The Important Role of AKC Legislative Liaison
Carole Creech, Legislative Liaison for the Central Indiana Shetland Sheepdog Club, presents an AKC PAC check to Senator Brent Steele on behalf of the Indiana Purebred Dog Alliance. Photo by Jaye Athy, © Indiana Purebred Dog Alliance.
Does your AKC club have a Legislative Liaison? Appointing a Legislative Liaison and keeping the AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) team up to date with your liaison’s contact information are among the easiest things your organization can do to help safeguard your rights against bad dog laws.
AKC Legislative Liaisons are your direct contact to the AKC Government Relations team. They serve as an information link between your club members and AKC GR, let AKC GR know about any potential dog legislation or ordinances in your community, and forward GR alerts to members of your club. With an increasing number of dog-related bills and ordinances introduced in Congress, state legislatures, and local communities each year, having a dedicated Legislative Liaison is more important than ever before.
A Legislative Liaison is appointed by a club to:
- Receive emailed information from AKC GR and relay that information to fellow club members in a timely manner.
- Follow local- and state-level legislative issues that impact dog owners, breeders, and participants in dog sports.
- Inform AKC GR about pending legislative issues that impact dog owners in their area.
Alerting AKC GR about canine legislation that is discussed or introduced at the county and city level is particularly important. AKC GR utilizes and makes available on its website a legislative tracking service for federal and state measures of interest to dog owners. But this service can’t track or provide information about local measures. Legislative Liaisons – and all concerned dog owners – are encouraged to immediately contact AKC GR at email@example.com or 919-816-3720 when local issues arise.
There are many dedicated Legislative Liaisons across the U.S. who serve their clubs and communities in additional ways. Many Legislative Liaisons also:
- Organize and motivate club members and local dog owners to become active in the legislative process.
- Present the views and interests of responsible dog owners to lawmakers, the news media, and interested citizens.
- Participate in state and local coalitions of kennel clubs and encourage other interested groups to support positive measures and join together to oppose laws that negatively impact animal owners.
- Take part in and promote their club’s public education and outreach programs.
- Prepare their club for action should a policy issue arise that requires input from purebred dog owners, breeders, and AKC event participants.
- When representing a Parent Club, keep fanciers of their breed informed about legislation and challenges that may impact the breed or the fancy as a whole.
AKC GR provides numerous resources to Legislative Liaisons, AKC clubs and AKC federations, and we are here to help you when issues arise or you have the opportunity to meet with your lawmakers. These resources include:
- Legislation tracking and analysis to determine the potential impact of measures on breeders, owners, exhibitors, and the dog-owning public
- Issue-based policy expertise, including policy briefs, analyses, and AKC policy statements
- Communication assistance to help you articulate your message, including sample letters and talking points
- Statements of AKC issue opposition or support. These statements are specific to the particular measure and the affected community.
- E-mailed legislative alerts to keep you up to date on what’s happening in your state or community
- Two e-newsletters – In Session, a periodic e-newsletter for lawmakers, covers pending legislative issues; features stories about AKC programs and events; and provides in-depth articles on policy areas of importance to dog owners. One version is sent to members of Congress and their staff and a second version is sent to state legislators. Taking Command, a monthly e-newsletter targeted to dog owners, breeders and exhibitors, covers current issues and developments in canine legislation on all levels of government. Click here for links to sign up for both newsletters.
Click here for more information about becoming an AKC Legislative Liaison, or contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.