On a very busy day at the State Capitol, North Carolina legislators and staff were thrilled to once again welcome the American Kennel Club for the annual AKC Canines at the Capitol event. The AKC invited them to “come hug a dog on your lunch break” and they did just that in one of the best-attended days yet since AKC first started hosting this event.
AKC brought a variety of dogs representing every breed group, including an American Foxhound, a PBGV, a Berger Picard, a Papillon, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a Russell Terrier, and a Great Dane. Several agility and Trick Dog-titled dogs were also on hand to perform demos while onlookers cheered them on (some even watching from windows of the legislative building or bringing their lunch outside to sit in the grass and watch the dogs). The legislators also enjoyed getting their picture with Patsy the Plott hound, representing the state dog of North Carolina.
Before the event the AKC Government Relations Department sent out invitations to the public, as well as legislators and staff, who received “biographies” of each dog attending. These included fun facts about the dogs and information on the breeds. Attendees enjoyed meeting the dogs, watching them demonstrate their skills on the agility course, and talking with the owners.
AKC also provided information on the good things AKC and AKC Clubs do for the state and local NC communities, dogs, and responsible dog owners, including the economic impact of local dog shows, AKC Canine Health Foundation grants to the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and numerous other positive programs.
The popular annual event was once again warmly received by the legislature – several of whom thanked the AKC for coming and noted the stress-relieving effect that the dogs had (some even asking if we would come once a week!). One Senate committee chairman told AKC staff he was taking a break from meetings specifically to meet and play with Tira the Boykin Spaniel. A staffer came to meet the owner of Phoebe the Standard Poodle so she could get tips and information for her new poodle puppy. Another legislator came to spend some time with Patsy the Plott hound as he was missing his Treeing Walker Coonhound who was back at home in his district.
“Canines at the Capitol is one of our favorite events of the year, and many legislators tell us it is their favorite event too,” said Sheila Goffe, Vice President, Government Relations. “It is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to the North Carolina General Assembly the positive impact the AKC has on our state and how dogs brighten and enrich our lives every day.”