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.

OK, Oklahoma City – In response to a resident death from a “pit bull” attack, the Oklahoma City Council is considering a mandatory impoundment, sterilization and microchip proposal for any dog considered “menacing” (including a dog that growls or “shows teeth”).  An exemption is provided for owners that can provide “satisfactory proof of pure breed status as verified by the American Kennel Club” or other registry.  AKC is communicating its concerns to the council and providing suggestions of more effective solutions. Read more about 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 passed the House Commission on Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Issues.

RI, Providence – The Providence City Council recently passed a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance and animal ownership limits. The proposal would require all dogs six months of age or older to be spayed or neutered unless a person acquires a dog breeding permit. Click here to read further.