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:

CA, The city of Los Angeles is considering changes that would remove numeric limits on pet ownership limits and change zoning ordinances to would allow retail pet stores in commercially zoned areas.  The changes would also encourage pet retailers to provide dogs from rescue organizations, along with shelter animals.  AKC GR sent a response commenting on the proposed changes and offering assistance in drafting ordinance language.   

CA, The Los Angeles Board of Animal Services is considering a plan to only use plant-based (vegan) dog food at the city’s six animal shelters.  AKC GR is monitoring the issue and will comment if necessary.

CA, The West Hollywood City Council has directed city staff to investigate and draft ordinances establishing standards and requirements for animal groomers.  AKC GR will reach out to the city to offer its expertise on this topic.

CO, Boulder – Media reports indicate that an effort will likely be made to put a measure on the city’s November 2018 ballot to ban certain types of tethering, including choke collars, prong collars and shock collars.  No official language is yet available and AKC GR is monitoring this issue. 

GA, Forsyth County – Forsyth County Commission Chair Todd Levent and Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills met with stakeholders on January 12 to discuss an ordinance that would require “animal handler permits” for employees of kennels, grooming, training, boarding, and other broadly-defined “animal care facilities.” It would also restrict the court’s discretion regarding penalties for animal cruelty and neglect violations, and would further restrict humane tethering of dogs. A public hearing and vote on the ordinance, including possible amendments thereto, is scheduled for February 1. Read AKC’s most recent legislative alert on this issue. 

OH, Lakewood – The City of Lakewood has proposed an ordinance that would expand its current breed-specific laws and mandate the sterilization of all dogs over 4 months of age unless the person can prove they are a breeder.  AKC GR is working closely with local breeders and dog owners to oppose this bill, educate the council and mayor on concerns, and provide more effective solutions.  The proposal is expected to be formally introduced soon and considered by the council Public Safety Committee.