*This article was originally published in the July 2022 issue of ShowSight Magazine. It is reprinted with permission.
Any regular reader of these pages, or member of a dog club that has a legislative liaison, will know that our right to own, breed, and exhibit our dogs is under attack by animal rights extremists.
Working with dog owners to fight back against bad legislation is a key part of the AKC Government Relations team’s mission. The GR team monitors and responds to more than 2,000 dog-related bills at every level of government each year, and these responses are crucial to the success of protecting our rights as dog lovers.
But fighting bad dog legislation isn’t enough. And if it’s all we do, we will always be playing defense, and we will always be at a disadvantage to extreme animal activists who spread false narratives about breeders and purebred dogs. Real, consistent success requires demonstrating real leadership and real solutions when it comes to canine issues and expertise. Whether in the ring, or the field, or on the statehouse floor, if we don’t showcase our best, we can’t expect to stand out, much less win.
More than ever, AKC GR is working to advance proactive initiatives to show lawmakers and the public that we—AKC, AKC clubs, exhibitors, and AKC affiliates—are the true leaders when it comes to canine policy and expertise. We should always be the first resource for responsible, reasonable, and nonbiased approaches and leadership on issues that affect dogs and dog ownership.
As a purebred dog community, we have a lot to be proud of. It’s time to shout it from the rooftops! It’s time for all of us to be proud of the good work we do and let the world know that dog breeders and enthusiasts make a real, positive difference in our communities. Read more.