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The American Kennel Club® (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and advocate for all dogs, presented New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle with the AKC Legislator of the Year award in recognition of her valiant advocacy for ensuring responsible grooming practices in the state on June 10th.

The AKC recognizes Assemblywoman Huttle for her leadership on pet grooming safety issues. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle introduced the “Pet Groomers Licensing Act;” also known as “Bijou’s Law,” which established health and safety certification requirements for groomers. Sheila Goffe, AKC Vice President, Government Relations, commented, “appropriate grooming to ensure health and wellbeing is part of responsible dog ownership. Health and safety should always be primary considerations when grooming a dog. We commend Assemblywoman Huttle on her important and balanced work on this issue, which protects the health and safety of pets and advances the industry through educational resources.”

Upon receiving the award, Assemblywoman Huttle remarked, “It is an honor to be recognized by the American Kennel Club as the Legislator of the Year. Our pets are beloved members of our families, we must continue to do everything in our power to keep them healthy and safe. I look forward to a continued partnership with the AKC as we look to further advance animal rights in the state of New Jersey.”

The award was presented by Jeffrey Ball, President of the New Jersey Federation of Dogs (NJFDC), noting “the Assemblywoman looks to address any problem or issue head on, and not only has shown concern for her constituents in her district but the entire state of New Jersey as well. Those constituents included all members of the households, including our four-legged family.  The AKC and NJFDC would like to thank Assemblywomen Huttle for all she has done and recognize her as 2018 Legislator of the Year.”