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Update: Maryland Rejects Restrictive Breeders Bill

(Tuesday, March 03, 2009)

The AKC congratulates Maryland dog owners and breeders on a major victory on March 2, when the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee gave an unfavorable report to a bill that would have placed numerous restrictions on dog owners and breeders.

Senate Bill 318 would have mandated the implementation of rigid engineering requirements for anyone owning 10 or more intact dogs with no regard to the fiscal impact this would have on owners or the enforceability of such requirements. It also sought to mandate detailed exercise regulations for any owner of 10 or more dogs over four months of age. The measure also would have limited breeders to owning no more than 50 "breeding" dogs over the age of four months.

The American Kennel Club’s mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC abhors neglectful treatment of dogs and strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs. However, we also believe that numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care. 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 AKC thanks the members of the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee for rejecting this legislation and protecting the rights of Maryland dog owners. We also thank the Maryland Dog Federation and all responsible breeders and fanciers for their tireless efforts on behalf of Maryland dog owners.

The AKC was pleased to assist the efforts of the AKC’s local federation, the Maryland Dog Federation and numerous other responsible breeders and fanciers by notifying 470 Maryland dog club officials and judges of this bill, and urging responsible dog owners and breeders to vociferously oppose the measure and attend the committee hearing. AKC also provided sample letters, legislative contact information, talking points and other additional materials to help in the fight against SB 318.