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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues March 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, 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 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.

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 will receive a public hearing and final vote on March 26.

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

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.

NC, Caswell County – The Board of Commissioners considered a proposal on March 4 that would license and regulate those deemed commercial breeders or “high-volume private kennels”.  AKC requested amendments to ensure the definition of commercial breeder was not based solely on the number of animals owned and kept on the premises.  The proposal also included extensive care and kennel standard requirements.  AKC and its state federation both reached out to the council with concerns and proposed amendments. The next hearing will be held on April 15.

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 yet been set.