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Montana Dog Limit Bill to Be Heard by House Agriculture Committee TOMORROW (3/3)

(Wednesday, March 02, 2011)

Please share this alert with concerned dog owners and breeders in Montana.

House Bill 515, a bill that seeks to limit ownership to 25 intact dogs and regulate breeders, will be heard by the Montana House Agriculture Committee at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3. Click here for a copy of the bill.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) abhors the mistreatment of animals and is very concerned about the conditions in which some dogs live. We support strict enforcement of current Montana animal cruelty laws. However, we are concerned that House Bill 515 would limit dog ownership, create arbitrary regulations, place unnecessary and expensive burdens on responsible dog owners, create additional cost for taxpayers, and do nothing to further protect the health and welfare of dogs maintained in conditions that violate existing laws.

Specific provisions include the following:

  • This bill would prohibit ownership of more than 25 intact dogs over the age of 6 months for the purpose of breeding those dogs and selling any offspring as pets. Limiting the number of dogs a person may own will not automatically make them a better owner. Restricting the number of animals that may be used for breeding can limit the gene pool and lead to health problems in future generations. And both the dogs and Montana taxpayers lose, as owners may be forced to abandon or give their dogs to shelters in order to comply with limits, requiring the dogs to be housed and/or euthanized at great cost to local communities.
  • This bill would create arbitrary regulations and requirements for dog enclosures that do not take into account a dog’s breed, age, or conditioning and do not consider the resources available to citizens who reside in different geographic areas of Montana.
  • This bill would outlaw breeding of dogs over 8 years of age. Limitations on breeding ages do not address the reproductive health of individual dogs. Breeding decisions should be made by the dog’s owner in conjunction with a veterinarian.

For additional talking points, please click on:
Issue Analysis: The Value of Responsible Dog Breeders
Animal Limit Laws – Better Alternatives

How You Can Help

  • Prior to the hearing on Thursday, contact members of the Montana House Agriculture Committee to politely express your concerns and ask them to vote no to House Bill 515. Call (406) 444-4800 during business hours to leave messages for committee members, or send polite emails to the committee members listed below.
  • Click here to send a message to House Agriculture Committee members using an online form.
  • State your position to committee members at the hearing on March 3 at 3:00 p.m. in Hearing Room 472, 1301 East 6th Avenue, Helena, MT 59601. Click here for information on speaking at a committee hearing, or contact the Session Information Desk in the first floor hall of the Capitol, (406) 444-4800.

Krayton Kerns, Chairman krayton@kraytonkerns.org
Timothy Furey, Vice Chair tjfurey@montana.com
Bob Wagner, Vice Chair bobwagner4leg@yahoo.com
Joanne Blyton dblyton@aol.com
Christy Clark christy_clark@ymail.com
Lila Evans boyd.evans@gmail.com
Steve Fitzpatrick fitzpatricks@bresnan.net
Alan Hale alangail38@wildblue.net
Brian Hoven brian@hovenequipment.com
David Howard d.howard@usadig.com
Margaret MacDonald macmargaret@gmail.com
Edith McClafferty edie.mcclafferty@gmail.com
Jonathan McNiven jonathanmcniven@gmail.com
Pat Noonan pnoonan73@yahoo.com
Carolyn Pease-Lopez Clopezzz@wildblue.net
Lee Randall LeeRandall_2003@hotmail.com
Joe Read jrdemob@yahoo.com
Daniel Salomon dansalomon12@gmail.com
Sterling Small badcatsmall@yahoo.com
Frank Smith clairena@nemontel.net
Kathleen Williams kathleenhd65@bresnan.net

Contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org for additional information.

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