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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues August 2020

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:

AL, Muscle Shoals – The city council approved an ordinance that requires pet shops to offer for sale only dogs and cats obtained from and in cooperation with an animal shelter or an animal rescue organization.  A proponent of the measure who attended the meeting indicated she will be proposing additional measures to limit breeders.

CO, Aurora – The City of Aurora is considering whether to amend its current breed-specific and dangerous dog laws.  At a hearing on August 17, the city decided to delay putting the breed-specific law on the November ballot and is still determining next steps.  In addition, the city has proposed a new dangerous dog law that could be enacted regardless of action on the breed-specific law.  AKC and the Colorado federation continue to monitor.  Read more.

CO, Denver – The City of Denver is putting a proposal on the November 2020 ballot that would significantly amend the city’s long-standing breed-specific laws.  The proposal would remove the breed ban and instead require a permit and annual inspection, among other provisions, and would allow the opportunity for owners to obtain a regular dog license after 36 months with no animal control violations.  AKC and the Colorado federation are closely monitoring and will provide more information as available.  Read more.

GA, Albany – Potential changes to the city’s animal ordinances and dangerous dog laws were presented to City Commissioners at the August 18, 2020, meeting.  Resident dog owners are urged to contact their city commissioners to learn more about this issue and how to participate in the development of new animal laws.  Read more.

 IL, Chicago – Chicago is seeking to prohibit pet stores from sourcing from rescues that are affiliated with breeders.  In addition, the proposal would require all hobby breeders to obtain a permit and comply with numerous requirements that may be impossible to meet.  AKC GR has participated in virtual meetings with key aldermen, drafted an op-ed, and submitted written testimony.  The vote has been tabled but will likely be brought back for consideration later this year.  AKC GR and its federation continue to reach out to the sponsor and council members and work with other stakeholders to provide alternative solutions.   Read more.

 MA, Marshfield – According to media reports the Coalition to End Puppy Mills is now working on a pet retail ban ordinance for an October vote in Marshfield.

MA, Pittsfield – In February, the coalition to end puppy mills gathering signatures placing a pet store ban ordinance before city council.  Prior to its effective date, AKC GR submitted a letter of concern to the city solicitor and highlighted text in the ordinance in conflict with state law; including new regulatory definitions for animal rescue and shelter organizations.  The city solicitor has forwarded the concerns to the city’s Ordinance and Rules Committee and has indicated they will notify AKC GR when the matter is taken up.

ME, Kittery – The town of Kittery, Maine, has scheduled a special meeting on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, for public input on proposed restrictions on dogs at public beaches. View AKC’s alert for more information.

NC, Burke County – The Burke County Commission is considering numerous changes to its animal control laws, including new regulations for tethering and breeder permits.  AKC and local clubs and sportsmen expressed numerous concerns, and the issue was tabled on August 18 for 90 days to allow time for stakeholders to work with the Animal Advisory Committee on amendments.  AKC and local dog owners will be working with the committee over the next couple of months to address concerns.

NC, Carteret County – Carteret County is seeking input on its animal control laws prior to drafting amendments.  The county has developed a brief survey and AKC is encouraging local dog owners and breeders to provide input prior to the August 31 deadline.  Read more.

SC, Aiken County – The Aiken County Council postponed consideration of the proposed ordinance at its June 16 meeting.  View a request for public review and comment posted on the county website.  Read AKC’s alert on the ordinance as it was originally proposed.