AKC News

Press Center
More Headlines

Featured Items

West Virginia Bill A Radical Attempt At Limiting Dog Ownership

(Tuesday, March 17, 2009)

West Virginia House Bill 2843, sponsored by Delegates Daniel Poling of Wood, Virginia Mahan of Summers, Nancy Guthrie of Kanawha, Roy Givens of Brooke, and Tom Azinger of Wood, seeks to define commercial dog breeders and to impose limits on the ownership of dogs. Similar to many bills introduced in legislatures across the country in 2009, HB 2843 is part of a radical national legislative agenda aimed at limiting the freedoms and liberties of Americans by attempting to restrict the number of animals they can own. The American Kennel Club (AKC) opposes this legislation, and encourages all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in West Virginia to contact their Delegate in Charleston, the bill's sponsors, and the ranking members of the House Agriculture Committee who will consider this bill tomorrow and respectfully yet strongly urge them to not move HB 2843 forward. Additionally, AKC encourages all concerned breeders and owners to attend tomorrow's committee hearing and voice their opposition to this bill.

The American Kennel Club's mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC has a zero-tolerance policy regarding animal cruelty. We strongly support 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–regardless of whether dogs are kept in a kennel, shelter, or even someone's home. AKC also believes that restricting Americans' liberties by imposing numerical ownership limits does not address issues of responsible dog ownership and proper dog care. Instead, the AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of all dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.

If enacted, HB 2843 would:

  • Define "commercial dog breeders" as any person who maintains twenty or more unsterilized dogs over one year of age.
  • Require business licensure of commercial dog breeders.
  • Prohibit commercial dog breeders from owning more than forty unsterilized dogs.
  • Limit the breeding age of female dogs to between 18 months and eight years of age.
  • Require commercial dog breeders to keep records for at least five years.
  • Mandate inspections of commercial dog breeders' facilities, including private homes, twice annually; and allow inspections of such facilities without proving probable cause or obtaining a warrant from a neutral magistrate.
  • Impose fines of up to $2,500, or jail for up to one year, or both, for each violation, without opportunity to correct prior to charges being levied.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

All responsible dog breeders and owners in West Virginia are encouraged to attend tomorrow House Agriculture Committee hearing and voice their opposition to HB 2843.

West Virginia House of Delegates Agriculture Committee
Wednesday, March 18th 8:30AM
House Government Organization Room 215-E
State Capitol Complex, Charleston.

All concerned breeders and owners in West Virginia are strongly encouraged to contact their elected officials in Charleston, the bill's sponsors, and the members of the House Agriculture Committee who will consider this bill tomorrow and respectfully yet strongly urge them to not move HB 2843 forward.

To find out who your elected Delegate is, click here.

HB 2843's sponsors:

Delegate Daniel Poling
Room 223E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3137
E-MAIL: dpoling@mail.wvnet.edu

Delegate Virginia Mahan
Room 227E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3102
E-MAIL: vmahan@mail.wvnet.edu

Delegate Nancy Peoples Guthrie
Room 227E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3156
E-MAIL: nguthrie@mail.wvnet.edu

Delegate Roy Givens
Room 221E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3129
E-MAIL: rgivens@mail.wvnet.edu

Delegate Tom Azinger
Room 231E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3202
E-MAIL: tazinger@mail.wvnet.edu

Ranking members of the House Agriculture Committee:

Delegate Sam J. Argento, Chairman
Room 216 E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3112
E-MAIL: sargento@mail.wvnet.edu

Delegate Robert C. Tabb, Vice-Chairman
Room 210E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3274
E-MAIL: rtabb@mail.wvnet.edu

Delegate Allen V. Evans, Minority Chairman
Room 231E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3399
E-MAIL: aevans@mail.wvnet.edu

Delegate Ray Canterbury, Minority Vice-Chairman
Room 231E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25303
PHONE: (304) 340-3131
E-MAIL: rcanter1@mail.wvnet.edu

Click here for AKC's "Disagree Diplomatically" brochure.

Click here for AKC's "Make Your Contact Count" brochure for suggestions on how to effectively communicate with legislators.

For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.