Legislative Action Center

Lawmakers Celebrate Dogs, Meet Breeders and Responsible Dog Owners at Meet the Breeds in NYC
February 14, 2023 by AKC Government Relations
Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and his daughters visit the Komondors.

More than two dozen lawmakers and legislative staff joined over 20,000 members of the general public at the Javits Center in New York City on January 28 and 29, to meet and play with over 130 different dog breeds in booths that depict each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose, and function. Visitors were also able to view fun and entertaining demonstrations of dog sports and working dogs exhibiting their skills.

For more than a decade, AKC’s Meet the Breeds has been a great opportunity for these lawmakers to see firsthand the overwhelming crowds who come out to see purebred dogs and to interact with constituent dog owners, enthusiasts, and breeders.  This year, more than 85 tri-state lawmakers participated as Honorary Chairs for this event, and many came with staff and their families to meet the dogs and declare their public support for responsible pet ownership. Prior to the event, many provided photos of their own dogs, which AKC shared on social media to publicly thank them for their support. 

“We thank these lawmakers for signing on as Honorary Chairs and publicly declaring their support not just for the event, but for promoting responsible dog ownership in their districts,” said Jennifer Clark, AKC Director of Legislative Outreach. 

Lawmakers and staff who attended also received information about canine legislation, AKC dog events, responsible dog breeders, and the contributions that AKC kennel clubs and dog enthusiasts make to their communities. Federation leaders from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) were also on hand to discuss specific legislative issues in their states.

GR Staff at the event also provided tours to lawmakers and their staff and families who attended to help them meet constituent purebred dog owners and breeders.  After one tour, a lawmaker told GR staff, “I was considering introducing a bill [regulating the care of dogs], but now, I’m realizing I need to talk to AKC and get more information.”

Other lawmakers were eager to meet with local canine officers and meet the dogs and talk about their training.  Some came with their families with the goal of meeting specific breeds.  

“We were pleased to once again welcome lawmakers, staff and families to this event,” Clark said.  “When you see a legislator’s little girl walk around with her AKC breed ID book, meeting her favorite breeds, you know you’re not just reaching the lawmaker, but also inspiring the next generation to love purebred dogs.”

Check out the full list of Honorary Chairs here. If any of your legislators served as an Honorary Chair, please take a moment to thank them for their involvement in the event and let them know that you also support responsible pet ownership in your community. 

Senator Fernandez is a fan of the Akitas.
Assemblyman Michael Novakoov giving some love to a Siberian Husky; a reminder of his former home in the former USSR.
AKC GR's Emily Holmes and Jennifer Clark steal some puppy snuggles while working the booth.
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