Alabama: Take Action TODAY Against a Bill that Could Regulate Every Person Who Sells a Dog or Cat

An overreaching bill that seeks to regulate dog and cat breeders in Alabama—and possible unpublished amendments that could regulate an individual who offers to sell a dog or cat—could be voted on by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs early next week.

Please share this information with every dog breeder in Alabama and with citizens who may wish to acquire a dog from a responsible breeder in the future.

An overreaching bill that seeks to regulate dog and cat breeders in Alabama—and possible unpublished amendments that could regulate an individual who offers to sell a dog or cat—could be voted on by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs early next week.  

It is urgent that concerned Alabama citizens immediately contact each committee member to express your concerns and respectfully ask them to VOTE NO on Senate Bill 17.  Please scroll down for committee contact information.

  • Senate Bill 17, as filed, seeks to regulate persons who own 11 intact female dogs and cats and who sell 20 or more dogs and cats in a year, with certain exemptions. 
  • This bill would create a new state commission to write and implement new state regulations for breeders and pet sellers, including rules for animal husbandry, care, and housing; breeding restrictions; and other standards. The commission would also determine the amounts and the collection of fees and fines sufficient to pay for administration and enforcement of the act and for other programs established by the act.  The 10-person commission would contain only two slots for breeders.
  • Fees and fines would go into a fund that, through appropriations, would pay salaries and expenses of the commissioners, salaries for the commission’s employees, salaries and expenses for “third party investigators”, office expenses, the costs of “other facilities”, bounties, and other costly expenditures that would be authorized by the bill. 
  • In addition to the fees and fines that would be set by the commission, SB 17 would authorize civil penalties of up to $1000 per violation per day. 
  • SB 17 further states that this act does not prevent a municipality or county from prohibiting or further regulating by order or ordinance the possession, breeding, or selling of dogs or cats.
  • A very problematic proposed amendment to the bill would authorize a non-governmental “humane society” to be granted the power to administer and enforce the act, which would include issuing licenses, accessing private property to conduct inspections, tracking advertising, and determining violations.
  • A proposed amendment to the bill would require every breeder who was not otherwise required to be licensed and who offers to sell one puppy or kitten via any form of advertising, online listing, or directory to register with the commission and submit personal information.  This information would be made public. 
  • Another proposed amendment to the bill would require any person who sells more than a specific number of dogs and cats in a year to be regulated.   
  • SB 17 would unnecessarily expand state government.  Under Alabama’s current animal cruelty laws, any person, organization, breeder, or seller who neglects or abuses animals can be charged with animal cruelty.  These existing laws have resulted in charges against substandard “rescue” organizations, hundreds of counts of animal cruelty against a substandard breeder, and charges against other individuals who are alleged to have failed to provide proper care and treatment to animals.  Full enforcement of Alabama’s excellent animal cruelty laws will better serve to protect dogs and cats in the state than would the creation of another commission.

The various drafts of proposed amendments to SB 17 have not been made available to the public.  It is unknown which, if any, final amendments might be proposed to the committee.  It is also unknown if such amendments will remove onerous provisions in the original bill, add problematic provisions, or both.

What You Can Do 

Immediately contact each committee member, with a copy to the committee clerk, and ask the committee to VOTE NO on Senate Bill 17.  To ensure that your voice is heard, leave messages and send emails to express your concerns. 

Be polite and brief, for example:  My name is _____, I am a resident of Alabama, and I want to state my OPPOSITION to Senate Bill 17.  Please vote no on this bill. Thank you. 

Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs Contact Information

Committee Clerk Jill Stallworth, (334) 242-7974, jill.stallworth@alsenate.gov

Senator Arthur Orr, (334) 242-7891, arthur.orr@alsenate.gov

Senator Paul Bussman, (334) 242-7855, p_bussman@bellsouth.net

Senator Paul Sanford, (334) 242-7867, paul.sanford@alsenate.gov

Senator Phil Williams, (334) 242-7857, philw.williams@alsenate.gov

Senator Shay Shelnutt, (334) 242-7794, shay.shelnutt@alsenate.gov

Senator Linda Coleman, (334) 242-7864, linda.coleman@alsenate.gov

Senator Trip Pittman, (334) 242-7897, trip.pittman@alsenate.gov

Senator Clay Scofield, (334) 242-7876, clay.scofield@alsenate.gov

Senator Dick L. Brewbaker, (334) 242-7895, dick.brewbaker@alsenate.gov

Senator Jimmy W. Holley, Committee Chair, (334) 242-7845, jimmy.holley@alsenate.org

Senator Priscilla Dunn, Bill Sponsor, (334) 242-7793, priscilla.dunn@alhouse.org

 

For questions or more information, please contact doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3645.