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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues February 2019

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 has been tentatively rescheduled for March 26 at 12:00 noon at the Fort Smith Public Library. 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 last week 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.

CA, West Hollywood –
The City of West Hollywood City Council approved new regulations for pet grooming businesses within the city limits. These businesses include stand-alone animal grooming facilities, mobile grooming facilities, and grooming facilities within a pet supplies store or pet daycare facility. The new ordinances require training and certification for groomers.

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 is expected to be rewritten and resubmitted to Brevard County Commissioners in February. AKC GR has reached out to the County Attorney’s office that is tasked with amending the measure and has offered to provide alternate language.

FL, Orange County – The Board of Commissioners has asked staff to draft legislation restricting retail pet stores to selling 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.

KY, Ashland
– A possible new proposal to restrict tethering and establish animal sheltering requirements was discussed at the February 14 Board of Commissioners meeting.  AKC GR is monitoring this issue.

KY, Louisville – A proposed ordinance that, among other provisions, would create a local animal abuser/offender registry was amended in the Public Service Committee on February 13. This measure would prohibit a person listed on the registry from possessing an animal. It would also create an offense for certain kennels and catteries to sell or transfer an animal to a person listed on the registry. Penalties would include confiscation of the animals. AKC GR continues to monitor this issue.

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 is in the process of obtaining a copy of the current draft.

PA, Grove City – The Grove City Borough Council introduced a proposal that could limit residents to owning three dogs.  As introduced, it appears that no one could own more than three dogs, or three dogs and three cats, without obtaining a kennel license.  It is unclear, however, whether it is possible for a person in a residential area to get a permit, and what all would be required.  AKC is encouraging local residents to reach out to the council and ask them to not limit residential dog ownership. The proposal will likely be considered within the next few weeks.  Read more.

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 agreement to work cooperatively with AKC GR.  A date to present to the council has not yet been set.