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Issues at the City, County, and Metropolitan Levels, and in US 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:

AL, Red Bay – A proposed ordinance that seeks to restrict ownership of “pit bull” dogs and prohibit new pit bulls from coming into the city has been discussed. Per the city clerk, a dangerous dog ordinance could be discussed at an upcoming city council meeting. Read more.

 KS, Wichita The Wichita Animal Services Advisory Board (WASAB) voted to endorse an ordinance to prohibit pet stores from selling dogs sourced from breeders in late July. AKC submitted comments to the board in opposition to the comments. Several board members reached out to AKC to gather more information and decided to work with AKC on a more appropriate solution related to consumer protection. The ordinance must now be approved by the Wichita Police Department (WPD), following the WASAB meeting where they endorsed the ordinance the board chair called to let AKC know the WPD does not intend to approve the ordinance, so it is unlikely to receive consideration from the full city council. AKC provided virtual testimony during the meeting and spoke with two board members prior to the WASAB meeting in July.

LA, St. Landry Parish – a proposed ordinance that significantly amends animal control laws was announced by Parish President Jessie Ballard, and could be considered at an upcoming Parish Council meeting. Click here to view the proposed ordinance, which is listed under Public Notices for July 29, 2022.  The ordinance remains subject to additional revisions, and according to news stories, parish government officials will tour rural parish communities beginning in August to explain the proposed animal control ordinance.

LA, Shreveport – The city of Shreveport enacted a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance on July 26, effective July 1, 2022 through June 20, 2024. Among exemptions are puppies aged 52 weeks or younger; dogs registered with the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, American Dog Breeding Association, Continental Kennel Club, or other nationally or internationally recognized organization and that participates in shows sponsored by these organizations; and dogs whose health would be detrimentally affected as determined by a veterinarian. AKC submitted a letter of concern regarding this legislation.

TN, Knoxville – Changes to the city animal and tethering ordinance were discussed among city council members in June. An amendment to zoning code to redefine “kennel” and allow overnight animal boarding, subject to certain approvals, in additional zoning categories was approved on July 26.

TN, Manchester – The Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed on first reading a series of animal ordinances that, among other provisions, seek to establish minimum outdoor enclosure sizes for dogs, establish requirements for tethering, and provide for seizure on a third violation. The board next meets on September 6 and could conduct a final vote at that time.

 VA, Nelson County – The Nelson County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, and approved Zoning Ordinance Amendments to amend the current definition of “Kennel” and its use in certain zoning districts to clarify that a kennel is a premises where the “primary use” is to breed dogs, etc..  It also states that the definition may include additional facilities “necessary to support the operation including but not limited to office space, meeting space, and temporary lodging accommodations exclusive to those clients training with the animals.”  The amendment also removed existing by-right use in areas zoned for Agriculture or Service Enterprise.  AKC GR spoke with the County to ensure that existing kennels, and kennels as a secondary use in conjunction with a dwelling (home occupation) remain permitted by-right, and would not be impacted by the changes.  Read more.

 VA, Rockingham County – At a recent County Planning Commission meeting, the Commission table a proposed Dog Kennel Ordinance (the entire proposal by viewing the previous Planning Commission agenda, beginning on page 16).  Under the draft proposal, commercial breeding kennels can have no more than four adult breeding females on premises during any rolling 12-month period. Breeding female dogs may have no more than two litters in a rolling 12-month period.  The proposal also contains requirements for such operations.  AKC GR has had conversations with County Board of Supervisor William Kyger to discuss the proposal and he has been successful in encouraging his fellow Supervisors to delay action on the proposal until additional input from local dog clubs, breeders, and the American Kennel Club can be considered.  Currently, AKC GR is awaiting the scheduling of work session with the Board of Supervisor on the proposal and will be providing comments and recommended changes to the Planning Commission. Read more.