Taking Command
A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Dept - November/December 2014
 
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What’s New from GR
Most state legislatures are adjourned or in recess, which offers excellent opportunities for dog owners, breeders and exhibitors to meet with their elected officials in their home districts. Although few state legislatures are in session, bills are currently being drafted and prefiled for 2015. This is an ideal time for knowledgeable dog owners to get involved early in the process. 

Learn More »
 
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Greetings and Thanks from AKC GR
In this holiday season, the AKC Government Relations department sends our sincere thanks to every person who wrote a letter, sent an email, made a call, presented testimony, served on a committee, staffed a booth, met with a legislator, made a donation, and worked to educate both lawmakers and the public about issues that affect dogs and dog owners. Your actions make a difference for the dogs we love.

Please click here to see our holiday message to you.
 
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Students remained after the program concluded to meet Cardigan Welsh Corgis and informally discuss breeder practices. Photo by David McDonald, courtesy of the Cedar Rapids Kennel Association.

 
Tales from the Trenches:
Cedar Rapids Kennel Association Educates Vet Students about Responsible Breeders
Each year in Iowa, it seems we are fighting more and more restrictions on breeders and dog owners. There is increasing rhetoric against responsible breeders and a lack of understanding about all that we do on behalf of our dogs. So members of the Cedar Rapids Kennel Association decided to take back the conversation and develop a presentation for veterinary students to let them see that we are not the bad guys – in fact, we are experts on responsible dog breeding, ownership and care…and we love our dogs!

Read more »
 
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Barbara Reichman Honored with Bebout Award
AKC Government Relations is pleased to announce that Barbara Reichman of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs (NJFDC) has been honored with the Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Read more »
 
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More from the AKC Dog Lovers Blog
AKC Dog Lovers, the official blog of the AKC, is a great source of news, stories, and information from the American Kennel Club. Recent blog posts from the AKC Government Relations team are featured below.
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Photo by Mary Bloom © AKC
 
Trending — Despite Poor Record, Mandatory Spay/Neuter Proposals on the Rise
What do Pasadena, California; Augusta, Georgia; Madison, Wisconsin; New York City and the state of Rhode Island have in common? Each of these places has recently advanced legislation to require that all dogs or certain classes of dogs within their jurisdictions be sterilized.

After what appeared to be several years of declining interest in mandatory spay neuter (MSN) policy by animal activists, AKC has observed resurgence in MSN proposals in the last several months, mostly at the local level. Read more »

This article appeared in the “AKC Dog Lovers” blog on December 5, 2014.
     
UPDATE: In response to incredible negative reaction to the new law, a special council meeting was called during which the ordinance was repealed in its entirety.
 

Small Louisiana Village Backtracking on Draconian Breed-Specific Law?
In October, the Board of Aldermen of Moreauville, Louisiana, a village of approximately 1,000 residents in Avoyelles Parish, passed a draconian breed-specific vicious dog law that bans the ownership of “pit bulls” and Rottweilers. No exceptions were provided to the ordinance, including for service, therapy, or emotional support dogs. Read more ».

This article appeared in the “AKC Dog Lovers” blog on November 26, 2014.

 
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Legislative Information and Updates
Each year, thousands of dog-related laws and regulations are proposed at the federal, state, and local levels. So far this year, AKC GR has been monitoring more than 1,600 measures that could impact dog owners. Congress, seven state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session. Virginia is in special session. Bills for the 2015 session have been prefiled in 22 states.

Visit the 2014 Legislation Tracking page for the most up-to-date information on state and federal legislation. This site, updated each weekday, provides the latest bill text, status, and links to legislative alerts posted by the AKC. Click on the links below to view highlights of issues that are being tracked by AKC Government Relations:

Federal — issues that may affect all dog owners in the US
State — issues specific to your state.
Local — issues at the city and county levels

Please contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org for more information or to let us know what’s happening in your local community.
 
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2014 Legislative Successes
The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to partner with state federations, dog clubs and concerned owners to protect the rights of dog owners. The tireless response of responsible breeders, owners and fanciers across the country truly makes a difference! Visit the 2014 Legislative Successes page to view examples of recent results of their good work.
 
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Correction: In the October issue, the photo “US Senator Richard Blumenthal awards an AKC Canine Good Citizen® rosette to police dog ‘Saint Michael’ and K9 handler Officer Felicia Figol” was taken by Cindy Sherman,courtesy Trap Falls Kennel Club.
 
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