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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues April 2019

Local/Other: Issues at the City, County, and Metropolitan Levels, and in U.S. Territories

The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to assist dog owners with canine legislation issues in their local communities, but we can’t help unless we are aware of the proposal. Please contact us at (919) 816-3720 or when new laws are discussed or introduced in your city or county. We will provide you with resources and tools to help defend the rights of dog owners and support responsible dog ownership in your community.

Here are some examples of the local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR:

AR, Fort Smith
Local media reports that the Fort Smith Animal Services Advisory Board seeks to propose a $125/year unaltered animal license fee. Previously, the city has discussed unaltered pet license fees as high as $500/year, business licenses for owners of unaltered animals, and restrictions of one litter per year.  A study session to review the Animal Advisory Board’s recommendations was held on March 26. The measure was tentatively scheduled to be considered at the April 2 County Board of Directors meeting but did not appear on the agenda. Read the legislative alert.

CA, Solano County –Solano County was contemplating removing its fairgrounds association from the day-to-day operations of the site. Such a move could have potentially affected many dogs shows that annually use the facilities. AKC GR presented testimony at the board of supervisors meeting regarding the regional economic impact of those dog events.  The board assured the public that dog events would not be affected and voted to postpone any decision on fairgrounds management. Read the alert.

CA, City of Manteca – The city of Manteca is contemplating an ordinance to restrict the number of pets city residents may own. AKC GR has contacted the city regarding the proposed ordinance and is working with local kennel clubs to offer alternatives to allay the city’s concerns without harming responsible dog owners.  A hearing was conducted on February 6. Read the alert.

CA, City of Palm Springs – The City of Palm Springs, California in 2018 attempted to hear an ordinance prohibiting the breeding of any dog or cat within the city limits. AKC GR worked with the Kennel Club of Palm Springs and fanciers from the region and the state to have the item removed from the council’s meeting agenda. Local dog breeders, fanciers, and AKC GR are continuing to monitor the situation and work with council members to identify the issues, present factual information, and offer alternatives to address the council’s concerns without harming responsible breeders.

CA, Tulare County AKC GR and many concerned dog owners and breeders submitted comments on Tulare County’s proposed changes to its Animal Ordinances and Kennel Standards, which would have harmed hobby breeders. The city has not yet indicated when it will bring the proposed changes forward. AKC GR continues to reach out to Animal Services and the Tulare County Board of Supervisors with the offer of discussions to develop new ordinances and standards that can address the county’s concerns, while not causing harm to responsible dog owners, breeders, and kennel operations. Read our legislative alert. 

CT, New Haven – The City of New Haven is reviewing AKC GR’s requested amendments to their animal ordinance establishing breeder and litter permits as part of a dangerous dog proposal.  A public hearing will be scheduled and AKC is monitoring the calendar. Read the alert.

FL, Brevard County – An ordinance to restrict the sales of pets in pet stores, which includes breeder definitions and provides for inspection of hobby breeder who sell to pet stores was enacted on April 9.

FL, Orange County – The Board of Commissioners has asked staff to draft legislation restricting retail pet stores to sell only dogs and cats procured from rescue distributors. AKC GR has expressed concerns about this and has proposed alternatives to address animal care and control issues of concern.

IL, Lake County – The county board is considering breeder licensing and other restrictions after concerns were raised by a local humane group about shelter overpopulation.  The animal services directors provided a presentation to the county demonstrating that this was not a concern for the county and that this proposal would not be effective.  AKC, its state federation, and local clubs are providing more effective alternatives to the county.

KY, Louisville
– An ordinance, among other provisions, creates a local animal abuser registry in Louisville/Jefferson County passed on April 11. This ordinance require a person convicted of a violation of any of the offenses found in KRS 525.125,525.130, 525.135, 525.200, or 525.205 to register and remain on the registry for two years, prohibits a person listed on the registry from possessing or working with an animal, prohibits certain pet sellers, kennels and catteries to sell or transfer an animal to a person listed on the registry, and establishes penalties for noncompliance.

MA, Hopkinton – The Town of Hopkinton is drafting amendments to its kennel ordinance to ensure sanitary conditions are maintained.  AKC GR was asked to assist in the effort and has requested a copy of the current draft.

MA, Uxbridge – The board of health is currently reviewing the animal ordinance and considering changes to update the rules.  AKC GR is working with a club member to closely monitor for any draft document.

NJ, Madison – The Borough Council considered significant changes to Madison’s animal sales ordinances that would have restricted pet shops and their owners, and kennels and their operators, to breeding and selling dogs and cats sourced only from licensed animal shelters and rescue organizations.  The proposal also grandfathered currently existing uses that the proposal would have otherwise prohibited.  AKC GR expressed opposition to this proposal and worked with other stakeholders in opposition. The proposal was withdrawn by the Borough Council on April 8.

NC, Caswell County – The Board of Commissioners considered a proposal on March 4 that would license and regulate those deemed commercial breeders or “high-volume private kennels”.  AKC requested amendments to ensure the definition of commercial breeder was not based solely on the number of animals owned and kept on the premises.  The proposal also included extensive care and kennel standard requirements.  AKC and its state federation both reached out to the council with concerns and proposed amendments.

RI, Cumberland – The Cumberland Town Council has proposed a dog breeder permit/license that allows breeding only in areas zoned for kennels unless a special permit is acquired.  Violations of the ordinance would result in a $500 penalty.  In response to AKC and the Providence Kennel Club’s concerns, the proposal has been continued for further discussion with the agreement to work cooperatively with AKC GR.  A date to present has not been made by the council.