For the second consecutive year, the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) participated in the Virginia Associations of Counties (VACo) Annual Conference as one of the nearly 100 exhibitors. This conference, held in Richmond, brings together more than 300 county elected officials and leaders from across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Charley Hall, AKC GR Legislative Analyst/Community Outreach Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region, represented AKC at the conference. Hall met with numerous lawmakers throughout the event to educate about canine issues. In one instance, a county official stopped by just to thank AKC. He shared that information picked up from the AKC booth last year helped in removing language limiting the number of dogs one could own that was originally in a draft ordinance related to animals.
“Participating at local conferences such as Virginia Association of Counties provides AKC GR staff with the opportunity to meet with local elected officials and share our expertise in and advocate for effective and reasonable canine policy,” said Hall. “These conferences provide many opportunities to interact with decisionmakers who increasingly continue to set policy that impacts responsible dog owners and breeders.”
With Nelson, Fauquier, and Rockingham Counties either passing or proposing ordinances with potential impacts to small hobby breeders in 2022, participation in this and similar events enables AKC GR to provide useful information and offer resources and assistance to county officials to help prevent harmful impacts to responsible dog owners and breeders when new canine policies are under consideration.