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The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, has announced that it will present U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire with the AKC Legislator of the Year Award on Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Souhegan Kennel Club’s Fall Extravaganza and Regional Obedience Trial.

“Senator Ayotte has been a great friend to dogs and a tremendous advocate for responsible dog owners and dog ownership,” said Sheila Goffe, Vice President of Government Relations for the AKC. “One example of her leadership is her introduction of S. 1559, the Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS), which establishes a program to help victims of domestic violence obtain safe accommodations for their pets when they are seeking shelter from their attackers.”

Numerous studies show that victims of domestic violence and related crimes will delay leaving or return to a dangerous situation out of concern for their pets.  Despite the frequent occurrence of pets being used as pawns in abusive relationships, few domestic violence shelters have the ability to accommodate victims who seek a safe place for themselves and their pets.


In 2010, the AKC developed the AKC Women’s Shelter Grant Program through the AKC Humane Fund to assist shelters in developing programs to address this tragic situation.  The PAWS Act creates the Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program, which would award grants for programs that provide assistance to victims of stalking and domestic violence. These grants and other protections for pets in the PAWS bill will further this important effort and ensure the safety of domestic violence victims and their pets.


Event Information (Media photo opportunity available):
Friday, October 14, 2016
Souhegan Kennel Club Obedience Trials
American K9 Country
336 Route 101
Amherst, NH 03031