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Legislative Action Center

AKC’s Florida Federation of Dog Clubs Charges Forward with 2023 Initiatives
September 1, 2022 by AKC Government Relations
Florida Association of Kennel Clubs President Judy Seltrecht welcomes delegates. Photo courtesy Mark Driggers and FAKC. 

The Florida Association of Kennel Clubs (FAKC) welcomed six new member clubs and planned 2023 advocacy initiatives during their annual meeting, held August 20, 2022. Delegates from across the state gathered in Orlando, while others attended remotely.

“This was our first in-person meeting since prior to COVID-19 restrictions. Participation and contributions by attendees were excellent. I invite members who could not attend to stay involved as we continue our work on behalf of dogs,” said FAKC president Judith Seltrecht.

FAKC is Florida’s federation of dog clubs recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC Government Relations Department works with FAKC and other state federations to share information, fight bad dog laws, support positive measures, and teach the public about responsible dog ownership and care.

FAKC and their members have a powerful voice in addressing state and local legislation that directly impacts them. Seltrecht encouraged FAKC delegates to invite additional clubs to join, with the goal of strong centralized representation for dog owners throughout the state.

Meeting programs began with a presentation by Dr. Carla Barstow, diplomate for the American College of Theriogenology and co-chair of the Samoyed Club of America’s Canine Health Committee. She discussed ovulation timing for both live breedings and when using fresh-chilled or frozen semen, best practices for maintaining optimum health in female dogs, and current data on recommended ages for performing spay/neuter surgeries based on the size and development of the individual dog.

Patty Van Sicklen, Regional Manager for AKC Government Relations, followed with a discussion about trends in canine legislation, advocacy tools offered by AKC, and how clubs and knowledgeable individuals can demonstrate their expertise and communicate effectively on issues that affect their dogs and their rights.

“It was wonderful to see both familiar and new faces, and to experience first-hand the energy and dedication of these top advocates. They shared information about their legislative activities and discussed ways to better work with their club members and allied organizations to ensure that dog laws are fair, effective, and based in sound science,” Van Sicklen said.

Donna Johnson, who represented the Scottish Terrier Club of Tampa Bay, said, “My takeaway is that I have a heightened resolve to encourage our board and general members to become more aware and involved in the local dog legislation discussions.” She prepared bullet points about how to conduct three-minute speaking opportunities at local hearings on legislative matters concerning dogs and will present that and other information from the FAKC meeting to her club.

Among other federation business, Seltrecht reported on recent FAKC contributions in support of canine health. “We say, ‘We breed better dogs.’ In doing so we must share knowledge, work closely with our veterinarians, and support the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine as stated in our by-laws. This year, FAKC is partnering once again with UFCVM for a health seminar in October. We are also working toward a pro-dog day at the state capitol in 2023,” Seltrecht said.

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