A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department
A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department — June 2016
Delaware Senate Set to Consider Making Golden Retriever the State Dog

The Delaware House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill to make the Golden Retriever Delaware’s state dog. Eleven states currently have official state dog breeds, often recognizing those that are indigenous to a state.

Pending approval by the Delaware Senate, the Golden Retriever will join the ranks of breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Boston Terrier, and Plott that are designated as an official state dog


Spread the word, The Dog Lover opens in select theaters nationwide on July 8. Click here for a list of theaters and special appearances.

Invite your friends, family, club members and fellow dog lovers to join you on the weekend of July 8-10 to see this compelling drama based on a true story—a story that resonates with responsible dog owners and breeders faced with increasingly intrusive interference from animal rights organizations.

Timing matters, because movies that don’t get viewers quickly fade away. Mark your calendar for the weekend of July 8 and show your support by helping to fill the theaters for The Dog Lover. Read AKC’s movie review.

Plan now to see The Dog Lover on opening weekend. Take a road trip to a theater, view the movie on Video on Demand, or pre-order a DVD. Do all three! Ticket purchases and viewership will demonstrate strong interest in the film and its important message.

L to R, Barbara Reichman, Sheila Goffe, Jeffrey Ball, Sen. Steve Sweeney, Kira Wright and “Mouse”, a Great Dane.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) honored New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney with the AKC Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his strong advocacy for responsible dog ownership.

Sheila Goffe, AKC Vice President, Government Relations; Jeffrey Ball, President of the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs; and representatives of area AKC dog clubs presented the award to Senator Sweeney on June 16, 2016 at the New Jersey State House.


The images are enough to break anyone’s heart—stray dogs roaming the street without proper food, water and basic needs; shelters overflowing with unwanted animals. There is no question that something needs to be done. The dogs—and the people of Puerto Rico—deserve better.

But punishing those who responsibly own and breed animals—those who dedicate their lives to the betterment of dogs and ensure Puerto Ricans have the ability to own healthy, well-bred purebred dogs—is not the answer. Yet that is exactly what a proposal pending before the Puerto Rico Legislature would do.

Reminder for AKC Clubs and Federations: Registration Deadline for Legislative Conference is July 6

Will your AKC club or AKC-affiliated federation be represented? A few seats remain for the invitation-only 2016 AKC Legislative Conference on July 22-24 in Raleigh, NC. The registration deadline is July 6, 2016. For more information, please call 919-816-3645 or email pvs@akc.org.

AKC Government Relations created the Bebout Award to support and recognize outstanding work by certain AKC federations and dog breeder/owner groups that advocate and participate in canine legislative issues in their states and communities. Winners of the Bebout Award receive a $1,000 donation to the organization to help offset the costs associated with their legislative efforts.

Named for Walter Bebout, the late Director of the AKC Government Relations Department, the Bebout Award recognizes AKC clubs, AKC-affiliated federations, and owner/breeder organizations that demonstrate exceptional commitment to educating legislators about responsible dog ownership issues and who work to preserve the rights of responsible owners and breeders.

Recipients have demonstrated a significant contribution (leadership, financial, or time and effort) in advocating on behalf of responsible dog ownership and the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders in the public policy arena. Nominations for the Bebout Award, including self-nominations, may be submitted by AKC federations, AKC clubs, breeder/owner groups, or by the AKC Government Relations and Breeder Relations Departments. An individual member of a qualifying organization may be nominated. If an individual is selected for the award, his or her organization will receive the donation.

For more information about the Bebout Award, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org. For nomination form, click here.

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.

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 more than 2,000 measures that could impact dog owners. Eight state legislatures are currently in regular session, and two states are 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 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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