AKC News

Press Center
More Headlines

Featured Items

FL Senate Bills to be Considered Monday, April 6th

(Friday, April 03, 2009)

Two Florida Senate bills that are of great concern to the American Kennel Club (AKC) are scheduled for consideration by Senate committees on Monday, April 6th. The AKC and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs urge all Floridians to take action on these bills.

Senate Bill 2002

Florida Senate Bill 2002, sponsored by Senator Lee Constantine, will be considered by the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee on Monday April 6, at 9:00 AM. The bill seeks to impose strict limits on the operations of responsible purebred dog breeders. The American Kennel Club and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs both vehemently oppose SB 2002, and encourage all responsible dog breeders and owners in Florida to contact the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee and strongly urge their opposition to the bill.

The AKC opposes the following provisions, among others, in SB 2002:

  • Limits the number of intact dogs four months or older a person may possess. The AKC believes that numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care.
  • Imposes strict operational requirements upon anyone who possesses 10 or more dogs four months of age or older. The AKC believes that strict engineering requirements for facilities should be replaced by performance-based requirements to ensure higher rates of compliance.
  • Restricts the breeding of dogs to only those between the ages of 18 months and eight years, and limits female dogs from whelping more than one litter per year. The AKC opposes any arbitrary limits placed on the responsible breeding of dogs, especially those proposed without regard for the health of dogs and alternative means of reproduction.
  • Allows inspections of premises by any law enforcement official by his own motion. The AKC believes that inspections of any premises, especially of private residences, should only be performed after probable cause has been established and a warrant secured from a neutral magistrate.

SB 2002 does not provide viable solutions to any animal issues in Florida. Instead, the bill 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 a person can own regardless of the quality of care provided. Bills with provisions similar to SB 2002 have been introduced with little success this year in West Virginia, Oregon, Illinois, Washington, Maryland, Texas, Indiana, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, and North Carolina.

Concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Florida should contact the members of the Senate Community Affairs Committee list below who will consider SB 2002 on Monday, April 6 (9:00 AM, in room 412-K at the Capitol in Tallahassee). Let them know that you oppose SB 2002, and urge them to do the same.

Senate Community Affairs Committee

Senator Michael S. "Mike" Bennet, Chair
306 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5078
E-MAIL: bennett.mike.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Gary Siplin, Vice Chair
205 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5190
E-MAIL: siplin.gary.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Thad Altman
324 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5053
E-MAIL: altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Ted Deutch
216 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5091
E-MAIL: deutch.ted.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Rudy Garcia
414 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5106
E-MAIL: garcia.rudy.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Andy Gardiner (Majority Whip)
308 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5047
E-MAIL: gardiner.andy.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Anthony C. "Tony" Hill, Sr.
213 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5024
E-MAIL: hill.tony.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Jeremy Ring
326 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5094
E-MAIL: ring.jeremy.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Ronda Storms
413 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5072
E-MAIL: storms.ronda.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Stephen R. Wise
410 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5027
E-MAIL: wise.stephen.web@flsenate.gov

Senate Bill 288

Florida Senate Bill 288, sponsored by Senator Larcenia Bullard, will be considered by the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee on Monday, April 6th, at 9:00 AM. The American Kennel Club and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs both oppose SB 288. It is imperative that all concerned Floridians contact the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee; respectfully let them know that you, as a responsible purebred dog breeder or owner in Florida, oppose SB 288 and urge them to do the same.

SB 288 will:

  • Require all "pet dealers" - described as all those who sell 20 or more dogs per year, including dog breeders who sell dogs directly to consumers—to add the following statement to the written notices already required to be given to consumers at the time of sale: "Dogs and cats are susceptible to more than 300 genetic disorders. Certain breeds may be predisposed to certain health problems. Therefore, it is recommended you get a scientific screening test for your dog or cat to help you identify a number of genetic diseases." The American Kennel Club believes that this statement is an indictment of purebred dogs, and strongly opposes its inclusion in state law. As a matter of course, the AKC encourages all new dog purchasers to have their dogs examined by a state-licensed veterinarian in a timely manner.
  • Increase administrative fines for violations of the entire section regarding "Dogs and cats transported or offered for sale" (828.29) and any rule of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services up to $10,000 per offense. Additionally, second or subsequent violations will be made subject to the provisions of Florida's Administrative Procedure Act. Because of the drastic increase in financial penalties and because SB 288 does not provide pet dealers the opportunity to correct potential violations, the American Kennel Club believes that these provisions of SN 288 are unreasonable and must be opposed.
  • Require an additional appropriation from Florida's General Revenue Fund of $82,669 to carry out the provisions of SB 228. The American Kennel Club believes that, if enacted, this added cost will be detrimental to Florida's current critical budget shortfall, which is estimated to be $3 billion. The AKC believes these funds could be better used to help fund critical programs such as public education.

Concerned Floridians should contact members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who will consider SB 288 on Monday, April 6, (9:00 AM, in room 37-S at the Capitol in Tallahassee). Let them know that you oppose SB 288, and urge them to do the same.

Senator Charles S. "Charlie" Dean, Sr., Chair (Majority Whip)
311 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5017
E-MAIL: dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Larcenia J. Bullard, Vice Chair
218 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5127
E-MAIL: bullard.larcenia.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Dave Aronberg
405 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5356
E-MAIL: aronberg.dave.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Cary Baker
316 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5014
E-MAIL: baker.carey.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Durell Peaden, Jr.
406 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5000
E-MAIL: peaden.durell.web@flsenate.gov

For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org; or contact the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs at Mikahkid2@aol.com.