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, Riverside –  On Monday, May 8, the Land Use Committee of the City of Riverside conducted a public workshop to get feedback on a working draft of changes to the City’s animal ordinances. The draft, originally modeled on nearby Long Beach’s extreme animal ordinances, was to include breeder licensing and a ban on the retail sales of pets. Due to the organized advocacy efforts of concerned local fanciers, the Dog Owners of the Golden State and the California Federation of Dog Clubs, the committee unanimously decided to rework the proposal’s policies to ensure that the rights of responsible breeders and owners remain protected while addressing local animal control issues. Click here to read further.

FL, Hillsborough County – The Hillsborough County Animal Advisory Committee seeks to propose an ordinance that would regulate, set requirements for, and establish fees for dog training businesses and dog trainers in the county. Dog owners, trainers, club members, and representatives of the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs presented opposition to the proposal at the committee’s June 28 meeting. Rather than tabling the proposal as requested by constituents, the committee indicated intent to present another draft. The committee has also discussed seeking enactment of a broad definition of the pejorative term, “puppy and kitten mill.” Read AKC's alert for more information.

NC, Craven County – The Craven County Commission is considering changes to its animal control laws to regulate the tethering of dogs outdoors. AKC and local dog owners have been communicating with the County Manager and commissioners to ensure amendments that allow for reasonable, humane and temporary tethering of dogs in supervised conditions. A public hearing was held on July 5, 2017.

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 passed the House Commission on Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Issues.

Texas, Kermit – A local resident reached out to the AKC asking for assistance in fighting a breed-specific measure in their community.  The proposal was introduced in an effort to regulate dangerous dogs.  Amendments are expected that would base the requirements on a dog’s weight, rather than its breed.  At the request of the local resident, AKC drafted a letter emphasizing the inherent problems with breed-specific laws and providing alternative solutions.