Sweeney with the AKC Legislator of the Year Award.  L to R, Barbara Reichman, Sheila Goffe, Jeffrey Ball, Senator Steve Sweeney, Kira Wright and “Mouse”, a purebred Great Dane and certified therapy dog.