The American Kennel Club hosted a Celebration of Purebred Dogs for members of Congress and legislative staff on June 24th in Washington, DC. Hundreds of attendees gathered at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill to meet purpose bred dogs, share in the celebration, and learn more about AKC’s many programs and initiatives that benefit all dogs.
The stars of the event were eight outstanding purebred dogs. Prior to the reception, Querida the Samoyed (Reserve Best in Show at the 2018 AKC National Championship) and Lola the Norwich Terrier visited Senate and House offices where, among others, they greeted veterinarians Rep. Ted Yoho and Rep. Ralph Abraham. Rep.Tom Malinowski got to meet one of his cutest four-legged constituents.
Senators on their way to a vote paused to pet the dogs and give ear scratches. Rosie the Boxer joined the tour and received hugs from Sen. Thom Tillis. Others who arrived in Senate chambers with dog hair on their suits were Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Joni Ernst, and many more.
At the reception, each dog had its own table that displayed breed information. Summer the Pharoah Hound, Petie the Chihuahua, Manu the Tibetan Spaniel, and Mamie the Welsh Springer Spaniel were joined by the dogs from the Congressional tour. Jackson the American Foxhound provided a historical nod to George Washington’s dogs.
Reception guests interacted and took selfies with the dogs. They learned about some of AKC’s programs, including canine health research funding by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite’s lost pet recovery and disaster relief programs, Canine Good Citizen programs, and kennel inspections. AKC Government Relations staff discussed AKC’s initiatives that seek to improve the availability of quality US-bred dogs for detection training, protect the rights of service dog users while discouraging fraudulent representation of pets as service animals, enable victims to have access to domestic violence shelters with their pets, and more.
Sheila Goffe, AKC Vice President Government Relations, briefly addressed the packed reception hall. She welcomed guests and spoke about the importance of purpose bred dogs.
“Historically, these dogs both worked alongside their people and provided them companionship,” Goffe said. “Today, the service of these breeds continues. They are guide dogs and service dogs; work in search and rescue; help put food on the table; serve alongside the military and police; and are guardians of home, hearth, and livestock. Purpose bred make extraordinary pets because of their predictability in temperament, characteristics and requirements.”
Amy Kiell-Green, who escorted Querida, commented, “the reception was a tremendous success and a wonderful opportunity for attendees to understand the many benefits of purpose bred dogs and learn directly from responsible breeders. (We) are proud to advocate for purpose dogs, the sport of purebred dogs, and of breeders who are committed to the health and wellbeing of dogs and preserving their unique breeds, and we are incredibly humbled by the attendance and the interest this celebration received.”