The public, numerous lawmakers, and legislative staff came to New York City on Saturday, February 9, to meet with thousands of dog lovers, owners and breeders at the annual AKC Meet the Breeds event.
This event, held in conjunction with Westminster Kennel Club, gives the public the opportunity to interact with more than 100 different breeds of dogs and to talk one-on-one with dog breeders and exhibitors who are experts in their breed and responsible dog ownership. Many dog lovers come to meet and learn about a variety of breeds of dogs; others benefit from help in determining the right dog for their lifestyle.
More than 100 tri-state lawmakers signed on as Honorary Chairs for this event, and many came with staff and their families to meet the dogs, interact with constituents, and publicly sign the AKC Pet Promise to declare their public support for responsible pet ownership. Prior to the event, many provided photos of their own dogs, which AKC shared on social media to publicly thank them for their support.
Many legislators and staff make this an annual event, and some visited for the first time. “We were pleased to once again welcome lawmakers, staff and families to this event,” said Jennifer Clark, AKC’s Director of Legislative Outreach. “For the past ten years, Meet the Breeds has been a great opportunity for these lawmakers to see first hand the overwhelming crowds who come out to see purebred dogs and to interact with constituent dog owners, hobbyists and breeders. We thank these lawmakers for signing on as Honorary Chairs and publicly declaring their support not just for the event, but for promoting responsible dog ownership in their districts.”
Lawmakers and staff who attended also received information about responsible canine legislation, AKC dog shows and dog breeders, and the contributions that AKC kennel clubs and dog enthusiasts make to their communities. Federation leaders from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) were also on hand to discuss specific legislative issues in their states.
The lawmakers and staff enjoyed the opportunity interact directly with dog breeders and owners in a fun, family-friendly environment, and the enormous crowds of dog lovers attending the event demonstrated to them that there is high interest in purebred dogs and AKC activities.
Check out the full list of Honorary Chairs here. If any of your legislators served as an Honorary Chair, please take a moment to thank them for their involvement in the event and let them know that you also support responsible pet ownership in your community.