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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues June 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:

CA, Kern County – California – 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.

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.

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 – The AKC understands that the county will soon be considering an amendment to the county limit law.  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.  AKC will provide more information in the coming weeks.

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.

NJ, Madison – The Borough Council considered significant changes to Madison’s animal sales ordinances that would have restricted pet shops and their owners, and kennels and their operators, to breeding and selling dogs and cats sourced only from licensed animal shelters and rescue organizations.  The proposal also grandfathered currently existing uses that the proposal would have otherwise prohibited.  AKC GR expressed opposition to this proposal and worked with other stakeholders in opposition. The proposal was withdrawn by the Borough Council on April 8.

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 the agreement to work cooperatively with AKC GR.  A date to present to the council has not been made a priority by the council.

TN, Jackson – An ordinance that, among other provisions, requires spay or neuter of all dogs and cats six months of age or older was enacted on June 4, 2019 and takes effect on September 1, 2019. Exemptions include dogs whose owners have obtained an unaltered animal permit at an annual fee of $20 per dog; certain law enforcement, search and rescue, service, hunting, farm, and breeding dogs; dogs certified by a veterinarian as having a health condition for not being spayed or neutered; and dogs registered with AKC, UKC, and other specified organizations that are trained and kept for the purpose of show and trials.