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Cecil County (MD) to Consider Hobbyist and Dog Owner Regulations on June 5

(Tuesday, May 29, 2012)

The Cecil County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 5, regarding a proposal that would create many new requirements for dog owners, hobby breeders, and those who keep dogs for participation in dog events, hunting, and other “practical purposes”.

Among other provisions, the proposal would require anyone who has between 10 and 20 dogs of any age to obtain a hobby kennel license and allow their home to be inspected “at any reasonable time.”

Responsible dog owners who reside or host events in Cecil County are strongly encouraged to attend the hearing and also contact the commissioners and ask them to oppose the ordinance as currently written. Scroll down for meeting and contact information.


As currently written, this proposal contains numerous new provisions for dog owners and hobbyists, including:

New Provisions for Hobby Breeders:

The proposal defines a hobby breeder as someone who keeps 10-20 dogs “for any practical purpose, including but not limited to hunting and tracking.” It is believed that this would include keeping dogs for participation in dog events, as working dogs, etc. This threshold includes dogs of any age, as well as both intact and sterilized dogs.

Those who meet this definition would be limited to breeding and selling 2 litters/year. They would also be required, among other provisions, to purchase an annual hobby breeder license (after an initial inspection), individual dog licenses for each dog owned, and subject to an annual inspection. This inspection is in addition to allowing the Animal Care and Control Authority to inspect a mother and puppies, or the hobbyists’ premises in general, at any time.

New Provisions for “Commercial Kennels”:

A “commercial kennel” is defined as one that breeds three or more litters/year. Those who meet this definition must, among other provisions, obtain a state business license and commercial kennel license. They must first submit the application to the Office of Planning and Zoning, and then to the Animal Care and Control Authority “for further review”. They must also schedule an initial inspection and annual inspections, and allow other inspections at any time.

All hobby and commercial kennel licensees must display their inspection reports and veterinary-approved exercise plans in a prominent place.

In addition to licensing provisions, the proposal also includes extensive regulations for anyone who keeps dogs outdoors.

How You Can Help:

  • Attend the Cecil Council Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, June 5 and respectfully ask them to oppose the kennel regulations as currently written. The meeting information is as follows:
    Cecil County Board of Commissioners Public Hearing
    Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012
    Time: 7:00 p.m.
    Location: Cecil County Administration Building
    Elk Room
    200 Chesapeake Blvd.
    Elkton, Maryland

For questions or more information on this proposal, contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org

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