AKC'S LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT ON CA 1634
TheDogPress Interviews Sarah Sprouse, AKC Canine Legislation Department Manager, on the first and worst Animal Rights bill, legal fees and lobbying firm. Be sure to see footnote links wherein AKC withdraws from the fight against this bill!
July 2007 | TheDogPress Club News
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
Well connected with the California legislature as a former staffer, Ms. Sprouse was particularly articulate as regards CA 1634. Ms. Sprouse has been with AKC three years. She is extremely interesting, engaging, and sincere. Her emailed response to the questions below arrived the same afternoon.
Regarding AKC's fight against the Animal Rights Bill, we asked:
To these questions, Sarah replied that Greenberg Taurig is the 7th largest law firm in the U.S. (in terms of lawyers employed) and has many well-known clients for which it lobbies. She promised to send a list of those companies. She knows Jeff Leacox personally and mentioned examples of his capabilities at the HB 1634 hearing. She said he formerly worked for another firm and helped the Doberman club fight the ear cropping ban back in the 80’s.
AKC sent Sarah and others to Calif. for Lobbying Days. She has given legislators dog show tours, etc. AKC has produced educational brochures which it provides to clubs and also to Legislators who can then give the material to schools and take credit for having provided them. I lost my train of thought when Sarah mentioned the Best Friends project which I think she said includes a video and workbook series for children of different age groups. Best Friends is one of the lesser-known but more frightening AR groups! I'm sure whoever at AKC chose the name for their children's education project was unaware of the implications.
Sarah doesn’t think AKC has given any money to clubs because "most would prefer to handle things their way through local knowledge and contacts." TheDogPress.com asked "Why would dog clubs decline financial assistance and then plead for donations?"
She mentioned Louisville as an example of a club that has its own lawyer.
Regarding financial expenditures to fight legislation, she didn’t know about newspaper or television but said the cost for Jeff Leacox was “not a small expenditure.”
As follow-up to our conversation, she sent the following email that same afternoon. Unfortunately, not all of the questions are addressed but instead, provides an overall look at the work that has been done.
AKC Actions in Opposition to CA AB 1634
"The American Kennel Club has employed multiple strategies to support the California purebred dog community’s opposition to CA AB 1634, the mandatory spay and neuter bill introduced by Assemblyman Levine, including:
The American Kennel Club continues to work with California fanciers in active opposition to the bill as AB 1634 moves to a hearing before the Senate Business and Professions Committee."
"As a former staffer in the California State Legislature I can tell you that the outpouring from the public on AB 1634 is rare indeed. There is not a legislator or staff member in the Capitol who is not familiar with this bill. The good news is they are engaged; the bad news is that many still need to be educated about why AB 1634 is bad public policy for California.
"That is why it is important that each and every concerned dog owner write to their Senator. Senators must hear from their own constituents! They want to hear from the people who elect them. The American Kennel Club has and will continue to communicate our opposition to the bill, but the greatest impact comes from having their local folks write, email and call their offices."
Manager, AKC Canine Legislation Department
5580 Centerview Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 816-3720 (919) 816-4275 FAX
see AKC's Position Statement on Calif AB1634 which raises serious questions...
And the ultimate betrayal in 2008 AKC Withdraws Opposition to AB1634
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