AKC News

Press Center
More Headlines

NJ Alert: Delaware Township to Vote on Limit Law Next Week

(Tuesday, November 27, 2012)

The Board of Health in Delaware Township, New Jersey, will consider a new law limiting the number of dogs that may be kept by households in the Township on Monday, December 3, 2012. The American Kennel Club (AKC) opposes laws that limit the number of dogs a responsible owner may own, and encourages all concerned Delaware Township residents to contact the members of the Board of Health and the Township Committee and urge them to oppose the proposal.

The American Kennel Club appreciates the efforts of the Delaware Township Committee and the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs, which have been working together on dog issues since 2011. As a result of these meetings, Township officials addressed several of the concerns voiced by the Township’s responsible dog breeders and owners. Unfortunately, the resulting proposal also continues to include a number of problematic provisions, including:

  • Legislative findings supporting the concept that ownership limits are the best mechanisms to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. The AKC opposes these non-scientific findings, and strongly endorses the right to own, keep, and breed dogs in a responsible and humane manner. We believe that responsible dog ownership is compatible with most living arrangements while also recognizing the special obligation of dog owners, not only to their pets but also to their neighbors. The AKC supports reasonable regulations designed to ensure dogs and their owners remain respected members of their communities.
  • A new limit of six intact dogs over the age of seven months, and not more than a total combined number of intact and/or spayed or neutered dogs of 10 dogs, allowed per household. (Litters of puppies less than six months of age are specifically exempted from the limit law.) Additionally, households are restricted from keeping more than two litters of puppies per intact female within a consecutive 24-month period. These restrictions shall not apply to properly licensed kennels operating in compliance with all applicable laws including applicable zoning restrictions. The American Kennel Club opposes ownership limits.
  • A “grandfather provision” that permits a household possessing more dogs than the amount limited above to keep all of their dogs as long as all are licensed on December 5, 2012. Any household shall be entitled to maintain their current number of dogs greater than the number permitted until such dogs die or are otherwise transferred out of the household’s possession or for a period of 12 years, whichever is later. While the AKC opposes ownership limits, we appreciate the inclusion of this sensible grandfather provision that protects dogs already maintained in Delaware Township. The AKC encourages compliance with all licensing laws and reminds Delaware Township residents that if this ordinance passes they must license their dogs by the December 5, 2012 deadline to ensure protection under the grandfather provision.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Concerned Delaware Township residents are encouraged to attend the upcoming meeting of the Delaware Township Board of Health on Monday, December 3, 2012, and appear in opposition to the proposed limit law. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM at 70 Rosemont Ringoes Road, Sergeantsville, NJ 08557.

Concerned Delaware Township residents are also encouraged to write, call, or fax the Delaware Township Board of Health and respectfully express your concerns with the proposal. Politely yet strongly urge them to NOT MOVE ORDINANCE #2012-10 BH FORWARD.

Delaware Township Board of Health
570 Rosemont-Ringoes Road
PO Box 500
Sergeantsville, NJ 08557
Phone: (609) 397-3240 (Ext. 202 to Board of Health Secretary Danene Gooding)
Fax: (609) 397-4893

Click here for a sample letter opposing ownership limit proposals.

For more information, contact the AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org; or contact Linda Deutsch with the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs at taadeutsch@yahoo.com.