Where can you discuss canine legislative trends while sitting for a portrait and cuddling your puppy? At the AKC National Championship Dog Show, presented by Royal Canin (ANC), of course. Exhibitors and spectators gathered around the AKC Government Relations booth on December 14-15, 2019 at the ANC in Orlando to learn about legislative issues and share information on what’s going on in their hometowns.
The booth was set up in three sections to provide a variety of facts and fun. Exhibitors on the left side watched caricature artist Rafael Diez use his touchpad artistry to produce amazing caricatures of attendees and dogs to benefit the AKC Political Action Committee (AKC PAC). On the right, representatives of AKC GR and the American Service Dog Access Coalition discussed initiatives to provide better and safer public and transportation access for service dog users, while also addressing issues associated with poorly trained fraudulent service dogs. In the middle, topics included legislative policy, effective advocacy, and current trends in legislation that affect dogs and dog owners.
Obedience rings were directly behind the booth, Bred-by Exhibitor Group competition was diagonal across the aisle, and cheers from Agility echoed overhead. While these and other events and demos ran simultaneously in the enormous convention hall, conversations at the GR booth moved quickly from subject to subject. Dog trainer licensing, breeder regulations, pet limit laws, mandatory spay/neuter, breed bans. . . almost every dog and every sport is affected by fast-moving new proposals. Print-outs were provided of the many informational and advocacy materials that can be downloaded from the AKC GR toolbox.
If you did not have time to visit the AKC GR booth at AKC National Championship in 2019, please come see us in Orlando next December. In the meantime, stay up-to-date by signing up for emailed legislative alerts and by viewing them online. And please help us spread the word by urging your fellow dog lovers to visit our blogs and to read and subscribe to the Taking Command e-newsletter.