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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many states are shutting down all but what they deem to be essential services and businesses.

Over the last week, AKC has reached out to government officials and also asked for your help in ensuring that pet supplies, pet care, and pet services are ruled “essential” (exempt) businesses so that dog owners can continue to provide appropriate care for their animals. These issues can impact dog owners and breeders in a myriad of ways, including but not limited to: the ability to obtain sufficient, proper food and supplies; obtaining necessary veterinary care; and ensuring that animal owners can travel if necessary to assure proper care for their animals. Additionally, we are urging consideration for essential employees such as health care workers so they do not lose options for kenneling or pet care at a time when they may be required to work long or unscheduled hours.

We thank the many governmental officials who have responded positively.  We also thank all those who have brought these concerns to your own governor and legislators to ensure that pet supplies, care and services are deemed essential and thus exempt from shut-down orders.

AKC GR is tracking state shelter in place/closure orders with respect to rules impacting access to pet supplies, services, and care.  Click here to view state-by-state information, updated daily.

If your state has not ordered business closures, we encourage you to proactively and respectfully reach out to your legislators and governor’s office to share these concerns. For more information on reaching out to your legislators, view our previous alert or contact