Building on the record number of bills introduced in 2019, the new year began with dozens of hearings across the country on bills impacting dogs and dog owners.
While this meant a significant amount of effort in quickly and effectively educating lawmakers and responding to fast-moving legislatures, it has resulted in an all-time record of legislative successes for the first quarter of the year.
These successes span the country and cover a broad range of issues, including:
- The defeat or amendment of bills in Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Washington, and Wisconsin that would have eliminated consumer choice and protection.
- The amendment or defeat of bills in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington that sought to regulate dogs outdoors, but did not take into consideration all breeds or situations.
- The defeat or amendment of bills in New Hampshire and Washington that would have banned or dramatically reduced ear cropping and tail docking, which are standard and accepted practices to allow certain breeds to better and more safely perform the functions they were bred to do.
- The defeat of bills in Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington that sought to equate animals with humans or afford animals the same rights – thereby potentially jeopardizing animal care and ownership rights.
These and many other successes were often the direct result of AKC and local advocates directly communicating with the legislators and educating them on concerns.
“AKC Government Relations has been proud to continue to work alongside our federations, dog clubs, breeders, and legislative liaisons,” said Sheila Goffe, Vice President, Government Relations. “Together we have seen that providing fact-based, common sense solutions and taking the time to reach out to lawmakers leads to tremendous positive results that ultimately protect dogs and the rights of dog owners.”