This week, the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) participated in the Virginia Associations of Counties Annual Conference. This year’s conference was held at the historic Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, and brought together over 300 county elected officials and leaders from across Virginia’s 95 counties.
Participating at conferences of counties, cities, and other municipalities provides AKC GR staff with the opportunity to meet with local elected officials, share our expertise, and advocate for effective and reasonable canine policy. According to Charley Hall, AKC GR Regional Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Region, “Bringing AKC resources to local government conferences provides many opportunities to interact with decision makers who increasing continue to set policy that impacts responsible dog owners and breeders.”
To help facilitate conversation with officials at this year’s event, Hall sent out an email prior to the conference inviting attendees to stop by and visit the American Kennel Club booth to talk about their dogs and learn how AKC, the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders, and local AKC Clubs can serve as a valuable resource to the officials in promoting responsible dog ownership and developing strong, fair, and effective community dog laws and reasonable zoning standards in their County.
“More and more we are seeing local governments becoming active in passing laws that impact and in some cases restrict the activities responsible dog owners and breeders” Hall added. “Attending this and similar events enables AKC GR to provide useful information and offer any resources or assistance we can provide to help ensure that when proposals are being considered, any impacts to responsible dog owners and breeders are addressed during the drafting and prior to any final action.”