AKC GR has just released a new tool to share with your communities about the economic benefits of AKC activities and dog events.
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 non-biased 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.
So when asked about dogs and the purebred dog world, share your breed expertise and share fun information about your dogs. Then, consider and share this too:
- A typical conformation dog show weekend can bring $2.15M into your local community.
- There are more than 22,000 AKC events each year.
- Each AKC conformation show exhibitor spends more than $863 on an average dog show weekend in communities hosting events.
- The AKC Canine Health Foundation is the world’s largest funder of canine health research ($59.5 million); focusing on all aspects of the physical, mental, and social well-being of dogs.
- Clubs working with the AKC Reunite Adopt a K-9 Cop program are donating 200 K-9 officers to law enforcement agencies around the country this year alone.
This is just some of the information that AKC GR recently compiled in a new 50-plus page state-by-state impact report. The report brings together for the first time information from surveys conducted by AKC GR of expenditures by participants at AKC dog shows in 2021, along with information about contributions and other impacts made by AKC clubs and affiliates. Fifty individual one-pagers on the impact of AKC events and programs in each state provide the real picture that our community leaders and neighbors need to hear:
Together with more than 5,000 AKC dog clubs and AKC affiliated charitable organizations, AKC dog enthusiasts embrace community, canine health, responsible dog ownership, and safety. We share our passion for dogs and we bring significant positive impact to every state. We are passionate about everything related to dogs, and we celebrate the joy they bring to our lives every single day.
You can find the state-specific economic impact information for every state by visiting the AKC Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org and clicking on the “State Economic Impact Statistics” tab at the top of the page. You can find a printable document for each state, as well as a two-page cover letter and handout that further highlights the impact of AKC and local clubs on communities across the country.
This information is meant to be shared! Our Legislative Action Center (www.akcgr.org) has printable handouts for every state. Print or download the information and share it with your city, county, and state lawmakers to show them why it pays to support local AKC dog events—and responsible purebred dog owners and breeders.
When your community is considering whether to support a proposal regulating dog owners or breeders, encourage lawmakers to think about the effect it may have on dog competitions and dog ownership among your constituency. Supporting dog shows and responsible dog ownership has a ripple effect that benefits a community’s residents, local businesses, and overall economy.
These new handouts, including the updated Economic Benefits of Dog Events, also provide great information to use as a starting point when communicating with local businesses, lawmakers, and chambers of commerce about future show and national specialty sites.
We encourage you to join us in shouting from the rooftops that supporting dog shows—and responsible breeders and exhibitors—is in the best interest of dogs and the community as a whole. For questions or more information on being effective advocates for dogs, contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Sheila Goffe.