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Local Legislation Updates - Archive



Legend key:
Please click on a state from the map above to find a list of legislative alerts for that state.  


Map Copyright: FOTW United States map by Mark Sensen and boundaries’ data by Guiseppe Bottasini, based on material from Virtual Tourist. If you wish to reuse them on your website, read the copyright rules.

12/21/11 - Federal Regulations – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has distributed proposed regulations for enforcing a 2008 law that amends the federal Animal Welfare Act. This measure “prohibits the importation of dogs from any part of the world into the continental United States or Hawaii for purposes of resale, research or veterinary treatment, unless the dogs are in good health, have received all necessary vaccines and are at least 6 months of age.” The AKC supports strong enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act as amended by this rule, recognizing that a large number of puppies are being bred overseas and imported into the United States in order to bypass the welfare regulations and standards required of American breeders. In many cases, irresponsibly bred and undocumented foreign puppies end up at shelters, rescues or other informal or unregulated retail venues. Diseases borne by such animals can create public health issues for both animal and human populations. AKC GR issued a statement of support, provided formal comments, and issued an informational alert with information on how AKC clubs and breeders could submit comments. The public comment period closed on October 31. APHIS is currently reviewing these comments.

 

Federal Bills:

Update - H.R. 835 / S. 707 – Known as the “Puppy Uniform Protection & Safety Act” (PUPS), this bill would require anyone who owns or co-owns dogs that produce 50 or more puppies that are sold in a 12-month period to be regulated under USDA dog dealer regulations. Anyone meeting that criteria would be required to obtain an annual USDA license, maintain minimum federal standards of care, and undergo regular inspections at least biennially. The language in this bill is identical to the 2010 PUPS bill. AKC GR has also expressed a number of concerns with other provisions in the measure, including the definition of “breeding female” as an intact female of four months or older. The bills have been assigned to their chamber’s agriculture committees. Neither is scheduled for a hearing.

Proposed Federal Regulations – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has distributed a proposed rule (regulations) that provides guidance to federal agencies tasked with enforcing the 2008 law that prohibits the import of puppies under the age of 6 month into the continental United States for resale. The rules are available for public comment until October 31, 2011. The rules would require that anyone importing dog into the U.S. for resale obtain import permits and provide documentation to demonstrate that the dogs are in good health, have received all necessary vaccines (including rabies and DHLPP) and are at least 6 months of age. The AKC supports these regulations, recognizing that a large number of puppies are being bred overseas and imported into the U.S. in order to bypass the welfare and standards required of U.S. breeders. In many cases, irresponsibly bred and undocumented foreign puppies end up at shelters, rescues and other informal or unregulated retail venues. Diseases borne by such animals can create public health issues for both animals and human populations.

Federal Alert:


US H.R. 1406 – This legislation, known as the “Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011,” would require the prescriber of an animal drug to provide the pet owner with a copy of the veterinary prescription and a written disclosure that the owner may fill the prescription through the prescriber (if available) or through another pharmacy selected by the pet owner. It has been referred to the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


Another attempt to regulate hobby breeders under the same requirements as commercial breeders is being made at the federal level. Senator Richard Durbin of IL is the author, but many lawmakers have already "signed on" to support the bill.

If you have only ONE breeding bitch, you will come under the requirements of this bill.
History, analyses and talking points are included here.

PUPS2 Co-sponsors- please take a look and if any of your legislators are listed, get in touch and let them know you are not happy with their support of this bill.

Sponsor List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

 
Alabama

10/26/10 - Shelby County, AL
The Shelby County Planning Commission is recommending that a definition for “kennel” be added to zoning regulations and requesting that the Shelby County Commission consider drafting comprehensive animal control regulations.

3/1/10 Senate Bill 18, a mandatory spay/neuter bill, has been introduced and referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee. A similar bill was filed in 2009, but never received a hearing. Bill Information

11/8/09 - Alabama – The Alabama Legislature has pre-filed a mandatory spay/neuter bill for their 2010 legislative session. The AKC is currently analyzing this legislation and working with the Alabama Canine Coalition on a strategy to defeat the bill. A similar bill introduced in 2009 did not receive a hearing.

6/30/09 - Alabama – SB 554 would require all dogs 6 months or older to be spayed/neutered, with few exceptions.

Alaska  

Arizona

12/12/12 - Chino Valley, AZ update:
After many concerns were raised about the initial draft, a new proposal was offered that addressed some of the AKC's concerns, but still contained problematic provisions. Items of concern include defining "kennel" as an "enclosed, controlled areas in which a person keeps dogs on a permanent basis." Kennel owners would have to be licensed and subject to inspections twice a year. Thanks to the work of local clubs and fanciers, the town's Public Safety Committee agreed to not proceed with this ordinance.

9/17/12 - Chino Valley, AZ:
The Chino Valley Town Council has returned to committee a proposal that would have enacted numerous problematic changes to the town's animal control laws. Provisions of concern included a requirement for a kennel permit, business license, and inspections for properties on which more than six dogs over the age of six months are permanently maintained; allowance for seizure and euthanasia on suspicion of neglect; and overly-broad "dangerous animal" provisions.

4/24/12- Pima County, AZ:
The Pima County Animal Care Center Director tabled a proposal that would have imposed numerous requirements on all breeders in unincorporated areas of Pima County. Requirements would have included obtaining a $200 litter permit for every litter whelped and keeping records on all ownership transfers for 10 years. Some members of the Pima Animal Care Center Advisory Committee also proposed mandatory spay/neuter provisions.

7/13/11 Yavapai County, AZ update - success:
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to consider a proposal that would limit dog ownership to four dogs per acre, with a maximum of 20 dogs on a private property. Due to the overwhelming number of calls and e-mails received by the Board, the proposal has been removed from the agenda.

6/3/11 -

The American Kennel Club has learned that the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission will consider limiting dog ownership to 4 dogs per acre of land in residential areas, up to a maximum of 20 dogs total. The commission has stated that this will include those who foster dogs.

In addition, the proposal states that “commercial breeding and training operations” will be subject to a use permit. These terms are not defined, so it is unclear who this will affect.

It is imperative that all local responsible dog owners, club members, and those who participate in dog events in Yavapai County attend the hearing or submit letters of concern to the commission.

The hearing information is as follows:

Prescott hearing:
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: 1015 Fair Street
Prescott, AZ 86305

Cottonwood hearing:
Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: 10 S. 6th Street
Cottonwood, AZ 86326

If you are unable to attend either hearing, you may address comments to the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission and send them care of Kristy Dargue (dargue@co.yavapai.az.us, or fax: 928-771-3432).

The AKC strongly believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and promote public education programs designed to teach responsible dog ownership. We oppose, however, legislation that seeks to arbitrarily limit dog ownership.

4/22/10 - House Bill 2375 seeks to ban the ownership, sale, and transportation of “dangerous wildlife” As introduced, HB 2375 would have defined all carnivores as "dangerous wildlife" with no exceptions, thereby banning Arizonans from owning and selling dogs in the state. The bill has been amended to clarify that domestic animals are exempted. Further amendments are also expected. HB 2375 has passed the House Natural Resources & Rural Affairs Committee.

5/13/08 Arizona– House Bill 2615 seeks to prohibit persons from owning or keeping a dog or cat that is more than six months old if the animal has not been spayed or neutered, unless the person has acquired an intact permit for the animal. It is a substantive copy of California AB 1634. There has been no movement on this bill since its introduction and assignment to three House committees.

3/7/08 - Update: Arizona Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill's Committee Assignments Arizona House Bill 2516 has been assigned to three legislative committees: the House Committee on Counties, Municipalities, and Military Affairs; the House Committee on Government; and the House Committee on Rules. The bill, which seeks to prohibit persons from owning or keeping a dog or cat that is more than six months old if the animal has not been spayed or neutered, unless the person has acquired an intact permit for the animal, has not yet been scheduled for hearing. However, it is imperative that all concerned breeders and responsible dog owners in Arizona contact the committee members listed below and voice their strong opposition to the bill.

Read a copy of the bill

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Arizona's concerned breeders and responsible dog owners should contact the committee members. Voice your vehement opposition to HB 2516, and ask the committee members to do the same. Get a list of committee members.

Arizona Alert: Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill Introduced House Bill 2516, which seeks to prohibit persons from owning or keeping a dog or cat that is more than six months old if the animal has not been spayed or neutered, unless the person has acquired an intact permit for the animal, has been introduced. If adopted, this unreasonable and unenforceable bill will have a profound negative impact not only upon responsible dog breeders in Arizona, but also upon all current and prospective dog owners. It is vital that all breeders and concerned dog owners in Arizona contact their elected state legislators and voice their strong opposition to the bill.

As introduced, HB 2516 will:
· Prohibit a person from owning or keeping a dog or cat that is more than six months old if the animal has not been spayed or neutered, unless the person qualifies for and purchases an intact permit.
· Allow the fee for the permit to be set by the county enforcement agent or by the local jurisdiction.
· Require the fee for the permit to be no more than what is "reasonably necessary" to fund the administration of the intact permit program.

HB 2516 will require breeders to pay an undetermined annual fee for every intact dog they possess, and is a blatant attempt at imposing a significant financial burden upon responsible dog breeders and owners.

As a recently introduced bill, HB 2516 has not been referred to a committee within the Arizona House of Representatives.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to oppose HB 2516. Find out who represents you in the Arizona Legislature.

Arkansas 4/5/11 Fort Smith, AR
On March 15, the Fort Smith Board of Directors approved by a 4-3 vote an ordinance that limits breeders to one total litter per year and requires all dogs and cats six months and older to be sterilized unless the owner qualifies as a “hobbyist” and is granted an annual “hobbyist permit” at a fee of $25 plus $25/year for each unaltered animal. There are two additional readings of the ordinance, when the board may, at its discretion, hold an additional vote if sufficient public input is received. Residents are asked to contact board members as soon as possible to express concerns and request a “no” vote. Read the AKC’s Legislative Alert on this ordinance.
California

12/20/13 - Pasadena, CA update:
The Pasadena City Council has deferred for six months any action on a proposed mandatory spay/neuter proposal. In that time frame the local animal control authorities are expected to complete a canvassing and licensing education program which the city council members believe will provide them with additional information regarding the state of animal control in the city.

Ventura County, CA:
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has given tentative approval to an ordinance that will require the sterilization of all animals unless the owner qualifies for an intact animal license or purchases a breeder permit and agrees to allow animal control to inspect their private homes without a warrant.

9/23/13 - Pasadena, CA:
The Pasadena City Council has directed the city attorney to prepare a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. The AKC GR department will carefully monitor this issue and will notify local fanciers and responsible dog owners and breeders once the language is available and/or a date is set for a hearing.

San Diego, CA:
The San Diego City Council has approved an amended version of an ordinance that would have prohibited anyone in the city from breeding and selling more than three litters or more than 20 dogs, cats or rabbits in a twelve month period. The revised version of the ordinance which prohibits the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores now specifically exempts breeders who sell dogs, cats or rabbits from the premises on which they were bred. The city will review the issue again in one year.

8/1/13 - Los Angeles, CA update:
The Los Angeles City Council has adopted modifications to the current mandatory spay/neuter ordinance to require spay/neuter for any licensed dog that is impounded twice, and which removes exemptions in current law for dogs that have earned or are being trained for and are in the process of earning agility, carting, herding, hunting, working or other titles. It also requires anyone who holds a breeding permit to submit to an inspection by the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, requires breeders to implant all dogs sold with a microchip, “to maintain the breeder’s identity as well as that of the new owner’s” on the microchip.

12/12/12 - Chula Vista, CA update:
The City of Chula Vista has adopted an ordinance to regulate "pet sellers," defined as those who sell two or more animals in a year.

11/12/12 - Chula Vista, CA update:
The City of Chula Vista will consider an ordinance to regulate "pet sellers," defined as those who sell two or more animals in a year. The proposal includes a requirement that pet sellers will allow animal control officers to inspect their homes if there is a complaint. The proposal does not address what happens if a pet seller refuses an inspection, is not home or what the inspection criteria entails. It is also unclear what happens if a pet seller does not pass the inspections — is there a warning, fine or confiscation of the animals? AKC believes that this proposal should be redrafted to address these and other concerns. Some changes were made to the document presented on September 11th and AKC anticipates a new version will be available on September 25.

9/17/12 - Los Angeles, CA:
The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services has submitted a report to the city council which recommends several changes to the city's breeding permits and spay/neuter ordinance. Changes include requiring sterilization on a second impoundment even if the animal has an intact license, removing the exemption for animals that have acquired a title or are being trained for conformation, companion or performance events and requiring that those seeking exemptions for show or competition animals provide verified proof of competition. Finally, the proposal would require those who have a breeding permit to be "subject to inspection by the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services at its sole discretion." It is unknown what the city council will do with this report.

9/17/12 -Canyon Lake, CA:
The Canyon Lake City Council has rejected a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, but it is likely to return to the council once a new interim city manager is appointed. The ordinance would have required the sterilization of any animal that did not qualify for specified exemptions provided for competition animals, animals in training for competition, military, law enforcement, service, guide or signal dogs or those with medical conditions which make sterilization problematic.

8/28/12 - Menifee, CA:
The Menifee City Council has tasked an ad-hoc committee of two council members to review language for a possible ordinance to ban the sale of dogs and cats in the city. It is unknown how this might affect local breeders.

4/24/12- Chula Vista, CA:
Despite opposition from local responsible breeders and owners, the City of Chula Vista has enacted an ordinance that establishes new kennel definitions and regulations and requires animals to be sterilized on a second impoundment. It further defines a “pet seller” as anyone who sells two or more animals annually. The city intends to draft regulations for pet sellers in the future.

9/1/11 Los Angeles, CA update:
The City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department is proposing to increase the city’s current animal limit from 3 dogs or cats to 5 dogs or cats. AKC GR staff alerted local club members and breeders in Los Angeles, asking them to contact their council members in support of this change. AKC GR provided talking points that laud the proposed changes, but also discuss the general ineffectiveness of limit laws. This item has not yet been placed on the council’s agenda, but as ordinances do move very quickly, residents are being asked to contact the mayor and council as soon as possible in support of this change.

7/13/11

Irvine, CA update:
The Irvine City Council is expected to consider changes to their animal control ordinance on September 13th. The ordinance will require the spaying and neutering of dogs impounded for a third time, with the only exemption for those deemed medically unfit to be sterilized. The measure will prohibit rodeos, circuses, or other similar activities. "Dog and cat exhibitions" are exempted, but the term is undefined making it unclear how AKC events may be impacted. Finally, the ordinance prohibits sales of dogs and cats by pet stores, although existing stores are allowed to continue selling animals until a specified date (this is blank in the draft). The ordinance exempts those who sell animals bred and reared on the premises of the person or establishment.

6/1/11 Irvine, CA:
The Irvine City Council has directed staff to develop ordinances to require the spaying and neutering of impounded pets (it is not clear how many violations would have to occur for sterilization to be required), a ban on pet expositions and live animal shows and a ban on sales of cats and dogs in pet stores. Draft proposals are expected to be brought before the council in late May.

Visalia, CA:
The Visalia City Council has adopted new fees for breeders and is in the process of revising the definitions for breeders and kennels.4/5/11

Irvine, CA:
The Irvine City Council has directed staff to develop ordinances to require the spaying and neutering of impounded pets (it is not clear how many violations would have to occur for sterilization to be required), a ban on pet expositions and live animal shows and a ban on sales of cats and dogs in pet stores. Draft proposals are expected to be brought before the council in approximately four months.

Los Angeles County, CA
On March 15th, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a breeder restriction ordinance relating to dog breeding practices and licensing of animal facilities and wild animals. Under the ordinance, dog breeders will be limited to maintaining 50 breeding dogs under one year of age UNLESS specific requirements are met. The ordinance also provides animal facilities with additional standards of care, licensing, record-keeping and microchipping requirements.
Licensing
Under this ordinance, any person operating an animal facility or keeping a wild animal within the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles must obtain an annual license to operate/own. (NOTE: the ordinance provides a list of animals that are not considered a “wild animal” and do not require a license to own.) The Los Angeles County Code defines an “animal facility” as “a lot, building, structure, enclosure or premises for any animal related business or organization, including, but not limited to, a non-profit humane organization animal facility, a grooming shop, a pet shop, a boarding facility and a breeding facility.” A “wild animal” is defined in the Code as “any non-domestic, exotic or dangerous animal, including but not limited to the following: wild animal/dog hybrids and other mammals, wildfowl, fish and reptiles.”
Limit Laws
The ordinance sets forth numerical limits for breeders as well as restrictions on breeding practices. No breeder may breed a female dog under 12 months of age. The ordinance sets forth different standards for breeding facilities depending on the number of dogs at the facility. Breeding facilities with 50 or fewer sexually intact dogs under one year old must have adequate staffing on the premises to attend to the dogs for at least eight hours in every 24-hour period.
Breeding facilities with 51 or more sexually intact dogs over one year must provide additional staffing, be subject to more frequent inspections, have a written medical program approved by a California licensed veterinary, and have an emergency response plan. Facilities with 51 or more dogs are also required to provide adequate staffing to care for the animals for 18 hours a day. The inspection requirements for facilities with 51 or more dogs are as follows:
51-75 dogs = one annual reinspection;
76-100 dogs = two annual reinspections;
101-125 dogs = three annual reinspections;
126-150 dogs= four annual reinspections; and
150+ dogs = five annual reinspections.
Mandatory Microchipping
It is now required that all animal facilities in Los Angeles County microchip or tattoo all dogs before four months of age or prior to be being sold or transferred.
Standards of Care
The ordinance provides a list of standards of care that includes cage stacking, grooming requirements and bans tethering, unless permitted under the California Health and Safety Code Section 122335. (See text of ordinance for complete list.)
Recordkeeping Requirements
The ordinance states that anyone with an animal facility license must maintain the following records:
The name, current address and telephone number of the owner of each animal kept at the facility;
The state the animal entered and left the facility;
The description of the animal and other identifying information;
The date a dog was acquired;
The date of each litter birthed by each female;
Veterinary records and the cause of death and method of disposal; and
A valid rabies certificate on every dog over four months old kept at the facility.
For animal facilities selling dogs and cats to the public, a conspicuous public notice must be posted containing the breeder’s name, address, and license number. If the breeder’s name is unknown, then the name and address of the person from which the dog or cat was obtained must be posted.
Penalties
Any animal facility found in non-compliance of this ordinance faces the following penalties:
1st violation - fine of up to $250; and
2nd violation (committed within one year of the 1st violation) - a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

3/30/11 LA, CA update on increasing city’s current animal limit:
This item has not yet been placed on the council’s agenda, but as things can move very quickly, residents are asked to contact the mayor and council as soon as possible in support of this change.

1/5/11 - Contra Costa County, CA:
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Public Protection Committee is in the process of researching an ordinance that would require all dogs that are impounded be sterilized before they are returned to their owners, even on a first offense. This is unreasonable as even responsible owners can have an animal escape due to a mistake by a meter reader, gardener, friend or relative leaving a gate open. We agree that steps should be taken to address owners who habitually allow their animals to run at-large, but such a severe response is not justified by a single incident.

The animal services director is expected to report back to the committee sometime in January. Responsible dog owners are encouraged to contact their supervisors and oppose this one-strike policy.

10/26/10 - Los Angeles, CA
The City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department has held two town hall meetings to discuss a possible increase of the city’s current animal limit from 3 dogs or cats to 5 dogs or cats. AKC GR staff alerted local club members and breeders in Los Angeles County and provided them with talking points that laud the proposed changes, but also discuss the ineffectiveness of limit laws.

9/20/10 -

City of Los Angeles to Hold Town Hall Meetings Regarding Increasing Pet Limits

The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services will be hosting two Town Hall meetings on Thursday, September 16 and Wednesday, September 22 to hear from the community about increasing pet limits.

Concerned dog owners are encouraged to attend and educate city staff on the ineffectiveness of limit laws. Speakers will only need to provide a first name (no other information such as address or last name will be collected).

The details for the hearings are as follows:

Thursday, September 16, 2010
6:30 p.m.
East Valley Animal Care Center
14409 Vanowen Street
Van Nuys, CA 91405

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
6:30 p.m.
West Los Angeles Animal Care Center
11361 W. Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064

CA updates:
2009/2010 Bills on the Governor's Desk:

SB 1176 regarding impounds of estray horses, mules, burros, and other
animals.

SB 1417 Amends the Corporation Code regarding non-profit humane
societies

AB 1980 Changes composition of Vet Board, specifies rodeo animal
injury reporting requirements. requires supervision of certain
unlicensed techs and more

AB 2012 Increases misdemeanor penalties of animal abuse or neglect

AB 2411 Amends the Insurance code to include pet insurance, requires
disclosure of coverage. and exclusion of pre-existing coverage, and more

AB 2743 Prohibits Landlords from requiring prospective tenants to
declaw or debark pets

************************
Signed and Chaptered 2009/2010 animal bills

AB 2243 Prohibits discrimination of SAR dogs in public places and
transportation

AB 2689 Verification of rabies vaccinations by modern communication
and technology.

 

8/16/10 -

CA Update: SB250 (MSN) IS BACK

In 2009 Senator Florez was roundly defeated in the Assembly on SB250. Since that time he has not met with any of the stakeholders about making amendments to the bill.

Tuesday, August 17th amendments were sent for the bill. They are not in print yet but you can go to the CDOC website and download the new version. The changes are marked in yellow.

Senator Florez has done nothing to address the concerns about this bill.

* It is still secondary MSN.
* It does not exclude the people who are raising the future service dogs.
* There are no exemptions for search and rescue dogs; if they work off lead they are in violation.
* There are no changes to keep this from costing the State of California millions of dollars.
* There are still not consistent rules for appeal.

In the next 24 hours there will be sample letters and contact information on both the CDOC website (www.cdoca.org) and Save Our Dogs website (www.saveourdogs.net).

Getting letters and phone calls to the Assembly Members and the Senators over the next few days is imperative. We will also want as many people as possible up in Sacramento to walk the halls. With the changes, this must now go back to the Senate for concurrence.

8/2/10 - The Riverside City Council has voted unanimously to approve this ordinance.

6/17/10 -

The Riverside City Council will meet Tuesday, June 15th to discuss an ordinance that would require the spaying/neutering of any dog or cat for even a minor violation of the animal control ordinance, would force pet owners to microchip all their animals, and will require anyone with five or more dogs to obtain a residential kennel license. It is vital that responsible dog owners and breeders attend the hearing to oppose this measure.

Date: Tuesday, June 15th
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: City Hall (Art Pick Council Chamber)
3900 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92522

Provisions of the proposed ordinance include:
All dogs and cats will be required to be spayed or neutered unless the owner has purchased an intact animal license. Current law requires owners to license their pets; however, keeping that license would become much tougher.
Any animal that is picked up at-large will be required to be spayed/neutered prior to being returned to the owner. Any violation of the animal control ordinance can trigger a requirement that the animal(s) be sterilized. A few of the examples used in the ordinance include failure to possess a current rabies vaccination, failure to license, leash law violations, animals left unattended in a car and failure to provide adequate care.
A dog would have to be spayed/neutered if there are 3 complaints verified by the department that the dog has run at-large, or the owner is found to be neglectful. (AKC staff is concerned at the vagueness of this language. It does not appear to require that the owners be cited for the alleged violations or that the owner is convicted of animal cruelty charges.)
If an owner has one intact license revoked, they can have all their intact licenses revoked. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume if one dog was picked up at-large and sterilized, then all dogs owned by this person would be required to be sterilized.
Limits residents to four dogs, unless they obtain a residential kennel license. Current residents who own five or more dogs will be grandfathered in for twenty years, but can not replace animals that die or are rehomed.

Requires that applicants for a residential kennel license allow animal control to inspect their premises. (AKC staff does not believe that justification exists for requiring dog owners or breeders to allow animal control unfettered access to their private homes. Existing laws allow animal control to investigate animal cruelty, neglect, noise and sanitation complaints.)
Requires that any advertisement for the sale of an unaltered dog or cat include the intact license number for that animal. Since animals are not required to be licensed until they are 4 months old, it is unclear how this would impact the sale of puppies younger than four months.
Requires that all dogs and cats be implanted with a microchip. Exemptions are provided if a veterinarian states in writing that it is dangerous to the animals health or would negatively impact the animal’s athletic abilities. Animals that are kenneled or trained in Riverside, but whose owners do not live in the jurisdiction are not required to implant microchips.
This ordinance would require the sterilization of any animal that was picked up by animal control, even on a first offense. This is unreasonable as even responsible owners can have an animal escape due to a mistake by a meter reader, gardener, friend or relative leaving a gate open. We agree that steps should be taken to address owners who habitually allow their animals to run at-large, but such a severe response is not justified by a single incident.

4/22/10 - California State Senator Dean Florez, author of SB 250 the Mandatory Sterilization Bill, introduced a new bill, SB 1277, to establish an animal abuse registry.

Here’s what we know about SB 1277:

The millions in costs to set up the registry will be paid for by a new tax on pet food.
The sponsor of the bill, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is known for its advocacy of pet guardianship and vegetarianism.
The author of the bill, Senator Dean Florez, has been the leading advocate for mandatory sterilization.
SB1277 has been assigned to the Public Safety Cmte. Opposition arguments can include that the government isn’t always able to track sex offenders/child abusers thru a registry, this would be no different. Animal abuse is not a threat to the community as is sex/child offenders. The "tax" is on pet food, so pet owners would also be responsible for livestock? Only 3% of tax funds received will be allotted to maintaining the registry, the other 97% to S/N programs but doesn't specify which groups will receive funds thru it.

3/1/10

As introduced in 2009, Senate Bill 250 required sterilization if a dog is at large, not licensed, and violates a local animal control ordinance - even on a first offense. While the first offense language has been removed, it still prohibits anyone who has ever had their intact license revoked from owning an intact dog again. The bill failed in the California State Assembly and will likely be reconsidered in 2010.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Humane Society of the United States applauds the formation of a new animal protection caucus for California state legislators, one of the nation's first state legislative caucuses dedicated to promoting the passage of humane legislation. The caucus, to be co-chaired by Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, and Assemblymembers Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, and Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, will seek to highlight important issues affecting animals and to educate legislators and their staff on the need for sensible animal protection legislation.

The caucus co-chairs will jointly author the annual resolution recognizing SPAY DAY 2010 in California (celebrated this year on Feb. 23) to encourage Californians to have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered and to provide volunteer services and other support to organizations that provide spay and neuter services.

"California has consistently ranked first for its strong commitment to protecting animals with our laws," said The HSUS' California senior state director Jennifer Fearing. "In 2009, California legislators passed landmark bipartisan legislation to upgrade penalties for dog fighting, protect La Jolla's harbor seal habitat, prohibit the cruel and unnecessary docking of cow's tails, and increase fines for poaching of our state's wildlife. With the formation of this new caucus, we hope to build on these successes and see even more accomplishments for animals brokered in the least contentious ways possible."

This caucus is modeled off the successful Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, co-chaired by U.S. Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., and intends to sponsor nonpartisan forums and briefings, track the progress of relevant legislation, streamline communication among offices with regard to legislation, provide members with dependable information on animal welfare issues, and attempt to build broad coalitions in support of common-sense animal welfare laws.

The new animal protection caucus will kick off with a Capitol reception featuring HSUS president and CEO Wayne Pacelle in early February.

 

11/8/09 - Update on Senate Bill 250 – Senator Dean Florez, the author of California Senate Bill 250, has issued a press release stating that the bill will be put on hold until the legislature reconvenes in January 2010, and as a result, the bill is dead for the year and has been placed on the inactive file. SB 250 would require the sterilization of an intact, unlicensed dog for a single at-large offense, and a licensed, intact dog on the 2nd offense - in its lifetime! The bill also mandates spaying and neutering for various other violations of other local animal control ordinances.

8/1/09 California
Santa Barbara County, CA – A county task force gave preliminary approval to a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for Santa Barbara County. The ordinance now goes to the County Board of Supervisors for consideration. It is imperative that all dog owners in Santa Barbara County contact the Board of Supervisors immediately to express their opposition to mandatory spay/neuter laws.

AB 107
AB 1122
AB 1437
AB 241
AB 242
AB 243
AB 490
SB 250
SB 318

6/30/09- California – Summary of bills:

Assembly Bill 241 – As introduced, this bill would have limited businesses and individuals who buy or sell cats and dogs from owning more than 50 intact animals. It also would have allowed for warrantless inspections. The Public Safety Committee removed the inspections provisions and now provides that animal control officers may take possession of an animal to protect the health and safety of the animal or the public. It also clarified that the 50 dog ownership limit applies to animals “used at any time for the purpose of breeding for sale as pets”. The bill passed the Business and Professions Committee and is awaiting a hearing in Appropriations.

Senate Bill 250 – SB 250 will require sterilization if a dog is at-large, if the dog is not licensed, or if the dog violates local animal control ordinances, even on a first offense. The bill also adds the term "custodian" to state law, which could be considered equivalent to the term “guardian”. It’s passed the California Senate. It will go to the Assembly and if amended it will go back to the Senate.

3/1/09 - Fanciers Force Amendments to Riverside County, CA Ordinance
Over 100 concerned dog and cat owners attended January’s hearing in Riverside County and convinced the Board of Supervisors to accept amendments to the proposed spay/neuter and mandatory microchipping ordinance. Although the ideal outcome would have been the defeat of this ordinance and to focus efforts on responsible animal owner education programs and stronger enforcement of existing laws, the changes that were made are positive ones.

Most significantly, the ordinance will now require the spaying/neutering of a cat or dog on a third violation of the animal control ordinance, rather than on a single violation as was proposed in the initial draft. The ordinance will also provide some exemptions for "recognized breeders." This term will be defined by a 10 member committee appointed by the supervisors. Each supervisor will appoint a supporter and an opponent of the ordinance to serve on this committee. The committee will also conduct a review of the ordinance and evaluate its effectiveness over the next year.

The mandatory microchipping portion of the ordinance remains unchanged and all residents of the unincorporated parts of the county will need to have their animals microchipped and register the microchip with the county when they renew their animal licenses.

11/22/08 - Los Angeles, CA –

City of Los Angeles’ mandatory spay/neuter ordinance went in to effect on October 1. The AKC requested and has been granted status as an ‘approved registry’ allowing residents with AKC papers to apply for an intact animal license if their dog is currently competing, has a title, or is being trained to compete.

7/1/08 CA - Assembly Bill 1634, which would require the spaying/neutering of all dogs and cats over six months of age unless the owner qualifies for and purchases an intact animal permit, is expected to be heard for a final time in the Senate Local Government Committee on June 18th. This is the last scheduled meeting of that committee before the June 27th deadline by which
bills must be heard by the policy committee.

It is vital that folks contact their State Senator and the members of the Senate Local Government Committee and reinforce why AB 1634 and mandatory spay/neuter is not an effective solution to animal control issues. As always, please remember to be polite and respectful in your communications with elected officials.

What You Can Do

Contact your State Senator and reinforce your opposition to AB 1634. To find out who represents you in the California State Senate, please click here.

Contact the Senate Local Government Committee and ask them to oppose AB 1634. contact information for the committee and members can be found here.

5/13/08-California, Kern County – The County has been considering mandatory spay/neuter for two years. Last month, the County Board of Supervisors demanded that the Animal Control Commission draft a plan for dealing with overpopulation in the county animal shelter that includes mandatory spay/neuter. The plan must be presented to the Board of Supervisors by June 10th.

5/13/08 California, Santa Barbara County – The County is considering a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. This proposed ordinance mandates the spaying or neutering of dogs over 6 months of age unless the owner obtains an unaltered dog license. The proposed ordinance also includes restrictions on breeding including a one litter per female per year limit, mandatory record keeping requirements, and a requirement that breeders provide a copy of the ordinance to all puppy purchasers.

California Assembly Bill 1634, known as the California Healthy Pets Act, proposes to require the mandatory spaying or neutering of all dogs or cats over four months of age, unless the owner acquires an intact animal permit. In its current form, it proposes to seriously restrict the property rights of responsible breeders and owners while imposing untold and unjust punitive fees to own an intact dog. The American Kennel Club strongly opposes AB 1634. Instead, the American Kennel Club strongly supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. 
It is imperative that all parent clubs write a new letter to the California Assembly Appropriations Committee on behalf of your club members in California. Your letter must state that you are “opposed to AB 1634, as amended by the Business and Professions Committee on April 24th.” It is essential that parent clubs send official opposition letters to the committee consultant to ensure your club is listed in the bill analysis. Please send your letters to:

Assembly Appropriations Committee
ATTN: Chuck Nicol, Committee Consultant
State Capitol, Room 2114
Sacramento, California 95814
FAX: (916) 319-2181

The CA Spay/Neuter Action Center provides up-to-date information regarding AKC’s efforts to defeat AB 1634: The American Kennel Club

CALIFORNIA – The San Jose Animal Advisory Committee is proposing changes to the animal control ordinance that would require all dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered and to restrict where animals can be sold. A copy of the draft proposal has not yet been made available to the public, although the San Jose Animal Care and Services division states that the mandatory spay/neuter provisions will not apply to qualified competition animals. Local fanciers and dog owners are encouraged to contact their representative on the city council and educate them about the rights and benefits of responsible breeding programs. The measure is expected to go before the San Jose City Council in January of 2007.

- UPDATE - the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is in the process of forming a task force to consider alternatives to a $150 intact animal fee. The supervisors intend to bring a new proposal back in January. AKC thanks the fanciers and concerned dog owners who worked hard to convince the supervisors that these types of breeding restrictions are unfair to responsible owners and breeders. Residents should continue to contact their member of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and ask him/her to oppose any measure that penalizes responsible breeders. For further information, please contact the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs at jgrcorgis@aol.com.

- The Kern County Board of Supervisors has directed the Kern County Animal Control Commission to review a proposal from the Taxpayers for Responsible & Ethical Animal Treatment and the Animal Friends Rescue Project which includes mandatory spay/neuter. The Canine Legislation Department is working with local fanciers and concerned dog owners to inform both the animal control commission and the board of supervisors about the ineffectiveness of mandatory spay/neuter. 

CALIFORNIA – (continues) The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will meet at 2:30pm February 27th discuss adoption of the “Animal Overpopulation Ordinance.” It is imperative that fanciers, breeders and concerned dog owners attend the meeting. The measure includes a $150 intact animal fee, a reduced $50 intact animal permit for those who meet certain conditions, a $10 fee to transfer an animal over the age of four months, and requires all dogs and cats to wear a suitable collar or harness with the license tag attached. For further information, please contact the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs at jgrcorgis@aol.com.
– The Kern County Animal Control Commission is set to propose a new breeder license. Anyone offering for sale more than 1 litter per year would be required to purchase the $150 permit, which would include licensing for 2 intact animals. Animal control would have the right to inspect the premises of any breeder. The commission is also considering increasing fees including the fee to license intact animals and the fee to redeem intact animals from the shelter. A low cost spay/neuter program and the possibility of requiring an animal to be sterilized if it is picked up three times are also under consideration.
– (Continues) The San Jose Animal Advisory Committee is proposing changes to the animal control ordinance that would require all dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered and to restrict where animals can be sold. A copy of the draft proposal has not yet been made available to the public, although the San Jose Animal Care and Services division states that the mandatory spay/neuter provisions will not apply to qualified competition animals. Local fanciers and dog owners are encouraged to contact their representative on the city council and educate them about the rights and benefits of responsible breeding programs. The measure is expected to go before the San Jose City Council in March or April.

Colorado

4/5/11 Colorado update:
Senate Bill 11-009 sought to make significant changes to the impoundment laws and the ability of owners to get their animals back if they are seized during a cruelty investigation. SB 11-009 passed the Senate, but was pulled by a sponsor in the House Agriculture Committee. Read more about this victory.

3/22/11 Update on recent CO bill:

Colorado Senate Bill 11-009, which made significant changes to the impoundment laws and the ability of owners to get their animals back if they are seized during a cruelty investigation, was postponed indefinitely in the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee and will not advance this year.

3/17/11 CO Committee to Consider Harsh Changes to Impoundment Laws on 3/21

March 17, 2011

The Colorado House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee is expected to consider a bill on Monday, March 21, that makes significant changes to the impoundment laws and the ability of owners to get their animals back if they are seized during a cruelty investigation.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs and believes that no dog should be kept in circumstances where its needs cannot be adequately fulfilled. Senate Bill 11-009, however, severely restricts the rights of animal owners who are being charged with cruelty, even if the charges are later dismissed. Our concerns include, but are not limited to, the following:

Potential loss of ownership rights and right to challenge extensive costs – This bill requires that the person charged with cruelty continually pay for the costs of caring for dogs seized. If the owner does not pay at any point, they lose the right to challenge the costs and ownership rights in the trial. These hearings can be very lengthy, especially since SB 11-009 transfers them to criminal court and allows up to 30 days before an initial hearing is conducted.

There is no provision for those with low incomes who may not be able to pay the costs as well as legal fees. It also does not provide reimbursement for owners who are found not guilty or have the charges dismissed. A dog owner should not be forced to forfeit their right of property or right to challenge a fee simply because they cannot afford to pay the costs.

Provision that the court must consider a warrant to be sufficient cause for impoundment – A warrant alone should not be considered sufficient cause. With this provision, no other evidence may be considered. Specific evidence and testimony regarding the findings and reasons for impoundment should be considered by the court.

Responsible dog owners in Colorado are encouraged to contact the House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee and express your concerns with this bill that violates the rights of animal owners before a verdict is reached.

3/1/09 - Harmful Colorado Bill Tabled Indefinitely
In early February, the Colorado House Agriculture Committee voted to table indefinitely House Bill 1172, which sought to strictly regulate dog breeders. HB 1172 would have: limited the number of dogs a person could own to 25, provided the Commissioner of Agriculture with extraordinary rulemaking powers, and have infringed upon privacy rights by allowing inspections of breeder’s facilities at any time.

Connecticut

12/20/13 - Connecticut:
Pursuant to HB 5027, which passed earlier this year, the State of Connecticut has appointed a task force to investigate the sale of dogs and cats in Connecticut. They are holding two hearings on the issue. The first took place in Fairfield on October 16. A second hearing will take place in Hartford on December 4. Upon completion of the public hearings, it is expected that the task force will draft legislation for consideration in 2014 that would restrict pet sales.

5/30/12 - Senate Bill 253 seeks to repeal positive regulations regarding animal importation that were signed into law in 2011. Current law includes requiring any dog imported into the state for rescue or resale to have a veterinary examination within 48 hours, and every 90 days until disposition. SB253 would only require one examination 15 days prior to final placement. It would also change the definition of “importer” to require intent to sell, adopt, or transfer the animal. AKC GR believes this would create a loophole where unscrupulous importers could avoid veterinary examinations by requiring a paper transfer prior to the dog entering the state. The Joint Committee on the Environment held a public hearing on March 7

7/12/10: Connecticut update: Senate Bill 274 has been signed by the Governor.

5/24/10 Connecticut update: Senate Bill 274 originally sought to prohibit as “unreasonable” the tethering of dogs and the use of primary dog enclosures smaller than 100 square feet, regardless of the size of the dog. Due to efforts led by the Connecticut federation and assisted by AKC GR, the unreasonable enclosure space requirement has been removed. The bill has passed both Houses, and is en route to the Governor.

4/22/10 - Senate Bill 274 would prohibit the tethering of dogs and require all dog enclosures to be at least 100 square feet, regardless of the breed or size of the dog. AKC The Joint Committee on the Environment held a public hearing on this bill on March 8, 2010.

6/30/09 - Connecticut –
The Connecticut State Senate passed some last-minute amendments to Senate Bill 499 that seek to impose several changes to the state’s consumer protection laws. As amended, the bill would require kennel licensees to have each puppy examined by a veterinarian prior to sale, and then every 15 days until the puppy is sold. It would also direct all sellers of dogs to file a certificate with the state Department of Agriculture within two days of sale or be subject to a $100 fine or 30 days imprisonment. The bill also seeks to limit kennel licensees from purchasing a dog or cat for resale from a breeder or other person outside of Connecticut who is not in possession of a current license issued by the USDA and any applicable state agency.
Delaware

9/17/12 -Delaware:
Senate Concurrent Resolution 44 establishes an Animal Welfare Task Force "to consider and evaluate the state of animal welfare in Delaware." This task force is directed to "convene as soon as possible" and conduct at least one public hearing prior to providing written recommendations to the legislature in March 2013. The resolution has been approved by both the Senate and House.

3/1/10 House Bill 293 removes the current requirement that primary kennel enclosures must follow federal guidelines and replaces it with a complicated new mathematical formula. The bill also provides for additional potentially troublesome changes to the state’s mandated care and condition standards.

Florida

8/1/13 - Lee County, FL:
The Lee County Board of Commissioners will soon consider major revisions to their animal control code including breeder licensing, warrantless inspections, mandatory spay/neuter and restrictions on keeping dogs outside (even in fenced yards). The measure will likely be heard by the commission in July. AKC has contacted county officials and local fanciers regarding our opposition to this burdensome and ineffective proposal.

11/12/12 - Hernando County, FL:
The Hernando County Commission will consider a rewrite of their animal control code which will limit the number of dogs residents may own by designating them as kennels if they own more dogs than allowed for their property size, provide animal control authorities the authority to inspect kennels and other animal establishments, including private residences, without a warrant, restrict tethering, and limit the ability of rescue groups who are not incorporated as 501 (c)(3) organizations to operate in the county.
The proposed ordinance would define in statute a number of terms related to dog breeding which could lead the way for more restrictive breeding laws in the future. As currently written, the proposed legislation would designate as a kennel any premises (other than those of a hobby breeder) where:

More than four dogs are kept on a residential property of less than one acre,
More than six dogs are kept on a residential property that is more than one acre, but less than two acres,
More than eight dogs are kept on a property that is larger than two acres, or
Anyone maintains more than four guard dogs on vacant property or on property used for business or industrial purposes.
Beyond this definition, the only other reference to kennels provides that a kennel is considered an animal establishment and allows animal control officers the right to enter and inspect any animal establishment. As kennels in this ordinance refer to residential properties supporting more than a specified number of animals, this essentially allows animal control unfettered access to private homes without a warrant or a complaint.

The measure defines “pet dealer” as anyone selling more than two litters or twenty dogs, whichever is greater, in one year. The only other place this definition is referenced is in the section allowing animal control to inspect these animal establishments without a warrant or complaint.

The ordinance also defines “commercial breeder” and “hobby breeder” but does not refer to those terms outside of the definition section of the document. It is not clear why these terms would be defined if they are not utilized further in the ordinance. A “hobby breeder” is defined as a person who raises on his/her property dogs, cats or companion animals and sells no more than two litters, or twenty dogs, cats and/or companion animals whichever is greater in one year. A “commercial breeder” is any person who engages in the breeding of dogs and/or cats for the purpose of sale or transfer for compensation, excluding hobby breeders.

The proposal also provides restrictions on tethering.

4/24/12- The Pasco County Commission is considering numerous changes to the county animal control ordinance. Proposed ordinance CS12-012 is expected to be considered in an upcoming commission hearing. According to the county attorney’s office, the following controversial provisions will be considered: mandatory breeder permits for anyone whose dogs or cats produce more than two litters or more than 20 animals per 12 month period, expanded requirements for owners of dangerous dogs, and tethering limits.

 

2/8/11 Jacksonville, FL- update:
The Jacksonville City Council amended a problematic animal control ordinance prior to passage. While some concerns still remain, modifications were made to mandatory sterilization requirements for impounded dogs, mandatory microchipping requirements, overly-broad dangerous dog provisions, and definitions and licensing requirements for hobby and occasional breeders. In the months from introduction to passage, 177 changes were made to the original bill.

9/23/10 - Jacksonville, FL:
The City of Jacksonville is considering an ordinance that limits the number of intact dogs and cats over eight weeks old on a property to 40 and defines anyone who sells, trades or gives away more than 6 dogs, cats or other animals (combined) in a year as an “animal dealer.” “Animal dealers” would be subject to undetermined annual fees, zoning review, and extensive record keeping and kennel engineering requirements. A dog or cat owner not defined as an “animal dealer” who maintained more than 5 intact cats and/or dogs over the age of 8 weeks would be required to obtain an “excessive intact animal” permit, even if the animals are not bred. The annual “excessive intact animal permit - hobby breeder” fee would cost $100 per animal for up to 20 intact animals over eight weeks old. “Professional breeder” permits would be required for anyone who maintains 21-40 intact animals over eight weeks old, at an annual fee of $100 per animal for up to 20 and $200 per animal for 21-40. Other areas of concern include, but are not limited to, definitions of potentially dangerous dogs, and non-refundable boarding fees for impounded animals regardless of whether the owner is found not guilty of charges. Fines for minor infractions range from $100 to $500 on a first offense. AKC GR has learned that amendments have been approved, but they are not yet publicly available. AKC Government Relations has sent information to council members, alerted area fanciers, is working with the AKC Florida federation, and continues to provide support to local clubs working with the council in opposition to this proposal.

5/24/10 Senate Bill 122 – Senate Bill 122 sought to require those defined as “pet dealers” (selling 20 or more dogs per year) to provide a written disclosure to dog buyers that impugns the genetic health of purebred dogs. It also attempted to unreasonably raise penalties for violations of Florida’s consumer protection law up to $10,000. The bill passed the Senate Agriculture Committee, but died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. AKC GR posted a Legislative Alert and worked with the Florida federation to defeat this proposal.

3/1/10 Prefiled Senate Bill 122 would require virtually all dog breeders to provide additional information relating to the genetic disorders to which dogs and cats are susceptible in the written notice that they provide to a consumer at the time of sale. The bill also attempts to redefine the term "pet dealer" for purposes of allowing a purchaser to return an animal to the pet dealer and receive a refund, exchange the animal, or receive a reimbursement of expenses. A version of this bill was introduced in the 2009 regular session, but did not receive a hearing.

3/1/09 - Florida Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill Introduced
Legislation that seeks to prohibit persons from owning or maintaining an intact dog or cat older than four months old has been filed in the Florida House. If adopted, Florida House Bill 451 would have a profound negative impact not only on responsible dog breeders in Florida, but also on all current and prospective dog owners. It is vital that all breeders and concerned dog owners in Florida contact their elected state legislators and voice their strong opposition to this unreasonable and unenforceable measure.

As currently written, HB 451 would:

• Require owners of every dog or cat in Florida to have each animal sterilized within 30 days of the animal reaching four months of age, or within 30 days of the owner receiving the animal.
• Provide ambiguous exemptions, including dogs with veterinary certification showing that sterilization would endanger the animal’s health, until such issues no longer exist; Greyhounds currently used for racing, until retirement; show animals registered with an established breed registration organization to be approved by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; dogs or cats that have earned, or are in the process of earning, a competitive sports title; animals trained, or in training, for use in law enforcement, military, or rescue; and animals for which an owner holds a valid breeding permit issued in accordance with an ordinance of a county or municipality.
The Florida Legislature will convene its session in early March. As a recently filed bill, HB 451 has not yet been referred to a committee within the Florida House of Representatives. However, it is important that all responsible dog breeding and owning Floridians write their elected officials in Tallahassee now, respectfully expressing their strong opposition to HB 451, and asking them to oppose the bill. This will help ensure that the bill will not be considered when the legislature comes into session.

1/28/08 - Palm Beach County, FL Considers Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Hobby Breeder Licensing

On January 15th, Palm Beach County Commissioners are scheduled to hold a first hearing on a proposed ordinance which will make drastic changes to the animal control ordinance, dramatically impacting responsible owners and breeders. Although the County Commission directed staff to begin drafting this ordinance back in April of 2007, an amended draft was posted to their website only on January 8th. Furthermore this is only a draft and may still be amended prior to the January 15th meeting.

Concerned dog owners are asked to immediately call the county commissioners and request that consideration of the ordinance be postponed until the February 5th meeting to allow for sufficient public review. County Commissioners contact information.

The ordinance will impose mandatory spay/neuter of any dog over the age of 6 months unless the owner qualifies for and purchases a $75 intact animal license, or declares in writing that the dog will not be used for breeding. The ordinance will further require hobby breeders, defined as any individual that produces up to 2 litters or 19 dogs per calendar year, to buy a permit and to submit to home inspections. Neither the proposed ordinance nor the existing fee schedule list what the fee for this permit will be. Mandatory microchip for any animal adopted or released from a shelter, even on a first offense, is also proposed in this ordinance.

More Information on This Proposal

FLORIDA – HB 317, introduced by Rep. Culp, is under consideration by the House Safety and Security Council. It amends the current animal cruelty law by providing that a first-time offender convicted of cruelty to animals will be subject to the following mandatory minimums: $500 fine, incarceration period of 30 consecutive days, and 100 hours of community service.

Georgia

7/1/08- GA - Governor Sonny Perdue Signs AKC Supported Anti-Dog Fighting Legislation

On May 6, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law tough new anti-dogfighting legislation that was supported by the American Kennel Club and the Georgia Canine Coalition. Members of the Georgia Canine Coalition were present for the signing and were congratulated for their hard work on behalf of dogs and responsible dog owners.

The new law makes it a felony to own a dog for fighting, to bet on a dog fight, or to allow a dog fight on one's premise. It also makes it a misdemeanor on the first offense and a felony on subsequent offenses to be a spectator at a dog fight.

The American Kennel Club supports state laws making any form of participation in organized dog fights a felony. The AKC unequivocally opposes dog fighting and the breeding and/or training of dogs for fighting. The AKC opposes the training of dogs for uncontrolled aggressive behavior toward other dogs and people.

Hawaii

4/1/13 - Senate Bill 414 SD1 would require the licensing of persons who own ten or more intact dogs over the age of 4 months. This bill would also prohibit ownership or custody of more than 30 intact dogs over the age of 1 year, establish extensive enclosure standards, prohibit the breeding of a dog older than 8 years, and require unannounced inspections of a breeder’s private premises. SB414 would allow counties to contract with any “dog protective agency” for the seizure and impounding of dogs belonging to breeders who are not in compliance with rules and dogs belonging to unlicensed breeders. SB414 has passed the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor.

5/30/12 -Senate Bill 253 seeks to repeal positive regulations regarding animal importation that were signed into law in 2011. Current law includes requiring any dog imported into the state for rescue or resale to have a veterinary examination within 48 hours, and every 90 days until disposition. SB253 would only require one examination 15 days prior to final placement. It would also change the definition of “importer” to require intent to sell, adopt, or transfer the animal. AKC GR believes this would create a loophole where unscrupulous importers could avoid veterinary examinations by requiring a paper transfer prior to the dog entering the state. The Joint Committee on the Environment held a public hearing on March 7

4/24/12 - Senate Bill 2492 would designate every owner and keeper of ten or more intact dogs over the age of four months as a “large scale breeding facility,” even if the person breeds no litters and sells no puppies. The bill would establish enclosure requirements detrimental to the care and safety of dogs, restrict breeding decisions, and prohibit ownership or custody of more than thirty intact dogs. SB2492 has passed the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee and has been referred to the House Finance Committee. Read more about this legislation. Read AKC’s letter of concern.

Senate Bill 2504, as introduced, would have prohibited selling or giving away an unsterilized cat or dog in the state. SB2504 received overwhelming opposition at a public hearing held by Senate committee. The joint committee responded to public input and passed amendments that deleted the mandatory sterilization provision prior to passage in the Senate. As further amended in House committees, SB2504 would establish requirements for pet retailers and prohibit the sale or exchange of dogs and cats in a public place, except by humane societies, animal control, and rescue organizations.

6/1/11 Senate Bill 1522 SD2 HD 1 would have imposed ownership limits of 50 intact dogs of any age and required licensing as a high-volume dog breeder for anyone who sells 25 or more puppies per year or owns 20 intact female dogs or 30 intact dogs of either sex over the age of 6 months. This bill also would have established extensive engineering requirements for licensees’ dog facilities and allowed inspections of any areas in which dogs are kept, handled or transported with no exemptions for personal residences. The bill died in process; however, legislators have requested a state audit of the number of dog breeders in Hawaii as a first step for enacting future regulations. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert for SB1522.

4/13/11 HI:
Hawaii Senate Bill 1522 SD2 HD1, a bill that would extensively regulate dog breeding and limit ownership to 50 intact dogs of any age, has passed the House of Representatives and has been returned to the Senate to be voted into law.
It is imperative that responsible dog owners and breeders immediately contact their Senators to advise them that this bill creates regulations that are potentially dangerous to dogs and ask them to vote “no” to SB1522. Click here to read AKC’s most recent letter of concern.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has strong concerns about the impact this bill could have on responsible hobby breeders. SB 1522 requires licensing as a “large-scale dog breeder” and adherence to strict dog enclosure and care regulations of any person who:

• Offers for sale, exchange or lease 25 or more puppies in any one-year period, or

• Owns or harbors 20 or more intact female dogs over 6 months of age that are “intended for breeding,” or

• Owns or harbors 30 intact dogs over 6 months of age that are intended for breeding.

Because the bill does not indicate how “intended for breeding” is defined, it could require licensing as a “large-scale dog breeder” by dog owners who never or rarely produce a litter. The bill also establishes undetermined annual licensing fees and strict requirements for dog enclosures. Applications for licensing would require the prior approval of the appropriate county department of planning and permitting.

Additional concerns about this bill include, but are not limited to:

• Potentially harmful enclosure and care requirements – This bill would establish numerous requirements for dog care and enclosures that do not take into account a dog’s breed, age or health status. Strict requirements such as “constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area” could prove lethal to an aged or ill dog and would prevent a responsible owner from confining dogs indoors in the evenings so that barking and other noises do not create a nuisance.

• Limits to 50 the number of intact dogs a person may have on his premises – There is no age indicated, therefore, this 50-dog limit would include newborn puppies. The AKC believes that responsible dog ownership is determined by the care and conditions under which dogs are kept, not by the number of dogs a person owns.

• Requires unannounced inspections – This bill would allow inspections at any time “during business hours” of those portions of all buildings, yards, pens and other areas in which dogs are kept, handled or transported. Inspections would be carried out to ensure compliance with provisions of this bill and with any future rules adopted pursuant to this measure. There is no exemption for personal residences.

• Excessive civil penalties – This bill would subject violators to civil penalties of $1,000 per day for licensing violations and $1,000 per citation for violations of current and future. Fines of $2000 per dog would be imposed for violations of prohibited acts.

• Oversight and rulemaking by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs – In most jurisdictions, oversight and rulemaking for animal care and breeding fall under a department with expertise in animal husbandry such as the Department of Agriculture.

 

3/30/11 - Hawaii
House Bill 1621 seeks to impose an ownership limit of 50 dogs over the age of 6 months and requires licensing for anyone who sells 25 or more puppies per year or owns 20 intact female dogs or 30 intact dogs of either sex over the age of 6 months. The bill would also establish extensive engineering requirements for licensees’ dog facilities and allow inspections of any areas in which dogs are kept, handled or transported with no exemptions for personal residences. The bill has passed the House Committee on Economic Revitalization & Business and is referred to the CPC/JUD committee.

HAWAII – HB 358, introduced by Rep. Lee, is currently held in the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. The bill would prohibit homeowner’s insurers from raising rates or refusing coverage to homeowners who own or harbor a dog, unless the dog has been found to have unjustifiably bitten a human being on at least two separate occasions.

Idaho  
Illinois

8/1/13 - Macon County, IL update:
In late 2012, the Humane Society of Decatur and Macon County sought to collect 1,000 signatures on two petitions that asked lawmakers to impose mandatory spay/neuter provisions on both the City of Decatur and Macon County. The first petition asked for a law that would require sterilization for all dogs 5 months of age or older. The second petition proposed that any dog or cat considered a "stray" should be sterilized at the owner's expense prior to release from the shelter. It is presumed that this could have included any dog or cat found at large even one time. With both petitions, exemptions would be made for those with breeding licenses (which are already required for anyone breeding a dog), "proven show dogs or cats" (although this is not defined), and for owners who obtained a letter from their veterinarian stating their dog is not healthy enough for the procedure. These petitions are being circulated again and AKC GR is working with the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners to educate local officials and oppose these proposals.

8/1/13 - Illinois:
Senate Bill 1639 as introduced would have made many changes to the laws regarding the sales of dogs and cats. This included expanding the laws to apply to all sellers and likely requiring anyone who sells a dog to obtain a state license. The bill was amended to only apply to pet stores and to address several other concerns. This bill passed the legislature and is pending on the Governor’s desk.

1/25/13 -
Macon County/Decatur, IL update:
The Humane Society of Decatur and Macon County sought to collect 1,000 signatures on two petitions that would have asked lawmakers to impose mandatory spay/neuter provisions on both the City of Decatur and Macon County. Thanks to grassroots efforts, county officials confirmed that as of December 20, 2012, they have not been presented with the petitions and have not been asked to consider any new dog laws.

12/12/12 - Oswego, IL:
The Oswego Village Board has passed legislation to ensure that village residents comply with state kennel regulations. This was a compromise solution after various groups requested that the board ban pet stores and ensure that no dogs from substandard kennels were sold in the village. State law already requires that anyone with 5 breeding females obtain a kennel license. The new village law also includes some basic care and condition standards, including ensuring that the kennels are regularly cleaned and that dogs have access to adequate amounts of food and water.

11/12/12 - Decatur and Macon County, IL:
The Humane Society of Decatur and Macon County (IL) is circulating two petitions that seek to impose mandatory spay/neuter provisions on the City of Decatur and Macon County. Once 1,000 signatures are collected, the petitions will be presented to both the Decatur City Council and Macon County Board.

Summary:
Petitions are circulating that request the Decatur City Council and Macon County Board to consider the following proposals:
Mandatory spay/neuter for all dogs and cats over 5 months of age. All dogs and cats 5 months of age or older would be required to be sterilized by September 1, 2013.
Mandatory spay/neuter for all dogs and cats picked up by county animal control or taken to the county shelter. Any dog or cat considered a “stray” must be sterilized at the owner’s expense prior to being released back to the owner’s possession. It is presumed that this could include any dog or cat found at large even one time. The surgery may be performed by the owner’s veterinarian, but the pet will be taken by county animal control to the veterinarian.
Exemptions would be made for those who have a county breeder license, which is already required for anyone breeding a dog in county limits. Exemptions would also be provided for “proven show dogs or cats” and for owners who have a signed letter from their veterinarian that the animal is too old or not healthy enough for the procedure. It is not clear how “proven show dogs” would be defined. In addition, dogs not currently participating in conformation, or kept intact for hunting, tracking, or any other reasonable purpose would not be exempt from these proposals.

Visit http://www.akc.org/governmentrelations/policy_resources.cfm and scroll down to “Mandatory Spay/Neuter” to find talking points and articles on this issue, as well as sample letters to lawmakers and letters to the editor that you can personalize.

How You Can Help:
Contact the members of the Decatur City Council and Macon County Board. Respectfully ask them to not support any mandatory spay/neuter proposals.

3/1/09 - Hearing Set for IL Breeder Licensing Bill
HB 198 was pulled from the agenda on February 10th, but is now scheduled for a hearing on February 19th at 2pm.

Illinois House Bill 198 will be heard by the House Business/Occupational Licenses. Representative John Fritchey is sponsoring HB 198, which would regulate dog breeders by limiting the number of dogs they can own and requiring licensing for anyone who maintains three or more females (even if they are not bred) "for the purpose of the sale of their offspring." The bill would also mandate unannounced inspections, fingerprinting, and require breeders to pay an unspecified license fee.All concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Illinois are urged to attend the committee hearing to show respectful yet strong opposition to the bill; additionally, all Illinois residents are urged to write their elected officials and the bill’s chief sponsor, Representative John Fritchey, to express their strong opposition if they have not already done so.

11/22/08 Chicago, IL – Mandatory Spay/Neuter

The Chicago City Council's Finance Committee, in consideration of a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, was put off by committee chairman Alderman Ed Burke. After several hours of testimony, Alderman Burke delayed a vote to allow more testimony to be heard. No new hearing date has been set.

AKC's Government Relations Department continues to actively monitor developments regarding the Chicago ordinance proposal, and continues to work with responsible dog breeders and owners in the Chicago area in opposition to this unreasonable and unenforceable proposal.

7/1/08 Chicago, IL – considering Mandatory Spay/Neuter and criminal background checks for dog breeders. Two Chicago Aldermen are sponsoring a new ordinance that would require all dogs to be spayed/neutered by the age of six months unless they qualify for an unneutered animal license. Chicago residents are asked to contact their representative on the Board of Aldermen to oppose
this measure. To qualify for an unneutered animal license the animal must meet one of the
following qualifications:

- Certified by a veterinarian as having a valid medical reason for not being sterilized.
- Owners with a valid breeding permit.
- Dogs and cats of breeds approved by and registered with a registry or association recognized by the commission whose programs and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals, and the dogs or cats are kept for the purposes of showing or competing in legitimate shows or competitions hosted by or under the approval of recognized registry or
association.
- Dogs that have earned or are actively being trained and are in the process of earning an agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, hunting, working or other title from a registry or association recognized by the commission whose programs and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals.
- Service dogs as defined by Illinois state law.
- Dogs owned by a guard dog service.
- Law enforcement and military dogs.

This new ordinance would also remove an existing exemption for residents who occasionally sell animals they bred and raised, meaning that anyone who breeds a litter would be deemed an "animal care facility" and must purchase a $330.00 license. In addition, to qualify for a breeding license a resident would need to submit to both a criminal background check and an inspection of their home. This is an unreasonable violation of the privacy and rights of responsible owners who are respected members of the Chicago community. This unreasonable and unenforceable ordinance will have a profound negative impact not only upon responsible dog breeders in Chicago, but also upon all current and prospective dog owners.

The proposed ordinance will now be referred to a subcommittee of the Board of Aldermen.

ILLINOIS – HB 203, known as the Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats Act, is sponsored by Representative Froehlich and has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Conservation. The bill, if passed and signed into law, will impose various requirements on pet dealers (defined as anyone who sells more than 25 dogs per year), including that an animal must be examined by a licensed veterinarian before being placed with other animals by the pet dealer. Pet dealers will also be required to give the purchaser of a dog a written statement containing certain information about the animal purchased, and must maintain a record of that information. Pet dealers must also provide remedies for a purchaser if an animal becomes ill or dies as a result of an illness that existed in the animal at the time of purchase.
For more information on legislative activity in Illinois, please contact the Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders Association at MAJWIZ@aol.com or lotzadots101@aol.com.

Indiana

12/20/13 - Madison County, IN:
The Madison County Commission recently passed an animal ordinance containing new guidelines for animal owners and increased penalties for cruelty and neglect. It is believed that local activists and officials may push for a mandatory spay/neuter provision in the near future.

8/1/13 - South Bend, IN:
The South Bend Common Council has formed a committee to update the city’s animal control laws and find ways to decrease shelter population and euthanasia rates. The committee has expressed a willingness to repeal the city’s breed-specific laws and 3-dog ownership limits to address these concerns. A formal draft is expected soon.

1/25/13 - Greenfield, IN and Harrison County, IN:
The City of Greenfield and Harrison County are both likely to consider mandatory spay/neuter and possible breeder permit proposals in December 2012 or January 2013. No drafts are currently available. Local residents are encouraged to contact their officials and ask that they not proceed with mandatory/spay neuter measures.

8/28/12 - Porter County, IN update:
The Porter County Commission has agreed to not move forward with over 40 pages of changes to the animal control code, including requiring anyone who breeds a litter or owns five intact dogs in a year to comply with USDA standards and open their homes for inspections.

7/31/12 - Porter County, IN:
The Porter County Commission is considering numerous changes to the animal control code, including requiring anyone who breeds a litter or owns five intact dogs in a year to comply with USDA standards and open their homes for inspections. These regulations are significantly higher than those required in state law for commercial breeders.

3/1/09 - Indiana Breeders Bill
The Indiana House Courts and Criminal Code Committee has agreed to hear a proposed amendment on February 11 that would require any breeder who owns 10 or more intact female dogs over four months old to register as a commercial breeder. The amendment also bans ownership of more than 20 intact dogs that are a year of age or older.

This last-minute, proposed amendment would be placed into a bill regarding animal cruelty.

All responsible dog owners and breeders in Indiana should contact the members of the committee and tell them to vote NO on House Bill 1468 Amendment #1.

If adopted, the amendment would, among other provisions:

• Require any breeder who owns at least 10 intact female dogs over 4 months old to register as a commercial breeder and renew the license each year.
• Ban the ownership of more than 20 intact dogs over one year of age.
• Establish strict engineering requirements regarding enclosures for the animals.
• Allow local governments to adopt stricter laws than those outlined in this amendment.

INDIANA – HB 1719 has been introduced by Rep. Bardon and referred to the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures. If passed, it will require that dogs be implanted with a microchip that contains an identification number and can be read with a standard scanner. All data will be registered with a state-run agency. It also requires that the owners of dogs that are not neutered or spayed to pay a $50 annual fee and to post “Beware of Dog” signs on the premises where the dog is kept. Further, the bill establishes penalties for noncompliance, and allows a county, city, or town, to adopt a dog control ordinance that is more restrictive than state law. For more information on this proposal, please read AKC's Legislative Alert.

Iowa

4/24/12- Senate File 2290 sought to create guidelines for the disposition of dogs and cats when, for any reason, a commercial breeder’s license is not renewed. Under current law, anyone who owns four or more intact dogs/cats and sells, exchanges, or leases their offspring (or offers to do so) in return for consideration must be licensed as a “commercial breeder.” SF 2290 would have given a commercial breeder whose license was not renewed 120 days to either sterilize or dispose of their animals until they were under the threshold of four intact cats/dogs. This could have been accomplished by selling the animals (if the breeder was able to obtain a temporary authorization), transferring the title, or “humane destruction.” SF 2290 was held in the Senate.

10/26/10 - Cedar Rapids, IA
The Cedar Rapids City Council rejected a number of changes to its animal control ordinance, including differential licensing for intact and sterilized dogs. A discounted multiple dog license was proposed, but only for owners of sterilized dogs. The proposal also included new, vague definitions for “potentially dangerous” and “dangerous” animals and could require sterilization for any dog that bits once, regardless of the severity of the injury.

4/22/10 - House File 2280 expands requirements for commercial breeders. Under existing law, Iowa defines commercial breeders as those who possess four or more intact male or female dogs. The new law also allows care and conditions standards for all commercial establishments to be set by rule. HF 2280 has been signed by the Governor.
Kansas

12/20/13 - Kansas:
A bill will likely be introduced in 2014 to place restrictions on dog breeders. Although no draft has been formally introduced, activists have indicated that new provisions could include specific temperature requirements, a restriction or ban on stacked crates, and a requirement that all cages must be twice the size of what USDA currently requires.

4/1/13 - Senate Bill 57 as introduced makes several changes to the Kansas Pet Animal Act. AKC has several concerns with the bill, including significant license fee increases and mandatory inspections of all licensees – including hobby breeders. The bill is pending in the Senate Agriculture Committee. One public hearing has already been held.

8/1/09 Wichita, Kansas

The Wichita City Council passed a law that limits animal ownership. Wichita residents may own two animals, or obtain an Animal Maintenance Permit which allows them to own up to four animals. “Pit bull” owners may not apply for an Animal Maintenance Permit, and are required to sterilize their dogs. The new law also defines “breeder” as anyone who owns two intact females, regardless of age. All breeders must obtain a breeder’s permit. The AKC notified Wichita AKC officials and fanciers of the public meetings and provided talking points and materials. In addition, the AKC sent a letter and memo to the Council opposing the ordinance and providing suggestions for alternative solutions.

Kentucky

12/15/10 - Kentucky:
Prefiled 2011 Bill Recommendation 270 would require forfeiture of ownership of animals involved in cruelty and torture cases and prohibit ownership or possession of animals of the same species for two years. An identical bill was introduced in 2009, but did not advance.

KENTUCKY- The Louisville Metro Council has enacted major changes to their animal control ordinance, including a pet limit, severe restrictions on the keeping of intact animals, licensing of in-home kennels, extreme differential licensing and vague definitions. Louisville Kennel Club along with nine other plaintiffs have filed suit to enjoin the enforcement of the ordinance. The Canine Legislation Department continues to monitor all new developments pertaining to the Louisville ordinance.

KENTUCKY – The Louisville Metro Council has enacted major changes to their animal control ordinance, including a pet limit, severe restrictions on the keeping of intact animals, licensing of in-home kennels, extreme differential licensing and vague definitions. For more information on this new law, please read AKC's Legislative Alert.

Louisiana

1/25/13 - The latest on the New Orleans proposal is that they have deferred consideration to the city’s ordinance. It’s expected that the ordinance proposal will be considered at the next meeting of the Governmental Affairs Committee in early February. Below is more detail on the proposal.

Significant changes to the City of New Orleans’ animal ordinances are currently under consideration by the City Council. The proposal includes reasonable changes including changing vaccination requirements to a three-year term, requiring dogs to be moved indoors during extreme weather as indicated by NOAA warnings, limiting the practice of dog tethering, and adding a designation of “potentially dangerous” dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC), however, is concerned with several other aspects of the proposal, including:

· An Increase in the cost of the initial intact dog permit application fee from $10 to $75. (Sec. 18-309(d)(7).) Proposed as a way of encouraging more owners to spay or neuter their dogs, this massive fee increase seeks to make the intact permit cost similar to charges for sterilization procedures. On principle, the AKC opposes breeding permits, and believes that this increase unfairly targets New Orleans’ responsible breeders and owners who already have to endure differential licensing fees for their intact dogs but who are not responsible for animal law enforcement costs being incurred by the city.
· A changed definition of “exhibition” that will include conformation shows and other AKC-sanctioned dog events. (Sec. 18-86.) The AKC believes that, when considered with other aspects of the proposal, this change will effectively prohibit AKC clubs from conducting future events in New Orleans. For example, as a result of the changed definition of “exhibition”, dog clubs would now be required to obtain a permit from the city for their events (Sec. 18-111.); and would be required by Sec. 18-122(5)(a) to provide, prior to the issuance of the exhibition permit, “veterinary health certificates from a certified veterinarian issued prior to performance dates...” for each dog entered. Because dogs that compete in AKC shows are owned by individual owners that often come from outside of the immediate area and not by the show-giving clubs, it would not be possible for clubs to comply with this requirement. It is imperative that this proposed requirement be removed. Additionally, to make New Orleans more hospitable to future dog events, Sec. 18-201 (that currently exempts cats passing through the city or exhibited at animal shows from city laws regarding licensing, impoundment, dangerous or vicious animals, or spaying and neutering requirements) should be extended to dog passing through the city or exhibited at dog events.
· Several instances where animal ownership will revert to LA/SPCA should certain conditions not be met (Sec. 18-2.1(a)(5) regarding living conditions; Secs. 18-296(f), 18-297(g) regarding damages caused by dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs). The AKC believes that these provisions are constitutionally questionable by empowering local enforcement officials to deprive dog owners’ rights without, in the case of Sec. 18-2.1, a judicial process that results in the determination that the owner maintained an animal in a substandard manner that was not remedied appropriately; or, in the cases of Secs. 18-296 and 18-297, a judicial process that should result in a judgment lien for damage caused to property.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
It is of utmost importance that concerned residents contact the members of the New Orleans City Council and respectfully yet strongly express any concerns about the proposed changes to the animal ordinances.

1/25/13 - New Orleans, LA:
The New Orleans City Council is currently considering updates to the City’s animal ordinances. The proposal includes several reasonable changes including changing vaccination requirements to a three-year term, requiring dogs to be moved indoors during extreme weather, and adding a designation of “potentially dangerous” dogs. Several other aspects of the proposal, however, are of concern, including a changed definition of “exhibition” that will include conformation shows and other AKC-sanctioned dog events that would make it impossible to conduct such events in New Orleans. Other provisions of concern include a significant increase in the cost of the initial intact animal permit and several instances where the LA/SPCA may assume ownership of animals without full benefit of due process.

5/30/12 -Senate Bill 253 seeks to repeal positive regulations regarding animal importation that were signed into law in 2011. Current law includes requiring any dog imported into the state for rescue or resale to have a veterinary examination within 48 hours, and every 90 days until disposition. SB253 would only require one examination 15 days prior to final placement. It would also change the definition of “importer” to require intent to sell, adopt, or transfer the animal. AKC GR believes this would create a loophole where unscrupulous importers could avoid veterinary examinations by requiring a paper transfer prior to the dog entering the state. The Joint Committee on the Environment held a public hearing on March 7

11/17/09 - New Orleans to Consider MSN & Breeding Limits
The AKC has confirmed that the New Orleans City Council has delayed the vote on the mandatory spay/neuter proposal until Thursday, November 5. The New Orleans City Council will then consider Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell’s mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.

If enacted, the ordinance will:
• Require all dogs six months of age or older (with few exceptions) to be spayed or neutered or force owners to purchase costly $50 breeder permits to keep any dog intact.
• Limit female dogs from whelping more than one litter per year, or whelping a litter if the female is younger than 18-months of age.
• Permit the Louisiana SPCA (LA/SPCA), which will be responsible for enforcement of this ordinance, to determine whether or not an applicant for a breeder license has "space determined to be suitable...in which to breed dogs and raise puppies."
• Impose significant fines for those who are found to be in violation of the ordinance, with the income from the fines to be used to further finance the LA/SPCA’s animal control efforts.
All responsible dog breeders and owners in the New Orleans area are encouraged to attend the City Council meeting to speak in opposition to the ordinance, and to contact the City Council members. Respectfully yet strongly express your opposition to this unreasonable and unenforceable proposal, and urge them to vote against it. Encourage them to begin an in-depth study of any existing animal population issues in New Orleans, and to work on better enforcement of the City’s existing animal ordinance.

Maine

8/1/13 - Maine:
LD 1239 would create new definitions and require licenses for commercial boarding or training kennels, commercial breeder kennels, and personal kennels. It also would clarify when inspections of licensed entities may occur and remove a provision of current law that requires a person to obtain a vendor's license to sell a dog or cat. The bill was considered by the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation on April 16. A work group to further study the issue was appointed by the committee, and included a representative of the Maine federation. Consideration of the bill was tabled for the remainder of the legislation session, pending further efforts by the work group. AKC GR and its Maine federation are both supporting the improvements to the law contained in LD1239.

2/12/11

MAINE: Restrictive Breeder Bill Pulled by Sponsor

Good News for MAINE! by Julie Rembrandt Seeley, Corresponding Secretary
Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs & Responsible Dog Owners

Following a shocking announcement yesterday at the AWAC meeting about a new restrictive breeding bill Maine dog owners/breeders from around the state contacted the sponsor of the bill to openly and candidly share their concerns about the contents of this bill.

As a result, Representative Jeff Timberlake (R), sponsor of Maine LD 491 An Act to Require All Kennels Engaged in Breeding To Be Licensed and Inspected by the State called me moments ago. His conversation included a request to 'call off the hounds' for he has pulled the bill, requesting that no public hearing be held, and that it die right there where it is. He is a freshman legislator serving on the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee, the committee which most often hears the animal welfare bills pertaining to canine legislation and other animal issues.

Below is the url for the language of LD 491 in a "pdf" version so everyone should be able to read, and print, this without a problem.

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_125th/billpdfs/HP038401.pdf

1/23/11 York, ME:

The Town of York is undertaking a comprehensive review of their zoning ordinance. The review is expected to include a definition of animal breeding and where it will be considered an acceptable land use in the town.

Responsible owners and breeders are encouraged to contact town officials and offer their expertise and suggestions on drafting any language that is likely to affect animal owners and breeders. This is an opportunity for residents to become involved in the process from the beginning and to draft language that will not place unreasonable burdens or restrictions on responsible breeders.

Massachusetts

12/20/13 -

Massachusetts:
HB 3762, which was substituted for HB 1874/SB 401 on November 14, would require “an individual, or a partnership, association, corporation, or an officer or employee thereof that sells animals to the public” to be subject to extensive consumer protection laws. The bill would also prohibit the sale of puppies or kittens less than eight weeks of age, and specifically empower the Department of Agricultural Resources to make rules and regulations for commercial breeder kennels and personal kennels where persons keep at least six sexually intact female dogs between one and eight years of age for the purpose of breeding such dogs and selling the offspring as household pets. The bill is currently under the cognizance of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Massachusetts:
Senate Bill 767 seeks to allow anyone to bring a legal action for the protection and humane treatment of animals, including those who do not have any legal interest or rights of possession in such animal. AKC GR is concerned that this broad language could allow radical animal rights activists to bring suit against any animal owner, regardless of the merits of the accusation. As a result, owners who are sued could be forced to bear extensive costs to defend themselves against unfounded accusations and could be subject to seizure of their animals, as currently permitted under Massachusetts law. AKC GR, MassFed, and other allied groups are opposing S. 767, which was heard by the Massachusetts General Court’s Joint Judiciary Committee on October 22.

8/1/13 - Massachusetts:
House Bill 1874/Senate Bill 401 would provide for breeder licensing, breeder regulation, and consumer protection provisions that, if enacted as introduced, would have far-reaching impacts on all Massachusetts breeders. Those impacts include licensing breeders the same as pet shops, considering hobby breeders as a type of pet dealer, and extending rulemaking authority to the Department of Agricultural Resources over kennels and persons otherwise selling, exchanging, or transferring the offspring of their personally-owned dogs. Both the AKC and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs oppose the bill. The bills have been heard by and are currently pending in the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.

7/31/12 - Massachusetts update:
The Massachusetts Joint Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 2809, but has not yet taken any action on this bill.

4/24/12 - House Bill 2809 would unnecessarily and severely limit keeping dogs outdoors and introduce guardianship language into Massachusetts law regarding animal ownership. A decision on HB 2809 is pending from the Massachusetts Joint Judiciary Committee, which considered the bill on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

9/1/11 Massachusetts:
House Bill 1023 would significantly change the definition of kennel to encompass “daytime only” facilities that have more than 12 dogs on the premises. This would include any facility used for training, dog shows, or trials. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on July 19. AKC GR has sent a letter of concern, alerted parent clubs and Massachusetts club officers, and continues to work with the Massachusetts federation to defeat this measure. Read more about this legislation

6/1/11 Massachusetts:
House Bill 1455 would make numerous changes to animal control laws, including establishing intact animal permits for all owners of intact dogs and providing recommended penalties for common nuisance violations that include sterilization or euthanasia. The bill also would allow municipalities to ban or regulate specific breeds and require localities that do so to establish a 3-person board “to identify and determine the breed of dogs.” HB 1455 was considered by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.

Medford, MA:
The Medford City Council is considering a mandatory spay/neuter proposal. While a final draft is not yet available, AKC GR has sent a letter of concern regarding mandatory sterilization laws and suggesting more positive alternatives.

3/30/11 Medford, MA:
The Medford City Council is considering a mandatory spay/neuter proposal. While a final draft is not yet available, the AKC has sent a letter of concern regarding mandatory sterilization laws and suggested more positive alternatives.

5/24/10 House Bill 344, which makes most cases of surgical debarking illegal, was signed into law by Governor Patrick on April 22, 2010. AKC GR contacted legislators, posted a Legislative Alert and worked with the Massachusetts federation to address this bill.

4/22/10 - House Bill 344 would make debarking illegal. This bill passed the House of Representatives and is now in the Senate. The American Kennel Club is concerned that, if enacted, this legislation will lead to the unnecessary euthanization of many animals. We encourage all dog breeders and owners in Massachusetts to contact their Senator in the General Court and respectfully express your concerns with the HB 344.

Much misinformation exists about devocalization of dogs. This procedure, which is performed by a veterinarian using laser or biopsy technology, is safe and relatively non-invasive. It is an acceptable medical procedure that is often done as a "last resort" when all other methods of modifying a dog's behavior have failed. For many responsible dog owners, debarking is the only alternative to euthanizing or surrendering their canine companion to a local shelter when their pet's noisy behavior continually disturbs the community. The decision to debark a dog is one that is best left to the dog owner and his veterinarian.

The American Kennel Club is not the only organization concerned with HB 344. The American Veterinary Medical Association condones the performance of devocalization procedures as a final alternative; and both the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners specifically oppose HB 344.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Concerned Massachusetts residents are encouraged to contact their State Senators and respectfully express your concerns with HB 344.

3/1/10 HB1977 – The group has urged members to support this bill, called An Act Relative to At Risk Dogs. This bill not only gives animal control officers throughout the state a much-needed tool to identify dangerous and at risk dogs but also provides guidelines for restrictions /requirements to be assigned when dangerous or at risk designations are made to prevent them from endangering anyone. Owners are on notice of what behaviors are considered for these designations eliminating any due process concerns. In general a dog only becomes a threat when it has an irresponsible owner. By including due process, responsible owners are not held paying the price for the irresponsible owners. On February 9, 2010, the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government reported favorably on this bill.

HB3704 – Likewise, the group has urged members to support this bill, called An Act Relative to the Regulation of Animal Shelters. This bill would allow the Department of Agricultural Resources to promulgate appropriate regulations, with the involvement of the regulated community, to ensure animal health and safety. On February 9, 2010, the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government reported favorably on this bill.

In addition, we were pleased to learn that the committee sent several bills back to study:
HB1997, An Act Relative to Animals, mandates a statewide leash law, promotes breed specific legislation and provides unreasonable requirements for intact animal permits.

SB774, An Act Relative to Puppy Mills, attempts to specify requirements for kennel licenses and requires anyone with four or more dogs to obtain a kennel license, and, thereby be forced to comply with very restrictive requirements.

SB763, An Act Relative to the Establishment of a Dangerous Dog Registry defines dangerous dogs and creates a statewide online registry for dangerous dogs to be maintained by the Department of Public Safety. The language in the bill raises questions of privacy and the definition of "dangerous dog" included in this bill is not as effectively constructed as in HB1977 which is more comprehensive.

HB1968, An Act Relative to the Destruction of Dangerous Dogs raises the fine from $25 to $2000 in the event an owner does not kill, confine, or restrain a dog within 24 hours of being given notice to do so.

10/1/09 Senate Bill 774 – This bill seeks to restrict the rights of responsible dog breeders, including requiring any owner of four or more dogs to obtain a kennel permit. It also limits ownership to 25 dogs, restricts breeding ages, allows for warrantless inspections, and imposes strict engineering standards for kennels.

9/1/09 House Bill 1997 – HB 1997 requires owners of unsterilized dogs to purchase an intact animal permit for an undisclosed fee. It also allows municipalities to adopt breed-specific legislation, allows for euthanasia of dogs deemed to be a nuisance, and severely limits the means by which owners may restrain their dog. The bill was heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government on July 14, but has yet to receive a vote.

6/30/09 - Massachusetts – Senate Bill 774 would prohibit any person from owning, possessing, controlling, or otherwise having charge of more than 25 intact dogs over six months of age. Female dogs may only be allowed to whelp one litter per year and only dogs between the ages of 18 months and 8 years may be used for breeding. The bill also prohibits ear cropping, tail docking, debarking, and surgical births except under anesthesia and by a licensed veterinarian.

The bill gives great latitude to the Mayor or Selectmen of the towns to revoke kennel licenses for such ill-defined terms as vicious disposition of the dogs. The bill also attempts to set standards for puppy mills but there is no clear definition of a puppy mill.

11/22/08 - MA - MA HB 5092 Will Not Move Forward!

The Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government decided to send House Bill 5092 to “study,” which effectively ends the consideration of this onerous bill for the remainder of the current legislative session. (For more information on HB 5092, click here.)

In addition to the over 200 concerned responsible dog breeders and owners who appeared in opposition to the bill, legislative staff in Massachusetts report that thousands of opposition calls, e-mails, and letters were received prior to the committee’s meeting. The American Kennel Club congratulates everyone involved in the successful effort in opposing HB 5092.

Maryland

12/12/12 - Cecil County, MD:
The Cecil County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on October 16 to amend the current kennel, breeding, and licensing regulations so they only impact dog owners. Current regulations, which went into effect on October 1, include requiring a license and inspection for anyone who keeps dogs for hunting, tracking, participation in dog shows, performance events or field or obedience trials. Other new regulations include requiring anyone who is "engaged in the business of breeding" five or more dogs to obtain a kennel license, individual dog licenses, and a business license — as well as schedule annual inspections with three separate county departments. Another meeting on this issue is expected soon. Local fanciers, breeders, and exhibitors are being encouraged to contact the commission and express opposition to further dog regulations and to ask for reasonable, effective amendments to the current law

4/24/12- House Bill 912 sought to change the word “owner” to “guardian” in reference to dogs in state code, thereby potentially changing the interpretation of who must obtain state and county kennel licenses and individual dog licenses, as well as who would be held responsible under nuisance and dangerous dog laws. The bill was given an unfavorable report by the House Environmental Matters Committee, meaning it is not likely to be considered again this session. Read more about this victory.

12/21/11 - Cecil County, MD update:
Provisions include requiring a license and inspection for anyone who keeps dogs for hunting, tracking, performance events or field or obedience trials. Anyone who breeds three or more litters would be required to obtain a commercial breeder license, individual dog licenses and a business license, as well as comply with zoning requirements. A license for an intact dog would cost four times as much as one for a dog that is sterilized and microchipped. The commission held a work session on November 15 and is expected to schedule an opportunity for public comment in the near future.

Charles County, MD:
The Charles County Board of Commissioners is considering an updated proposal that would establish an “animal fancier permit” for anyone who “harbors or keeps” more than 10 adult animals and does not breed them. To obtain a permit, owners would be required to pay an unknown annual fee, submit to annual inspections, and purchase individual licenses for each animal owned. Separate permits would also be required for anyone who owns four or more intact animals for the purpose of charging a fee for stud services or selling offspring, or anyone who trains, boards or transfers animals. The proposal further requires a shelter for any animal left outside for more than 30 minutes. This shelter must be in compliance with the same specific structural guidelines as shelters for dogs left permanently outside. The board held a public hearing on November 1 and is expected to vote soon.

10/28/11 - Cecil County, MD update:
A hearing scheduled for August 16 was cancelled, but the council is expected to schedule another hearing in the near future. Local fanciers, breeders, and exhibitors are encouraged to contact the commission and express opposition to these proposals.

6/1/11 Cecil County, MD – The Cecil County Board of Commissioners is expected to consider numerous changes to its licensing laws at an upcoming public hearing. These provisions include requiring all who are “engaged in the business of breeding” five or more dogs to obtain a kennel license, individual dog licenses and a business license, as well as schedule annual inspections with three separate county departments. Other provisions expected to be discussed include requiring a license and inspection for anyone who keeps dogs for hunting, tracking, participation in dog shows, performance events or field or obedience trials.

6/1/11 Maryland update:
Senate Bill 839 creates a licensing program for all who own or have custody of 15 or more intact female dogs over the age of six months and who sell dogs “from six or more litters in a year.” The bill also allows counties to establish additional kennel license fees to cover administration costs associated with the licensing program and allows them to enact more stringent kennel licensing laws. The bill has been signed by the Governor and becomes effective on October 1, 2011.

5/7/11 The Cecil County (MD) Board of County Commissioners will likely discuss numerous changes to its kennel and licensing laws during its 2012 budget public hearing on May 10, 2011. While it is not certain that a final vote will be taken on these changes on Tuesday, it is important that the commission hear that residents are concerned with the proposal.

Background:

Current law requires a kennel license for anyone “engaged in the business of breeding, buying, selling, boarding, grooming or training” five or more “customary household pets” over four months of age.

A proposal released in February would significantly broaden these requirements by requiring those that meet this definition to obtain an annual commercial kennel license, an individual license for every dog they own, and a business license. Commercial kennels must schedule annual inspections with the Animal Care & Control Authority, the Department of Environmental Health and the Department of Permits and Inspections.

These kennels may be given a special exemption to exist in certain residential zones, provided they comply with numerous requirements, including having a minimum of 5 acres if the dogs are kept outside, or 2 acres if the dogs are kept in a soundproof building.

Among other provisions, the proposal would also require a higher individual dog license fee for owners of intact dogs.

Licensing/Inspections for Dog Sport Participants?

Since February, a task force has been assigned to examine this proposal and present amendments to the commission. The AKC has learned that these amendments may include changing the definition of “commercial kennel” to those who breed two or more litters and buy or sell any dogs for compensation.

Furthermore, these amendments may propose a “hobby kennel” license for anyone who keeps dogs for hunting, tracking, participating in dog shows, performance events, or field or obedience trials. Even if dogs are not being bred and sold, those meeting this definition would be required to obtain an annual hobby kennel license and individual licenses for every dog they own, obtain site approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission, develop a program of veterinary care and exercise for dogs and display them in a prominent location, and submit to annual inspections prior to renewing the license.

Both commercial and hobby kennels may also be subject to unannounced inspections at any time.

4/5/11 Maryland update:
House Bill 940/Senate Bill 839 would create a licensing program for all who own or have custody of “10 or more unspayed dogs over the age of six months” and intend to breed any of the dogs and sell any offspring. The bill would also allow counties to establish additional kennel license fees to cover administration costs associated with the licensing program and allow them to enact more stringent kennel licensing laws. HB 940 has passed the House and is pending in the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee. SB 839 passed the Senate Education, Health & Environment Committee on March 21.

2/21/11 HB940/SB839
This year's anti-breeder bill:
A direct and unnecessary attack on hobby and show breeders

HB940, a bill that would require many show and hobby breeders to report personal information to the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing Regulations, was introduced on February 14, 2011. Testimony on this bill will be heard in the House Economic Matters Committee on Tuesday, March 8th at 1pm in Annapolis.

This bill amounts to an unfunded mandate that unnecessarily targets hobby and show breeders throughout the Free State.

3/1/09 - Maryland Alert: Strict Breeders Bill to be Heard February 18
Maryland Senator Lisa Gladden has introduced Senate Bill 318, a bill that aims to strictly regulate dog breeders in Maryland by imposing ownership limits, strict enclosure and exercise requirements, and other requirements. All concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Maryland should contact their State Senator and the members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, which will consider the bill on Wednesday, February 18, and respectfully urge them to oppose SB 318.

If adopted, SB 318 would, on the enactment date of October 1, 2009:

• Mandate the implementation of rigid engineering requirements for enclosures for anyone owning 10 or more intact dogs over 4 months of age without regard to the fiscal impact that such standards would have on targeted breeders or the enforceability of such requirements.
• Prohibit anyone from owning, possessing, controlling, or have charge or custody more than 50 “breeding” dogs over the age of 4 months at any time.
• Require detailed exercise regulations for anyone owning 10 or more dogs over 4 months of age. This includes two separate daily 2 hour exercise regimens unless a veterinarian has determined that the dog is medically unable to exercise.
• Exempt public animal shelters, nonprofit humane societies/animal adoption organizations, veterinary facilities, retail pet stores, research institutions, and boarding facilities from the requirements of this law.
Maryland Alert- Breeders Bill to Be Considered Thursday, February 12
The Maryland House of Representatives Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear a strict breeders bill on Thursday, February 12.

Maryland Delegate Michael Smigiel has introduced House Bill 495, which, like Senate Bill 318, aims to strictly regulate dog breeders in Maryland by imposing ownership limits, strict enclosure and exercise requirements, and other requirements.

If adopted, HB 495 would, on the enactment date of October 1, 2009:

• Mandate the implementation of rigid engineering requirements for enclosures for anyone owning 10 or more intact dogs over 4 months of age without regard to the fiscal impact that such standards would have on targeted breeders or the enforceability of such requirements.
• Prohibit anyone from owning, possessing, controlling, or have charge or custody of more than 50 “breeding” dogs over the age of 4 months at any time.
• Require detailed exercise regulations for anyone owning 10 or more intact dogs over 4 months of age. This includes two separate daily 2 hour exercise regimens unless a veterinarian has determined that the dog is medically unable to exercise.
• Exempt public animal shelters, nonprofit humane societies/animal adoption organizations, veterinary facilities, retail pet stores, research institutions, and boarding facilities from the requirements of this law.

Minnesota

3/1/13 - Minnesota House File 84 will be considered by the Minnesota House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Although the bill primarily aims to establish government oversight and regulation of those who would be considered “commercial breeders”, the bill would still subject hobby breeders (defined as anyone whose dog produces a litter) to certain unreasonable requirements.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) remains deeply concerned with the following provisions of HF 84:

Defining “hobby breeder” as a person who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses fewer than ten adult intact animals or whose animals produce five or fewer total litters of puppies or kittens per year. Furthermore, section 6(d) of the bill would make it a misdemeanor for hobby breeders who are “not the commercial breeder of any animal to knowingly possess an animal under the age of eight weeks.” The AKC respectfully urges the House Government Operations Committee to address the ambiguities of Section 6(d) to ensure that hobby breeders are permitted to maintain puppies less than eight weeks of age that their dogs produced.

Defining “commercial breeder” as a person, other than a hobby breeder, who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies per year. In addition to other requirements, licensees will have to adhere to already-existing care and conditions standards, submit to at least annual inspections of their facilities, and submit annual reports to the Board. Because litter sizes vary widely (some breeds may have only 1 or 2 puppies per litter while others may have 10 or more), this vague provision creates regulatory inequity among breeders. AKC believes a better approach is to base commercial activity on actual commerce, e.g. the number of puppies sold. Otherwise, these regulations could prove costly for breeders to comply with and will not further improve the health or quality of dogs bred in Minnesota.

Mandating the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to maintain on its website a directory of licensed “commercial breeders” and of those whose licenses have been suspended or revoked. The AKC believes that requiring a responsible breeder to post their name, address and other personal information on a public registry opens them up to unwanted contact by anti-breeder groups. Such listing should instead be voluntary.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: It is imperative that all concerned Minnesota dog owners and breeders contact the members of the House Government Operations Committee and express opposition to HF 84 as currently written. Also, the AKC encourages all concerned Minnesota residents to attend the hearing on HR 84 and express your concerns to the committee members.

Hearing information:
Minnesota House Government Operations Committee
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
10:00AM
5 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

(If you wish to testify at the hearing, contact Committee Administrator Jim Gelbmann at 615-296-8826, or via email at Jim.Gelbmann@house.mn.)

4/22/10 - On March 9, the Minnesota Senate Agricultural and Veterans Committee voted down Senate File 7, which sought to regulate the activities of dog owners and breeders who possess six or more adult intact female dogs. This action effectively prohibits further consideration of SB 7. The companion bill, House File 253, is still under consideration by the House Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Committee. It remains unclear whether any member of the committee plans to take action on HF 253.

3/1/09 - Minnesota Alert: Breeders Bills Up for Consideration on Jan. 27
Two Minnesota Senate proposals, SF 7 and SF 201, each featuring different breeder regulation proposals, will be heard on Tuesday, January 27, by the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Committee.

SENATE FILE 7

Sponsored by Senator Don Betzold, SF 7 seeks to establish strict regulatory requirements for breeders, to require inspections of breeders’ facilities, and to impose undisclosed fee increases upon breeders. The proposed changes in this bill include:

• Changing the definition of "breeder" to those who own 6 or more intact adult females, defined as any dog over 24 weeks old, for breeding purposes and who are engaged in the business of direct or indirect sale or exchange.
• Limiting, by July 2010, the number of dogs a breeder may keep at a facility for the purpose of breeding to 50.
• Requiring all breeders to obtain an annual license for each facility they own and operate. Additionally, the statement must include the number of adult dogs and the estimated number of puppies to be kept, housed, and maintained at the facility for the year. Licenses must be prominently displayed in each facility.
• Mandating all breeders to pay an undisclosed fee to register their facility.
• Calling for the annual inspection of each facility, with no advance notice required.
• Imposing strict requirements for breeders beyond current federal and local laws and regulations.
If passed and signed into law, the changes proposed in this legislation would have a significant, negative impact on dog breeders in Minnesota. The changes proposed in Senate Bill 7 are impractical, costly, and unenforceable. Breeders and concerned dog owners should contact their senator and committee members to express their opposition to Senate Bill 7.

SENATE FILE 201

Sponsored by Senator Steve Dille, this bill seeks to provide for the registration of, and standards of care applicable to, dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. Substantially different from SF 7, SF 201 seeks to:

• Permit animal control authorities to charge dog breeders unidentified "reasonable" fees for registration.
• Define "breeder" as someone other than a hobby breeder, who is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale and who possesses 20 or more intact adult females for the purposes of breeding.
• Defines "hobby breeder" as someone who is engaged in the business of breeding animals for direct sale and who possesses less than 10 intact adult females for the purpose of breeding. It is unclear how those owning between 11-19 intact adult females would be regulated.
• Require breeders to register, by March 1, 2010, with the local animal control authority. Registration is required every four years thereafter.
• Allow breeders the option of complying with USDA care standards or complying with standards issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture.
• Limit investigations to only those instances when a formal complaint alleging violations of standards of care is received by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, a local animal control authority, a peace officer, or a feedlot inspector.
• Allow breeders 30 days after notification to correct any violations found during an investigation.
• Permit seizure of affected animals only in cases where a breeder has not corrected a violation after 30 days and only if such violations threaten the health and welfare of an animal.
All concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Minnesota should contact the committee members listed and express your concerns about the provisions of SF 201.

Michigan

12/20/13 - Michigan:
Senate Bill 560 would, among other provisions, limit the number of dogs that can be kept on a single premises and define a “large scale commercial breeder kennel” as one where more than 15 intact female dogs are kept for the purpose of breeding. The bill also includes new regulations and reporting requirements for animal control and animal protection shelters. The Senate Agriculture Committee heard testimony on this bill on October 31, but no vote was taken.

8/1/13 - Bay City, MI:
The Bay City Commission has postponed a vote on a proposal that would have limited ownership to three dogs and three cats and banned all farm animals from city limits. City staff has been asked to revise the proposal prior to consideration by the commission.

8/1/13 - Michigan:
House Bill 4168 makes updates to the licensing requirements in the state’s “Dog Law of 1919”. This includes removing the current provision requiring sheriffs to locate and kill all unlicensed dogs. Under current law, any sheriff that does not comply would be considered negligent in their duties. AKC GR and its state federation are supporting the repeal of this antiquated and egregious provision. The bill unanimously passed the House on May 16 and is pending in the Senate Committee on Local Governments and Elections.

9/1/11 Ypsilanti Township, MI:
The Ypsilanti Township Board of Supervisors has given preliminary approval to an ordinance that would require annual permits for each dog bred (including stud dogs). Prior to obtaining a permit, a breeder would be required to allow an inspection of the “breeding/whelping location” to determine whether the area is in compliance with the International Property Maintenance Code. The proposal would also prohibit the breeding of all “pit bulls”, which are defined in current law as any dog that meets five of eight physical characteristics on a list. The Board has agreed to talk with members of AKC’s Michigan federations prior to the final vote on this measure.

6/1/11 Saginaw, MI update:
The City of Saginaw is seeking to restrict the ownership of 5 dog breeds (“pit bulls,” Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Bullmastiffs and Alaskan Malamutes), and impose a 3-dog limit on all dog owners, regardless of breed. The list of breeds will be reconsidered and updated each year. These proposals are expected to be formally introduced on June 6.

4/13/11 Saginaw, MI:

The Saginaw City Council is seeking to limit all dog ownership to three dogs per household.

Local clubs and dog owners are strongly encouraged to contact the mayor and city council and ask them to oppose these proposals. It is expected that the proposals will be formally introduced on April 18 and scheduled for a final vote on May 9.

Read the proposals here.

Summary:
All dog owners (regardless of breed) would be limited to owning three dogs over four months of age, regardless of breed. Those who currently own more than three dogs would be permitted to keep them, but could not own more than three in the future.
All dog owners must abide by numerous requirements, including:

Never allowing a dog outside a kennel or fenced yard unless it is securely leashed with a lead of adequate strength. The dog must never be tethered to an inanimate object.
Never keeping a dog on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that “would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition”.
A person may not be a “commercial dog breeder” or “broker” without registering with the City Clerk and obtaining a business license. These terms are not defined.

1/24/11- Saginaw, Michigan
Saginaw, MI Seeks to Restrict Ten Large Dog Breeds
http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4292


The Saginaw City Council will likely consider a proposal in February that would declare ten dog breeds as “dangerous” and limiting all dog ownership to three dogs per household. Local clubs and dog owners are strongly encouraged to contact the mayor and city council and ask them to oppose these proposals.

While a draft is not yet available, it is believed that the following breeds will be declared “dangerous”:

Rottweilers German Shepherds
“Huskies” Alaskan Malamutes
Great Danes St. Bernards
Doberman Pinschers Chow Chows
“Pit Bulls” Presa Canarios

Owners of these breeds would be required to pay a $50 registration fee a place a warning sign on their property. Owners would also be required to muzzle the dog when in public places.

In another proposal, all dog owners (regardless of breed) would be limited to owning three dogs.

The AKC strongly believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and promote public education programs designed to teach responsible dog ownership. We oppose, however, legislation that seeks to single out specific dog breeds as dangerous and seeks to arbitrarily limit dog ownership.

12/15/10 - Michigan:
House Bill 6561 – This legislation would require a license for all “large-scale commercial kennels”, defined as those who produce 10 or more litters in a calendar year. The county treasurer may charge a “reasonable fee” for the cost of the license, but the amount of this fee is not included in the bill. Those licensed in this bill would be required to comply with all the provisions of House Bill 6562. The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

House Bill 6562 – This bill, entitled the “Puppy Protection Act”, details the standards that must be held by all “large-scale commercial kennels” (This is defined in HB 6561 as kennels that produce 10 or more litters per year). Among other provisions, the bill limits ownership to 50 intact dogs over four months of age at any time and requires all enclosures to be kept between 50 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of the age or breed of the dog. A large-scale commercial kennel may not produce more than 10 litters per year unless it is in compliance with all the care and conditions policies outlined in this bill. HB6562 has also been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

10/26/10 - Senate Bill 1503 seeks to regulate “commercial breeders”, defined as those who possess or maintain 25 or more unaltered dogs or cats over four months of age in whole or in part for the purpose of sale. It is unclear if this would include co-ownerships. Breeders are subject to inspection and cannot sell a dog until it has received all vaccinations including rabies. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Bioeconomy. AKC is closely monitoring this legislation and will provide more information should the bill gain traction.

Mississippi

3/30/11 Mississippi:
Senate Bill 2821 – As amended by the House, this bill establishes the offense of felony animal cruelty against cats and dogs. AKC’s concerns with the bill include vague definitions of animal cruelty, potential impact on the existing problematic seizure bond statute, and a mandate that animal welfare organizations that hold impounded dogs must sterilize them prior to release. There is no exemption from sterilization for an owned dog that accidentally escapes its enclosure or for dogs owned by a person found not guilty of civil or criminal charges. The bill will now go to a joint conference committee.

2/8/11 Mississippi:
There are numerous bills addressing animal cruelty in Mississippi. Additional information will be provided should any of these bills advance. Bill text for HB373, HB381, HB467, HB505, SB2069, SB2074, SB2102, SB2103, and SB2127 can be reviewed by visiting the 2011 Legislation Tracking Page and clicking on the state of Mississippi.

5/1/10 - The City of Laurel, Mississippi, is scheduled to give final approval to numerous changes to the city’s animal control code on Tuesday, May 4. These changes include a number of problematic provisions, including:

Ownership limit of 3 dogs per household in residential areas. The AKC opposes limit laws, as they are arbitrary and do not address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership. Instead, the AKC supports strong enforcement of leash, nuisance, and other general animal control laws to ensure that all dog owners, regardless of the number of dogs they own, are held responsible for their animals. Click here to read more about the AKC’s position on animal limit laws.

At-Large Fines that are 5 times higher for certain breeds. If a dog is found at large in the community, the owner is fined $50 for the first offense and $100 for a second offense. The fee is $250/$500, however, if the at-large dog is one of the following breeds (as named in the proposed ordinance):
German Shepherd Dog
Chow Chow
Doberman Pinscher
Rottweiler
American Staffordshire Terrier
Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier

Furthermore, the vague language contained in this section could be interpreted as allowing animal control to euthanize any of these breeds found at-large if the owner cannot be immediately found.

The AKC believes that any law seeking to regulate dangerous dogs should establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as “dangerous” based on stated, measurable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible dog owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous. Click here to read more about the AKC’s position on breed-specific legislation.

How You Can Help:

· Attend the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 4 and respectfully ask the Council to amend these portions of the proposal. The details are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, May 4
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Laurel City Hall
Laurel, Mississippi

· Contact the City Council and respectfully express your concerns. All letters should be addressed to the Laurel City Council and e-mailed to sharonking@laurelms.com.

Missouri

8/28/12 - St. Joseph, MO:
The St. Joseph City Council will convene a work session to consider amending kennel regulations passed in 2011. The 2011 kennel regulations require licensing and inspections for boarding, rescue, and breeding kennels, which includes anyone who keeps more than four intact females over 6 months of age for sale, breeding or “exhibition purposes.” They also allow a kennel owner to choose whether to have a state inspector, city official, or a veterinarian of the owner’s choice perform the inspection. City Animal Control has asked that only city inspectors be allowed to conduct inspections or that all inspectors be required to comply with specific city criteria regarding completing and filing reports.

8/28/12 - House Bill 1404 would declare December "Pet Breeders Appreciation Month" and recognize the contributions that responsible breeders make not only to the economy, but also to the health and well-being of purebred dogs. The bill has passed the House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate General Laws Committee.

5/30/12 -Senate Bill 253 seeks to repeal positive regulations regarding animal importation that were signed into law in 2011. Current law includes requiring any dog imported into the state for rescue or resale to have a veterinary examination within 48 hours, and every 90 days until disposition. SB253 would only require one examination 15 days prior to final placement. It would also change the definition of “importer” to require intent to sell, adopt, or transfer the animal. AKC GR believes this would create a loophole where unscrupulous importers could avoid veterinary examinations by requiring a paper transfer prior to the dog entering the state. The Joint Committee on the Environment held a public hearing on March 7

4/24/12- House Bill 1513 would prohibit state laws from conferring “upon any animal a right, privilege or legal status that is equivalent or that exceeds a right, privilege or legal status” that the state confers upon humans. AKC has sent a letter of support and notified Missouri clubs and breeders about this bill. HB 1513 has passed the House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Read more about this legislation.

12/21/11 - St. Louis, MO:
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is considering Board Bill 107, which would redefine hobby/show breeders and impose a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, among other provisions. Under the proposal, all dogs in city limits for more than 30 days must be sterilized. Exemptions would be made for those with hobby/show permits (which would be required for all who own two intact dogs, down from 10 in current law). Those who purchase hobby/show permits must also pay an annual $200 inspection fee. The proposal also includes a new limit law and low commercial kennel thresholds. The bill has been approved by committee and is pending consideration by the full board. The sponsor must now decide whether she wants to bring the bill forward for a vote.

10/28/11 - St. Louis, MO:
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is considering Board Bill 107, which would redefine hobby/show breeders and impose a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, among other provisions. Under the proposal, all dogs in city limits for more than 30 days must be sterilized. Exemptions would be made for those with hobby/show permits (which would be required for all who own two intact dogs, as opposed to 10 as stated in current law). Those who purchase hobby/show permits must also pay an annual $200 inspection fee. The proposal also includes a new limit law and low commercial kennel thresholds. The bill has passed committee and is pending consideration by the full board. The sponsor must now decide whether she wants to bring the bill forward for a vote. Local residents are encouraged to contact board members and ask them to oppose this measure.

6/1/11 Missouri:
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed Senate Bill 161, which makes numerous positive changes to the provisions enacted by Proposition B, including removing the 50-dog ownership limit and the restrictions on breeding ages (the bill now states that female dogs may not be bred more than what is recommended by a veterinarian). Read more about this victory.

4/5/11 St. Joseph, MO update:
The proposal has been postponed until the May 16 meeting.

2/15/11 February 15, 2011

The St. Joseph (MO) City Council is considering a proposal that would require licensing, inspection, and strict care and conditions requirements for anyone who owns three intact dogs of any age for breeding or exhibition. The guidelines would also affect anyone who is involved with boarding or rescue.

This proposal could be considered as soon as Tuesday, February 22, so it is essential that local residents contact the council TODAY and ask them to not proceed with this proposal.

Summary:

The proposal seeks to take Proposition B, which passed on the ballot in November 2010, and apply it on the local level. However, this proposal changes many of the definitions, thereby making it even more stringent than Proposition B.

As currently written, the following people would be subject to licensing and annual inspection:

Owners of three intact dogs or cats of any age who keep dogs for breeding or exhibition. This low threshold could include inspection of private homes.
All who board animals for any length of time, except for veterinary clinics or those who provide temporary care for dogs or cats owned by friends, or dogs or cats in the owner’s residence.
Anyone whose “primary purpose is to act as an animal rescue, to collect and care for unwanted dogs or cats or to offer them for adoption.”

In addition to annual inspections, licensees must comply with numerous regulations including providing unfettered access to the outdoors and an exercise area that is at least two times the size of the indoor area provided to the dogs or cats (presumably, this would mean an area two times the size of the home if the dogs are kept indoors).

2/8/11 Missouri:
Several pieces of legislation have been introduced to modify or repeal Proposition B, which passed on the ballot in November 2010:

House Bill 94/Senate Bill 4 – These bills seek to completely repeal the proposition.
House Bill 99 – This bill seeks to add a “grandfather clause” and exempt all facilities, dealers, breeders, pet shops, shelters, and kennels licensed before November 2, 2011. All those licensed after this date must comply with the regulations.
House Bill 131 – This bill seeks to modify Proposition B. It replaces the term “puppy mill” with “dog breeders” and removes the 50-dog ownership limit and other provisions.
Senate Bill 95 – This bill renames the law the “Puppy Cruelty Prevention Act” and expands the measure to cover anyone who owns 10 female dogs over the age of 6 months, regardless of whether the dogs are intact. It also removes the exemptions for shelters and those not breeding/selling dogs.
Senate Bill 113 – This bill seeks to make a number of changes to Proposition B, including removing the 50-dog ownership limit and changing the exercise and housing requirements to match those recommended by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The bill would also change the required rest between breeding cycles from 18 months to 12 months, and allow time to correct violations prior to being charged. The Department of Agriculture would also have the ability to determine whether or not the violation is serious enough to warrant prosecution or inspections. SB 113 also removes the current exemptions for retail pet stores, animal shelters, dog trainers, and hobby/show breeders who own 10 or fewer intact females and sell their offspring.

12/15/10 Missouri- Update:

The statutory ballot initiative, known as Proposition B or “The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,” was narrowly approved in the most recent election. The measure limits to 50 the number of intact females a kennel may own. It also includes a number of other care and conditions requirements for commercial breeders, similar to those that are already part of existing Missouri commercial breeder law.

9/2/10: MO Update:

A statutory initiative relating to dog breeding will be placed on the November 2010 ballot. The Missouri Secretary of State has certified that supporters of the initiative, which duplicates previous unsuccessful legislative efforts, have submitted the required number of petition signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot. The initiative contains a 50 dog ownership limit. The Missouri Federation of Animal Owners and other groups opposed to the initiative lost a court challenge to change the language.
The American Kennel Club strongly believes that ALL dogs-not just those who are part of a breeding program-deserve:
Sufficient food and clean water
Necessary veterinary care
Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements
Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down and extend his or her limbs;
Regular exercise; and
Adequate rest between breeding cycles.
However, the way in which some of these terms are defined in the proposed Missouri ballot measure do absolutely nothing to improve the wellbeing of animals; instead, it would add excessive expenses to responsible breeders who strive to produce well-bred family pets at a reasonable cost.
The proposal also seeks to limit the number of dogs an individual may own. This confuses the real issue of animal welfare, which focuses on the quality of care given to animals, not the number of animals an individual owns. Responsible breeders are not defined by the number of dogs kept, or whether they make a profit in selling dogs. Rather, responsible breeders are characterized by the quality of care and conditions that they provide their dogs and the quality (including health, temperament and breed type) of the puppies they produce.
Cruelty and negligence can occur regardless of the number of dogs a person has.

8/23/10 MO update:
A statutory initiative relating to dog breeding will be placed on the November 2010 ballot. The Missouri Federation of Animal Owners and other groups opposed to the initiative lost a court challenge to change the language.

 

5/24/10 Possible breeder regulation ballot initiative – A statutory initiative relating to dog breeding may be placed on the November 2010 mid-term election ballot. Supporters of the initiative, which duplicates previous unsuccessful legislative efforts, claim to have collected the required number of signatures to put the initiative on the November ballot. The initiative contains a 50-dog ownership limit. AKC has issued a legislative alert expressing opposition to the proposal, and continues to work with the Missouri federation to defeat this initiative effort.

Update:

House Joint Resolution 86 – This resolution would have place an amendment to Missouri’s constitution on the November 2010 ballot. If the ballot measure is approved by the voters, it will protect the rights of Missouri residents to raise animals in a humane manner that protects animal health without allowing the state to impose undue economic burdens on owners. The AKC and its Missouri federation both strongly supported this resolution, which passed the Missouri House of Representatives on March 4. The resolution did not pass the Senate prior to the end of the legislative session. Read AKC's Legislative Alert about HJR 86.

4/22/10 - House Joint Resolution 86 – This resolution would place an amendment to Missouri’s constitution on the November 2010 ballot. If the ballot measure is approved by the voters, it will protect the rights of Missouri residents to raise animals in a humane manner that protects animal health without allowing the state to impose undue economic burdens on owners. The AKC and its Missouri federation both strongly support this resolution, which passed the Missouri House of Representatives on March 4. The resolution will next be considered by the Senate.

Possible breeder regulation ballot initiative – A statutory initiative relating to dog breeding may be placed on the 2010 mid-term election ballot. Supporters of the initiative, which duplicates previous unsuccessful legislative efforts, are currently collecting the required number of signatures to ensure the initiative is placed on the November ballot. The initiative contains a 50-dog ownership limit.

1/12/10 Missouri dog breeding and dog limit initiative
There is an initiative petition effort underway in Missouri that, if successful, would allow Missouri citizens the opportunity to create law that will unreasonably restrict the operations of responsible dog breeders. Similar legislation has failed to garner support in the Missouri Legislature. Missouri law requires proponents of this initiative to collect a required number of voters' signatures prior to it being placed on the November 2010 ballot.

The American Kennel Club strongly believes that ALL dogs-not just those who are part of a breeding program-deserve:

Sufficient food and clean water
Necessary veterinary care
Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements
Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down and extend his or her limbs;
Regular exercise; and
Adequate rest between breeding cycles.
However, the way in which some of these terms are defined in the proposed Missouri ballot measure do absolutely nothing to improve the wellbeing of animals; instead, it would add excessive expenses to responsible breeders who strive to produce well-bred family pets at a reasonable cost.

The proposal also seeks to limit the number of dogs an individual may own. This confuses the real issue of animal welfare, which focuses on the quality of care given to animals, not the number of animals an individual owns. Responsible breeders are not defined by the number of dogs kept, or whether they make a profit in selling dogs. Rather, responsible breeders are characterized by the quality of care and conditions that they provide their dogs and the quality (including health, temperament and breed type) of the puppies they produce.

Cruelty and negligence can occur regardless of the number of dogs a person has.

The AKC does not support this petition, and is working with the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners to address it.

 

6/30/09 -Missouri

House Bill 1004 – A bill has been introduced in the Missouri house to limit ownership to 50 dogs.

House Concurrent Resolution 4 – This bill encourages dog training programs and kennel clubs to provide training and education for community pet owners that result in dogs obtaining “Canine Good Citizen®” (CGC) certificates. This bill has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics Committee and is awaiting a vote by the full Senate.

MISSOURI – The Grain Valley Board of Aldermen continues to consider a proposal to limit the number of animals allowed at a residence and possible breed restrictions. The Canine Legislation Department has sent a letter to the board encouraging them to reject both breed-specific legislation and a limit law in favor of a nuisance ordinance and a dangerous dog ordinance.

- The Lee’s Summit City Council has rejected breed-specific legislation, but is now considering a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. The council will be holding a public meeting on the issue, but it has not yet been scheduled. The Canine Legislation Department sent local fanciers material on the ineffectiveness of breed-specific legislation and will be working with local dog owners to oppose the mandatory spay/neuter proposal.

Montana

4/1/13 - House Bill 439 would define any person or entity that possesses 11 or more intact female dogs for the purpose of breeding as a “commercial dog breeder” and would require registration, inspections, and fees for “commercial dog breeding” facilities. An initial inspection and inspections every two years would be required. Fees would range from $200 to $650 per year based on the number of intact female dogs maintained. Voluntary registration of facilities with fewer than 11 intact female dogs would also be available for a fee of $125 per year. The Department of Livestock would adopt rules governing inspection, recordkeeping, registration, licensing, and standards of care. HB439 will be heard by the House Agriculture Committee.

4/5/11 Montana update:
House Bill 390 and House Bill 515, which sought to regulate and limit dog breeders, were tabled in committee.

3/30/11 - Montana
House Bill 390 seeks to require registration of facilities that sell 30 or more dogs per year. The bill also requires the Montana Department of Livestock to adopt rules governing inspections, recordkeeping, and standards for dog care and housing at registered facilities. HB 390 is scheduled be heard by the Montana House Agriculture Committee.

Nebraska

3/1/13-

Legislative Bill 288 - the Nebraska Agriculture Committee is considering a bill on March 5 that would amend the definition of “commercial breeder”, which now in part includes those who own four intact animals.

While the new definition still may not define a truly commercial operation, LB 288 is a good step, requested by the AKC, to ensure that small, responsible hobby breeders, sportsmen and others who may keep four intact animals and breed an occasional litter are not subject to regulations designed for commercial kennels.

Summary:
“Commercial dog breeder” is defined in current law as anyone "engaged in the business of breeding dogs" and who:
• Owns or harbors four or more intact dogs or cats,
• Sells/transfers at least 31 dogs and cats per year,
• Owns dogs/cats that produce four or more litters per year, OR
• Knowingly sells or leases dogs/cats for later retail sale or brokered trade.

This means that if someone owns four intact dogs or cats and bred or sold even one dog, current law could require them to be licensed and regulated as a commercial breeder. This is problematic because it puts many hobbyists, sportsmen, ranchers, and other owners of intact dogs (and/ or cats) in the situation of potentially having to comply with regulations designed for much larger commercial operations.

At the request of the AKC, LB 288 would change the commercial breeder definition so that someone, in addition to owning four or more intact dogs, must also at minimum:

• Sell/transfer at least 31 dogs a year AND
• Produce four or more litters per year or
• Knowingly sell dogs for later retail sale before being subject commercial breeder laws.

While not perfect, we believe this is a good compromise step to help protect the rights of hobbyists and others who own intact dogs, but are not actually commercial operations.

At the same hearing, the Agriculture Committee will also be considering LB 287, a bill that would allow those meeting the definition of commercial breeders to vaccinate their dogs if they are under veterinary supervision, maintain proper records, and have a veterinary care plan as required by law.

How You Can Help:

· Attend the March 5 Agriculture Committee hearing and respectfully ask them to SUPPORT LB 288. If you wish, you may also share any comments you have on LB 287. The hearing information is as follows:

Nebraska Agriculture Committee
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
1:30 p.m.
Nebraska State Capitol, Room 2102
Lincoln, Nebraska
Contact the members of the Nebraska Agriculture Committee.

7/13/11 Nebraska update:
Legislative Bill 427 would further regulate “commercial dog breeders. Due to this low threshold in current law, LB 427 would require anyone who owns four intact dogs of any age to comply with the same strict engineering standards and other standards for large, commercial facilities. The Nebraska Legislature has adjourned for the year and will reconvene in January 2012, at which time LB 427 will be considered. 4/5/11 Nebraska update – Legislative Bill 427:
The Agriculture Committee conducted a public hearing of the bill on February 8, but no action was taken. Read the AKC’s Legislative Alert on LB 427.

4/24/12- Legislative Bill 427 will further regulate “commercial dog breeders,” defined in current law as anyone "engaged in the business of breeding dogs" and who owns or harbors four or more intact dogs or cats, sells at least 31 dogs and cats per year, owns dogs/cats that produce four or more litters per year, or who knowingly sells or leases dogs/cats for later retail sale or brokered trade. Due to this low threshold in current law, LB 427 requires anyone who owns four intact dogs of any age to comply with regulations designed for large commercial kennels. The AKC requested that the definition of commercial breeder be amended to add the word “and,” so a person would have to meet all the qualifications in order to be a commercial breeder, rather than just one. The bill has passed the Legislature and was signed by the Governor on March 7, 2012. Read more about LB 427.

1/23/11: Nebraska:Legislative Bill 427

This bill seeks to further regulate "commercial dog breeders" in Nebraska. Current law defines "commercial breeders" as anyone owns or harbors four or more intact dogs or cats, who sells at least 31 dogs and cats per year, whose dogs/cats produce four or more litters per year, or who knowingly sells or leases dogs/cats for later retail sale or brokered trade.

With this low threshold in current law, LB 427 would require anyone who owns four intact dogs of any age to comply with strict engineering standards and breeder restrictions.

Background:

Under existing "commercial breeder" regulations, those who fall under the state definition of "commercial breeder" are required to be licensed, be inspected at least once every two years, and comply with basic standards of care. These standards include maintaining sanitary conditions; providing adequate food and clean water; providing adequate socialization and exercise; and providing adequate space based on the age, size, weight, and breed. Current law also requires that breeders develop and maintain a veterinary care plan in conjunction with a veterinarian and provide veterinary care "without delay when necessary."

The AKC strongly believes that all dogs deserve lives in safe, healthy environments, and that they should not be kept in conditions where their basic needs are not met. Current law already addresses these concerns. The new restrictions outlined in Legislative Bill 427 place undue, unnecessary and expensive burdens on responsible breeders and owners of intact dogs.

LB 427 Summary:

Legislative Bill 427 seeks to add more arbitrary and restrictive requirements for all dog breeders and the owners of four or more intact dogs. In addition, it creates the opportunity for breeders to obtain an "outstanding" designation from the state if the breeder complies with even more restrictive requirements. Those who achieve this designation will receive a certification and be listed on a public web site. Here are some highlights:

Breeding Restrictions – A female dog may not be bred more than once every 12 months unless the dog has been given a physical by a licensed vet. The breeder must restrict the breeding to once every 18 months to obtain "outstanding" status. The dog may only be bred if she is between the ages of 12 months and 8 years.
New Primary Enclosure Requirements – The primary enclosure must be large enough for the dog to lie down, stand up, and turn around without touching another dog. To obtain the "outstanding" designation, the breeder must comply with a complicated mathematical formula for enclosure sizes.
New Requirements for Exercise Areas – Each primary enclosure must have an entry with unfettered access (or allow access at least twice a day) to an outdoor exercise area that is at least 10 times the size of the primary enclosure. Breeders have until July 1, 2016, to comply, but will not be considered "outstanding" if they use this grace period.

How You Can Help:
This bill could be considered as early as the first week in February. Also, unlike other state legislatures, the Nebraska Legislature has only one chamber. Therefore, the bill may move very quickly.

We encourage all responsible dog owners and breeders to contact their State Senator and express any concerns you have with Legislative Bill 427.

Nevada

1/28/11 NV – includes Reno and surrounding areas:

Washoe County’s Regional Animal Services will hold two public workshops to discuss proposed changes to the animal control ordinance, including requiring kennel permits in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The measure will also add provisions for a new “Variance Permit,” available to those who own 4 or 5 sterilized dogs (current limit is 3 dogs). The ordinance will also mandate at-large dogs be microchipped upon redemption and makes other changes to the existing animal cruelty and dog licensing laws.

Responsible owners and breeders are encouraged to attend the county’s public workshops on this proposal to voice their concerns.

11/22/08 - Nevada

The Clark County Animal Control Advisory Board is considering recommending a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance to the County Commission. Las Vegas is the largest city in this county and AKC is working with local clubs and breeders to oppose this measure. The county already requires that breeders obtain a pet fancier permit that requires a home inspection.

New Hampshire

5/30/12 - As introduced, Senate Bill 370 would have placed numerous restrictions and regulations on anyone who owns 10 or more female dogs. It also would have limited ownership to 50 intact dogs, mandated that all tail docking be done by a veterinarian, and allowed any local humane society, animal control officer, or SPCA to investigate complaints. The Senate Executive Departments Committee unanimously voted to delete the bill in its entirety and replace it with language to clarify that local law enforcement has the ability to investigate complaints and prosecute violations of domestic animal abuse laws. The bill has passed the Senate and is now under the consideration of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee.

3/1/10 House Bill 1624 seeks to impose an ownership limit of no more than 50 intact dogs; to require those with more than 10 intact dogs to adhere to the same operations standards as pet shops and animal shelters; and to deputize individuals not trained or sworn in as public officers to enforce the provisions of the bill, including the power to enter private premises and seize property. The bill will be heard by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Thursday, January 21.

3/1/09 - New Hampshire Bill Restricting Sale of Litters
The New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture Committee is scheduled to hear House Bill 337 on Wednesday, February 11. This measure would prevent any dog owner from selling more than one dog or cat per year without a temporary license, which expires after 60 days.

All New Hampshire residents should contact the sponsor of House Bill 337, the members of the Environment and Agriculture Committee, and their Representatives to express opposition to the bill. (Visit this web page for contact information:http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=3728)

The provisions of House Bill 337 are as follows:

• Any dog or cat owner not engaged in the business of selling animals may not sell more than one dog or cat per year without a $25 temporary license.
• The temporary license expires after 60 days.
• No more than two temporary licenses may be issued in a year.
• Any owner that violates this section must pay a fine between $50 and $200.
• Persons and entities engaged in the business of selling animals, including commercial kennels (10 or more litters or more than 50 puppies per year) are exempt.
• Fees from the temporary licenses and violations will be deposited in the Companion Animal Neutering Fund.

New Jersey

 

8/1/13 - New Jersey:
Senate Bill 1804 and Assembly Bill 3445 would permit pet owners to board public transportation with domesticated animals during emergency evacuations. The AKC applauds the New Jersey legislature’s efforts to protect the Garden State’s dogs — and owners who might otherwise not evacuate a dangerous area — by providing the means by which responsible owners and their pets can escape areas where the catastrophic impacts of storms are expected. AB 3445 passed the Assembly and has been assigned to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

4/1/13 - Senate Bill 1840 / Assembly Bill 2746 are being described as consumer protection bills but instead would restrictively regulate breeders across the state, including licensing, inspections, onerous breeding and sales restrictions, and care and conditions rules. Both bills have been assigned to committee, but neither has been scheduled for consideration.

1/25/13- With the New York tri-state area still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, the AKC endorses and supports New Jersey Senate Bill 1804 and Assembly Bill 3445, which would permit pet owners to board public transportation with domesticated animals during emergency evacuations. The AKC applauds the New Jersey legislature’s efforts to protect the Garden State’s dogs—and owners who might otherwise not evacuate a dangerous area—by providing the means by which responsible owners and their pets can escape areas where the catastrophic impacts of storms are expected. Senate Bill 1804 has passed the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. Assembly Bill 3445 has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

12/12/12 - Delaware Township, NJ:
The Delaware Township Board of Health rejected a restrictive dog ownership and breeding proposal after hearing from numerous constituents opposed to the measure. The proposal contained numerous inaccurate findings, would have limited ownership to six intact dogs over seven months of age, and restricted breeders to two litters in a 24-month period.

9/17/12 - Manasquan, NJ:
The Manasquan Borough Council defeated a proposal to ban dog breeding after determining that certain language in the draft might have created unintended consequences for private breeders. A new draft of the proposal is expected to be introduced at the September 4th meeting and is expected to protect dog and cat breeding in private homes and kennels.

6/7/12 New Jersey:
Senate Bill 1840/Assembly Bill 2746 seek to impose numerous requirements on virtually all dog breeders in New Jersey, including licensing, inspections, and care standards, as well as onerous consumer protection provisions. SB 1840 was introduced on May 3, and was referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee. AB 2746 was introduced on May 10 and referred to the Assembly Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.

6/7/12 - Mendham Township, NJ:
The Township Committee recently considered a dog ownership limit ordinance. Due to the strong reaction of both Township residents and interested organizations, including the American Kennel Club, the ordinance was unanimously tabled.

4/24/12- Franklin Lakes, NJ:
AKC GR has learned that the Franklin Lakes Board of Health has recommended that the Mayor and Council duly consider placing limits on the number of pets that can be legally kept at any single residence.

1/5/11 - New Jersey:
Senate Bill 2517/ Assembly Bill 678 – These bills would mandate the sterilization of all dogs and cats prior to being released from the local shelter, even if the dog is reclaimed by the owner. Exceptions are made for dogs that have finished their championship with the AKC or another recognized registry, or dogs that have a “breed ring show record” dating no more than a year prior to the dog entering the shelter or pound. S. 2517 has been assigned to the Senate Economic Growth Committee. A. 678 has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Neither is currently scheduled for hearings.

12/15/10 - High Bridge, NJ:
The High Bridge Common Council will be considering an amended barking dog ordinance on November 18. The current proposal defines a violation as a dog “vocalizing” for 20 minutes without interruption, unless the dog was provoked. Three warnings are required before a citation may be written. The original proposal, which stated that a dog was in violation after five minutes of barking (with at least 4 barks per minute), was tabled by the council after concerns were raised by local dog owners and AKC clubs.11/8/09 - New Jersey

Assembly Bill 1591 –This bill prohibits certain breeding practices and limits the selling of cats or dogs as pets to 25 animals per year per breeder. "Breeder" is defined under the bill as any person who owns or operates a breeding facility and sells more than five cats or dogs per year. The bill also requires annual registration for breeders selling cats or dogs as pets in the state. A. 1591 has been referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Assembly Bill 2536/Senate Bill 1396/Senate Bill 1959 – These bills deem that failure to provide minimum care to dogs is a criminal and civil offense. “Minimum care” is defined as care sufficient to preserve the animal’s health and well-being, including adequate protection from the weather, veterinary care deemed necessary by a reasonably prudent person, and food of sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal growth, except in cases of emergency or circumstances beyond a person’s reasonable control. This bill has not yet received a hearing. A. 2536 has been referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. S. 1396 and S. 1959 has been assigned to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Senate Bill 364 – S. 364 directs the Department of Health and Senior Services to review current regulations concerning the proper care and housing of animals, determine the proper care and housing for each species of animal sold by kennels, pet shops and any other retail establishments selling animals, and adopt new rules and regulations as necessary. The bill also establishes penalties for kennel and pet shop owners guilty of overcrowding animals. S. 364 has been referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

 

3/7/08 -Mandatory Spay/Neuter Reintroduced in New Jersey
Senator Van Drew has introduced Senate Bill 971, a bill which threatens the rights of responsible dog owners in New Jersey. This bill is a reintroduction of 2006's AB 3542. Fanciers, concerned dog owners, and responsible breeders should immediately contact their representatives in the New Jersey State Legislature, and the members of the Senate Economic Growth Committee who will first hear this bill, and express their vehement opposition to this bill.

The bill would require that before a dog could be released from any shelter or pound it must be sterilized, unless the owner can provide documentation of the following:
· that the dog "has been shown" within the last 12 months; or
· that the owner is a "professional licensed breeder registered with the American Kennel Club"; or
· a licensed veterinarian has determined that sterilization would be detrimental to the dog's health.

Sterilization is required for all dogs impounded, even if it is the first time the dog has been detained.

The majority of purebred dogs never compete in AKC events and would not be eligible for this exemption. Further, the American Kennel Club does not license breeders. Therefore, this bill creates conditions that the vast majority of responsible dog owners cannot possibly meet.

Read a copy of the bill

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
· Contact the members of the NJ Senate Economic Growth Committee. Urge them
to oppose SB 971. Contact members of the committee

Reintroduced New Jersey Bill Bad News For Breeders Assemblyman Neil Cohen and Assemblywoman Joan Voss have introduced Assembly Bill 1591, a bill which threatens the rights of responsible breeders in New Jersey. This bill is a reintroduction of 2006’s AB 3401. Fanciers, concerned dog owners, and responsible breeders should immediately contact their representatives in the New Jersey State Legislature, and the members of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee who will first hear this bill, and express their vehement opposition to this bill.

The bill defines a “breeder“ as any person who sells or offers to sell more than five puppies per year. In addition to this incredibly low threshold, the bill requires breeders to comply with a host of restrictive regulations and institutes steep fines for violations. AB 1591 also prohibits any breeder from selling more than 25 dogs in one year.

AB 1591 goes far beyond encouraging responsible breeding. Under AB 1591, all breeders would be required to comply with draconian regulations including maintaining specified temperatures, keeping animals only on nonporous surfaces, and circulating air at precise levels. The measure further mandates the acceptable dimensions for crates and runs, and sets minimum socialization standards. Finally, all breeders are required to register annually with the Department of Health. This list will be published and made available to the public.

All breeders are required to furnish specified information to pet purchasers and provide a full refund for any reason for a pet returned within 14 days. Any dog which is sold with a pedigree can be returned for a full refund within 26 months if any congenital or genetic defects are discovered.

Violations can be punished with monetary fines or suspension of the license to sell pets. A first violation can result in a prohibition on selling cats or dogs for five years and subsequent offenses can add an additional five years for each violation. Civil penalties may also be administered. For a first offense, a breeder shall be fined $5,000 and for a second offense the breeder may be fined $10,000 for each subsequent offense. A member of the public who supplies information that results in fines or suspension will be eligible for an award of 10 percent of the civil penalty or $250, whichever is greater.

Read a copy of the bill.

More information on who to contact and what you can do.

New Jersey - Assembly Bill 2649. The proposal attempts to replace New Jersey's already comprehensive and reasonable animal cruelty laws and humane care standards with an unnecessary, confusing, and haphazard system that will not only affect the health of the general public, but will also threaten the due process rights of individual animal owners.

Among AB 2649's 56 pages, its most egregious proposals include the following:

  • Any person, regardless of their lack of knowledge, training, or expertise, could accuse another person of animal cruelty, while receiving immunity from prosecution for cruelty themselves. Without providing redress for someone who has been unjustifiably and vindictively accused of animal cruelty, this provision is ripe for abuse.

  • The definition of "minimum care" required for the care of animals will be lessened to include "veterinary care deemed necessary by a reasonably prudent person". AKC believes that veterinary care in all cases should be administered with a professional standard of care with the highest levels of professionalism and competence, as deemed necessary by a licensed veterinarian.

  • The definition of "cruelly restraining a dog" specifically bans the tethering of dogs with less than 15 feet of tether. This provision does not expressly provide an exemption for dogs being groomed on grooming tables in any setting, including grooming salons and dog shows. With substantive animal cruelty provisions already in place, New Jersey state and local governments need to enforce existing law in cruel tethering cases. Irresponsible owners who are not providing humane treatment for their animals can and should be prosecuted under current law.

What You Can Do:
Contact your representative in the New Jersey General Assembly and express your opposition to AB 2649.

NEW JERSEY – Asm. Van Drew is sponsoring A3542, a bill to require animals returned to their owners from shelters be sterilized, even on a first offense unless the owner can prove they have been active in AKC activities. The bill also increases the surcharge for an unsterilized dog from $3 to $20, eliminates the range for dog licenses fees established by municipal ordinance provided under current law, and increases the dog license fee to $10, whether set by ordinance or if no ordinance exists. The effect of these increases is that licensing an unsterilized dog would cost $30 per year and the license would have to be applied for each year, and the license for a sterilized dog would be $10 per year and could be applied for every two years, instead of each year. Monies raised would be put in to a “Cat and Dog Sterilization Fund” to fund the sterilizations required by the bill. A3542 has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

 

New Mexico

1/25/13 - Santa Fe County, NM:
The Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners is expected to consider a proposal in January 2013 that would make several changes to the county animal control code, including requiring an animal to be sterilized on a first impoundment and extensive fees for dog owners and breeders. Under the proposal, any animal impounded by the county Animal Services Department must be spayed/neutered before being released to the owner. Exemptions are made for service dogs and dogs that have “attained championship status”. All animals must be sterilized unless their owner purchases an intact animal permit, the cost of which would increase from $10/year to $100/year. The proposal also would establish a new breeder permit at the cost of $125/year for each “breeding dog,” and many other new fees and permits.

1/15/13 - Santa Fe County, NM:
Santa Fe County has proposed numerous problematic changes to its animal control ordinance. This includes mandatory spay/neuter on an animal’s first impoundment and extensive fees for dog owners and breeders.
The Board of County Commissioners is expected to consider the proposal in January 2013. County residents are strongly encouraged to contact the commissioners and respectfully ask them to not support laws that unfairly punish responsible owners of intact dogs.

Summary

The proposed ordinance has several items of concern to the AKC, including:

Huge fee increases for dog owners and breeders – Numerous fees are proposed, including increasing annual intact animal permits from $10 per animal to $100 per animal and kennel permits from $50 to $200 per year. A kennel is defined as any place where dogs, cats or other animals are boarded, kept, bought, sold, traded, groomed, let for hire, or trained for a fee. This would include shelters and rescues.

It also would establish a new breeding permit at the cost of $125/year for each breeding dog and a $25 fee for each litter. These fees will match those already in place in the City of Santa Fe.

Those holding permits must allow animal control officers to inspect at “any reasonable time” to ensure compliance.

· Mandatory spay/neuter on first impoundment – Any animal impounded by the Animal Services Department for any reason must be spayed/neutered before it is released to the owner. Exemptions are made for service animals and animals that “have attained champion status from a nationally recognized club.”

The measure also requires all animals over 6 months of age to be sterilized unless the owner purchases an intact animal permit for each animal.
Vague Dangerous Dog Definitions – A dangerous animal is defined as one which, when unprovoked and off the owner’s property, causes someone to take a defensive action to avoid injury. It is also defined as an animal that causes injury by biting or another aggressive behavior. Animals designated as dangerous must be muzzled and kept on a 3-foot leash when off the owner’s property. Current law already provides additional requirements for animals declared “vicious” by causing serious injury or death.

The AKC understands the desire to protect the community from dangerous animals, but is concerned that a puppy could potentially be designated as “dangerous” for its life and the owner will have no opportunity to get the designation removed.

11/12/12 - Rio Rancho, NM:
The Rio Rancho City Council will consider changes to their animal control ordinance on Wednesday, October 24th that will require all dogs to be sterilized unless their owner can satisfy the requirements for an unaltered dog permit. The proposal further requires that anyone possessing a hobby breeder permit be inspected twice a year by Rio Rancho Animal Control. Current law defines a hobby breeder as anyone allowing an unaltered animal to breed or be bred. As written, this means that a resident who whelps a single litter and even the owner of stud dog would have to allow animal control unfettered access to their private home without a warrant. Animal rescues, foster homes and all other public or private animal facilities are also required to submit to a bi-annual inspection. The measure prohibits the sale, adoption or transfer of an animal to an “animal broker” or other “animal dealer,” although neither of those terms is defined in the code.

12/15/10 - Rio Rancho, NM update:
The Rio Rancho City Council has postponed a hearing on changes to the city’s animal control ordinance until March 2011. The city council has been holding a series of public workshops on the issue and changes have been suggested by the council. More work sessions are expected and a final draft should be available prior to the March 2011 meeting.

10/26/10 - Rio Rancho, NM
On November 2nd, the Rio Rancho City Council will consider changes to the city’s animal control ordinance including mandatory spay/neuter of dogs and cats, pet limits, and requiring permits for breeders, animal rescues, animal shelters, boarding kennels, groomers, pet day cares, training facilities, pet stores and pet sitters. Hobby breeders, defined as producing even a single litter, will be required to obtain a conditional use permit from the zoning department, as well as a business permit to sell the dogs and allow for an inspection of the their facility.

11/17/09 - Las Vegas to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance:
Provisions of the Ordinance include:

• All dogs and cats over the age of 4 months must be spayed or neutered unless the owner qualifies for an exemption
• All puppies or kittens born to dogs and cats that have not been spayed/neutered as required will be forfeited and may be given to the local shelter for adoption
• Fines for violation
• Impounded dogs or cats that are intact, but whose owners do not qualify for an exemption must be sterilized prior to release
• Provides that impounded animals be kept for only 72 hours
• Requires that impounded animals be microchipped and that the owner pay for the microchipping prior to release
• Pet Stores are required to provide certain information to Department of Detention and Enforcement
The Silver State Kennel Club is working with the city council to address their concerns with the ordinance. Legislative Liaison Ken Sondej who can be reached at 4winds@viawest.net is coordinating speakers for the committee meeting on November 3rd.

New York

8/1/13 - New York update:
Assembly Bill 740 / Senate Bill 3753 would clarify that counties and municipalities can regulate “pet dealers,” so long as the laws are not less stringent than state law. “Pet dealer” is defined in current law as those who sell 9 or more dogs per year. Breeders who raise dogs on their residential premises are exempt, so long as they sell less than 25 dogs per year. AKC GR has expressed concerns with this bill. This legislation has passed the legislature and is pending on the Governor’s desk.

New York:
Senate Bill 1495 would create the crime of pet theft in New York by including pet in the definition of property in the state’s penal law. This means that someone who steals a dog or cat from someone’s property would be committing fourth degree grand larceny. The bill has passed the Senate and is pending in the Assembly Codes Committee.

4/1/13 - Assembly Bill 740 clarifies that counties and municipalities can regulate “pet dealers”, so long as the laws are not less stringent than state law. “Pet dealer” is defined in current law as those who sell 9 or more dogs/year. Breeders who raise dogs on their residential premises are exempt, so long as they sell less than 25 dogs/year. AKC GR has expressed concerns with this bill, which has passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee and is pending in Assembly Codes..

12/12/12 - Niagara Falls, NY update:
The Niagara Falls City Council has approved a 90-day moratorium on kennels and is in the process of drafting new kennel regulations.

11/12/12 - Niagara Falls, NY:
The Niagara Falls City Council is in the process of drafting possible regulations regarding kennels, which are currently defined as any building or lot where four or more dogs or cats are raised and/or boarded for "sale, breeding, grooming, training...or are sheltered for humanitarian reasons."

11/12/12 - Waterloo, NY update:
The Waterloo Town Board approved an ordinance that establishes a one year moratorium on the approval of new kennels or pet breeders.9/17/12 - Waterloo, NY:
The Waterloo Town Board is expected to vote at the August 27th meeting on an ordinance that would establish a one year moratorium on the approval of new kennels or pet breeders. The measure defines a kennel as any residence where three or more dogs or cats not owned by the property owner are trained or boarded for commercial purposes. It defines a pet breeder as any lot on which: at least three dogs or cats at any one time are bred or sold for commercial purposes, there is at any time more than three adult dogs and one litter of pups under the age of four months, where any adult dog or cat is bred more than once in a twelve month period, or where more than two litters of pups or kittens are sold or given away in a twelve month period.

9/17/12 - Ovid, NY:
The Ovid Town Board is considering an 18-month moratorium on new and expanded commercial boarding or training kennels and on "pet breeders." A "pet breeder" is defined as a property on which three or more dogs or cats at any one time are bred or sold; more than two litters are sold or given away in a 12-month period, or a female dog or cat is bred more than once in any 12-month period and the offspring are sold or given away. Veterinarians and humane organizations would be exempted.

8/28/12 - Ballston Spa Village, NY:
The Ballston Spa Village Board declined to move forward on a 5 dog limit law after hearing from many concerned AKC club members and dog owners. This limit would have included any dogs harbored in a household within city limits – meaning the threshold could have included dogs staying temporarily on a property, even if they are not owned by the resident.

4/24/12- Senate Bill 946 revises the definition of “property” in the state’s penal code to include pets. It also expands the penalty of grand larceny in the fourth degree to include pet theft. AKC GR has sent letters of support and issued legislative alerts encouraging New York residents to contact the Senate in support of the bill. SB 946 has passed the Senate Codes Committee and is pending on the Senate floor. Read more about this legislation.

12/21/11 - New York:
Assembly Bill 259/Senate Bill 3806 would amend the laws regarding the care of animals that have been seized and are being cared for during animal cruelty hearings. A. 259 has passed the Assembly and been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee. Its companion, S. 3806, has passed the Senate Finance Committee and is pending in the Rules Committee. The AKC has written letters, most recently to the Senate Finance Committee, requesting that the bill be amended to allow for reimbursement for animal owners found “not guilty.”

10/28/11 - Suffolk County, NY update:
Although the sponsor removed language that attacked the AKC, the legislative findings still impugned the integrity of responsible dog breeders. The sponsor, Legislator Cooper, agreed to withdraw the bill after legal concerns were raised and instead introduced Resolution IR-1769, which would create a voluntary rating system for Suffolk County pet stores.

9/1/11 Suffolk County, NY:
The Suffolk County Legislature has introduced Resolution 1545, a measure that contains legislative intent that makes a number of inaccurate, misleading and unsubstantiated claims that impugn the integrity of the American Kennel Club and dog breeding in general. The measure also would require any pet store in the county that sells puppies to source them from shelters, rescue organizations or from breeders within the county. AKC GR has written a response that refutes the claims made in the proposal and calls for strong opposition to the measure. Legislators have also been invited to the Suffolk County Kennel Club’s Canine Experience on July 31 to interact with responsible dog owners and to better understand the many ways that AKC activities benefit the county, including education, outreach, family-friendly activities and events that contribute a significant economic impact to the community. HB 1545 is scheduled for possible consideration on August 2.

7/13/11

Suffolk County IR-1545 purportedly seeks to educate consumers about illegal and substandard kennel conditions in other states by limiting the choice of types of dogs that may be sold in Suffolk County pet shops. Under this measure, dogs at Suffolk pet stores could only be sourced from shelters, rescue organizations or Suffolk County breeders.

The legislative findings presented in IR-1545 attack the integrity of responsible breeders and the American Kennel Club by broadly implying that all female dogs bred in the United States are mistreated, abandoned and/or killed. It makes a number of other wildly inaccurate statements, including claims that AKC inspections do not assess the care/conditions or wellbeing of dogs.

7/13/11

New York:
Assembly Bill 8146 seeks to create an “Animal Breeding Permit” for everyone who breeds a female dog for pay or other compensation. The permit would allow for the whelping of one litter per female in a twelve-month period. The bill also calls for inspections of all licensees. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture Committee. No hearings have been held on this bill, and to date none have been scheduled.

New York update:
Senate Bill 946 revises the definition of “property” in the state’s penal code to include pets. It also expands the penalty of grand larceny in the fourth degree to include pet theft. AKC sent a letter of support for this measure, which passed the Senate and is now pending in the Assembly Codes Committee.

6/1/11 New York update:
Assembly Bill 3595 would prevent senior citizens from being denied occupancy or evicted from a multiple-unit dwelling because they own a pet. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly Housing Committee.
Senate Bill 946 revises the definition of “property” in the state’s penal code to include pets. It also expands the penalty of grand larceny in the fourth degree to include pet theft. This passed the Senate Codes Committee and is now pending on the Senate floor.

 

3/30/11 NYC, NY:
The New York City Council approved a new ordinance that would prohibit the restraining (tethering) of animals outdoors for longer than three continuous hours within a 12-hour period. As amended, the measure would also prohibit the tethering of an animal on a choke or pinch collar or other devices "for any amount of time" (e.g. temporarily). The AKC is in contact with New York City officials on this issue, and we will be working with them to clarify the regulatory language in an upcoming rules hearing on this issue. Read the AKC’s Legislative Update on this issue.

3/30/11 NY:
Assembly Bill 269 – Current law states that overdriving, overloading, torturing, injuring, or failing to provide necessary sustenance to an animal is a Class A misdemeanor. This bill would increase the penalty for committing these acts against a companion animals to a Class E felony. This bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee.

2/8/11 New York:
New York Assembly Bill 3595 would prevent senior citizens from being denied occupancy or evicted from a multiple dwelling because they own a pet. We encourage all New York residents to contact their State Assemblyperson and the members of the Assembly Housing Committee, and ask them to support this legislation.

Summary:

There are many positive aspects to A.3595, including:

• Recognition of the Benefits of Pet Ownership – This bill begins by listing numerous benefits of pet ownership on the owner’s physical and mental health, and states that a person should not have to choose between remaining in their home and keeping their pet.
• Protection for Senior Citizen Pet Owners – A senior citizen may not be denied occupancy or evicted from a multiple dwelling unit simply because they own or keep “a common household pet or pets”.
• Respect for Other Tenants – The bill does not apply to pets that cause damage, create a nuisance, or substantially interfere with the health, safety, and welfare of other tenants or occupants.
• Accountability for Pet Owners – The owner of the multiple dwelling may establish reasonable rules, including requiring leashes in common areas, removal of animal waste, the use of reasonably designated elevators, and compliance with state and local health, animal control, and animal cruelty laws.

2/8/11 New York:
These bills have been prefiled – none has been scheduled for a hearing:

Assembly Bill 78 – Currently New York law defines “pet dealer” as anyone who sells or offers to sell nine or more dogs each year. This bill seeks to change the definition to a person who meets any of the following criteria: Anyone who sells or offers for sale 9 or more dogs per year that were raised somewhere other than their premises, owns at least 4 intact female dogs or cats at least 6 months of age and sells or offers to sell any offspring, or anyone who sells at least 10 dogs in a calendar year. The bill also removes the current exemption for anyone who sells fewer that 25 dogs a year directly to the consumer. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

Senate Bill 946 – This bill clarifies larceny statutes by stating that pets are included in the definition of property. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Codes Committee.

Senate Bill 1310 – This bill directs the State Department of Health to oversee dog licensing for cities with populations of over 2 million people. Among other provisions, it requires a higher-priced license for owners of intact dogs and mandatory sterilization for any dog that is impounded, even if the dog is reclaimed by its owner. This bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee.

1/5/11- NYC Seeks to Triple Licensing Fees for Intact Dogs:
The New York City Council is seeking to triple the licensing fees for intact dogs in order to help the city’s animal population control fund. Licensing fees for sterilized dogs will remain the same.

A report submitted to the council’s Committee on Health stated that approximately 80 percent of the city’s dogs are unlicensed. Increasing the license fee for all intact dogs will not solve the enforcement problem.

The AKC believes that burdensome requirements on owners of intact dogs do not address the issue of irresponsible ownership. We believe that stricter enforcement of leash and nuisance laws and programs that educate the public about responsible breeding practices are more effective solutions.

Read the proposal here.

How You Can Help
This ordinance is proposed to be enacted by January 2, 2011. Contact Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council to express your opposition to raising the license fees for owners of intact dogs, and encourage them to focus on stronger enforcement of animal control laws for ALL dog owners.

The contact information for the mayor is as follows:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
Fax: (212) 312-0700

E-mail: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

12/20/10 - New York State Information Alert

Currently the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets handles dog licensing for most municipalities in the state. In the 2010 budget passed by the New York Legislature, this responsibility was handed over to local municipalities, effective January 1, 2011.

The American Kennel Club encourages all dog owners to know, understand, and follow the laws of their jurisdictions. In response to this new licensing structure, we strongly suggest that dog owners in the state of New York should closely monitor new ordinances and regulations proposed by their county and city governments that will determine local licensing fees, requirements and changes to animal control policies.

Certain provisions that exist under current New York state law may or may not be adopted by local governments. For example, the current state law provides the option of a purebred license, wherein the owner of one or more purebred dogs registered by a recognized registry association may annually make application for a purebred license in lieu of individual dog licenses. The provision for purebred licenses will become optional for local governments on January 1, 2011.

One example of the impact of these changes is the city of Lackawanna, which has already informed its residents that it will be offering only single dog licenses, thereby forcing all dog owners to comply with its two-dog limit passed in July 2006.

All New York dog owners need to be more vigilant than ever in monitoring dog-related ordinances in their communities and to work proactively to ensure that laws impacting dog ownership and breeding are reasonable, enforceable and non-discriminatory.

12/15/10 - Newstead, NY:
The Newstead Town Council decided not to pursue an ordinance that would impose a three-dog ownership limit and require public muzzling for “pit bulls”. The AKC sent a letter expressing concerns with the proposal, and local media cited AKC’s letter as one of the reasons the council changed its course. The Council has set up a committee comprised of breeders and dog owners to develop a more effective proposal.

10/26/10 - Gates, NY
The Gates City Council has instituted a moratorium on the enforcement of the city’s limit law after a local couple was charged and told to remove one of their 3 dogs from the home. AKC GR sent a letter to the mayor and city council urging a repeal and encouraging the community to write and enforce clear and effective leash and nuisance laws.

7/12/10: New York update: Assembly Bill 5507 has been held in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

5/24/10 - Assembly Bill 5507, known as "Charlemange's Law", will significantly impact certain responsible dog breeders if enacted as introduced. The bill seeks to amend the state's existing definition of "pet dealer", to include those who sell or offer to sell more than five (reduced from nine) animals per year at wholesale or retail. Additionally, the bill seeks to reduce the current threshold of the pet dealer definition exception, from anyone who sells or offers to sell directly to the consumer fewer than twenty-five animals per year born or raised on the breeder's residential premises to ten animals per year. AB 5507 also seeks to impose significant restrictions on the operations of those deemed pet dealers. The bill creates a definition of "commercial kennel", defines extensive care and conditions requirements for commercial kennels, and requires at least annual inspections of such facilities. The bill will be considered by the New York Assembly Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, May 18.

New York Alert: Extensive Breeder Regulations to be Considered Tuesday, May 18

New York Assembly Bill 5507, known as "Charlemagne’s Law", will be considered by the New York Assembly Agriculture Committee tomorrow, Tuesday, May 18. Among its many provisions, the bill seeks to amend the state’s existing definition of "pet dealer", creates a new definition of "commercial kennels", and seeks to impact those designated as such with extensive operational restrictions. The American Kennel Club opposes a number of provisions in AB 5507. We urge all responsible dog owners and breeders in New York to contact the Assembly Agriculture Committee members listed below, and express their opposition.

If enacted as introduced, AB 5507 will:

Amend the state’s existing definition of "pet dealer", to include those who sell or offer to sell more than five (reduced from nine) animals per year at wholesale or retail.
Reduce the current threshold of the pet dealer definition exception, from anyone who sells or offers to sell directly to the consumer fewer than twenty-five animals per year born or raised on the breeder’s residential premises to 10 animals per year.
Allow the inspection of any animal facility, defined as "any area built, installed, or designed to serve as a breeding or maintaining area for animals".
Impose a variety of onerous kennel engineering standards and other requirements on "commercial kennels", defined as anyone who sells a dog to a pet dealer or sells or transfers more than 60 dogs per year. These new provisions would like be extremely costly to responsible breeders while doing little to help protect the health and welfare of dogs.
The American Kennel Club strongly supports humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC also supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

How You Can Help:

· Attend the New York Assembly Agriculture Committee meeting and respectfully express any concerns you have with AB 5507. The meeting details are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Legislative Office Building , Room 829
Albany , NY

· Contact the members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and respectfully express any concerns you have with AB 5507.

8/1/09 New York

Senate Bill 5392 – This bill limits ownership to no more than 50 intact dogs over 4 months of age if they are kept for the purpose of breeding and selling the offspring. The bill also allows New York police officers, officers of the ASPCA and any other "duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals" to seize animals kept in violation of the limit law as long as a complaint has been issued. A warrant must be issued before the animals may be taken. The bill passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and now goes to the Codes Committee. Click for for more information, including a sample letter to personalize and send.

6/30/09 - New York

Senate Bill 4515 – This bill would require the registration and regulation of animal “breeders”, which is defined as any person who breeds three or more animals for sale per year for profit. Breeders would be subject to annual licensing, strict engineering requirements, and inspections twice each year at the breeder’s expense. It also limits “pet dealers” in New York to obtaining dogs only from NY licensed breeders.

Senate Bill 4690 – This legislation would limit ownership to 50 unsterilized dogs and allow any police officer or officer of the ASPCA or any other humane organization to seize dogs kept in violation of this ownership limit if certain due process requirements are met. The bill also expands the definition of “Pet Dealer” to include any person who engages in the sale or offering of sale more than nine animals per year.

NY - Tether Law – S2052
Keeping dogs chained-sometimes called "tethering"-is cruel because it deprives these highly-social pack animals of proper socialization, and often leaves them unable to reach whatever shelter, food, and water they've been provided (if any!). It isolates them from any meaningful human contact or interaction. They often become "nuisance barkers," which often leads to complaints by neighbors, which subsequently leads to either "getting rid of the dog," or "correction" by the owners. The dogs also grow aggressively protective of their tiny space and often attack children (or adults) who come near them. A piece of legislation that would help make the state a safer, more humane place for dogs and the public-Senate Bill 2052-was introduced on January 30. Please urge your legislators to do the right thing and support this legislation today!

If it becomes law, S2052 would prohibit the tethering of a dog to any fixed object or running cable trolley system for more than six hours total in any 24-hour period. (For example--two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, and two hours in the evening.) The bill would require that all tethers attached to a fixed point be at least 15 feet in length. It would also mandate that all tethers attach only to a properly-fitted collar or harness, thus hopefully preventing dogs from becoming injured, strangled, or entangled, or having their collars embedded in their necks.

NEW YORK – Asm. Peralta has introduced A1677, which seeks to require all dogs over four months of age to be microchipped and registered with a new state-run registry. Additionally, all microchips and information stored in them must be compatible with scanners used by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. If passed and signed into law, violators of the provisions of A1677 will be subject to fines of up to $100. For further information, please read AKC's Legislative Alert.

North Carolina

 

9/23/13 - North Carolina:
Senate Bill 626 makes several positive changes to the state's shelter regulations. AKC Government Relations worked to amend the measure to require those shelters that have access to microchip scanners to use them to help identify lost dogs when they come into the shelter. A further amendment was added in the House to allow animal control officers, firefighters, rescue squad workers, and state-appointed animal cruelty investigators to enter motor vehicles if there is probable cause that the animal confined in the vehicle is in circumstances that are likely to endanger or cause injury, suffering, or death. A reasonable effort must first be made to locate the owner or person responsible for the animal. This measure was signed by the governor on July 29.

8/1/13 - North Carolina:
House Bill 930 would “establish standards of care for “large commercial dog breeding facilities”, which are defined as those who own 10 or more intact females over the age of six months. AKC GR has expressed concern with the definition of commercial dog breeder being based on ownership rather than actual sales or commerce. HB 930 has passed the House and is pending in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

1/25/13- North Carolina:
A breeder regulations bill is expected to be introduced when the North Carolina General Assembly convenes in January 2013. It is expected that this bill will be virtually identical to those introduced in previous sessions, which would impose unreasonable and potentially harmful regulations on responsible owners of intact dogs. North Carolina residents are encouraged to contact their State Representative and State Senator and ask that they not support breeder regulations in the 2013 session.9/17/12 - Lenoir, NC update:
The Lenoir City Council approved a measure on August 21 that would define "high volume animal breeder" as one who maintains 6 or more adult female animals "for breeding purposes." An adult female dog is defined as one over 12 months of age. Vague exemptions are provided for anyone who can provide "verifiable documentation" that their animals are used for show, hunting, service, performance, or therapy, or are part of adoption/rescue services. Documentation may include show premiums, copies of show entries, proof of AKC or UKC registration, or copies of payment transactions for any activity that qualifies as an exemption. Those who would be considered a "high volume animal breeder" under this proposal are required to obtain a license, be subject to an unannounced inspection at least once per year, and comply with general care standards. Many of the amendments and concerns raised by the AKC were addressed, including removing a clause that would only allow breeders to operate in areas zoned for business or industrial use.

8/28/12 - NC:
The American Kennel Club has learned that several North Carolina breeders have been contacted by unknown individuals requesting an inspection of their kennels facilities. The callers have stated that they are with a new group in the area.
The AKC would like to remind all North Carolina dog owners and breeders to be sure that that they know, understand and follow all dog laws in their jurisdiction and to be wary of unknown or unauthorized individuals seeking to conduct inspections of their facilities. AKC inspectors always identify themselves by name, their affiliation with the AKC and carry identification.

6/7/12 - Lenoir, NC:
The Lenoir City Council has tabled amendments to the zoning and animal control ordinances that would have a significant impact on owners of intact dogs. The amendment would define a “high-volume breeder” as a breeder who owns five intact dogs, and makes no indication as to whether the dogs are actually being bred. It would also define a “high-volume dog retailer” as someone who sells 30 dogs in a calendar year. Anyone who meets either of these definitions would only be permitted to keep their dogs in areas zoned for business or industrial use, be subject to annual inspections, and required to comply with numerous other regulations. The council tabled the amendments until August 7 and will convene a committee of legislators and interested parties to draft a new proposal.

5/30/12 -The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has drafted a proposal that would make numerous changes to its animal control code, including further limiting dog ownership. The county already limits residents in zoned areas to owning three adult dogs (defined as 5 months of age or older). There are no limits on cats or farm animals. The current draft would limit those residing in single-family, residential lots of 20,000 square feet or less to owning no more than three total dogs or cats. Those residing in multifamily housing would be limited to two dogs or cats combined. The City of Fayetteville has indicated that it will consider whatever is adopted by the county. The draft is currently pending with the Policy Committee, and no hearing date has yet been announced.

6/1/11 North Carolina:
House Bill 426/Senate Bill 2, called “Chamberlin’s Law,” would expand the state’s cruelty laws and lower the standard for the definition of cruelty from an act that is “intentional” to an act that is only “reckless.” While exceptions are made for physical alteration of livestock and poultry to conform to breed standards, no exception is made for dogs. Anyone who is found guilty could be prohibited from owning or having custody of dogs for an established period of time, and ordered to receive a psychiatric or psychological evaluation at his own expense. HB 426 has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary B. SB 2 has been re-referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. Neither bill is scheduled for a hearing.

1/13/10 - Lee County, NC to Host Informational Sessions on Mandatory Sterilization, Limits Etc. on Thursday 1/13 and 1/20

The Lee County Board of Commissioners will be hosting public forums to discuss a proposed animal control ordinance. While much of the proposal is focused on measures to protect the public from dangerous animals and prevent the spread of rabies, there are some sections of the proposal which are problematic. We encourage local responsible dog owners to attend these sessions, inform commissioners about their concerns and to work with the commissioners to amend the measure to remove or modify the provisions that are unfair to responsible owners and breeders.

Lee County Informational Meeting Details:
Date: Thursday, January 13th
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Greenwood Elementary School
1127 Greenwood Road
Sanford, NC 27330

Date: Thursday, January 20th
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Broadway Elementary School
307 South Main Street,
Broadway, NC 27505

Provisions of the ordinance include the following:
· Required sterilization of a dog on a second impoundment - The AKC believes that requiring that a dog be sterilized on a second impoundment is not reasonable. The violations may occur years apart and not be indicative of an irresponsible dog owner. Even responsible owners can have an animal escape due to a mistake by a meter reader, gardener, or friend leaving a gate open. If the intent is to address those owners who habitually allow their dogs to run at-large, a designated time frame for the impoundments to occur should be specified. The AKC does support the proposed graduated fines for owners whose dogs are impounded.

· Requirement that a dog be microchipped on a first impoundment

· A special permit requirement for anyone who owns more than thirty (30) combined dogs and cats – The fee will be at least $200, although the Lee County Board of Health will determine the exact fee. It is unclear what the requirements or process will be to obtain this special permit. AKC also believes that whenever possible, fees should be specified in the code rather than set by non-elected officials outside the legislative process.
· Minimum size requirements for any enclosure, pen or fenced in area, although dogs are not required to be kept in enclosures – An enclosure for one dog must be 100 square feet with sides at least 6-feet high. If the enclosure is utilized for more than one dog, it must be 100 square feet plus an additional square foot for each pound of the dogs’ total weight that exceeds 100 pounds. It is unclear exactly who this provision is aimed at, and what the basis is for the space formula.

· Established standards for tethered dogs

The draft of this measure can be seen on the county’s website here.

What You Can Do
· Attend the Lee County Commissioners meeting Monday December 6th and respectfully ask that the commissioners may changes to ensure that responsible breeders and owners are protected.

· Contact the members of the Lee County Board of Commissioners and respectfully ask them to make specific changes. The contact information is as follows:

Commissioner Richard B. Hayes, Chairman
2004 Vantage Point
Sanford, NC 27330
rhayes@leecountync.gov
Home: 919-774-7658

Commissioner Larry C. "Doc" Oldham, Vice Chairman
714 Clifton Ln.
Sanford, NC 27330
loldham@leecountync.gov
Home: 919-776-6615

Commissioner Amy M. Dalrymple
1449 Dalrymple Farm Rd.
Sanford, NC 27330
adalrymple@leecountync.gov
Fax: 919-258-5950
Home: 919-258-6695

Commissioner James C. Kelly
937 Valley Rd.
Sanford, NC 27330
jkelly@leecountync.gov
Home: 919-718-6513
Fax: 919-718-6607

Commissioner Nathan E. Paschal
5594 Carbonton Rd.
Sanford, NC 27330
epaschal@leecountync.gov
Home: 919-776-3257
Fax: 919-776-0126

Commissioner Robert T. Reives
827 Primrose Ln.
Sanford, NC 27330
rreives@leecountync.gov
Home:919-774-4434
Fax: 919-777-6567

Commissioner Linda A. Shook
7992 Villanow Dr.
Sanford, NC 27332
lshook@leecountync.gov
Home: 919-775-5557
Fax: 919-774-1120

12/15/10 - The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has accepted public input for a study of “companion animal welfare”. The study will focus on the welfare of dogs and cats, the oversight of public and private animal shelters, the state’s spay/neuter program, the scope of commercial breeding operations, and the protection of consumers who purchase companion animals. Upon completion, the findings of the report will be provided to the state legislature.

Guilford County, NC:
The Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance that regulates and defines high-volume breeders as anyone who owns seven or more intact females, regardless of whether they are bred. It further defines high-volume retailers as anyone who sells more than 50 dogs per year. Residents meeting these thresholds will be required to comply with a host of burdensome engineering standards and allow inspections of their private property even when no proof of animal cruelty or neglect exists. A previous version of the ordinance contained an exemption for breeders who passed AKC’s rigorous inspections programs, but this was removed.

8/2/10 - Senate Bill 460 died in the House of Representatives. Read more about this victory

6/17/10 NC Alert: Hearing on SB 460 Likely Next Week
[Thursday, June 17, 2010]

The AKC Government Relations Department has learned that the House Finance Committee will likely consider Senate Bill 460 on Thursday, June 24.

5/24/10 - The North Carolina General Assembly officially convened their 2010 regular session last week. Over the next few months, they will work on a state general budget and decide whether or not to consider many pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 460.

SB 460 seeks to regulate dog breeding in North Carolina. The American Kennel Club supports reasonable and enforceable laws that target irresponsible dog owners and substandard animal care. However, SB 460 does none of these things nor does it improve the wellbeing of dogs. Some specific concerns with this bill include:

Vague definition of “commercial breeder”. The bill defines “commercial breeder” as someone who owns 15 or more intact female dogs “of breeding age” and 30 or more puppies. It is not clear if this is a cumulative number owned over a lifetime, or the number on a property at one time. If the measure is intended to address commerce, this should be defined by the number of dogs sold, rather than by what an individual owns.

North Carolina already has effective animal abuse laws. SB 460 will do nothing to protect the health or welfare of dogs in North Carolina. North Carolina’s existing animal welfare statutes, if properly enforced, actually do a better job of protecting dogs than the provisions of SB 460 will, should the bill be enacted.

Creation of a new, unfunded mandate for counties. SB 460 gives the state authority to initiate investigations on complaints against commercial breeders, but it makes county authorities responsible for conducting the investigations and follow-up work pursuant to the state’s motion. It does not, however, provide funding for this.

False and misleading legislative findings. The bill’s legislative findings are based on unsubstantiated claims and state that the bill does not interfere with a person's right to participate in hunting and working activities with their dog. However, the bill only exempts those who board or train – not those who breed – dogs for show, hunting, working, etc.

Animal rights groups are already lobbying their legislators to encourage them to take up this bill. To counteract this push, we are asking all North Carolina dog clubs, breeders, and responsible dog owners to also contact their state representative and respectfully inform them that you are a constituent and oppose SB 460.

Urge your Representative to oppose SB 460 and not let the bill move forward. Explain that reasonable people oppose this misleading bill, which creates an unfunded mandate and does nothing to improve the well-being of dogs. Remind them that the state has good negligence and cruelty laws, which if fully enforced, address the issue of substandard kennels. Thank them for their service, and tell them you will remember their assistance in opposing this bill at election time.

For information on how to contact your legislators, visit the North Carolina General Assembly’s web site and put your zip code in the “Who Represents Me?” box on the right side of the home page.

9/1/09 North Carolina

Senate Bill 460 as amended provided a vague definition of “commercial breeder” that included anyone who owns or maintains at least 15 intact females at least one year of age and 30 puppies. It also had problematic legislative findings and created an unfunded mandate for counties to inspect complaints. The bill sponsor pulled SB 460 from consideration in the House Finance Committee, and the bill is dead for the year.

6/30/09 - North Carolina

Senate Bill 460 – This bill defines “commercial breeder” as "any person who, during any 12-month period, owns or maintains 15 or more intact female dogs of breeding age for the primary purpose of the sale of their offspring as companion animals. Breeding facilities could be subject to random inspections, including potential warrantless searches of licensees’ homes. The bill passed the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee.

House Bill 733 – This bill seeks to strictly regulate dog breeding in the Tarheel State by imposing ownership and breeding limits. The bill defines “commercial breeder” as any person who maintains 15 or more adult female dogs during any 12-month period for the purpose of selling their offspring and limits ownership to 20 female dogs over four months of age at any time. The bill also bans the breeding of female dogs less than 18 months or over eight years of age.

NC - the Town of Fuquay-Varina will hold a public hearing at 7pm Monday, October 1st at the Town Hall (401 Old Honeycutt Road) to discuss proposed changes to the zoning ordinance. Fanciers and concerned dog owners are strongly encouraged to attend.

These changes include the establishment of a kennel definition which defines a kennel as any residence having 4 or more dogs, cats or other domestic animals. The ordinance further states that kennels can only be located on lots of 2 acres or greater. Therefore, any person in a residential neighborhood with a lot smaller than 2 acres would be prohibited from owning more than 3 domestic animals. The measure does NOT include a grandfather clause, so residents could be forced to surrender any animals over the limit.

The AKC Canine Legislation department is sending a letter to the Fuquay-Varina Town Commissioners along with copies of our Limit Laws: Better Alternative brochure. (This can be seen on our website at
http://www.akc.org/pdfs/GLEG02.pdf .)

It appears that this ordinance is being drafted in response to the behavior of one irresponsible dog owner. As you know, good nuisance laws and an enforced leash law would provide the town with the tools to address this person’s inappropriate behavior.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would still like your voice to be heard on this issue, please write a letter or email to the town commissioners before the meeting. Their contact information can be found online at

http://www.fuquay-varina.org/commissioners/.

North Dakota  
Ohio

12/20/13 - Ohio:
House Bill 274 modifies the state’s animal cruelty laws and creates a new definition of “serious physical harm” against a companion animal. This is considered any harm that carries a substantial risk of death, results in partial or total incapacity, or involves acute pain and substantial pain. Those who knowingly cause serious physical harm as defined in the bill are guilty of a fifth degree felony. This penalty will also be assessed to any kennel owners or any person who confines or is the custodian or caretaker of a companion animal and negligently commits an act of cruelty or deprives the animal of proper food, water and shelter. Sponsor testimony was heard in the House Judiciary Committee on October 16. It is understood that amendments were approved, but those have not yet been made publicly available. Subsequent committee hearings on this bill are expected soon.

8/1/13 - Ohio update:
Senate Bill 130 regulates "high volume" dog breeders in Ohio, defined as those who produce 9 litters of puppies and sell 60 puppies in a calendar year. Those who meet this definition are required to obtain an annual license and inspection. The inspections may be conducted by local veterinarians. Standards of care will be established by the state Department of Agriculture and reviewed by an advisory board. Rescues will also be required to register with the state, but will not have to comply with the same regulations as high volume breeders. The law went into effect on March 13, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture will require high volume breeders and rescues to register as soon as the regulations are finalized.

1/25/13 - Ohio update:
Senate Bill 130 regulates "high volume" dog breeders in Ohio, defined as those who produce 9 litters of puppies and sell 60 puppies in a calendar year. Those who meet this definition are required to obtain an annual license and inspection. The inspections may be conducted by local veterinarians. Standards of care will be established by the state Department of Agriculture and reviewed by an advisory board. As originally introduced, Senate Bill 130 would have negatively impacted hobbyists and sportsmen, created a new governmental dog breeding oversight board with no breeder representation, and instituted unreasonable engineering requirements and standards of care not in the best interest of dogs. Another bill introduced would have created even more unreasonable standards and regulated ear cropping and tail docking. This second bill never received a hearing, and most amendments recommended by AKC GR and AKC’s Ohio federation were incorporated into the final version of SB 130. Governor Kasich signed the measure into law on December 11.

4/2/12- Senate Bill 130 seeks to regulate “high volume” dog breeding in Ohio, defined as those who produce at least 9 litters of puppies and sell 60 or more dogs in a calendar year. A number of changes requested by AKC GR have been incorporated into the bill, including removal of problematic standards and ensuring that high volume breeders are represented on a proposed advisory board. The AKC remains concerned that the new definition of “kennel” could be interpreted to mean any owner of an intact dog. While those who fall under this definition will not be affected by Senate Bill 130, the AKC still requests that this amendment be stricken and the definition of kennel remain as it is in current law, which clarifies that a kennel license is required for those who are “professionally engaged in the business of breeding dogs…”. SB 130 has passed the Senate and is pending in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee. Read more about this legislation.

6/1/11 Ohio:
Senate Bill 130 seeks to regulate “high volume” dog breeding in Ohio, defined as those who produce at least 9 litters of puppies and sell 60 or more dogs in a calendar year. The bill is very similar to Senate Bill 95 from 2010, which, in its final version, included a number of changes requested by the AKC, but still contained several provisions of concern. These include a definition of “kennel” that could be interpreted to mean any owner of an intact dog and problematic standards for “high volume breeders.” The bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources Committee, but no hearing has been scheduled.
10/26/10 - North Olmstead, OH
The North Olmsted City Council unanimously postponed a vote on a dog breeding proposal and sent it back to committee after numerous concerns were voiced by local dog owners. As introduced, the proposal defined “breeder” as anyone who has ever had an unspayed female on their premises, had two litters birthed within 18 months on their premises, and has advertised the sale of puppies under 6 months of age or advertised an unspayed female dog for breeding purposes. The definition would apply even if someone met these criteria before the proposed law was enacted. Under the proposed law, breeders could keep two intact dogs, as long as their residential lot is at least one acre. An additional acre is required for each additional intact dog, regardless of breed.

9/23/10: House Bill 570 – This legislation seeks to provide an alternative to Senate Bill 95. It defines a commercial breeder as anyone who maintains at least five dogs used for breeding; promotes, advertises, operates, supervises, or manages the business of breeding dogs; or sells, leases, trades, barters or auctions dogs. The bill also places an ownership cap of 50 dogs, bans debarking, ear cropping, and tail docking, and allows for inspections and seizure of animals regardless of whether the kennel owner is present. The bill was introduced on August 23, and has not yet been assigned to committee. For more information on this bill, visit http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4175.

7/12/10: Ohio update:
Senate Bill 95 , which seeks to regulate “high volume” dog breeding in Ohio, was passed by the Senate State & Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committee. It defines “high volume dog breeder” as one who produces at least 9 litters and sells at least 60 puppies and/or adult dogs per year. Numerous amendments have been added to address many of the AKC’s concerns, including ensuring breeder representation on the new Kennel Control Authority Board and eliminating the limits on breeding ages. Other problematic provisions remain, however, including a definition of “kennel” that could be interpreted to mean any owner of a purebred dog and problematic standards for “high volume breeders".

5/24/10 - As introduced, Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 124 seek to regulate dog breeding in Ohio and contain numerous provisions of concern to the AKC. The bills have received hearings, but no votes at this time. A substitute bill for Senate Bill 95 was introduced which addressed many of the AKC’s concerns, but still contains some problematic provisions. Visit the AKC Government Relations web page or contact the GR Department for the latest information.

1/12/10 House Bill 124 – As introduced, this bill included many arbitrary and unenforceable requirements for kennels, limits and restrictions on breeding ages and numbers of litters, and unclear licensing requirements. A substitute amendment has been offered that addresses some issues, including allowing breeders to dock tails and remove dewclaws if the puppy is under 96 hours old. Many concerns still remain. The bill has received a hearing, but has not yet had a vote in committee. Read the latest on House Bill 124.

11/17/09 - Senate Bill 95 - the Ohio Senate State & Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee will allow supporters of Senate Bill 95 to testify in a hearing on October 6. Opponents of the measure will be given an opportunity to speak at a later hearing. All concerned dog owners and breeders in Ohio are encouraged to contact the committee, as well as their State Senator, to express any concerns or feedback they have on this bill.

The AKC is concerned with many provisions in Senate Bill 95 as introduced, including, but not limited to:

• Broad definition of "Regulated Dog Intermediary". Anyone who sells, exchanges, donates, or gives away at least nine dogs a year or sells or gives one dog to a pet store is subject to a $500 annual license fee. This definition also does not exclude breeders, and it is unclear if those who acquire a dog breeding kennel license must also obtain a regulated dog intermediary license.
• Arbitrary, unenforceable kennel requirements and standards of care. The detailed requirements outlined in this bill are nearly impossible to enforce and do not account for the varying needs of different dog breeds or the enormous costs these new standards would impose on responsible breeders.
• Little breeder representation within Kennel Control Authority Board. Besides one member "in good standing of a national breed parent club of the American Kennel Club", breeders have no representation on the board that will set the standards of care, oversee licensing, and conduct inspections. While the AKC appreciates that parent clubs are being recognized for their expertise, breeders should have more than one representative on a board regulating dog breeding in Ohio.
In addition, the bill creates a new board to oversee implementation and inspections, which the Ohio Legislative Service Commission reports will likely cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the amount the state receives in license fees. The Commission acknowledges that the number of dog kennels in Ohio requiring licensing under this bill is unknown, so they cannot accurately project the amount of revenue the fees will generate for the state

 

6/30/09 - Ohio - Senate Bill 95/House Bill 124 – These bills were recently introduced, and feature 42 pages of breeder oversight and restriction provisions. They include provisions for search and seizures, limiting ear cropping and tail docking, limiting bitches to one litter per year, providing the Ohio Humane Society with greater powers, and creating a kennel control authority board.

Oklahoma

7/31/12 - Oklahoma update:
House Bill 2921 was signed by the Governor on May 29, 2012. Temporary regulations pursuant to HB 2921 are pending in the State Board of Agriculture.

6/7/12 - House Bill 2921 and Senate Bill 1919 would make several positive changes to the state's dog breeder regulations. Changes include dissolving the controversial Commercial Pet Breeder Board and moving oversight to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. Other changes include amending the definition of “adult animal” from 6 months of age to 12 months of age and the definition of “intact female animal” from a female 6 months of age to 9 months of age. Both bills have passed and House Bill 2921 has been amended conference committee. The bills now await final approval.

12/21/11 - Tulsa, OK:
After a proposal containing numerous breeder regulations was tabled this summer, a second measure proposed by a member of the Tulsa City Council in October would have defined "commercial breeder" as anyone who possessed an intact female animal for "sale, indirect sale or exchange". The proposal would also have limited those who hold Hobbyist Exemption Permits to owning five intact dogs or cats and breeding only one litter per year. As with the previous proposal, those who held a private kennel permit would be exempt from the city’s current limit laws, but those would only be issued for industrial or commercial zoned areas. Thanks to the diligence and persistence of local clubs and hobby breeders, who continued to educate the members of the council and attend every hearing after the first proposal was tabled, the measure was pulled from consideration just prior to the final vote on November 3, 2011. 4/5/11 Oklahoma:
Senate Bill 773 seeks to make numerous amendments to the commercial pet breeders laws. Among other provisions, the committee amendment would exempt all those who breed hunting, sporting and working dogs and require that any rules established by the Commercial Pet Breeders Board be first approved by the state Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry. The requirements for annual inspections are removed and replaced with inspections on receipt of a written complaint. These complaints may be made against breeders, animal shelters, or rescues that have contracts with local municipalities. The amendment has been approved by the House Agriculture & Rural Development Committee and now goes to the Appropriations Committee.

1/5/11 - Oklahoma :
Oklahoma has created the Oklahoma State Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to regulate commercial animal breeding in the state. This is in response to Senate Bill 1712, which passed the legislature earlier this year. The board has published draft regulations for comment, which define a “commercial pet breeder” as any person who possesses or has possessed eleven or more adult intact females in the past twelve months. Problematic provisions include high application and inspection fees, vague definitions, and strict kennel and handling requirements.

5/24/10 - Senate Bill 1712, called the “Commercial Pet Breeders Act”, classifies anyone with 11 or more intact females as a commercial breeder. Commercial breeders now have to be licensed and have their facilities inspected. The bill also creates the Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to oversee enforcement. SB 1712 was signed by the Governor on May 5, 2010. Read the AKC Legislative Alert.

4/22/10 - Senate Bill 1340 – This bill, entitled the “Kennel Definitions Act”, defines a “commercial breeder” as one who harbors 25 intact females. The bill would require show and hobby breeders to adhere to the same care and conditions requirements as commercial breeders. SB 1340 also provides consumer protection language and seeks to be the first law to explicitly define the term “puppy mill.” The bill has passed the Senate as well as the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee.

Senate Bill 1712 – This bill, called the “Commercial Pet Breeders Act”, would classify anyone with 11 or more intact females as a commercial breeder. Commercial breeders would have to be licensed and have their facilities inspected. The bill would also create the Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to oversee enforcement. SB 1712 has passed the Senate, as well as the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee.

3/1/10 Senate Bill 1712 – This bill, called the “Commercial Pet Breeders Act”, would classify anyone with 11 or more intact females as a commercial breeder. Commercial breeders would have to be licensed and have their facilities inspected. The bill will also create the Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to oversee enforcement of the Act. SB 1712 has been assigned to the Senate Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services.

3/1/10 Senate Bill 1340, called the “Kennel Definitions Act”, defines a “commercial breeder” as one who harbors 25 intact females. The bill would also require show and hobby breeders to adhere to the same care and conditions requirements as commercial breeders. SB 1340 also provides consumer protection language and seeks to be the first law to legally define the term “puppy mill”.
Senate Bill 2186 would create the Companion Pet Protection Act. The bill classifies anyone who harbors more than 25 intact female dogs as a commercial breeder. It further requires these breeders to be USDA certified and follow federal care and conditions guidelines. The bill also requires hobby and show breeders to register with the state.
House Bill 2743 would create the Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act, and would require anyone who transfers more than 35 or more dogs or cats to adhere to the provisions of the act. The act would require licensure and inspection of facilities, and empower the state’s Board of Agriculture to develop rules, as advised by a citizen committee, for care and conditions in licensed facilities.

6/30/09 - Oklahoma – As originally written, HB 1332 would have provided, among other things, for warrantless search and seizure and required that out-of-state breeders be licensed in Oklahoma to transport animals in Oklahoma. An amendment has removed some of the problematic language, but some concerns remain. The bill has passed the House, and will now be sent to a conference committee for amendments prior to reconsideration by the full Senate.

5/13/08 - Oklahoma, Ponca City - This proposed ordinance mandates that owners spay or neuter their dogs unless they obtain a potentially costly permit for each intact dog. The City Commission is considering this proposal, and may refer it back to the Animal Control Board for further review.

Oregon

6/1/11 Oregon:
House Concurrent Resolution 12 recognizes the AKC Canine Good Citizenship program, encourages owners to train their dogs and urges kennel clubs to provide training programs in their communities. The measure is in the House Rules Committee.

4/5/11 Oregon:
House Concurrent Resolution 12 recognizes the AKC Canine Good Citizenship program, encourages owners to train their dogs and urges kennel clubs to provide training programs in their communities. The measure is in the House Rules Committee.

House Bill 3047 will expand the definition of “farm use” to include land used for the purpose of breeding, raising, kenneling, showing or training dogs for racing or other canine skills including, agility, obedience, tracking, lure coursing and herding. The measure will be heard in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on March 28th. The GR department has sent a letter of support to the members of the committee and asked Oregon dog clubs to support the measure.

2/8/11 Oregon:
House Bill 2471 – This bill seeks to prohibit people who have been convicted of animal abuse, animal neglect or animal assault from being employed by a kennel or grooming parlor. The bill also changes “owner” to “keeper” in certain sections of law.

House Bill 2724 – This bill would create the crime of animal endangerment, defined as leaving a dog or cat in a car when the weather is a danger to the animal’s health. HB 2724 will allow law enforcement officers to remove the animal and to cite the owner for a Class B traffic violation.

6/30/09 - Oregon bills:

House Bill 2470 – House Bill 2470 severely limits the rights of breeders. Among other provisions, House Bill 2470 imposes significant and cumbersome operational requirements on all who own 10 or more intact dogs of any age and requires breeders to comply with an unreasonable two-year consumer protection term. The bill also outlaws anyone from possessing more than 25 intact dogs 4 months of age or older. HB 2470 passed the House and is awaiting a hearing by the Senate Consumer Protection and Public Affairs Committee.

House Bill 2986 – This bill prohibits breeding dogs that share a common parent or grandparent. It makes the first violation subject to maximum fine of $360 and a second or subsequent violation subject to maximum fine of $720. The bill also requires breeder to keep records showing parentage and grandparentage of dogs and puppies. This bill has not yet received a hearing.

Pennsylvania

9/23/13 - Pennsylvania update:
Senate Bill 82 would make positive changes to the commonwealth's consumer protection laws. Among other changes, it clarifies that a dog cannot be declared "unfit for purchase" if the dog has intestinal or external parasites (unless the dog is clinically ill or dies), if the dog has an injury or illness likely contracted after the sale, or if the dog has a health problem that is disclosed in writing by the seller prior to the sale. The bill would also make reasonable changes to the timeframe for when a dog may be declared unfit for purchase and when the seller must be notified. AKC GR and its Pennsylvania federation are supporting this measure, which had unanimous support in the Senate and is pending in the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

8/1/13 - Pennsylvania update:
House Bill 82 addresses payment and care for animals seized when the owner is accused of cruelty. If the owner fails to pay the amount required by the court at any time during the proceedings, then ownership rights would be permanently forfeited — even if the owner is eventually found not guilty or charges are dismissed. Costs would be limited to $15 per day, per animal as well as “reasonable medical expenses”, which must be documented by a veterinarian. AKC GR still believes that this could be very cost-prohibitive for some owners. The bill has passed the General Assembly and is pending on the Governor's desk.

Pennsylvania:
Senate Bill 82 would make positive changes to the commonwealth’s consumer protection laws. Among other changes, it clarifies that a dog cannot be declared “unfit for purchase” if the dog has intestinal or external parasites (unless the dog is clinically ill or dies), if the dog has an injury or illness likely contracted after the sale, or if the dog has a health problem that is disclosed in writing by the seller prior to the sale. The bill would also make reasonable changes to the timeframe for when a dog may be declared unfit for purchase and when the seller must be notified. AKC GR and its Pennsylvania federation are supporting this measure, which had unanimous support in the Senate and is pending in the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

4/1/13 - House Bill 82 addresses payment and care for animals seized when the owner is accused of cruelty. If the owner fails to pay the amount required by the court at any time during the proceedings, then ownership rights would be permanently forfeited – even if the owner is eventually found not guilty or charges are dismissed. Costs would be limited to $15 per day, per animal as well as “reasonable medical expenses”, which must be documented by a veterinarian. AKC GR still believes that this could be very cost-prohibitive for some owners. The bill has passed the House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

12/12/12- Pennsylvania:
House Bill 2409 could force owners to relinquish their animals when they are accused of cruelty, regardless of whether the charges are ultimately dismissed. The AKC is concerned with several provisions in this bill, including the forfeiture of all ownership rights if the accused fails to pay the amount mandated by the court at any time during the trial. The bill has passed the House and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

11/12/12 - Gilberton, PA:
The Gilberton Borough Council is considering a proposal that would limit ownership to 4 dogs. This is a reaction to recent nuisance and noise complaints in the community. A vote is expected on September 27.

6/1/11 Philadelphia, PA:
The Philadelphia City Council has passed a proposal that makes numerous changes to dog licensing and ownership laws. Among other provisions, it limits ownership to two intact dogs and requires kennel licenses for anyone who owns 13 or more dogs or cats (regardless of whether they are intact). The proposal also prohibits shelters and pet stores from adopting out or selling dogs that have not been sterilized. The ordinance is pending on the mayor’s desk.4/13/11

PA – Philadelphia – Limits, sterilization
The Philadelphia City Council is considering numerous changes to its animal control code, including limits on dog ownership, requiring the sterilization of any animal sold, and numerous new licensing provisions.

Bill 110210 has already passed the City Committee on Law and Government. It will be formally presented to the full city council on Thursday, April 14, and is expected to be given a final vote on April 28. It is imperative that all responsible owners and breeders in Philadelphia, as well as clubs who host shows in the city, contact the council TODAY and express your concerns with this proposal.

Find the names and contact numbers for the Philadelphia City Council here.

If you would also like to attend the City Council hearing on April 14 and express your comments or concerns during the public comment portion of the agenda, the meeting information is as follows:

Philadelphia City Council Meeting

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time: 9:30 a.m. (*Committee of the Whole is at 9:30, and the full council meeting will begin at approximately 10:00 a.m.)

Location: Philadelphia City Hall, Room 400

Summary:

The AKC strongly supports and promotes responsible dog ownership, but is concerned about a few of the changes Bill 110210 makes to the city’s animal code, including:

Requiring that all dogs and cats sold be sterilized – Exceptions include dogs obtained by a governmental entity for law enforcement or public safety, dogs obtained to be service or guide dogs, and dogs “of a recognized breed, obtained for the purposes of participation in a recognized competition.” A newly-created Animal Control Agency would determine the requirements for establishing how the term “recognized breed” is defined, and how the participation can be proven. While the AKC appreciates the council’s recognition that dogs need to be intact for competition, it is not always possible to determine at the time of purchase whether or not a dog will be used for a recognized competition. Those who violate this provision will be subject to a fine and may be asked to cease operations (breeding/selling) for one year.

Limiting ownership to two intact dogs – Current law limits ownership to no more than 12 adult dogs or cats, of which no more than four may be intact. The proposal changes this to clarify that within the limit of 12, only 2 dogs and 2 cats may be intact. Exceptions are made for those licensed as a kennel (defined as a facility in which 13 or more dogs or cats combined are kept, bred, whelped, harbored, boarded, sold or in any way transferred in a calendar year).

New/increased license fees – Currently the city charges a $16 annual licensing fee for each intact dog and an $8.00 fee for each sterilized dog. Permanent licensing is available at the rate of $40 for each intact dog and $16 for each sterilized dog. This proposal would not allow the purchase of permanent licenses going forward, and increase the fee to $40/$16 each year. An additional license is required for all animal shelters and “animal retailers”. “Animal retailer” is defined as anyone “engaged in the business of selling dogs or cats to the ultimate owner…”. It is unclear if this would include anyone who ever sells even one dog or cat.

8/2/10 - Senate Bill 1417 transfers all duties prescribed in the state’s “Dog Law” (including individual dog and kennel licensing, penalties, etc.) from the state Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

9/1/09 Pennsylvania House Bill 39 – This bill seeks to update the statute regarding ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal, debarking, and surgical birth by requiring a veterinarian to perform all such procedures. HB 39 unanimously passed the House. The Senate also unanimously passed the bill after amendments were made in committee. The bill has been sent back to the House for its concurrence in the Senate's amendments. If concurrence is not reached, the bill will be sent to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

8/1/09Pennsylvania

House Bill 39 seeks to update the statute regarding ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal, debarking, and surgical birth by requiring a veterinarian to perform all such procedures. HB 39 unanimously passed the House and is awaiting a hearing by the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. AKC is working with the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs to address concerns with this bill.

11/22/08- Update on PA HB 2525

The AKC successfully impacted Pennsylvania House Bill 2525 by asking Senators to communicate with the commercial breeding community to address many of the unreasonable engineering provisions in the original bill. The bill, which makes extensive changes to Pennsylvania's Dog Law with regard to the issuance of dog licenses, kennel licenses, out-of-state dealer licenses, kennel requirements, and inspections of premises and dogs, was signed into law on Thursday, October 9th.

As a result of the AKC efforts and the organized and effective response of AKC breeder groups, many of the major concerns with the original language were addressed.

The new law also provides for the creation of the Canine Health Board, a regulatory body that will determine animal husbandry standards. The AKC will continue to address those issues through the regulatory and enforcement processes.

7/1/08- PA - The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will consider House Bill 2525, which is a rewrite of the state’s dog laws, at 10:00 AM, Thursday, June 12th, in Room 140 of the Main Capitol building in Harrisburg. Pennsylvania House staff report that a vote is not expected at this hearing.

The American Kennel Club has been closely monitoring the development of this legislation since Governor Rendell initiated a discussion about substandard kennels back in 2007. We share the Governor’s concerns about the issue of substandard kennels and acknowledge there are amendments needed to the current draft of the bill on which we offer our assistance. We plan to work through the amendment process to address these concerns so that the bill does not negatively impact responsible owners and breeders. However, failure of the legislature to provide relief for our concerns may require that AKC and its constituents actively oppose the bill.

Some of the specific provisions that the AKC is concerned about include the following:

· Imposing care and conditions engineering standards in addition to, or instead of, performance standards.
· Empowering the Department of Agriculture to obtain a search warrant for any, even minor, violation of its policies or procedures.
· Requiring that the Department be notified prior to the euthanization of any dog.
· Allowing searches on private residences not associated with the actual operation of a kennel.
· Permitting the Department to levy fines up to $1,000 and imprison violators for first offenses, no matter how minor the violation, without the option of warning the violator and allowing the opportunity to correct the offense.
· Granting the Department the power to require individuals to reduce their number of dogs to under the kennel threshold if not licensed as a kennel.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Pennsylvania residents should contact their representative as well as the members of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (listed below) who will hear HB 2525. Respectfully let them know that HB 2525 must be amended to insure that any substandard kennel operations in Pennsylvania are addressed while the rights of responsible breeders and owners are respected.

To find out who represents your district, go to the PA Legislature homepage and enter your zip code in the upper right hand corner.

PENNSYLVANIA – Pennsylvania Governor to Propose Rewrite of State Dog Law and New Proposed Dog Law Regulations

On December 19 representatives of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs met with officials representing Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's office and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at their request to discuss a broad rewrite of Pennsylvania's dog law and implementing kennel regulations. The Governor's spokesman
indicated the Governor wants to introduce the new legislation soon after the Pennsylvania legislature reconvenes in late January, 2008. The Governor's office is reaching out to a broad cross section of animal interest groups before introducing his new proposals in hopes of avoiding the near unanimous opposition to proposed dog law regulatory amendments that were proposed by the Governor in December, 2006.

The proposal would constitute the most comprehensive rewrite of the Pennsylvania Dog Law since its enactment in 1982. According to the Governor's spokesman, the new proposals address many of the criticisms and suggestions made in more than 60,000 written comments that were filed on the earlier proposed regulatory amendments. The new proposals are still in draft form, and are being distributed to interest groups on the condition that they not be made public at this time. The AKC and PA Federation agreed to review the drafts and provide input, but will take no position on the proposals until final language is agreed upon and publicly released.

PENNSYLVANIA- Last year, Pennsylvania Governor Rendell requested that the Department of Agriculture develop new dog law regulations. With little input from potentially affected parties, the resulting proposals attempt to impose many egregious requirements upon Pennsylvania dog breeders. The Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission issued a biting 21-page commentary on the proposal, and concluded that, “the Department should consider starting from scratch…with input from both stakeholders and the General Assembly.” The AKC and Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs continue to address the issues presented by this proposal. For more information, contact the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs or e-mail PFDC@paonline.com. Or contact the AKC’s Canine Legislation Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

PENNSYLVANIA – Governor Ed Rendell’s announcement of proposed changes to kennel regulations governing the housing and breeding of dogs requires the active involvement of purebred dog fanciers to assure that the right to own and breed dogs responsibly is protected. While the details of Rendell’s proposal have not been publicly released, his comments to the broadcast and print media suggest that the standards of care for the housing, maintenance, and socialization of dogs would establish unreasonable criteria if imposed on the responsible dog fancier. The Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs and the Canine Legislation Department will monitor the development of the Governor’s proposals and notify the fancy of upcoming Dog Law Advisory Board meetings and public comment periods.

Rhode Island

7/31/12 - Rhode Island update:
House Bill 7663 and Senate Bill 2035 have passed both houses. HB 7663 was signed by Gov. Chafee on June 20. SB2035 remains pending.

5/30/12 -House Bill 7663 seeks to make it a violation for a person to keep a dog outside for more than 14 hours during any 24-hour period. The AKC believes that the keeping of dogs in outdoor enclosures during appropriate weather conditions should not be subject to arbitrary time limitations.

9/1/11 Rhode Island update:
Senate Bill 140 /House Bill 5690
SB 140 was held for further study. HB 5690 passed the House. The General Assembly has adjourned and neither bill will advance this year. Read more about this legislation.

6/1/11 Rhode Island:
Senate Bill 140 – in addition to other provisions, this bill would make it a violation of the animal cruelty statute to keep any dog “outside, tethered, penned, caged or otherwise confined” for more than one hour without access to an outdoor housing facility, unless the person caring for the dog also remains outside. As currently written, this could mean that someone allowing their dog to play in a fenced-in backyard for an hour must have an outdoor facility available, unless they remain outside with the dog. The Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee has held two hearings, but not yet voted on the measure. Read more about SB 140

4/5/11 Rhode Island:
Senate Bill 140 – This bill, in addition to other provisions, would make it a violation of the animal cruelty statute to keep any dog “outside, tethered, penned, caged or otherwise confined” for more than one hour without access to an outdoor housing facility, unless the person caring for the dog also remains outside. As currently written, this could mean that someone allowing their dog to play in a fenced-in backyard for an hour must have an outdoor facility available, unless they remain outside with the dog. The Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee held this bill for further study
.

8/2/10 - Senate Bill 2022 passed the Senate, but was held in the House Judiciary Committee. The legislature has concluded its business for the year.

7/12/10 Rhode Island:
The Rhode Island Senate has passed Senate Bill 2022. As currently written, this bill would outlaw keeping any dog outside, tethered, penned, caged, fenced or otherwise confined for more than one hour without access to an “outdoor housing facility” unless the person in charge of the dog was also outside with it. The measure also uses “guardianship” language, which could undermine owners’ legal rights to their animals, and authorizes local humane society personnel to act as enforcement officers without requiring standard legal and procedural training. The bill will now be considered by the House Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina

2/8/11 South Carolina:
House Bill 3209 – This legislation provides that an order for protection from domestic abuse may also prohibit harm or harassment of pets owned by the petitioner. H.3209 is referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.

Senate Bill 200 – This bill would establish that a defendant in a civil or criminal case may be ordered to deposit funds for 30 days' care of impounded animals or forfeit rights of ownership, with no return of expended funds if determined not guilty. S.223 is referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Senate Bill 223 – This bill defines cruel confinement and restraint, makes it unlawful to confine or restrain animals in a cruel manner, and preempts all local laws governing the confinement and restraint of animals. S.223 is referred to Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Senate Bill 226 – This bill provides for registration with the county sheriff and community notification of persons convicted of felony animal abuse. S.223 is referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary

4/3/08 - South Carolina Bill 833 – tethering amended
South Carolina Senate Bill 833 is currently under consideration by the full Senate. The bill—which originally attempted to only address the restraint of dogs—has been amended and now unreasonably seeks to seriously limit the confinement of dogs in pens or crates. It is vital that all South Carolina enthusiasts, fanciers, and concerned dog owners contact the bill's sponsor and their state senator and voice their respectful opposition to this bill as written.

As currently written, SB 833 seeks to unreasonably define "confine an animal in a cruel manner" to include:
· Confining an animal for an unreasonable period of time. As used here, "unreasonable" is not defined. As such, arbitrary enforcement of this potential law can have a drastic affect on dogs in crates or pens at home; dogs in crates or pens at exhibitions, including dog shows and events; or
dogs in transport to exhibitions. SB 833 includes a list of activities that will be exempted from the provisions of the bill, but does not grant an exemption to the exhibition of animals, to animals transported for exhibition, or to related and incumbent activities.
· Confining that does not permit an animal access to sustenance. This provision is vague as to what types of sustenance would be required. Additionally, it does not take into consideration the accepted practice of dogs that, at exhibitions, are housed in crates or pens and have steady but
intermittent access to water and food in consideration of the animal's health, safety, or activity.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
South Carolina residents are encouraged to contact SB 833's sponsor, Senator Knotts, and urge your opposition to the bill as currently written. Encourage him to amend the bill to ensure that all onerous provisions of the bill are addressed while still attempting to protect animals subjected to cruel treatment. Also contact your state senator and express your concerns and urge amendment.

E-mail: Senator John M. "Jake" Knotts, Jr. (Sponsor)

Find your South Carolina State Senator

SOUTH CAROLINA – SB 234 will prohibit the denial, cancellation, or non-renewal of homeowners’ insurance based solely on the presence of one or more dogs, unless a specific dog on the premises has a documented history of causing significant damage to real or personal property or serious bodily injury to a person. The bill was introduced by Sen. Reese and has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance.

 

South Dakota 3/1/10 House Bill 1146 sought to classify anyone who keeps 30 or more adult female dogs as a commercial breeder, and limits ownership to 50 dogs. The bill also sought to impose record-keeping requirements and provides care and conditions definitions, investigations, and penalties for violations. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee unanimously tabled the bill on February 9, 2010.
Tennessee

12/20/13 - Johnson City, TN:
The Johnson City Commission has approved a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance on second reading, and a final vote is scheduled for December 5, 2013. Under this ordinance, all cats and dogs six months of age and older would be required to be surgically sterilized unless the owner obtains a $25 unaltered permit for each animal or qualifies for an exemption. Exemptions would include service dogs, police dogs, non-resident dogs, dogs in animal shelters and veterinary hospitals, dogs certified by a veterinarian as unfit for surgery, and dogs owned by a commercial breeder licensed by the state. It is unclear if dogs maintained for hunting as defined by state code, dogs maintained for training and/or handling purposes, and dogs in boarding kennels would be exempted. Permit holders would be required to make the unaltered animal permit certificate available for inspection at all times. Violations would subject to a fine of $50 per occurrence per day.

9/23/13 - Chattanooga, TN:
Amendments to the city's animal control ordinance were removed from the city council agenda prior to a final vote so citizens' concerns may be addressed. The proposed amendments included vague definitions of "kennel" and "dealer" that could have outlawed home-based hobby breeding of companion animals on residentially-zoned properties in the city.

10/26/10 - Nashville, TN
The Nashville Metro Health Department is considering proposing an ordinance that, among other provisions, would restrict the number of dogs and cats (combined) older than four months that may be maintained on a property. The draft proposal would allow five cats and/or dogs on properties of less than an acre, ten on 1.5 to 2.5 acres, twenty on 2.5 to 5 acres, and 21 or more on larger properties.

10/26/10 - Memphis, TN
The Memphis City Council has adopted changes to their animal control ordinance, including mandatory sterilization of all dogs unless the owner purchases a $200 Fertile Animal Permit. The ordinance also defines any dog that has “bitten once and been at-large twice” as a dangerous dog.

8/6/10 - Memphis to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter, New Dangerous Dog Definitions & Fee Increases on August 10th!

The Memphis City Council Services & Neighborhood Committee will consider four ordinances amending the city’s animal control laws on Tuesday, August 10th. The proposal will require mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs over 29 pounds, define any dog that has “bitten once and been at-large twice” as a dangerous dog, increase fees for owners of intact dogs and limit tethering. It is vital that responsible dog owners and breeders attend this meeting to oppose these changes. Read More.

2/15/10 The Johnson City Commission will have a second reading of a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance at their February 18th meeting. The commissioners will cast a final vote upon third reading. It is imperative that responsible owners and breeders attend this meeting to express their opposition to this measure.

Johnson City Commission Meeting
Thursday, February 18th
6pm
601 East Main St.
Johnson City, TN 37601

Johnson City currently requires that all animals over 3 months of age be registered with the city’s Animal Control Center, but there is not a fee. The owner must provide a copy of the animal’s rabies vaccination and the registration is good for 3 years.

The proposed ordinance would require that all dogs and cats over the age of 6 months be spayed or neutered unless the owner obtains a $25 unaltered animal permit from the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Control Center. The ordinance requires that the certificate be available for inspection at all times.

This ordinance will only be enforced if the owner violates another provision of the city’s animal control code, but even a first violation will require that the animal be spayed or neutered.

6/30/09 - Tennessee – House Bill 386 and Senate Bill 258 seek to limit the number of dogs an individual may own; implement inspections of any premises without warrant or proving probable cause, where more than 20 intact companion animals over six months old are maintained; and permit the Commissioner of Agriculture to confiscate animals and allow national humane organizations to house these animals.

Texas

12/20/13 - Houston, TX:
The staff of BARC, the City of Houston's animal shelter and adoption facility, is drafting proposed updates to the city's animal ordinances. The original draft proposal considered all breeding of dogs to be commercial and would have required all breeders to acquire commercial breeding permits. All non-commercial breeding of animals would have been outlawed. Because most land use in Houston is controlled by home owners' association covenants, which almost uniformly prohibit commercial activity on controlled lands, hobby breeding in Houston could have been effectively ended if the original draft had been adopted. BARC officials have been provided with extensive explanations as to why the original proposal would be detrimental to responsible dog breeders, and BARC has publicly stated their intention to address those concerns. In the coming weeks, BARC is expected to introduce a revised proposal in the Houston City Council.

9/23/13 - Waco, TX:
The City of Waco may soon consider a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. The proposal is currently under development by the Waco Animal Welfare Advisory Board, and would have to appear before the City Council before it becomes law. As currently drafted, the proposal would require all domestic animals in the City of Waco to be spayed or neutered, except animals under four months of age, animals due to health reasons certified by a veterinarian to be unfit for sterilization procedures, animals trained for and used in police and rescue work, and animals used for show. The draft would also make numerous other changes to the City's animal ordinance. These changes would include a new definition of animal abandonment, humane tethering provisions, mandatory microchipping requirements, and repeal of the current intact animal permit.

4/1/13 - HB 1449 seeks to provide licensing and oversight to “pet dealers,” defined as “a person who sells or offers to sell, at retail to the public for use as pets, not fewer than 21 animals in a calendar year.” Provisions of the bill include inspection of dealer facilities, requirements to make disclosures at the time of sale of an animal, and standards of care.

12/12/12- Texas:
Licensing requirements of the Texas Dog and Cat Breeder Act went into effect on September 1, 2012. The AKC and many responsible dog owners and breeders in Texas are troubled with several aspects of the licensing and oversight program. The regulations were enacted as a no-cost measure; however, at this time there are a number of indications that the program's revenues will fall far short of sustainable levels and the program will likely become a fiscal drain on the Texas state budget. Currently, only 87 breeder licenses have been issued, which falls far short of the estimated 600 licenses required to cover basic operational costs of the program. The AKC is encouraging concerned Texas residents to contact their elected officials regarding these concerns.

5/30/12 -On March 22, the Abilene City Council discussed extensive revisions to its animal regulation ordinance, including differential licensing fees, dog ownership limits, and requiring the sterilization of dogs unless an intact animal permit was purchased. The Abilene City Council has tabled consideration of the proposal and is attempting to redraft the proposal to better meet the city’s needs.

12/21/11 - Texas:
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has until March 31, 2012 to draft new dog breeder regulations that will accompany the implementation of HB 1451, the breeder regulation bill that passed during the 2011 legislative session. The Advisory Committee has been formed and had their initial meeting, primarily to train members. There are two breeder representatives on the board, but because the statute requires that they be "licensed breeders," they will not be able to vote. The committee's next meeting is December 7, 2011 in Austin, TX. Affected breeders will have until September 1, 2012 to come into compliance with the regulations and obtain a license.

10/28/11 - Cedar Park, TX:
Cedar Park officials will be hosting a community input meeting on September 27 to allow residents to voice concerns regarding a proposed ordinance that will limit residents to a combined total of seven dogs and cats.

10/28/11 - Texas update:
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has until March 31, 2012, to draft regulations as required by HB 1541. Affected breeders will have until September 1, 2012 to come into compliance and obtain a license. TDLR has recently established a website to provide updates about this legislation and is accepting applications for the Advisory Committee that will participate in drafting these regulations.

7/13/11

Texas updates:
House Bill 998 has died upon adjournment of the legislature. The measure would have required the owner of any unneutered male dog over 20 pounds that is ever off the premises of the owner off-lead to purchase $100,000 per occurrence in liability insurance to cover instances of property damages, bodily injury or death.

House Bill 1451 would define a "licensed breeder" as anyone who owns 11 or more intact female animals (dogs or cats), sells 20 or more animal annually and is engaged in the breeding and sale of animals for consideration. Among other requirements, the newly-defined "licensed breeders" would be regulated by the Commission of Licensing and Regulation, and be required to undergo criminal background checks and allow an annual inspection of their property. According to the fiscal note, which estimates 600 breeders and a cost of over $565,000 annually, individual licenses are likely to cost close to $1000. The measure is before Governor Rick Perry. Read AKC’s most recent alert on HB 1451.

Senate Bill 1517 died upon adjournment of the legislature. The bill would have required any dog adopted out or returned to an owner by a releasing agency be sterilized unless specified conditions were met. The bill also would have required that owners of dogs and cats that were not sterilized obtain a $50 intact animal permit for each intact animal.

6/1/11 Texas update:
- HB 323 passed the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence and is awaiting a vote of the full House. SB 279 has been approved by the Senate and the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, and is now awaiting scheduling by the House Calendar Committee.
- House Bill 1451 would define a “licensed breeder” as anyone who owns 11 or more intact female animals (dogs or cats) and is engaged in the breeding and sale of animals for a profit. The measure passed the House and Senate Committee on Criminal Justice. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert on HB 1451. Read the most recent update.

Texas:
- House Bill 998 would require the owner of any unneutered male dog over 20 lbs that is ever off the premises of the owner off-lead to purchase $100,000 per occurrence in liability insurance to cover instances of property damages, bodily injury or death. The measure has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.
- Senate Bill 1517 would require any dog adopted out or returned to an owner by a releasing agency be sterilized unless specified conditions are met. The bill would require that owners of dogs and cats that are not sterilized obtain a $50 intact animal permit for each intact animal. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Committee on State Affairs.

4/13/11

Two House bills that place unreasonable burdens on responsible Texas dog owners and breeders but do not improve animal welfare made significant progress in the Texas House last week.

House Bill 1451, which would regulate and define as a commercial breeder those who own 11 or more intact female dogs or cats, has been approved by House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures and has been placed on the Local, Consent and Resolutions Calendar for Thursday, April 14th. This calendar is for noncontroversial, unopposed bills. It is not reasonable that HB 1451, which had significant opposition in committee, be considered on this calendar. It is crucial that responsible breeders and owners call their Representatives and ask to have this pulled off the calendar for a full vote of the House.

A procedural move to suspend House rules last week to enabled the House County Affairs Committee to hear House Bill 2116, another bill regulating owners and breeders, without notice of a public hearing. Although HB 2116 was left pending in committee, we expect the author to introduce a substitute bill shortly and ask for an immediate vote on this legislation.

Responsible breeders and owners are urged to immediately call or email their representative in the Texas House and ask him or her to oppose HB 1451 and HB 2116.

Click here and type in your address to find the name and contact information for your State Representative.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC also supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

To read the AKC’s letter on House Bill 1451 please click here.

To read the AKC’s letter on House Bill 2116 please click here.

Provisions of House Bill 1451

Defines a breeder as anyone who possesses 11 or more intact females.Simply owning a certain number of intact dogs does not indicate a large-scale breeding operation. This definition may encompass many small hobby breeders or sportsmen who produce only one or two litters a year.

Mandates an unannounced inspection by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), or their designee every 18 months. Due to the low thresholds in the bill, many of the breeders who will be licensed are not commercial operations and do not have regular business hours. Often, these people utilize their homes to breed their dogs. The AKC believes that to ensure that privacy and due process rights are protected, inspections, especially of private residences, should be performed pursuant to a warrant. Further, as these inspections are unannounced, it is unclear what would happen if a breeder is not at home when an inspector has gone to the expense of traveling to visit them.
Allows TDLR to charge an unspecified fee for licensure and inspection. The measure says fees should cover the cost of establishing and implementing an inspections program. HB 1451 further allows a tiered licensing schedule based on the number of dogs owned, but the cost may be excessive for someone who breeds only a litter or two a year. The fiscal note anticipates that this program will cost over $1.3 million to implement, with the full cost borne by the breeders. If the board’s estimate of one thousand breeders is close to accurate (and we believe this number to be high), then individual licenses are likely to cost thousands of dollars annually.
Requires an annual veterinary examination.This is burdensome for breeders in rural areas who have to transport their animals to a veterinarian. It also forces the breeder to spend money on healthy animals when the funds would better be used to care for animals with health concerns and to maintain and improve facilities. Parents are not required to have their children seen by a physician annually, nor are farmers and ranchers whose animals enter our food supply required to have annual veterinary examinations of each animal. This provision is costly and strips owners of their right to decide what care is best for their animals.
Establishes a public database of licensees and disciplinary actions. The thresholds in this bill are so low as to include many who breed dogs in their homes. It is unreasonable for a small breeder to be required to post their name, address and other personal information on a public registry.
Provisions of House Bill 2116

Prohibits any dog from being left outside and unattended in an enclosure unless at least 150 square feet of space is provided for each dog. This may mean some owners are unable to use existing dog runs or even yards if they do not contain enough square footage. This threshold is arbitrary, not based on any accepted animal husbandry principles and does not take into account a dog’s breed or activity level.
Defines a breeder as anyone who possesses 11 or more intact females. Simply owning a certain number of intact dogs does not indicate a large-scale breeding operation. This definition may encompass many small hobby breeders or sportsmen who produce only one or two litters a year.
Directs the Health & Humane Services Commission to promulgate additional regulations for commercial breeders. AKC believes that irresponsible breeders and owners can be successfully addressed using the state’s existing animal cruelty laws. Any additional regulations should be written by officials with extensive animal husbandry knowledge working in consultation with responsible breeders.

4/5/11 Texas:
House Bill 2116 will define anyone who owns 11 or more intact female animals (dogs or cats) and is engaged in the breeding and sale of animals for a profit as a commercial breeder. Under this measure, regulations for proper feeding, watering, housing, care, veterinary care, grooming, treatment, transportation and disposition of dogs would be drafted and enforced by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The bill also restricts tethering and outdoor confinement of dogs. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on County Affairs.
House Bill 3044 will allow county commissioners to prohibit the sale of dogs and cats on a public highway or road, in the right-of-way of a public highway or road, or in a parking lot.

Senate Bill 1517 will require any dog adopted out or returned to an owner by a releasing agency be sterilized unless specified conditions are met. The bill will require that owners of dogs and cats that are not sterilized obtain a $50 intact animal permit for each intact animal.

3/30/11 TX:
House Bill 998 will require the owner of any unneutered male dog over 20 lbs that is ever off the premises of the owner off-lead to purchase $100,000 per occurrence in liability insurance to cover instances of property damages, bodily injury or death. Read AKC’s alert on HB 998.

3/11/11 House Bill 1451 which will define and regulate breeders of dogs and cats will be heard in the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures on Tuesday, March 15th. Because the author is preparing extensive amendments and plans to introduce a substitute bill, no vote will be taken at this hearing. Responsible dog breeders are encouraged to attend the public hearing or contact the committee and the author’s office with their specific and respectful comments on the bill.

As introduced, HB 1451 defines a commercial breeder as anyone who owns eleven intact female animals (dogs and cats) and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for direct or indirect sale. The bill requires inspections of private property without any proof of animal neglect or cruelty, and breeders will be charged unspecified fees for their license.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC also supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedure Hearing
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
8am
State Capitol Room E2-012

Additional provisions of the bill as drafted include:
Requires an annual unannounced inspection of a breeder’s property. The low thresholds in the bill mean that small breeders will be included, many of whom may not have regular business hours. It is unclear what would happen if an inspector arrived and the owner was unavailable.

Inspections can be conducted by third-party designees, including local animal control officers and contract employees. Although the bill says the state “may” provide training to these inspectors, it does not mandate it. This creates the possibility that rules may not be equitably applied and that some inspectors may have little to no experience in animal husbandry.

Fees are not specified in the bill although the measure says they should cover the cost of establishing an inspections program, possible training for inspectors, and paying for the time and travel necessary to conduct inspections. It is possible that a tiered licensing schedule will be established based on the number of dogs owned, but the cost is likely to be excessive for someone who breeds only a few litters per year.

The bill will limit breeders to 50 intact females unless the breeder submits a special application and complies with any additional requirements developed in the regulation process.

Requires breeders undergo a criminal background check. AKC believes that it is appropriate to ensure that licenses are not provided to those who have animal cruelty violations, but that including unrelated offenses that have no bearing on the fitness of a dog breeder is unreasonable. This will also be an additional financial burden on the applicant who will likely bear the cost of the background check.

Establishes a public database of licensees and disciplinary actions. The thresholds in this bill are so low as to include many breeders who breed in their homes. It is unreasonable for a small breeder to be required to post their name, address and other personal information on a public registry.

Establishes the “Commercial Breeder Enforcement Enhancement & Training Fund” which may offer rewards for information leading to disciplinary action. This incentivizes frivolous reports of insignificant violations and will create a burden for inspectors and for the breeders who must fund the program. The bill does not address who pays the costs if a breeder is found innocent of allegations.

Regulations would be written and enforced by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. AKC is concerned that none of the commissioners has a background in agriculture or animal husbandry. We believe that it is vital that stakeholders, including responsible breeders, be involved in the drafting of regulations governing responsible animal ownership and breeding.

2/8/11 House Bill 323 /Senate Bill 279 will prohibit the removal of a pet, companion or assistance animal from the possession of a person named in a protective order. It also seeks to make it a crime to harm, threaten, or interfere with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal owned by a person named in a protective order.

12/15/10 - Longview, TX:
The Longview City Council has approved an ordinance which will limit residents to any combination of six dogs and/or cats. A dog that is impounded for roaming at-large will be required to be sterilized, even on a first offense, unless the owner pays a fine of at least $250.

9/23/10: El Paso, TX update:
The El Paso City Council has postponed a hearing for 60 days on changes to the animal control code. The original proposal included the establishment of differential license fees, breeder licensing and inspections, a requirement that a dog be sterilized on a second impoundment and a ban on the sale of cats and dogs within city limits. A working group has been formed to draft a new ordinance. AKC GR staff has sent a letter opposing these changes to the city council, has posted a legislative alert on our website and continues to work with local clubs to oppose these and other proposed unreasonable changes.

8/6/10 - El Paso City Council to Consider Numerous Licensing & Breeder Restrictions on August 10th The El Paso City Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday August 10th to discuss possible changes to the animal control code including differential license fees, breeder licensing and inspections, and a ban on sales of cats and dogs in pet stores. It is vital that responsible dog owners, breeders and fanciers oppose this legislation. Read More

8/2/10 - Waco - The Waco City Council has approved a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance which requires any resident with an intact dog to obtain a $50 license. Sterilized dogs are not required to be licensed.

8/2/10- Austin - The Austin Animal Advisory Commission is considering an ordinance to require pet traders (those who sell more than 15 dogs or cats in a year) pay a $50 fee for each intact animal they sell and file a variety of paperwork with the city. A second proposed ordinance would ban retail sales of dogs and cats within the city limits.

6/30/09 - Texas bills:

House Bill 458 – This bill seeks to allow Commissioners Courts of any county with a population of one million or more—which includes Harris County (Houston), Dallas County (Dallas), Tarrant County (Ft. Worth), Bexar County (San Antonio), and Travis County (Austin)—to limit the number of dogs an individual may keep at a residence located in a residential subdivision in an unincorporated area of the county. This bill passed the House County Affairs Committee and is awaiting a vote by the full House of Representatives.

House Bill 3180/Senate Bill 1910 – These bills establish strict licensing and regulation requirements for commercial dog and cat breeders. The bills also limit ownership to 50 intact animals. This bill received a hearing in the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee, but no vote was taken.

House Bill 4277/Senate Bill 1845 – These bills impose a mandatory spay/neuter requirement for dog owners in Texas. The bill requires every person who owns a dog or cat at least six months of age to sterilize the animal with very few exceptions. Owners wishing to own an intact dog may purchase a $300 permit for each animal. These bills have not yet received a hearing.

7/1/08- Dallas, TX - The Dallas City Council will consider proposed changes to the Dallas animal control ordinance on Wednesday, June 18th, at 9:00 AM, at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas. These changes include mandatory spay/neuter, breeder permitting, and limits on the number of pets that can be owned.

The American Kennel Club opposes the concepts of breeding permits, breedings bans, or the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the health and welfare of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

Unfortunately, the proposed draconian changes to Dallas' animal control ordinances conflict with the positions stated above. For example, the proposed changes would:

Require Dallas dog owners to spay or neuter each dog they own. The AKC believes that mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of animal control issues-irresponsible ownership. Mandatory spay/neuter laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners who do not license their pets. More laws, rules, and regulations increase the workload of already financially strained animal control offices, making it even more difficult for them to perform their duties.

To keep a dog intact, breeders are required to purchase a $500 breeder permit for each intact dog every year. However, breeder licensing fees place an undue burden on responsible breeders and owners and fail to address irresponsible individuals who neither comply with existing law nor will
comply with new laws. Such fees therefore punish responsible breeders who give the care and attention that puppies need in order to grow into healthy, well-adjusted companions and neighbors. Responsible local breeders encourage responsible dog ownership and should be viewed as assets to their communities and should not be subjected to punitive fees.

Impose a limit on the number of pets owned to six dogs or cats (or combination of both) per dwelling. However, limit laws are easily evaded, difficult to enforce, and fail to address the actions of irresponsible owners. In the alternative to limit laws, effective enforcement of existing leash and curbing laws, rather than passage of burdensome new laws, will prevent pet owners from allowing their animals to run loose.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

It is imperative that all Dallas-area residents call and fax Mayor Tom Leppert and the members of the Dallas City Council to respectfully let them know that you OPPOSE the proposed changes to Dallas's animal ordinance.

5/13/08 - Texas, Dallas - A burdensome ordinance is currently pending in the Quality of Life Committee of the Dallas City Council that, if enacted, will mandate dogs be spayed or neutered unless the owner obtains a breeder permit for each intact dog. Breeder permits will only be issued to owners of dogs of recognized breeds that are registered with a national registry and who are members of a purebred dog club that has been approved by the Director of Animal Services. The permit will cost a staggering $500 per year per dog and will restrict breeding to one litter per permit per year. Breeders are prohibited from selling puppies until they reach eight (8) weeks of age and have been immunized. It would also limit the number of pets that may be owned to six (dogs, cats, or combination of both). The Quality of Life Committee will be briefed on this proposal on April 28, 2008.

4/3/08- Dallas, TX-breeder permitting and MSN
The Dallas, Texas City Council will soon consider major changes to the Dallas animal control ordinance. The changes include breeder permitting, limits on the number of pets that can be owned, stricter dangerous dog language, and a ban on tethering.

Breeder Permitting
· This proposed ordinance mandates that you spay or neuter your dog unless you obtain a breeder permit for each intact dog.
· Breeder permits will only be issued to owners of dogs of "recognized" breeds.
· The permit will cost $500 per year and will restrict breeding to one litter per permit per year. Further, breeders are prohibited from selling puppies until they reach eight (8) weeks of age and have been immunized.
· In order to redeem a dog from impoundment, it must be spayed or neutered or the owner must purchase a breeder permit for that animal.

Breeder licensing fees place an undue burden on responsible breeders and owners and fail to address irresponsible individuals who neither comply with existing law nor will comply with new regulations. Such fees therefore punish responsible breeders who give the care and attention that puppies need in order to grow into healthy, well-adjusted companions and neighbors.

Pet Limit
· The proposal also creates a limit of six dogs or cats or combination of both per dwelling.
· There will be a grandfather clause for current owners who list all their current animals with the Director of Animal Services and are in compliance with all other regulations.
· There will also be an exemption to foster care providers who have been approved by the Director of Animal Services.

Not only are limit laws easily evaded and difficult to enforce, they fail to address the heart of animal control problems--irresponsible ownership.

Dangerous Dogs, Tethering and Confinement Requirements
· The draft ordinance requires all dogs deemed dangerous to be spayed or neutered. · The owner of a dangerous dog must obtain liability insurance of $100,000.
· Any dog that has been determined to be dangerous by another jurisdiction will not be allowed into the city.
· Any tether used must be at least 10 feet long and be attached to the dog's collar or harness and not the dog itself.
· The area in which dogs are kept must be at least 150 square feet per dog, if the dog(s) lives primarily outside.

At this time, the proposal is still in draft form. This proposal has not been scheduled for a hearing by the City Council. You may contact the Mayor and your City Council representative to express your concerns about these proposals. Find your City Council representative.

TX - San Antonio Proposal Bad for All Dog Owners
The American Kennel Club and its Texas federation of dog owners, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, are deeply concerned about the proposed changes to the City of San Antonio's animal ordinance. These changes, as will be proposed by the city's Animal Care Services Advisory Board, unfairly target responsible dog breeders and owners, have no chance of improving the quality of life for animals, and will have a significant negative impact on San Antonio's economy. It is imperative that breeders and concerned dog owners in San Antonio contact the Mayor and the members of the City Council to vehemently express their opposition.

The American Kennel Club supports reasonable and enforceable laws that govern dog ownership. We believe that the proposed animal ordinance is unreasonable, unenforceable, and a risk to the public welfare. Among its many onerous provisions, the current version of the proposal would require compliance with these most burdensome policies:
- Mandate the spay/neuter of all dogs. In the alternative, owners would be required to annually purchase both a license ($75) and an intact permit ($50) for each unsterilized dog. Totaling $125, this is twelve-and-one-half times more expensive than the annual fees owners of a sterilized dog will be required to pay ($10). Egregiously high fees, like those that would be imposed by this proposal, make spaying and neutering de facto mandatory because only a small number of people could afford to pay such high fees.

- Classify most kennels as a "commercial kennel" and impose considerable regulations upon such facilities. As currently defined by the proposal, most places where dogs are kept could reasonably qualify as commercial kennels, including homes of many hobby breeders and rescue groups. Such facilities will be subsequently subject to currently undefined license fees for such establishments, unreasonable building standards that will be impossible for smaller breeders and dog owners who maintain dogs in their own residential premises to comply with, and unproven animal husbandry standards that risk transfer of infectious and contagious diseases.

- Require any person who breeds a female dog to obtain a $50 litter permit
prior to, or within ten days of, a litter's birth. Such permit is limited to one litter per female dog per year.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact the Mayor and the members of the San Antonio City Council who will consider this proposal. Tell them that you are against the proposed changes to San Antonio's animal ordinance. Mail all letters to:

[Recipient]
City of San Antonio
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283

Mayor Phil Hardberger
Phone: (210) 207-7060
Fax: (210) 207-4168
E-mail: phardberger@sanantonio.gov

For a sample letter and Council members, go to Legislative Alerts at
www.akc.org.

 

Utah

6/1/11 Utah update:
House Bill 124, as amended, sought to place numerous requirements on “commercial breeders,” defined as anyone who owns six or more dogs “for breeding” and sells or provides the offspring of the dog to another person. The bill as introduced was defeated by the House Revenue and Taxation Committee. An amended version has been referred to the Rules Committee and placed on the House file for defeated bills.

3/30/11 Utah update:
House Bill 124 places numerous requirements on “commercial breeders,” defined as anyone who owns six or more dogs “for breeding” and sells or provides the offspring of the dog to another person. Commercial breeders may not sell or solicit the sale of a dog unless the commercial breeder has a valid breeder license, business license, and land use approval from the Land Use Authority. This bill died 5-6 in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee. It is possible the sponsor may try to bring it back later in session.

2/22/11 The AKC Government Relations Department has just learned that the Utah House Revenue and Taxation Committee is scheduled to consider a bill tomorrow that would define anyone who owns at least six intact dogs or cats over the age of six months as a “commercial breeder”. The bill would require all commercial breeders to obtain several licenses in order to sell, solicit or advertise a dog for purchase.

Summary:

House Bill 124 vaguely defines “commercial breeder” as anyone who for a fee “or other consideration” maintains six or more dogs “for breeding” and

1) Sells, leases, trades, barters or auctions any of the dogs, or
2) Provides the offspring of one of the dogs to another person, or
3) Buys, sells, leases, trades or provides a dog to someone at wholesale for resale to another person.

This broad and vague definition could require Utah fanciers and hobby breeders to obtain the following three licenses in order to sell or advertise the sale of one dog:

1) A business license
2) An approved land use application from the land use authority
3) A sales and use tax license

The bill would require that the licensing and record-keeping be handled by Utah cities and counties, yet no additional funding is provided to cover these duties.

12/8/10 - Salt Lake City

Last night, the Salt Lake County Council gave preliminary approval to a proposal that limits dog breeding in Salt Lake County and places numerous regulations on responsible breeders. Although the AKC agrees with many provisions, including the importance of regular veterinary care, sufficient housing and protection from the elements, there are still several provisions of grave concern that will not protect the health and safety of dogs, or the rights of responsible owners and breeders.

The council is expected to give final approval on Tuesday, December 14. The AKC urges all local clubs and breeders in Salt Lake County to contact the members of the county council and express any concerns you have with the proposal as currently written. Click here for the council’s contact information.

Summary

The proposal only relates to those who live in unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County. Also, those who are licensed by the USDA would be exempt from the licensing provisions. Click here to read the proposal in its entirety.

The AKC has several concerns with the proposal as currently written, including:

· Definition of “Volume Dog Breeder” – As currently written, a “volume dog breeder” is anyone who whelps more than one litter of dogs in a 12-month period. Anyone who falls under this definition must be licensed and inspected each year.
· Unannounced Inspections – The proposal requires an annual inspection, but also allows inspections “upon receipt of a complaint or on [the division’s] own motion.” This allows arbitrary inspections at any time during business hours at the discretion of the county’s Animal Services Division. There is no requirement that complaints be substantiated prior to inspection.
· Problematic Standards of Care – All dogs must be provided constant and unfettered access to an indoor enclosure with solid floors. There are no exceptions for other types of safe, sanitary flooring.

The proposal would also limit dogs to two litters in any 18-month period (it appears this also applies to stud dogs). The AKC believes that all decisions regarding breeding should be made by a breeder in conjunction with a veterinarian, and not subject to arbitrary government restrictions.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs. We believe all dogs should be bred and raised in a safe, healthy environment, and support laws that ensure this without imposing burdensome and costly regulations or infringing on the rights of responsible dog breeders.

The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to monitor this proposal. Please contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org with any further questions, or to obtain the latest information.

Vermont

4/1/13 - HB 50, which relates to the sale, transfer, or importation of pets, is the product of a collaborative effort of several organizations, including AKC’s Vermont federation, and would establish a higher numerical threshold for an individual to qualify as a “pet dealer” under state law, provide clarification for when inspections of pet dealer facilities may be conducted, and update the state’s consumer protection laws. AKC GR continues to assist the Vermont Federation’s promotion of this bill.

6/7/12 - Senate Bill 142 would have established unreasonable new requirements for kennel permit holders and pet merchants. In late April, after months of stakeholder work, a memorandum of understanding was agreed to by legislative leaders and several animal interest groups, including the Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs, to collaborate as a unified group. This group will create, by consensus, legislative proposals aimed at improving animal welfare and protecting responsible dog breeders.7/13/11 Vermont update:
House Bill 303 sought to change numerous licensing and tax requirements for those who sell dogs. The Vermont Legislature adjourned prior to considering this bill. It is possible it may be reintroduced in 2012.

6/1/11 Vermont:
House Bill 303 would change numerous licensing and tax requirements for those who sell dogs. It would also require inspections of all “pet merchants,” defined as someone who engages in the sale of one or more litters per year or the sale of two or more animals over six months of age within a year. Anyone who owns two or more intact “domestic pets” must obtain a $25 annual license, which must be prominently displayed on the owner’s premises. Read more about this legislation.

Vermont:
House Bill 303 would change numerous licensing and tax requirements for those who sell dogs. It would also require inspections of all “pet merchants,” defined as someone who engages in the sale of one or more litters per year or the sale of two or more animals over six months of age within a year. Anyone who owns two or more intact “domestic pets” must obtain a $25 annual license, which must be prominently displayed on the owner’s premises. Read more about this legislation.

VERMONT - H 67 has been assigned to the House Committee on Commerce. Introduced by Reps. Dostis and Minter, the bill will prohibit the presence of dogs as a factor in the business of homeowner’s insurance, except when a specific dog is documented to have caused significant damage to real or personal property or bodily injury to a person.
Please contact the Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs at rpoa@texas.net or Jgrcorgis@aol.com for more information about how you assist with canine legislation in Vermont.

Virginia

9/23/10: Clarke County, VA:
The Clarke County Board of Supervisors approved removing the term “commercial” from the county’s kennel definition, thereby requiring any dog breeder with more than 15 intact and altered dogs to obtain a $5000 special use permit. AKC sent a letter to the supervisors opposing these changes and worked to assist local fanciers in their attempts to educate county officials.3/1/10 The Madison County Board of Supervisors will be voting on an ordinance on Wednesday, March 3rd which will remove the current exemption for home litters kept less than six months. Under the new provision, anyone breeding a single litter would need to obtain a special use permit.

Madison County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Wednesday, March 3rd
7:30 pm
County Administration Building
414 N. Main Street
Madison, VA 22727

This proposal will completely outlaw any residential breeding of dogs and severely restrict the rights of responsible breeders in other districts by placing unreasonable financial burdens on them.

Special use permits for kennels are only allowed in the conservation and agricultural districts. In the conservation district you must have 10 acres per use – meaning that if you had a residence on the property, you would need to have a minimum of 20 acres to be eligible for the special use permit. In the agricultural district you would need 3 acres per use – or a minimum of 6 acres for a home and a kennel.

Further, a special use permit requires notification of the Virginia Department of Transportation which may require you to make changes to the property entrance to accommodate projected traffic flow. The Virginia Health Department must also be notified and could impose additional restrictions.

Special use permits are subject to a public hearing before the Planning Commission who then makes a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors who grants or denies final approval.

The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans or mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

It is vital that responsible owners and breeders attend the Board of Supervisors meeting and oppose this unnecessary and burdensome change. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please send a polite letter to the supervisors expressing your concerns with this proposal and the hardships it would place on you as a responsible breeder.

Board of Supervisors
Dave Allen dallen@madisonco.virginia.gov
James Arrington jarrington@madisonco.virginia.gov
Jerry Butler jbutler@madisonco.virginia.gov
Eddie Dean edean@madisonco.virginia.gov
Pete Elliott pelliott@madisonco.virginia.gov

3/1/09 - Mandatory Spay Neuter Bill Defeated in Virginia
Virginia dog owners won a major victory on January 26, when the Virginia Senate Agriculture Committee defeated a mandatory spay/neuter bill by an 8-6 vote. Senate Bill 1151 imposed a mandatory spay/neuter requirement on dogs picked up by animal control more than once.

3/7/08
VA Update: Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill Tabled in Committee!
Subcommittee #1 of the Virginia House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural
Resources Committee considered and tabled HB 1570, which would have mandated the spaying or neutering of certain companion animals. This effectively kills this legislation for the 2008 legislative session.

VA Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill Assigned to Committee Virginia House Bill 1570, which seeks to mandate the spaying or neutering of companion animals, has been assigned to the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources. Though the bill is currently not scheduled for consideration, it remains imperative that breeders and concerned dog owners in Virginia contact their Delegate and ask them to oppose this legislation.

See a sample letter.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Write or call the members of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources, and ask them to oppose HB
1570. Please address your correspondence to:

Delegate _____________________
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, VA 23218

Washington

8/1/13 - Washington update:
House Bill 1202 / Senate Bill 5204 would create a civil infraction for “failure to provide care” in cases where behavior does not amount to animal cruelty in the first or second degree. These bills also would remove economic distress as a defense to second degree animal cruelty. House Bill 1202 has passed the House Judiciary Committee and has been re-referred to the House Rules Committee. Senate Bill 5204 has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Law and Justice; however, a hearing has not been scheduled.

4/1/13 - House Bill 1202 / Senate Bill 5204 would create a civil infraction for “failure to provide care” in cases where behavior does not amount to animal cruelty in the first or second degree. These bills also would remove economic distress as a defense to second degree animal cruelty. House Bill 1202 remains in the House Rules Committee. Senate Bill 5204 has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Law and Justice; however, a hearing has not been scheduled.

1/5/11 - Pierce County, WA:
The Pierce County Animal Control Advisory Panel will discuss possible breeder licensing and significant fee increases at their upcoming meeting December 21st. It is vital that concerned fanciers, breeders and responsible dog owners voice their concerns.
Please see specific information below about the meeting and the proposed changes.

Background:

Pierce County currently licenses kennels in separate categories and for corresponding fees as follows: Commercial Kennel/Cattery - $250, Boarding Kennel/Cattery - $200, Foster Shelter Kennel/Cattery $75 (sterilized) or $150 (intact animals), Hobby Kennel Cattery with 6 to 20 animal -$150, Private Kennel/Cattery $150. The proposed changes will increase fees and alter the distinctions between commercial and hobby kennels.

Proposed Changes

$200 Kennel license for any resident housing 6 to 15 dogs
$250 Breeder License (in addition to kennel license)
Hobby Kennel/Cattery License – fee not stated, for those keeping animals for hunting, breeding for exhibition, organized events, field work or obedience trials (breeders would also need $250 breeder’s license)
Require individual licensing of dogs at a kennel (in addition to kennel license fee)
Consolidate definitions for boarding, commercial, short-term and private kennels

Potential Impact of Changes

Pierce County hosted 192 AKC-sanctioned events in 2009, including dog shows, agility, rally, obedience, and herding trials. These events attracted over 34,000 participants who contributed approximately $1.1 million to the local economy by purchasing food, gas, lodging and other items during their visit. Passage of laws that are burdensome to responsible breeders would indicate that these responsible owners and our events are not welcome in Pierce County.

These measures will place burdens on responsible owners and breeders and will do nothing to address the irresponsible pet owners who do not comply with current laws. Resources would be better used to enforce current licensing laws and address animals and owners who are creating problems in the community.

What You Can Do

· If you are a club officer, please contact Susan Peterson at ragtimef2@gmail.com and let her know how many members are in your club and if she can officially represent your club’s opposition to this measure.

· Email the Pierce County Auditor at pcauditor@co.pierce.wa.us and politely state your opposition to these burdensome and ineffective measures.

· Attend the Animal Control Advisory Panel’s meeting December 21st and voice your concerns during public comment.

Pierce County Animal Control Advisory Panel Meeting
Tuesday, December 21st
6pm
Public Meeting Room
Pierce County Annex
2401 S. 35th Street
Tacoma, WA 984096/30/09 - Washington
– On April 30, Governor Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5651, which limits ownership to 50 intact dogs over 6 months old, limits breeding ages, and incorporates questionable legislative findings.

WASHINGTON – The City of Tacoma hosted a public hearing December 12th on changes to the animal control ordinance including possible mandatory spay/neuter of dogs. The proposal would require owners of intact animals to purchase a breeder’s permit, regardless of whether they intend to breed the animal or not, in addition to the existing $55 intact animal license fee. The cost of the breeder’s permit has not been established. The measure would also require any animal at-large to be spayed or neutered, even on a first offense. At this time, the city is only collecting information. The proposal has not been finalized and city officials have indicated they will host further public hearings on the issue. The Canine Legislation Department will post updates as they become available.

Washington D.C.

11/22/08 - Washington, D.C. - D.C. Ordinance Unanimously Passed
The D.C. Council unanimously passed an amended version of its Animal Protection Amendment Act. While the amended and subsequently adopted version of the ordinance is currently unavailable, AKC's Government Relations Department has learned that the limit on ownership was raised from four to six animals.

West Virginia

12/21/11 - Mercer County, WV:
The Mercer County Commission has given initial approval to a proposal that would establish mandatory spay/neuter and breeder licensing requirements for county residents in an attempt to address animal population concerns. Owners of intact dogs would be required to purchase intact animal permits good for the life of the dog, so long as it is "vaccinated annually," "housed properly," and the owner can prove that "the permit is sought for a proper purpose." These terms are not defined or explained. In addition, an annual $30 breeder permit would be required for each animal bred, and would allow one litter per dog per year. Animals could be sold at seven weeks if "immunized against common diseases," although the proposal does not state which diseases it considers common. The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on December 13

3/15/11 Good news!

Thanks to the numerous phone calls and e-mails generated by local AKC clubs and concerned breeders, the West Virginia Legislature has adjourned without taking further action on House Bill 2883, a bill that would have limited dog ownership and restricted breeding.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. We also support current West Virginia law, which, among other provisions, makes it unlawful for anyone to withhold proper sustenance, protective shelter and medical treatment.

As written, however, HB 2883 limited dog ownership and would have created many new, arbitrary and expensive regulations for dog breeders. Read the AKC’s letter to the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee, which outlined our concerns with this bill.

This bill will likely return next session, and there were other dog-related measures introduced this year in West Virginia that did not gain traction. Several clubs and breeders have expressed an interest in forming an AKC federation for West Virginia, in order to have a united coalition to address canine legislation. If you or your club would be interested in helping form an AKC federation for West Virginia, please contact the AKC Government Relations Department at doglaw@akc.org.

2/23/11 WV Update: Strict Breeder Bill Passes Committee

February 23, 2011

Yesterday the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 2883, which seeks to limit dog ownership and restrict breeding. It is imperative that all responsible dog owners and breeders in West Virginia contact your State Delegate and ask them to vote “no” on HB 2883.

Click here to find the name and contact information for your State Delegate.

Click here for a sample letter to personalize.

Click here to read the AKC’s letter to the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Summary:

As introduced, House Bill 2883 defines "commercial dog breeder" as anyone who maintains 11 or more intact dogs over one year of age and "is engaged in the business of breeding animals for direct or indirect sale." Those licensed by the USDA would not be exempt. Only those who hold an occupational permit and have registered a greyhound kennel name with the West Virginia Racing Commission would be exempt from this bill.

All licensees would be subject to inspection at least twice a year. Five days’ notice would be given prior to the inspection.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. We also support current West Virginia law, which, among other provisions, makes it unlawful for anyone to withhold proper sustenance, protective shelter and medical treatment.

However, the AKC is gravely concerned by a number of provisions in this bill as introduced including:

Ownership Limits – Breeders would be limited to owning 50 intact dogs over one year of age. Limits on dog ownership are arbitrary and ineffective, and punish responsible dog owners who take excellent care of their animals. Additionally, breeders would be given only 30 days to comply with the limit, meaning that many dogs would likely end up in local shelters and/or euthanized at taxpayers’ expense. Click here for talking points on animal limit laws.
Breeding age limits – A dog may only be bred if it is between the ages of 18 months and 8 years. The AKC believes that the decision to breed should be made by the breeder in conjunction with their veterinarian, and not subject to arbitrary government restrictions.
Problematic new engineering standards – House Bill 2883 creates numerous new engineering standards and requirements for commercial breeding kennels. Current law already addresses the issues of proper shelter, sustenance, and acts of animal cruelty, rendering House Bill 2015 an unnecessary burden on responsible West Virginia breeders, law enforcement officers, and taxpayers.

2/8/11 West Virginia:
House Bill 2015 seeks to require a license for all “commercial dog breeders,” defined as anyone who owns at least 20 intact dogs over one year of age and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale. Those who have a registered greyhound kennel with the West Virginia Racing Commission are exempt. Female dogs may only be bred if they are between 18 months and 8 years of age, and there is a 50-dog ownership limit. Inspections would occur twice annually, and inspectors must give five days’ notice prior to the inspection. Similar bills in 2009 and 2010 did not advance. The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture and Judiciary Committees.

2/2/11 The West Virginia House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider House Bill 2015 this Tuesday, February 2. This problematic bill would limit dog ownership and place restrictions on dog breeding.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. We also support current West Virginia law, which, among other provisions, makes it unlawful for anyone to withhold proper sustenance; protective shelter and medical treatment.

House Bill 2015 defines “commercial dog breeder” as anyone who maintains 20 or more intact dogs over 1 year of age and “is engaged in the business of breeding animals for direct or indirect sale.” Those licensed by the USDA would not be exempt. Only those who hold an occupational permit and have registered a greyhound kennel name with the West Virginia Racing Commission would be exempt from this bill.

Those licensed under this bill would be subject to inspection at least twice a year. Five days’ notice would be given prior to the inspection.

AKC has grave concerns with several provisions in House Bill 2015, including:

Ownership limits – This bill would impose an ownership limit of 50 dogs, and gives breeders over the limit only 30 days to comply with the limit. Limits on dog ownership are arbitrary and ineffective, and punish responsible dog owners who take excellent care of their animals. Click here for talking points on animal limit laws.
Breeding age limits – A dog may only be bred if it is between the ages of 18 months and 8 years. The AKC believes that the decision to breed should be made by the breeder in conjunction with their veterinarian, and not subject to arbitrary restrictions.

House Bill 2015 creates numerous new engineering standards and requirements for commercial breeding kennels. Current law already addresses the issues of proper shelter, sustenance, and acts of animal cruelty, rendering House Bill 2015 an unnecessary burden on responsible West Virginia breeders, law enforcement officers, and taxpayers.

3/1/10 House Bill 4333 seeks to regulate commercial breeders, which are defined as any person who maintains 20 or more unsterilized dogs over one year of age and breeds those animals for sale. Commercial breeders must obtain a valid business license and an annual commercial breeder license. They must also comply with a number of requirements, including owning no more than 50 intact dogs at any time for breeding purposes and limiting breeding of female dogs to between 18 months and 8 years of age. Commercial breeders must be given five days notice prior to an inspection. This bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture and Judiciary Committees.
Wisconsin

9/17/12 - Kewaunee, WI update:
The Kewaunee Common Council has tabled a 3-pet limit on all residents. This would have included banning all "kennels" (defined more than three intact dogs or cats over 6 months of age), and prohibiting the ownership of more than three mammals, reptiles or birds. The proposal also stated that the city may declare any number of animals "determined to be detrimental to the healthful and comfortable life of that person, family or neighborhood" as a public nuisance.

8/28/12 -Kewaunee, WI:
The Kewaunee Common Council is considering imposing a 3-pet limit on all residents. This includes banning all “kennels” (defined more than three intact dogs or cats over 6 months of age), and prohibiting the ownership of more than three mammals, reptiles or birds. The proposal also states that the city may declare any number of animals “determined to be detrimental to the healthful and comfortable life of that person, family or neighborhood” as a public nuisance. The Common Council’s next meeting is on August 13.

12/21/11 - Wisconsin:
Representative Don Pridemore is gathering support for LRB 1798/2, a measure that would change the state’s definition of “dog breeder” from someone who sells 25 puppies per year to someone who sells 50 puppies per year. Numerous hobby breeders and fanciers have expressed concerns about the low threshold in current law; particularly since the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has clarified the threshold does include co-ownerships. AKC GR has sent a letter to the Wisconsin Legislature supporting the definition change. The legislature is in recess and it is uncertain if it will meet again before January 2012.

10/28/11 - Wisconsin:
Representative Don Pridemore is gathering co-sponsors for LRB 1798/1, a measure that would increase the state commercial breeder threshold from those who annually sell 25 dogs to those that sell 100 dogs. Numerous hobby breeders and fanciers have expressed concerns about the low threshold in current law, particularly since the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has clarified the threshold does include co-ownerships. This legislation is expected to be formally introduced this fall.

6/1/11 Wisconsin update from January 2011:
The Wisconsin Dog Breeders and Sellers Law takes effect on June 1, 2011. Under this law, all dog breeding facilities that sell at least 25 dogs per year from more than three litters must be licensed. Licenses are also required for in-state dealers who sell at least 25 dogs per year that they did not breed and raise, anyone who imports at least 25 dogs into the state each year, animal control facilities, and non-profit shelters and rescues that shelter or foster at least 25 dogs a year. Read more about the new law, review the regulations, and download the application materials on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection’s web site.

5/22/11 The Wisconsin Dog Breeders and Sellers Law takes effect on June 1, 2011, by which time all breeders, rescues and facilities that fall under the law must be licensed.

Licenses are required for:

“Dog breeding facilities” from which at least 25 dogs/year are sold, from more than three litters
“In-state dog dealers” selling at least 25 dogs/year that they did not breed or raise
“Out-of-state dog dealers” who import at least 25 dogs/year into Wisconsin (this includes dogs that they have bred and raised) – this includes out-of-state rescues that place dogs in the state
Non-profit animal shelters and rescues that shelter/foster at least 25 dogs/year
Animal control facilities that contract with a local municipality

3/19/11 Wisconsin Alert: Contact Committee NOW To Express Your Concerns About New Breeder Regulations

This coming Monday, March 21, an extension will expire for the Assembly Consumer Protection and Personal Privacy Committee to make changes to improve onerous regulations for those who sell 25 or more dogs in a year that they have bred and raised.

In order for the committee to submit revisions to the regulations, they must either request an extension or submit changes before this deadline.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs. We believe all dogs should be bred and raised in a safe, healthy environment, and support laws that ensure this without imposing burdensome and costly regulations or infringing on the rights of responsible dog breeders. However, he AKC has identified several specific concerns about these regulations and encourages responsible dog owners and breeders to also express any concerns about the proposed regulations before Monday’s deadline.

Wisconsin Act 90, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in 2009, regulates dog breeders who sell 25 or more dogs/year that they have raised, provided that all the dogs come from more than three litters. An advisory committee established under this Act has proposed numerous broad regulations regarding licensing and care and conditions. The AKC is very appreciative of several amendments that have been made to address certain concerns; however, some concerns still remain, including:

Vague, complicated, and expensive kennel standards – The care standards include very specific enclosure requirements, where even a one-inch difference in measurement may require a different enclosure size. Furthermore, the proposed enclosure requirements are much larger than the USDA requirements, which would result in numerous breeders being forced to rebuild their kennels at significant cost, even if they are currently in compliance.

Extensive recordkeeping requirements –In addition to records on each dog kept, bred, and sold, the licensee must keep the names and addresses of any “home custody provider”, meaning anyone who ever keeps a dog owned by a licensee in their home. This could include co-ownerships, boarding, or other similar arrangements. While the AKC strongly encourages extensive and thorough recordkeeping, this level of detail is unreasonable.

Inspections of secondary facilities – Many hobby breeders as well as “dog breeders” as defined in 2009 Wisconsin Act 90 jointly own their dogs with other individuals. As currently written, this provision could allow for unannounced inspections of private homes of persons not required to register under this Act.

Extensive requirements for transportation of dogs –Anyone transporting a dog owned by a licensee must comply with extensive requirements, unless the dog is being transported to a dog trial that is less than five miles away. The AKC has requested that this section be amended.

1/5/11 -Wisconsin update:
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has approved regulations and licensing requirements for dog breeders who sell at least 25 dogs from more than 3 litters per year. The final draft addressed many of the AKC’s concerns, but still contains problematic provisions such as exacting, onerous standards for enclosures, and requiring that breeders keep records of any “home custody providers” (meaning anyone who ever keeps a dog owned by a licensee in their home for any length of time). This could impact co-ownerships, boarding facilities, doggie day care businesses, etc. The regulations must now be formally approved by the Wisconsin Legislature when the session reconvenes in 2011.
Breeding Restrictions
Lee County, NC:
The Lee County Board of Commissioners will be hosting informational meetings across the county in January regarding proposed changes to its dog ordinance. While much of the proposal is focused on measures to protect the public from dangerous animals and prevent the spread of rabies, there are some sections of the proposal which are problematic. Specifically, the AKC is concerned about provisions to require sterilization on a second impoundment, specifications for enclosures and requirements for a special license for anyone owning more than thirty dogs.

12/15/10 - The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has issued a final draft of proposed regulations and licensing requirements for dog breeders who sell at least 25 dogs from more than 3 litters per year. The final draft addressed many of the AKC’s concerns, but still contains problematic provisions such as potential inspections of the home and property of anyone caring for a dog owned by a dog breeder licensed under the law (this would include co-owners).

9/20/10 - WI new breeder regulations:
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will hold a series of public forums throughout September in several cities to receive feedback on new breeder regulations. Wisconsin residents are encouraged to attend a forum and express concerns with the proposal as currently written.

Wisconsin Act 90, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in 2009, regulates dog breeders who sell 25 or more dogs/year that they have raised, provided that all the dogs come from more than three litters. An advisory committee established under this Act has proposed numerous broad regulations regarding licensing and care and conditions. View the proposed regulations.

The AKC has several concerns with the proposed regulations, including:

Inclusion of Co-Ownerships – The definition of “dog breeder” has been expanded to include those whose dogs are raised or cared for by an “agent”. As currently written, anyone who meets the 25 dog sale/year threshold must be licensed, and any person who cares for or co-owns any of those dogs on another property is subject to numerous regulations. These regulations include written legal agreements before becoming an “agent”, compliance with the same kennel standards, and possible inspections.
Vague and complicated kennel standards – The care standards require that every dog be handled “in a manner that does not cause … unnecessary discomfort”, but terms are not defined and there is no exception for commonly accepted veterinary and animal husbandry practices. Without clarification, even a puppy vaccine could be considered “unnecessary discomfort”. Other provisions include very specific enclosure requirements, where even a one-inch difference in measurement may require a significantly different enclosure size.

How You Can Help:

If you cannot attend a hearing, write a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection expressing your concerns with the proposal. Comments may be submitted until Friday, October 8, 2010.
General comments should be sent to the following:
E-mail: Melissa.mace@wi.gov
Mailing address: WI DATCP-DAH
Attn: Melissa Mace
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708
Comments or concerns regarding the effect of the proposal on small business should be submitted to Keeley Moll, DATCP Small Business Regulatory Coordinator, at Keeley.Moll@wi.gov

Attend a hearing near you and express your concerns. The hearing dates and locations are as follows:

Madison, WI:
Monday, September 20, 2010
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Drive,
First Floor – Room 106 (Boardroom)
Madison, Wisconsin 53718

Appleton, WI:
Thursday, September 23. 2010
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fox Valley Technical College
Room: E130 A&B
1825 North Bluemound Dr.
Appleton, WI 54914

Eau Claire, WI:
Monday September 27, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The Plaza Hotel and Suites
Crystal 1 Room
1202 West Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Wausau, WI:
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wausau Public Library/Marathon County Public Library
Wausau room
300 North First St.
Wausau, WI 54403

Milwaukee, WI:
Thursday, September 30, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Havenwoods State Forest
Auditorium
6141 North Hopkins Street
Milwaukee, WI 53209

8/2/10 - The city may soon consider repealing its current dog fancier permit, which would effectively limit dog ownership for residents. The item was removed from the council’s May agenda, but may be considered in June or July.

5/24/10 - The Wisconsin Legislature adjourned prior to giving final approval to Assembly Bill 793 which sought to amend state statutes regarding the seizure and subsequent care of animals whose owners are suspected of mistreatment or dog fighting. Among other provisions, the bill would have allowed for organizations or people who have contracted to care for seized animals to petition the court to euthanize, sell, or otherwise remove the animal prior to the conclusion of the trial. Furthermore, an animal would have been considered “unclaimed” if the owner failed to pay an amount mandated by the court for care of the animals within 5 days. The owner would not have been refunded the money paid, regardless of whether there was a guilty verdict. The AKC supported the efforts of its Wisconsin federation by sending a letter of concern to the legislature; providing legislative alert; and notifying local AKC clubs, judges, and officials of the bill.

4/22/10 - Assembly Bill 793 seeks to amend state statutes regarding the seizure and subsequent care of animals whose owners are suspected of mistreatment or dog fighting. Among other provisions, an animal may be considered “unclaimed” if the owner fails to pay an amount mandated by the court for care of the animals within 5 days. AB 793 is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Corrections and the Courts Committee on March 11, 2010.

4/19/10 - West Bend, WI to Consider Repealing Limit Law on April 19

The West Bend Common Council will consider two proposals regarding the town’s current dog ownership limit law at its April 19th meeting. All local residents are encouraged to contact the council and mayor prior to the meeting and ask them to support the proposal to remove the limit on dog ownership.

Current municipal code states that no resident may own more than two dogs and two cats over five months of age without a kennel license. The council is considering either increasing the limit to three, or removing the limit altogether.

The AKC opposes limits on dog ownership, as they do nothing to address irresponsible ownership and restrict the rights of those who take their responsibilities seriously. We strongly support the council proposal to remove the limits on dog ownership.

How You Can Help

Call the city aldermen and mayor TODAY and ask them to support removing the cap on dog ownership and restore the rights of responsible dog owners.

Click here for Mayor Deiss’ contact information.

Click here to find your local district and the West Bend Common Council contact information.

Attend the Common Council meeting on Monday, April 19 and express your support for the repeal of the town’s limit law. The meeting information is as follows:

Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Council Chambers
1115 S. Main Street
West Bend, Wisconsin 53905

1/12/10 - A new law requires licensing of animal shelters, animal control facilities, dog dealers (both in-state and out-of-state), and breeders who sell more than 25 dogs a year (those with 3 or fewer litters/year are exempted). It also requires facility inspections and adherence to basic standards of care. The bills unanimously passed the Wisconsin Legislature and the Governor signed them into law on December 1, 2009.

 

11/17/09 - Wisconsin Breeder Bills update:
The Wisconsin State Assembly unanimously passed Assembly Bill 250 on Tuesday, October 27. Senate Bill 208 has been referred to the Joint Committee on Finance.

11/8/09 - Senate Bill 110 –This bill requires commercial dog breeders to be licensed if they sell at least 100 dogs per year. The state is permitted to inspect locations prior to issuing licenses or if it is believed there is a violation of state or federal animal welfare laws. This bill has not yet received a hearing.

10/1/09 - Assembly Bill 250 – This bill would require a license for anyone who sells over 25 dogs a year in the state, including non-residents. Licenses would also be required for animal shelters and animal control facilities. The bill also allows for warrantless searches and inspections.

8/1/09 Senate Bill 208 – This bill seeks to require licenses for any person who sells 25 or more dogs a year, including nonresidents who sell dogs in Wisconsin. Licenses would also be required for auctions that sell over 50 dogs a year, animal shelters that house at least 25 dogs a year, and any animal control facility under contract with a local municipality. Inspections are required prior to issuing a license, and every two years thereafter. In addition, licensees may not sell dogs under seven weeks old, and must abide by basic care and conditions standards listed in the bill. The AKC is monitoring this bill in conjunction with the Dog Federation of Wisconsin. The bill has not yet received a hearing.

6/30/09 - Wisconsin – Assembly Bill 250 would require a license for anyone who sells over 25 dogs a year in the state, including non-residents. Licenses would also be required for animal shelters and animal control facilities. The bill also allows for warrantless searches and inspections

WISCONSIN Commercial Breeder/Consumer Protection Bills Introduced
[Friday, November 09, 2007]
Two new bills have been introduced in Wisconsin, both of which seek to regulate those classified as commercial breeders and provide remedies for purchasers of dogs. Assembly Bill 567, sponsored by Representative Lothian, has been assigned to the Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection and Personal Privacy; its companion, Senate Bill 308, is sponsored by Senator Plale and has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Small Business, Emergency Preparedness, Workforce Development, Technical Colleges, and Consumer Protection. It is imperative that breeders and concerned dog owners contact their representative and their senator, as well as the committee members who will first consider this bill, to express their concerns with the current wording of the proposed legislation.

The American Kennel Club supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. Additionally, we support reasonable laws and regulations that are intended to protect the pet-buying public in obtaining a sound dog of the breed represented.

If adopted, the proposed legislation would:
Classify those who sell at least 60 dogs in a year, or who have at least eight breeding female dogs, as "commercial dog breeders." Such persons will be subject to:
licensing requirements;
annual reporting requirements;
rules promulgated by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection regarding minimum standards of care, engineering standards for facilities, and transportation standards;
and investigations, inspections, and penalties.
The threshold of "eight breeding female dogs" is vague and potentially problematic. Depending upon what qualifies as a "breeding female dog", the provisions of this bill may apply to hobby breeders with one large litter of puppies comprised primarily of females. This threshold must be deleted or clarified—by better describing the age or characteristics of a "breeding female dog"—to ensure that this bill does not become an overreaching effort to regulate most dog breeders.

Require any seller to provide remedies to a puppy buyer if the puppy becomes ill.

Mandate that any person who sells a dog must also furnish a written description of the remedies provided to purchasers under this bill.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Contact your Representative and Senator and voice your concerns with the bill as currently written. To find both your representative and senator, click here.

Contact the members of the committee that will consider this bill and voice your opposition to the bill as written:

Senate Committee on Small Business, Emergency Preparedness, Workforce Development, Technical Colleges, and Consumer Protection:

Senator Robert Wirch, Chairman
Sen.Wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senator Tim Carpenter, Vice-Chairman
Sen.Carpenter@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senator Jeffrey Plale
Sen.Plale@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senator Neal Kedzie
Sen.Kedzie@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senate Carol Roessler
Sen.Roessler@legis.wisconsin.gov

For more information, contact AKC's Canine Legislation Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

WISCONSIN – The City of Manitowoc is considering an ordinance that would limit residents to three dogs. There is a special permit available for up to four dogs, but it is based solely on the approval of the local police chief. The proposed ordinance has been assigned to the Public Property and Safety Committee and a vote is expected in February. 
Wyoming

2/8/11 Wyoming:
Senate File 66 creates the Wyoming Pet Animal Program, an advisory board to develop a “pet animal welfare program,” “promote the protection and overall health of pet animals,” and “provide…protection and management services,” among other tasks. A “pet animal” is defined as any privately owned vertebrate or invertebrate except livestock. It also allows counties to establish a license fee of $200-$500 for all pet stores, kennels, groomers, breeders, shelters, and rescues. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee

2/3/11 Wyoming:
Wyoming Senate File 100 seeks to add “puppy mills” and “animal hoarding” to the definition of animal cruelty. The bill has passed the Wyoming Senate and will likely be considered by the House Agriculture Committee very soon.

This bill has been amended to address some of the AKC’s concerns, but it is still very vague and could label responsible dog owners and breeders as “hoarders” or “puppy mills”.

This bill is moving very quickly, so it is essential that all concerned dog owners and breeders in Wyoming contact the House Agriculture Committee and their Representative immediately to express concerns. Please see the bottom of this message for contact information.

Summary:

Senate File 100 seeks to amend the cruelty statutes by adding definitions of “animal hoarder” and “puppy mill” to the definition of cruelty. The bill contains the following components:

Definition of “animal hoarder” – The bill defines a hoarder as someone who keeps an animal in an overcrowded environment or “displays an inability to understand the nature…for the conditions under which the companion animal is living.”

The terms used in this definition are undefined and therefore open to broad interpretation. In addition, this language essentially prevents an innocent person from defending themselves, and there is no recourse for owners who wish to challenge being labeled as a hoarder.

Definition of “puppy mill” – SF100 defines this term as a “substandard commercial breeding facility” where animals are kept in substandard conditions, including failing to provide proper food, drink, protection from the elements or veterinary care.

The AKC completely agrees that these basic needs are essential, and appreciates the amendments that make this definition more reasonable; however, we remain concerned that the term “substandard” is still not fully defined and therefore left open for interpretation. We would also like to see the term “puppy mill” removed from statute, as this term is offensive to responsible breeders.

January 20, 2011: Wyoming Cruelty Bill Advances



On January 19, the Wyoming Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passed Senate File 100, which seeks to add “puppy mills” and “animal hoarding” to the definition of animal cruelty.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. However, this bill confuses the issue of substandard care with the number of animals a person owns and places vague definitions in statute. Also, the term “puppy mill” is offensive to the numerous responsible breeders who take excellent care of their animals. This term should not be placed in state law.

This bill is moving very quickly, so it is essential that all concerned dog owners and breeders in Wyoming contact the members of the Appropriations Committee, as well as your state Senator and Representative as soon as possible to express your concerns. Please see the bottom of this message for contact information.

Summary:

The AKC believes that existing Wyoming cruelty laws are sufficient to address the mistreatment of animals, and the AKC supports strong enforcement of these laws.

Senate File 100 seeks to amend the cruelty statutes by adding definitions of “animal hoarder” and “puppy mill” to the definition of cruelty. Although the bill has been amended, the new version is not yet available. The AKC has numerous concerns with SF 100 as introduced, including, but not limited to:

Definition of “animal hoarder” – The bill defines a hoarder as someone who owns 15 or more companion animals and violates other provisions including keeping an animal in an overcrowded environment (this vague term is not defined).
Definition of “puppy mill” – SF100 defines this term as a “dog or cat breeding facility” where there are more than 50 animals kept in “substandard conditions regarding the well-being of animals” (this is not defined). It is further defined as a facility that “is operated with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare.”

How You Can Help

Contact the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and let them know your concerns about this legislation and this use of taxpayer funds. SF 100 appropriates $200,000 to implement this measure. The introduced version of the bill also appropriates $400,000 from the Wyoming Livestock Board’s budget for this bill. Click on the names of each member of the committee for their contact information:
Senator Phil Nicholas, Chairman

Senator John Hastert

Senator Curt Meier

Senator R. Ray Peterson

Senator Michael Von Flatern

Contact your State Senator and Representative and ask them to not support this legislation as introduced. Click here to find the names and contact information for your elected officials.

The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) will continue to provide information as it becomes available. Contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org for more information.

 

 

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