Ann Arbor Dog Owners Defeat Breeding Restrictions

Congratulations to Ann Arbor fanciers on successfully opposing an ordinance that would have...

Congratulations to Ann Arbor fanciers on successfully opposing an ordinance that would have restricted breeding rights and limited pet ownership. The measure, which was rejected by the City Council on December 15th, would have required mandatory spay/neuter of dogs unless owners purchased a breeder's permit. Among other onerous provisions, the proposal would additionally have prohibited residents from keeping more than six dogs and/or cats, and also replaced references to "owner" with "owner/guardian."

Local AKC-affiliated clubs and the Michigan Association of Purebred Dogs were outraged when the measure was first proposed this fall with no input from the dog community. Fanciers reached out to task force members who had drafted the ordinance but their requests to help with the city's animal control problems fell on deaf ears. Dog owners quickly organized an effective grassroots campaign and with the support of the AKC, appealed to the City Council at their meeting this week. With countless fanciers weighing in, officials ultimately listened to the group's concerns and rejected the proposal in a 9-2 vote.

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 responsible breeders and owners. Ann Arbor's proposed ordinance would have done little to address the heart of the city's animal control problems—irresponsible ownership. The Canine Legislation department outlined these concerns in a letter to the city council in October.

This victory represents yet another example of the strength purebred dog owners have when they come together on legislative issues. Kudos to all who contributed to this hard-fought win!