Search Menu

Taking Command Newsletter

Federal Issues May 2021

AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor the US Congress for issues of interest to dog owners.

Visit our 2021 Legislation Tracking page and click on “US Fed” on the map to get the latest updates on federal bills currently being monitored by the AKC. Highlights of issues we are currently addressing on the federal level include:

US Congress – HR 2840/S 1385 – also referred to as the Puppy Protection Act – is the re-introduction of a measure from last congress that would establish a number of new arbitrary, one-size-fits-all requirements for USDA-licensed dog breeders. [Generally, dog breeders who maintain more than 4 intact females (cats, dogs or other small pet mammals) and sell transfer one or more pets sight unseen are subject to USDA licensing.] New requirements would include but are not limited to: completely solid flooring; mandated primary enclosure height such that a dog can stand on its hind legs and not touch the enclosure roof; new space requirements; mandated feeding twice daily; unrestricted access from primary enclosure to outdoor exercise yards large enough to achieve full stride during daylight hours; specific mental stimulation and socialization; annual dental exams; and arbitrary prohibitions on a number of litters bred; arbitrary prohibitions on breeding age.

US Congress – Companion measures HR 1448/S 613 direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program on dog training therapy and to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary to provide service dogs to veterans with mental illnesses who do not have mobility impairments. AKC has recommended amendments to assure behavioral, health and training standards for the dogs. Both measures have been referred to their respective Veterans Affairs committees. HR 1448 was passed by the House in mid-May.

 US Congress – HR 1016 would establish an Animal Cruelty Crimes Section within the Department of Justice to enforce federal animal cruelty laws. This measure has been referred to the Judiciary committee. 

US Congress – HR 1022/S 951 establishes a Veterans Administration program to establish grants to provide service dogs to certain qualified disabled veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. Grants would be provided for dogs from not-for-profit service dog trainers who meet credentials published by the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans, including passage of multiple levels of AKC CGC tests. The program would also develop appropriate means to measure and report on psychosocial function, therapeutic compliance, and change in reliance on prescription narcotics and psychotropic medications of program participants.