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Local Issues July 2020

Local Issues July 2020

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, Desert Hot Springs – The City of Desert Hot Springs currently has a ban on all breeding.  A proposal was introduced at the request of a local fancier that would have allowed breeding, but also had some concerning provisions such as requiring all dogs to be sold with a spay/neuter contract, and allowing the city to seize any puppies still in the home after 12 weeks in order to ensure compliance with the 4 dog limit law.  The city agreed to temporarily table the ordinance on June 10, and AKC and local club members are in communication with the city on next steps.

IL, Chicago –The City of Chicago postponed a vote on July 22 on a proposal that would essentially ban hobby breeding in the city without a permit that may prove virtually impossible to obtain in a residential zone.  The proposal also removes pet store consumer protection laws.  This is an expansion of a law already in place that bans pet shops from selling dogs unless they are from shelters or rescues.  AKC continues to express concerns and work with the council to develop a more reasonable alternative.  Read more.

 MA, Holliston –Animal rights groups have collected signatures from Holliston residents petitioning the town to ban pet shops from sourcing animals anywhere but rescues and shelters.  Article 22’s definition of “animal rescue organization” would prohibit Holliston breeders from engaging in rescue activities and is inconsistent with state law.  As a petition, town officials are unable to amend the proposal and Holliston residents will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on July 20.  AKC GR has summarized negative foreseeable consequences of the proposal for the Select Board, Finance Committee and town counsel.  An Op Ed in opposition was published by AKC GR in opposition on July 14.  An alert to Holliston residents was released by AKC GR on July 16 and a pamphlet outlining concerns was distributed during the town meeting. The petition was adopted during a July 20 vote.

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.

PA, McCandless – The Town of McCandless is considering a proposed ordinance to amend and further regulate the keeping of household pets and chickens.  Proposed language would establish a number but would add language that states: “shall not exceed the maximum number of pets which is customarily incidental to a residential use.”  Proposed change allows for enforcement on a case-by-case approach allowing for differences on the size of pet(s), the type of residence and size of lot.  AKC GR has been in contact with the city to discuss the proposal in further detail.  No hearing date is set, but it will likely be considered in August.

SC, Aiken County – The Aiken County Council postponed consideration of 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.