Legislative Information and Updates from the AKC
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Taking Command
A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department
November 2016
What’s New from AKC Government Relations
Are you headed to Orlando in December for the AKC National Championship Dog Show presented by Royal Canin? We invite you to visit the AKC Government Relations booth on December 17-18—we’d love to meet you. Look for us next to the main AKC booth.

While you’re there, please check out a fundraiser to benefit the AKC Canine Legislation Support Fund (CLSF). For a donation of $25, you could win an exciting experience at Seaworld® Orlando, including special behind-the-scenes access, swimming with the dolphins, hotel accommodations, and a gift card to use toward airfare. This experience was generously donated by Julian Prager and Jack McDaniel to the AKC Canine Legislation Support Fund on behalf of the National Animal Interest Alliance.

Stop by the AKC Government Relations booth on Saturday or Sunday in Orlando for more details. If you’re not attending the AKC National Championship, please contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720 to find out how you can donate to the CLSF and get your chance to win.
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Election Wrap-Up: You Voted...Now Introduce Yourself!
The elections may be over, but our work as responsible dog owners, exhibitors, and breeders is just beginning. Many states elected a large number of new lawmakers on the federal, state, and local levels – most of whom likely know very little about canine legislation.

Most state legislatures will reconvene in early 2017, and many are already beginning pre-filing bills for next session. This is why it is critical for you as a member of a local club or state federation, or as a responsible breeder and dog owner, to take the next several weeks to educate your lawmakers about the importance of promoting and protecting responsible dog ownership.

Here are a few simple ideas of effective, proactive actions you can take over the next couple months to make a big difference for dog owners in your state.
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Taking Command
Congressional Canine Spotlight- Cocker Spaniel Serves as "Legislative Therapy Dog" on Capitol Hill
When you go to Capitol Hill, you expect to have meetings and to exchange business cards. If you stop by the Office of Congressman Jim Bridenstine, you may receive one for “Oliver – Spaniel and Statesman”. These cards (not paid for at taxpayer expense) have a photo of the office’s official “Legislative Therapy Dog” – a friendly Cocker Spaniel named Oliver, who has been a regular in the office since the Congressman took office in 2013.

Oliver, who belongs to Communications Director Sheryl Kaufman, “gets more photo requests than the Congressman,” she explained. “The photo business cards are necessary because Oliver often gets too excited and interested in his visitors to sit still for a photo op.”
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Congressional Canine Spotlight
Forrest and Charlotte Lucas to Receive AKC Outstanding Leadership Award
  The American Kennel Club will honor Forrest and Charlotte Lucas with the inaugural AKC Award for Outstanding Leadership in Canine Policy. The award will be presented at the 2016 AKC National Championship Dog Show presented by Royal Canin in Orlando, Florida, December 17-18, 2016.

The new AKC award is designed to honor those who demonstrate exceptional commitment and leadership in the areas of canine policy, public understanding of canine policy, responsible dog ownership and the future of purebred dogs.
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AKC PAC Reports 2016 Success
  The AKC Political Action Committee (AKC PAC) reports that 87% of the candidates whose campaigns it supported in 2016 were elected, and indicated that this win percentage could increase when all election results are final.

The AKC PAC contributed to the campaigns of 70 candidates in 2016. Among the candidates supported, 61 were on the ballot in November 2016 and 9 candidates received support in anticipation of their next run for office. Of the 61 candidates who ran for office in 2016, 53 won, 7 lost, and one outcome remains undetermined. The combined success rate for 2015-2016 was 89%.

Members of AKC clubs who wish to learn more about the AKC PAC can visit www.akc.org/pac for information.
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2016 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 2016 Legislative Successes page to view examples of recent results of their good work.  
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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 2,100 federal and state measures that could impact dog owners. U.S. Congress and four state legislatures are currently in regular session, California is in special session, and bills have been prefiled for 2017 in 15 states.

Visit the 2016 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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