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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:

KS, Wichita – The Wichita Animal Services Advisory Board met in November 2022 to discuss a mandatory spay and neuter Ordinance. AKC has thus far shared our concerns with the board on numerous occasions. The board hopes to address ongoing at large dog issues and AKC will continue to oppose the development of an MSN ordinance. Read more. Additionally, the Wichita Police Department (WPD) has not given approval for a pet store ordinance proposed by the board to go before the full city council. This ordinance was approved by the board in July but it has not yet received necessary approval from the WPD.

KS, AugustaThe Augusta City Council proposed legislation to repeal a local breed specific ordinance that prohibits keeping certain breeds in the community. The city council has not yet considered the proposed ordinance. AKC sent a letter of support to the council in September in support of repealing this ordinance. Read more.

LA, St. Landry Parish – The St. Landry Parish President vetoed an egregious animal ordinance passed by the parish council. It is anticipated that a similar measure could be reintroduced. Read more.

NH, Conway – News stories report that a local humane society has received noise complaints from neighbors and the town initially issued a cease and desist order.  While the facility attempts to mitigate the outdoor kennel noise, citizens have collected signatures in support of a petition to amend the town bylaws and prohibit any kennel that diminishes the value of surrounding property.  The town planning board meets on January 26, 2023, and a public hearing on this petition is on the agenda.  AKC has submitted a letter in opposition.

TN, Knoxville – The city council is considering overreaching changes to the city animal ordinance, which includes licensing, inspection, and regulation of persons with more than four cats and dogs, all breeders, and every person who sells a single pet. The ordinance also contains provisions that would criminalize the actions of many responsible dog owners. Read more.

TN, Nashville/Davidson County – A revised animal ordinance was rescheduled for a second vote on January 17, 2023. Though less egregious than the version withdrawn in June, it includes an overreaching definition of “owner,” defines arbitrary high and low temperatures and certain weather forecasts as “extreme weather conditions” that are life-threatening to animals, could require the former owner of a dangerous dog to continue providing “hazard insurance” coverage for the dog following transfer of ownership, and other problematic provisions. Read more.

TX, Frisco- Frisco City Council was expected to vote on a final pet store ordinance in October but ultimately did not hold a vote. AKC submitted recommendations to the city council dating back to 2021 to encourage them to develop an ordinance that would continue to allow pet stores to sell dogs sourced from breeders. The council reached out to AKC in September and worked to address some of our concerns with the initially proposed language, but no final proposal has been developed and no meetings have taken place since October.

TX, San Marcos- The San Marcos City Council had a final vote scheduled on 11/15 for an ordinance that would require spay/neuter on a first at large dog offense and it would additionally prohibit pet stores from sourcing dogs from breeders. AKC has been in contact with the city council to oppose these measures and offered to work on alternatives. The council postponed the final vote on the ordinance until 2023. Read more.

VA, Rockingham County – The county Board of Supervisors continues to deliberate the regulation of dog kennels.   Under the original proposal, a commercial kennel was limited to four adult breeding females.  The new proposal amended in a work session in September seeks to change the definition by using the number of litters (4-8 a year or possibly 5 over 2 years) but exempts individuals with two or fewer litters (2 per year or possibly 2 over 2 years).  Although some of the numerous arbitrary requirements to operate a commercial kennel remain in the current proposal, AKC GR was able to get some of them modified.  Those providing input at the hearing were concerned with the low numbers of litters allowed in the proposal as well as many of the arbitrary standards that remain.  The current proposal was the result of a work session on the ordinance.  The entire proposal as it is currently written is available beginning on page 27 of the Board of Supervisors recent meeting agenda.

AKC GR continues to provide input and encouraging the Board of Supervisors to ensure that the final ordinance Rockingham County develops is in the best interest of dogs, enforceable, and absent of any unintended circumstances that negatively impact responsible dog breeders.  No timeline as been given for final action on the proposal.