Utah Seeks to Define “Commercial Breeder” as Anyone with Six Dogs

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Utah House Bill 132 will define a commercial breeder as “a person who for a fee or other consideration; maintains in a kennel at any time six or more dogs for breeding or six or more cats for breeding and sells, leases, trades, barters, auctions, or provides to another person the offspring of those dogs or cats or; buys, sells, leases, trades or provides to another person a dog or cat wholesale for resale to another.”

Utah House Bill 132 will define a commercial breeder as “a person who for a fee or other consideration; maintains in a kennel at any time six or more dogs for breeding or six or more cats for breeding and sells, leases, trades, barters, auctions, or provides to another person the offspring of those dogs or cats or; buys, sells, leases, trades or provides to another person a dog or cat wholesale for resale to another.”

The bill will soon be before the Utah House of Representatives and it is imperative that responsible dog owners and breeders contact their legislators and ask them to oppose this legislation.

The bill does not define “dogs for breeding,” so this could impact any resident with six or more intact animals who sells or even gives away a single puppy. Many of these breeders might own six or more intact dogs and yet only breed one or two litters a year. Small breed dogs might only produce one or two puppies in a litter. It is not reasonable to consider these breeders as “commercial.” This definition is not reflective of actual commerce being conducted, only ownership. A person who collects classic cars and occasionally sells one would not be considered a car dealership and hobby breeders and dog fanciers should not be defines using this faulty premise either.  

Furthermore, this legislation would likely have a negative impact on small hobby breeders who are prohibited from engaging in commercial or business activities due to their zoning designation or Homeowners Association regulations. This legislation is designed to expand the ability of municipalities to license certain home businesses. This would allow for additional taxes to be levied upon the business owner.

Local responsible breeders are assets to their communities. These breeders make serious commitments to their animals by raising healthy, well cared-for dogs and by working to ensure that puppies are placed with responsible owners. They are in a unique position to support new pet owners and exemplify responsible animal ownership. Responsible dog breeders and owners are models for their communities and should not be penalized by being forced to comply with burdensome regulations.

What You Can Do 

  • Please contact the bill author, Representative Anderegg and ask him to remove the references to commercial breeders and kennels from the legislation.
  • Contact your representative in the Utah State House of Representatives and ask him or her not to support House Bill 132 in its current form. You can find your representative by inputting your address at into this search.

AKC Resources:
AKC Position Statement: Canine Population Issues
Issue Analysis: The Value of Responsible Dog Breeders
AKC Position Statement: Breeding Restrictions
AKC Position Statement: Responsible Breeding Practices 
Responsible Breeding Practices Issue Brief

For additional information please contact the American Kennel Club Government Relations department at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720.