AKC Supports Veterinarian-Led Bill to Protect Dogs and Crack Down on Animal Cruelty

The American Kennel Club (AKC) strongly supports North Carolina Senate Bill 209, which takes important measures to protect the health and welfare of all dogs in the state.

SB 209, sponsored by North Carolina Senators Trudy Wade, DVM, Bill Rabon, DVM and Andrew Brock, would establish the “NC Pets We Care Hotline” to allow North Carolinians to report any act of animal cruelty or violation of the state’s Animal Welfare Act directly to the Attorney General. These reports would be investigated and forwarded to local law enforcement and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill also provides resources to help local communities offset the costs of enforcing cruelty laws.

“Protecting the health and wellbeing of dogs and educating dog owners about responsible dog ownership is at the core of everything AKC does, and this is why we support Senate Bill 209,” said AKC Government Relations Director Sheila Goffe. “The NC Pets We Care Hotline will provide North Carolinians the ability to report animal cruelty and neglect violations wherever and wherever they are seen. AKC thanks Senators Wade, Rabon and Brock for introducing this important bill to help North Carolina officials, law enforcement and residents work together to stop any instance of animal cruelty in our state.”

Animal cruelty is a felony in North Carolina, and SB 209 focuses on enforcing these cruelty laws and ensuring the wellbeing of all dogs—regardless of how many dogs the owner has. AKC supports full enforcement of this law and additional resources, as necessary, to ensure the well-being of all dogs in North Carolina.

Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the world’s largest purebred dog registry and a not-for-profit educational organization located in Raleigh, North Carolina. AKC is dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership, advocating for dogs as family companions, advancing canine health and well-being, and working to protect the rights of all responsible dog owners.

AKC expects breeders to give careful consideration to health issues, including recommending genetic screening, as well as individual care, conditions and placement of puppies in responsible homes. In fact, the AKC is the only registry that incorporates health screenings into permanent dog records. AKC supports and promotes these and other responsible breeding practices through breeder education programs, and commends those who offer similar guidance.

AKC strongly opposes the breeding of dogs by those who do so without regard to the dog’s welfare. AKC Investigations and Inspections Department conducts thousands of kennel inspections each year. When AKC inspectors find kennels that do not meet our minimum care and conditions requirements, they educate and encourage those breeders to raise their standards or face suspension of their AKC privileges. AKC inspectors will also immediately notify proper authorities when cases of neglect or cruelty are found.