A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department — February 2016

All around the country, dog owners and breeders are working at the grassroots level to educate lawmakers and members of their communities about the value that the American Kennel Club and local AKC clubs bring to their communities.

AKC Government Relations provides state and federal bill tracking, legislative alerts, and a variety of resources and downloadable materials to assist you in your outreach. If you haven’t already visited the AKC Legislative Action Center and the Government Relations web page, please take a moment to become familiar with the newsfeeds and tools on these websites.

Top photo: Rhonda Grimm, Cindy Munier McDonald and David McDonald of the Cedar Rapids Kennel Association and Senator Dan Zumbach. Bottom photo: David McDonald, Senator Dennis Guth, and Betsy Fickel. Photos courtesy Larissa Wurm, Deputy Communications Director/ Legislative Analyst, Iowa Senate Republican Caucus.

For the past several years, legislation has been introduced in Iowa that would further expand some of the most restrictive dog breeding rules in the country. A dedicated group of Iowa breeders and club members have joined together and been working tirelessly to share the other side of the story – all the ways responsible breeders make a positive difference in the lives of dogs, dog owners, and the state as a whole.

On February 4, the group hosted an educational day at the state capitol to share this message; show how responsible breeders benefit the state; and explain how the restrictive bills introduced once again this year would negatively impact breeders’ ability to raise and breed dogs responsibly

New York Assemblymember Rebecca A. Seabright signs the AKC Pet Promise at Meet the Breeds. Photo © AKC

More than one hundred legislators from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut publicly shared their commitment to responsible dog ownership this month by serving as honorary chairs for the Meet the Breeds™ event hosted by the American Kennel Club and Westminster Kennel Club.

Many of the Honorary Chairs, their staff, and families attended this year’s event where they had opportunity to sign the AKC Pet Promise for responsible dog ownership, meet dogs of their favorite breeds, and learn about the importance of supporting responsible dog owners and breeders. Read more.

Click here to read more about tri-state legislators who participated as Honorary Chairs.


Purebred dogs are so much more than museum pieces. The birth of each new generation inspires us. They are works of art that deserve at very least the same protection, support, respect and admiration.

AKC Government Relations Director Sheila Goffe, “Bebout Award” honoree Dr. Arnold Goldman, Laurie Maulucci of the CT Federation, and AKC President/CEO Dennis B. Sprung. Photo © AKC

In a ceremony held at the AKC New York headquarters in January, the American Kennel Club presented Dr. Arnold L. Goldman, DVM, MPH and the Connecticut Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners with the 2015 Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation.

Share the Good News!

Meme (mēm) — An idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. (merriam-webster.com)

The American Kennel Club’s name is recognized internationally as the standard for excellence in purebred dogs. However, when questioned more deeply, few people truly know the extent of AKC’s commitment to dogs.

AKC’s Communications team has developed these new memes to highlight our investment in canine health research, our inspections process, AKC’s support of search and rescue dogs, commitment to dog training through the Canine Good Citizenship program, and the good work done by our public education and government relations departments. Please share these with your family, friends and legislators to help increase awareness of all the AKC really does for our canine companions.

Above and Beyond
Canine Health

Thank you for helping us educate the public about all the good things the American Kennel Club is involved in. We hope to add to these memes to continue this proactive campaign.


In February, the American Kennel Club announced a new program to honor dogs that work in government agencies, including police, military, border patrol, the Transportation Security Administration, and more. This offers AKC clubs a great opportunity to work with law enforcement and agencies in support of purpose-bred working dogs.

Read more about this community outreach program and click here for a nomination form.

Legislative Information and Updates

Each year, thousands of dog-related laws and regulations are proposed at the federal, state, and local levels. To date this year, AKC GR has been monitoring 1,800 measures at the state, local and federal levels that could impact dog owners. Congress, 42 state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session. Louisiana is in special session.

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 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.

Visit us at AKC.org


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