Local/Other: Issues at the City, County, and Metropolitan Levels, and in U.S. Territories

The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to assist dog owners with canine legislation issues in their local communities, but we can't help unless we are aware of the proposal. Please contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org when new laws are discussed or introduced in your city or county. We will provide you with resources and tools to help defend the rights of dog owners and support responsible dog ownership in your community. 

Here are some examples of the local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR:

Georgia, Canton –  A proposed ordinance that would limit retail pet stores to selling dogs and cats from only animal shelters or rescue organizations is on the city council agenda for March 16.

Michigan, Grand Rapids – A proposal was introduced in Grand Rapids that would limit the number of dogs that can be kept in city limits. The AKC understands this will be pulled from the agenda and the city will instead consider updating their regulations regarding cruelty and hoarding. AKC and the Michigan Association for Pure-Bred Dogs continue to monitor the city’s actions on this issue.

Ohio, St. Clairsville – The City of St. Clairsville introduced a proposal that would have regulated “vicious dogs”, which it defined in part as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American pit bull terriers, or any mixed breed that contains “as an element of its breeding” any of these breeds. After numerous concerns were raised by the AKC, local clubs, and residents, the city agreed to withdraw the proposal and replace it with dangerous dog language that would apply to all dogs regardless of breed. AKC continues to monitor this proposal.

Puerto RicoPC 913 would repeal the current breed ban in place on the island. Current law prohibits the “introduction, import, possession, acquisition, breeding, purchase, sale and transfer” of “pitbull terriers”. These are defined as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American pit bull terriers, and those that meet certain physical characteristics. PC 913 removes this prohibition, contains legislative findings that acknowledge the inherent flaws in breed-specific policies and encourages instead laws that are aimed at preventing dangerous dogs regardless of breed. It has been assigned to the House of Representatives Commission on Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Issues.