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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues May 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, Palm Springs – The City of Palm Springs is considering a proposal that would limit breeders to one litter per year, new and increased fees for dog ownership, new penalties for violating ordinances, and changes to the length the city’s privately-run animal shelter must retain captured animals before it can sell them. In March, the city voted to postpone the final vote.  Read more.

FL, Collier County – Two ordinances seek to enact additional overreaching and onerous regulations for hobby breeders and commercial breeders and to establish extensive regulations for pet shops and dealers. In February, county commissioners voted to delay a decision and directed staff to hold another public meeting to hear from businesses and other interested parties. Read the alert.

FL, Hillsborough County – Another animal ordinance is being drafted that contains numerous definitions of breeders and pet sellers and would require regulations of certain owners of intact animals, regardless if those animals were bred. An early draft would outlaw selling or transferring any unaltered dog.  

HI, Honolulu The Honolulu City County has introduced Bill 59 as an amendment to an existing County Ordinance. The bill calls for mandatory microchipping and registration of all dogs and cats on Oahu. The microchip requirement would replace the current animal license and registration requirement. Exclusions regarding animals for obedience trial, tracking, and show dogs are cited.  Hunting and support dogs are also excluded. The bill also mentions that dogs in public would be required to be on 4-foot leads while the handler in control must be over 18 years of age. It has not been placed on an agenda yet. AKC Government Relations is monitoring closely.

IL, Chicago – A proposal attempting to stop fraudulent rescues from sourcing to pet stores would define a rescue as any organization not affiliated with a breeder, and would also require all hobby breeders to obtain an animal facility license, meaning, among other provisions, they may have to maintain two staff members on site.  AKC has reached out to the sponsor with our concerns.  The proposal is pending in the Health and Human Services Committee. 

MA, Holliston – Proponents of state legislation adopting pet store bans have collected enough resident signatures to require an article banning pet shop sales of animals be placed on the warrant for a vote at town meeting.  AKC GR has submitted a letter to the town administrator identifying terms inconsistent with state law and concerns with anticipated policy outcomes.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the town meeting has been re-scheduled for June 15, 2020 and may be further delayed.  Holliston, MA is part of Senate President Spilka’s district.

MA, Uxbridge – The board of health has drafted significant changes to update the town’s animal rules and with AKC GR’s advocacy, the town counsel removed all references to dogs and kennels because any changes to those rules require a town vote.  The remaining board of health’s animal changes are likely to be directly adopted.  AKC GR continues to communicate with a resident club member and the Vice-Chairman for the Board of Selectmen because the board of health proponent of the original draft has expressed a desire to bring forward a warrant article to the town for a vote making changes to the rules for dogs and kennels.