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UPDATE: Indiana Breeders' Restrictions Bill Passes House of Representatives

(Tuesday, February 24, 2009)

The Indiana House of Representatives has passed House Bill 1468, which imposes limits on dog ownership and labels anyone who sells five dogs a year a "pet dealer".

This bill is being advertised as a solution to "puppy mills" in the state. The AKC agrees that kennels with deplorable conditions must never be tolerated; however, this measure does not fix the problem of irresponsible dog breeders in Indiana and it severely limits the rights of responsible breeders.

In addition, any breeder who owns more dogs that allowed by the limit would be forced to spay /neuter or dispose of them. Many of these dogs would end up in shelters at great cost to the state. However, shelters, humane societies, and rescue organizations are exempt from the bill, and therefore not held to the same standards of care.

Legislators are receiving numerous calls and letters from supporters of this bill. It is important that all responsible dog owners, breeders, and fanciers in Indiana contact Governor Daniels and their State Senator and politely yet strongly express your opposition to House Bill 1468!

If passed, House Bill 1468 would, among other provisions:

  • Limit ownership to 30 dogs that are at least one year of age and are not spayed or neutered.
  • Protect a dog purchaser from buying a dog with disease or other health conditions, but provide no recourse for breeders victimized by false accusations.
  • Label anyone who sells five dogs in a year a "pet dealer".
  • Exempt shelters and other rescue organizations from the standards of care required for dog breeders

The American Kennel Club’s mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. We believe, however, that numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care. Limiting the number of dogs an irresponsible owner may have will not make him or her a better owner. Additionally, limit laws are very difficult to enforce, as those who do not want to abide by the limits can simply not register their dogs.

The AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously. The better, and most effective, solution to the concerns of the Indiana General Assembly is to enact stronger cruelty language and enforcement to cover all dog owners.

We urge the Indiana Senate to reject House Bill 1468 and instead work on legislation that will truly fix the problems of neglect and irresponsible ownership, and protect the rights of responsible dog owners.

What You Can Do to Help

  • Contact Governor Mitch Daniels and ask him to oppose House Bill 1468 and respect the rights of responsible breeders. Click here for the phone number and e-mail form for the Governor’s office.
  • Contact your State Senator and ask for a NO vote on House Bill 1468.

Click here to find your Senator and their contact information.

Click here for a sample letter to personalize and send to Governor Daniels and your Senator. We encourage you to include things you or your club have done in the community.

Additional Resources

This is a very emotionally charged issue, but it is important to communicate respectfully with legislators. View our "Disagree Diplomatically" brochure for suggestions on how to communicate with legislators.