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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues July 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 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.

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.

IL, Lake County – Lake County is considering several changes to the county’s animal control laws after pressure from local residents and activists.  Currently, the county limits ownership to 4 dogs and 4 cats over 6 months of age.  The proposed change will likely change this to remove the 6 month age exemption if the owner violates certain state laws.  It will be enforced on a complaint-driven basis.  Other changes include amendments to “animal aggressive dog” regulations.  A hearing was held on July 9, and AKC appreciates that the county reached out to AKC to ask for the input of breeders and local clubs.  Read more about the proposal.

IN, Noble County – The Noble County Board of Commissioners is considering updating its kennel regulations.  The proposal contains two definitions of “kennel” and clarifies that the dogs must be kept, raised, trained or boarded “as part of a commercial enterprise”.  Those who meet the definition must comply with certain standards, including being “compliant with state and federal regulations for kennels” and becoming 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 continues to closely monitor this proposal, which will likely be considered on August 26.

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 has requested a copy of the current draft.

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.

NY, Dutchess County – The Dutchess County Legislature is considering both tethering regulations and an animal abuse registry. While most of the tethering requirements are reasonable, AKC is unclear how a section prohibiting tethering at any time during a weather alert would impact dogs humanely tethered for a brief time (such as an arctic breed tethered briefly during a winter weather watch).  The cruelty registry would ban those on the list from owning a dog for 15 years.  Read AKC’s alert for more information on these proposals, which will likely be considered on August 12.

OK, Tulsa – The City of Tulsa is seeking input from residents on a significant rewrite to the city’s animal control laws.  A hearing on the proposed changes was held on July 8; however, due to the overwhelming response of local clubs and animal owners, the city agreed to hold the proposal and encourage feedback via an online survey.  Residents are encouraged to participate in the survey, which ends on July 31.  Read more information in AKC’s legislative alert.

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.