Update: Sponsor Withdraws Support for OK Spay/Neuter Bill

In light of overwhelming opposition from purebred dog fanciers and other concerned animal owners,...

In light of overwhelming opposition from purebred dog fanciers and other concerned animal owners, Sen. Sam Helton has withdrawn his support from SB1130. Staff members for the Senator have confirmed that the bill, which would have required mandatory spay/neuter for all animals unless one purchased an expensive license, will not be introduced next week when the legislature convenes. Congratulations to the countless responsible dog owners who quickly answered to AKC"s call to action and contacted Sen. Helton with their concerns. We appreciate your efforts!

Please read the full alert below for additional information on how SB1130 would have impacted purebred dog owners.

 

Spay/Neuter Bill Introduced in Oklahoma

[Wednesday, January 28, 2004]

Purebred dog fanciers in Oklahoma may soon find it too expensive to participate in their sport. Scheduled to be introduced on February 2nd by Sen. Sam Helton, the "Dog and Cat Ownership Responsibility Act" (SB1130) would make it illegal to own or keep intact dogs and cats without a license. Three classes of licenses include:

  • "Intact license," which permits an owner to keep an unaltered animal at a cost of $100 per pet, per year.

  • "Noncommercial breeders license," authorizing owners to have a dog or cat that produces one litter, whether intentional or unintentional. Owners must have no more than 3 licensed animals per household, and the cost of the license will be $100 annually for each animal.

  • "Commercial breeders license," which at a cost of $1000 permits owners to have a dog or cat that produces more than one litter per year.

 

The State Department of Health will establish procedures for obtaining the licenses. Licensed breeders must display their permit number to the public and provide pet purchasers with copies of the Dog and Cat Ownership Responsibility Act. Violators will face fines of $500 and/or up to six months in jail, and all litters will be forfeited to animal control authorities.

As part of our concern for the welfare of dogs, the American Kennel Club understands the desire to address irresponsible breeding practices and pet population concerns in Oklahoma. However, the AKC opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans and 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 responsible breeders and owners.

The provisions set forth in SB1130 will hurt responsible hobby breeders, those who have worked all of their lives to share well-tempered, sound dogs with other families. If breeding regulations are enacted, these small breeders may be forced out of existence, denying puppy purchasers a conscientious, knowledgeable, source of purebred dogs. Additionally, hundreds of fanciers who show but do not breed their unaltered animals may have no choice but to give up their enjoyment in the sport. Immediate help is needed to fight this unfair legislation!

 

What You Can Do:

  • Contact the bill sponsor and voice your opposition to SB1130:
    Senator Sam Helton
    State Capitol Building #425
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105
    Phone: 405-521-5563
    Fax: 405-521-5573
    helton@lsb.state.ok.us

  • Watch AKC's Web site for further updates. SB1130 will likely be referred to a committee in early February, and the Canine Legislation department will post more details at that time.

 

For more information on this or other legislative issues, please contact the Canine Legislation department (doglaw@akc.org).