Legislative Information and Updates from the AKC
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Taking Command
A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department
September 2017
What’s New from AKC Government Relations
The AKC Government Relations Department is committed to protecting your right to own, breed, and exhibit the dog of your choice. This advocacy is essential to the future of dog ownership in our country. Among the many measures that AKC is currently engaged with is AB 485 in California. This problematic proposal calls for a state-wide ban on the sale of purpose- bred pets at pet retailers, and instead requires pet retailers to only sell pets they obtain from shelters or rescue distributors.
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Losing Your Freedom to Choose Your Own Dog
*Originally published in the Orange County Register
If a wrong-headed Assembly proposal passes the state Senate and is signed into law, Californians will surrender the freedom to select the pet of their choice. Hard to believe, but you read that correctly. Under the proposal, the state would step in and prevent you from choosing a purebred puppy if you wanted to buy a pet through a retail pet store that is subject to federal animal welfare regulations and California’s consumer protection laws.
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Taking Command
Tales from the Trenches:
Why You Should Attend a Legislative Conference
It’s no secret that the right to own, breed, and care for the dog of your choice is being challenged on a daily basis at the local, state, and federal level throughout the United States. In the first six months of 2017, in our home state of New York, over 140 bills have been introduced that would impact dogs and dog owners.
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Taking Command
Five Things Your Parent Club Can Do to Impact Dog Laws & Protect Members’ Rights
Each year, the AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) tracks more than 1,500 bills that have the potential to impact anyone who shows dogs, breeds, participates in AKC events, or simply owns dogs. As national organizations that comprise the nation’s leading dog breed experts, along with a nation-wide audience and membership, AKC Parent clubs are in a unique position to influence lawmakers.
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Taking Command
Federal PETS Act Lays Framework for Protecting Pets During Natural Disasters
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, the federal Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (“PETS Act”) was passed to address these questions and issues. This law and subsequent amendments require that when the Department of Homeland Security approves state and local emergency preparation plans, they must make sure these plans “account for the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals before, during, and following a major disaster or emergency.”
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Taking Command
Texas and Louisiana Laws on Disaster Preparedness
Of the many stories brought to the country’s attention in the months following the landfall and destruction of Hurricane Katrina, perhaps none was as horrific to dog owners as those involving pets. In 2005, no laws existed that required animals be evacuated or sheltered during a natural disaster emergency. Instead of abandoning their pets, many owners put their and their pet’s lives in peril by riding out the storm, and its aftermath, in flood- and wind-damaged homes.
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Taking Command
In memoriam: Janice Sparhawk Gardner
We are saddened to report the passing of Janice Sparhawk Gardner. She was a dedicated dog owner/breeder/exhibitor, delegate, and judge, and a tremendous advocate for responsible dog ownership and the rights of responsible dog owners in her home state of New Hampshire.
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Taking Command
Legislative Information and Updates
  Congress, seven states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are currently in session, and seven states are in a special legislative session. AKC Government Relations is currently tracking more than 1,700 bills on the federal, state, and local levels. For more information on these bills, and information on how you can get involved, visit our Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org. Here are some highlights of pending canine legislation issues across the country.

Visit the 2017 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 U.S.
State — issues specific to your state
Local/Other — issues at the city, county, and metropolitan levels, and in U.S. territories

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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