Government Relations

The New York Senate Social Services Committee is considering a bill on Thursday, May 28, that would allow victims of domestic violence to bring their service or therapy dogs with them if they need to go to an emergency shelter. The AKC supports this bill, which recognizes the important role these animals provide, and the complex dynamic involving pets and domestic violence. Sociological and psychological studies show that a significant percentage of domestic violence cases involving family victims also involve threats and/or actual harm perpetrated against pets. For this reason, many victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to leave a dangerous situation for fear of the fate of a pet left behind.

Louisiana House Bill 710 is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, May 28! AKC is concerned that HB 710 unnecessarily duplicates federal regulatory oversight of breeders, employs vague and potentially unconstitutional requirements, imposes and an unfunded mandate on localities, and risks individuals without expertise in canine husbandry matters inspecting kennels. Louisiana's dog owners and breeders should take action now!

Thanks to your calls and e-mails, and the work of the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners (IFDCO), House Bill 4029, as amended, has passed the Senate unanimously. Now, the bill goes back to the House for final approval before going to the governor. Illinois residents are asked to call your State Representative TODAY and ask them to SUPPORT House Bill 4029 Amendment #4, which will create new requirements for shelters and help streamline the process to help lost animals get home sooner.

A bill to be considered by the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday, May 28, seeks to mandate non-economic damages (i.e., those damages that cannot be readily assigned an economic value, like loss of society, companionship, and comfort) in cases involving the wrongful death of or injury to a companion animal. The bill, Assembly Bill 3443, would also permit the imposition of punitive damages in such cases; and would require damages received to be placed in trust that would revert to unnamed non-profit organizations if any trust proceeds remained at the death of the animal.

The New York State Senate has approved a bill that would allow dogs in “food service establishments”, as long as certain requirements are met. The AKC supports this bill, which would allow responsible dog owners more opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities and socialization with their well-behaved pets.

The NY Assembly Agriculture Committee is considering a bill tomorrow (Tuesday, May 19) that would clarify current law regarding minimum standards for dogs kept in outdoor shelters. Current law already provides minimum requirements for dogs kept outdoors in inclement weather and extreme temperatures. Assembly Bill 7033 contains reasonable clarifications to these requirements that would protect dogs kept outdoors and ensure they are kept in humane conditions and protected from the elements.

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