A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department — November 2015

Here’s a little Civics 101 to share with your fellow dog owners: There are more than half a million lawmakers in the United States. Read that again—there are half a million lawmakers (legislators) on the federal, state, and local levels of government.

There are more than 90,000 different governing bodies across the U.S. Among these are approximately 39,000 county, town, and municipal governments that, through the legislators you elect, enact local laws that affect dogs and dog owners.

It’s a lot to comprehend, so let’s break it down to a more manageable level:

American Eskimo. Photo by Mary Bloom © AKC.

Enforcement of negligence and cruelty laws—such as the felony animal cruelty laws now in place in all 50 states—play an important role in stopping bad actors. But shutting down bad actors alone isn’t enough. AKC’s mission is to advance dogs, so this also means advancing those who love and care for them by ensuring they have the ongoing knowledge, education and expertise to be even better dog owners and breeders.

On Veteran’s Day, it’s appropriate to remember and thank those who have selflessly served in our nation’s armed forces. It’s also an opportunity to consider the needs of those veterans who return home in need of ongoing assistance related to their service.

New Center for Disease Control flyers illustrate the requirements for persons entering the U.S. with dogs.

More and more people are traveling with their pets and bringing dogs into the United States from overseas. Although a pet doesn’t need a passport to enter or re-enter the United States, you are required to provide certain documentation attesting to the health of your dog or cat.

In order to raise awareness of the specific requirements for bringing dogs into the United States from Canada and Mexico, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created posters in English and Spanish illustrating the requirements, and they have asked the American Kennel Club to help get the word out about the requirements.

The “We Love Dogs” flyer can be customized for your state. For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org.

Your AKC club does all kinds of wonderful things—offering CGC testing, donating money for community K-9 programs, participating in local events, and hosting dog shows that generate revenue for your community, just to name a few. The AKC knows and appreciates the positive impact clubs have in their communities, but have you told your elected officials?


A new and updated Economic Benefits of AKC Dog Events tri-fold brochure is now available in the AKC Government Relations toolbox. This colorful, educational brochure expands on data released earlier this year by AKC GR in a one-page flyer. Use these tools to help demonstrate to community leaders, lawmakers, rental facilities, and hotels why they should welcome AKC events and support the clubs, breeders, and dog owners who make these events happen.

The new tri-fold can be downloaded by clicking here, or by visiting the AKC Government Relations Toolbox and scrolling down to the “Economic Impact of Dog Shows” section.


The latest edition of In Session, AKC Government Relations’ newsletter for members of Congress and their staff, is now available online.

In Session discusses national issues impacting canine policy, provides issue analyses/white papers on issues of importance to dog owners, highlights a Capitol Hill canine, and provides updates on AKC and AKC club programs, good works and events.

Please consider printing current and previous issues of In Session and personally sharing them with your colleagues and your lawmakers. Click here to subscribe to this and other AKC e-newsletters.

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 1,700 measures at the state, local and federal levels that could impact dog owners. Congress, seven state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session. Bills have been prefiled for the 2016 session in 13 states.

Visit the 2015 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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