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Local Issues August 2019

Local Issues August 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:

CA, Kern County – California – AKC GR has learned that Kern County will revisit and potentially rewrite their animal ordinances, with likely input from animal rights activists and groups.  AKC GR will be working with the county and local clubs to address concerns and provide positive, effective solutions to the county’s concerns.  More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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.

CT, Stamford –The City of Stamford is considering a proposal to ban pet retail from sourcing cats and dogs from anywhere but animal shelters and rescues and on August 20th the Legislative and Rules Committee heard from a crowded room of residents in favor.  There is one pet store operating in the city.  The city’s Director of the Law Department noted that a call from the state Dept of Agriculture explained that the city may not have jurisdiction under state law to adopt the measure and a vote has been postponed until the next scheduled meeting on September 17thAKC GR has issued an alert and submitted a letter of opposition to the city’s Board of Representatives.

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, Alachua County – In response to input from representatives of local kennels clubs, the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs, AKC GR, and other stakeholders, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners did not authorize advertisement of a proposed ordinance that, among other problematic provisions, would require commercial and hobby breeders to be permitted, regulated, and subjected to warrantless inspections. The Board directed county staff to work with stakeholders to revise the proposal. AKC GR will continue to monitor this issue. Read the alert.

FL, Flagler County – The Flagler County Board of County Commissioners has postponed consideration of an ordinance that, among other problematic provisions, would require every dog and cat owner to at all times have available for inspection an official health certificate for the dog or cat.  An “official health certificate” is defined as a certificate signed by a veterinarian that states the animal has no contagious or infectious disease. AKC GR will continue to monitor this proposal  Read the alert.

IN, Noble County – The Noble County Board of Commissioners is considering updating its kennel regulations, defined in the proposal as instances where dogs are kept, raised, trained or boarded “as part of a commercial enterprise”.  Those who meet the definition must comply with state and federal regulations for kennels and become members of the Indiana Council on Animal Welfare.  AKC appreciates that changes were made since the 2018 proposal which would have regulated anyone who sold a dog and limited the number of kennel licenses that were allotted each year.  AKC GR and its state federation are asking for clarification to ensure hobbyists will not be included in this new definition.  GR and its state federation continue to closely monitor this proposal.

MA, Hopkinton – The Town of Hopkinton drafted amendments to its kennel ordinance to ensure sanitary conditions are maintained in the aftermath of a 2018 kennel license revocation for Greyhound Friends rescue.  The rescue successfully secured a new license this month, but opponents continue to petition town officials to shut the organization down.

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.

RI, Cumberland – The Cumberland Town Council 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.  The council has tabled the issue in its entirety. Read the alert. 

TN, Jackson – An ordinance that, among other provisions, requires spay or neuter of all dogs and cats six months of age or older was enacted on June 4, 2019 and takes effect on September 1, 2019. Exemptions include dogs whose owners have obtained an unaltered animal permit at an annual fee of $20 per dog; certain law enforcement, search and rescue, service, hunting, farm, and breeding dogs; dogs certified by a veterinarian as having a health condition for not being spayed or neutered; and dogs registered with AKC, UKC, and other specified organizations that are trained and kept for the purpose of show and trials.