For the first time, the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) participated in the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) Annual Conferences.
After a two-year hiatus for both organizations due to the pandemic, both gatherings were held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Charley Hall, AKC GR’s Legislative Analyst/Community Outreach Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region, joined the nearly 300 exhibitors who participated in the PSATS conference that brings together nearly 4,000 leaders from some 1,546 townships across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition, AKC GR was among the 70 exhibitors who participated in the PSAB conference which was attended by over 400 Pennsylvania borough council members, mayors, and managers.
At both conferences, AKC GR set up an informational booth featuring materials demonstrating AKC as the recognized expert in promoting responsible dog ownership, training, and breeding, and promoting what our affiliated clubs and organizations do to benefit the elected officials’ communities.
During the conferences, many attendees stopped by to ask questions and discuss a variety of dog-related issues in their communities. Others, including some of the fellow exhibitors, stopped by to share pictures and stories about their beloved dogs which presented many opportunities to talk about the AKC and responsible dog ownership.
Conferences for lawmakers are a popular way for lawmakers to network and get new ideas for future legislation/policies to introduce in their communities. For AKC GR, participation in annual lawmaker conferences like PSATS and PSAB is a valuable way to reach and educate local leaders about canine issues. Whether it’s a conference or a one-on-one meeting in local communities, opportunities to meet with local lawmakers are vital for protecting local responsible dog policies, and important for both the AKC GR team and individual constituents.
Best of all, information shared at these meetings often makes it directly back to local communities. For example, at the PSATS Conference, one township supervisor picked up a copy of AKC GR’s “Be your dog’s best friend” flyer and is planning to publish it in his township newsletter.
AKC GR’s presence at lawmaker conferences allows the team to share our expertise and establish the American Kennel Club as a resource to assist communities in navigating demands for dog laws, while also establishing positive and reasonable canine policy that protects dogs and responsible owners.