During the month of November, American citizens pause to honor veterans who have served our country and defended our democracy. Our system isn’t perfect, but our experience continues to demonstrate that, thankfully, it will prevail.
Just weeks ago, the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) identified a New Hampshire proposal for the 2022 session that would ban the use of canine units in law enforcement. This would result in a significant loss for communities.
AKC GR reached out to the bill sponsor to listen to her concerns. We provided detailed information about the value, care, and protocols followed by law enforcement; and offered access to police K-9 handler experts who could answer her questions about the care and conditions of the dogs.
Police K-9 units serve multiple purposes and are certified in many fields, such as article search, evidence recovery, area search, tracking and trailing missing persons, building search, criminal apprehension with recall, and cadaver search. Dogs have amazing scenting capabilities and are the best detectors of narcotics, explosives, and accelerants.
With incidents of homegrown terrorism and mass shootings on the rise, explosives detection is a growing need for government agencies. Historically, the United States has relied on Europe for most of its working dogs, but due to increasing worldwide demand, it is now facing a shortage of dogs for detection work. To help address this national security issue, the American Kennel Club’s Detection Dog Task Force seeks to support domestic breeders of these remarkable working dogs. Information about the AKC Detection Dog Taskforce was also shared with the bill sponsor. Ultimately, she decided to withdraw her bill request.
Participation in the lawmaking process is the foundation of democracy. It is important to recognize that credible, accurate information provided to the right people at the right time can be relied upon to make sound public policy. AKC GR is grateful to New Hampshire Representative Amanda Bouldin for doing just that.