Following the conclusion of judging at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Kennel Club (MGCKC) dog show on November 4, 2023, AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) hosted an informal pizza dinner and a discussion of canine legislation. Staff also provided advocacy resources and an information table on Saturday.
The 2023 Southern Harvest Cluster, held by MGCKC and area group and specialty clubs, featured three days of events that included conformation shows; an all-breed B-match; Fast CAT trials; and AKC Temperament Tests, Canine Good Citizen Tests, and Trick Dog evaluations. Not only does MGCKC hold their autumn dog show cluster, the club also is active in their community year-round. Members offer dog training classes and host responsible dog ownership events, meet the breed days, and other public education activities throughout the year.
Patty Van Sicklen, Southeastern Regional Manager-AKC GR, provided a recap of the 2023 state legislative session, during which AKC GR tracked 11 proposed dog-related bills in Mississippi. Issues included dangerous dogs, pet insurance, penalties for harming a public service animal, pet theft, certifications for law enforcement K-9s, and hunting with dogs. Two bills that benefit dog owners and hunters passed. SB 2228 provides for the issuance and renewal of pet insurance policies. Also enacted was HB 979, which among other provisions, clarifies that tracking dogs may be used at night for the retrieval of deer wounded during legal hunting hours. Van Sicklen also spoke with attendees about legislation in neighboring states and proposals that are likely to be considered in 2024.
AKC GR appreciates opportunities to meet with club members and exhibitors across the country to discuss and collaborate on legislation and regulatory issues that affect dogs. If your club is interested in scheduling a virtual seminar or other AKC GR program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on key issues that impact dogs and dog owners, visit AKC’s Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org. A wide variety of educational and advocacy materials are also available in the GR Toolbox. To receive geo-targeted alerts by email, scroll down on www.akcgr.org to “Sign Up for Alerts” or visit www.akc.org/legislative-alerts.