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Taking Command Newsletter

Local Issues May 2021

Here are some examples of the local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR: 

CT, Stamford– The Stamford Board of Representatives is considering a tethering ordinance similar to the 2020 language adopted in the state of Virginia. The proposal would define “adequate shelter” and “adequate space.” Tethering a dog would be prohibited in weather below 32 degrees or above 85 degrees. AKC GR testified at two committee meetings on the topic, and has outlined recommended changes to the proposal. The committee invited AKC GR and the HSUS Connecticut state director to speak at the February 16, 2021 meeting.

FL, Orange County – The Orange County Board of Commissioners held a work session on May 11, 2021 to discuss a pet store ordinance.  Four of six commissioners indicated support for banning sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores unless the pets are sourced from shelter and rescue pet distributors.  Two commissioners indicated support for a ban with a grandfather provision for pet stores currently operating in the county.  AKC GR submitted a letter of opposition to measures that seek to restrict pet stores to offering pets from shelters and rescues that are not required to comply with animal health,  inoculations, and transport requirements, or to provide consumer protection provisions as are required for other pet sellers in the state. County staff was tasked with drafting an ordinance and scheduling a public hearing.

IL, Chicago – Chicago is seeking to prohibit pet stores from sourcing from rescues that are affiliated with breeders. The proposal would also require all hobby breeders to obtain a permit and meet likely impossible requirements. AKC GR participated in several virtual meetings with key aldermen, drafted an op-ed, and submitted written testimony. AKC GR and its federation continue to reach out to key council members and work with other stakeholders to provide alternative solutions. A new proposal has been introduced that allows breeders that meet certain standards to source to pet stores and provides a consumer protection law for the city, among other provisions. Both proposals are pending in the Health and Human Services Committee.  The original proposal addressing hobby breeder licensing and breed rescues sourcing to pet stores was considered in committee on April 12.  AKC issued an alert, written testimony, and testified in the hearing.  The proposal was passed with amendments and AKC is waiting for these amendments to be published.

MA, Marshfield – The Town of Marshfield scheduled three dog-related proposals for a vote at a special town meeting in October. They include banning the retail sale of cats and dogs unless sourced from an animal shelter/rescue; encouraging adoption of a breeder license program; and a kennel license program. After AKC GR issued an alert and local advocates and breeders began to contact town officials, a decision was made to remove the breeder license proposal from the agenda to work on it further before re-introducing it in the spring. The remaining two proposals were adopted. At the town’s spring meeting, there was no breeder license proposal included on the warrant.  Instead, they voted to ban live animal traveling exhibitions in town.

MA, Springfield – On March 8, 2021, proposed ordinance No. 6086 amending Chapter 110 (Animals) by adding a new Section 110-14 to prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits by city pet shops was introduced. It provides that a pet shop may provide space for the display of dogs, cats, or rabbits available for adoption only if such animals are displayed and made available for adoption by either a shelter or rescue organization. AKC GR submitted testimony and spoke at the subcommittee’s public hearing on March 29, 2021.  Despite the expressed concerns, the city council adopted the proposed ordinance unanimously before sending it to the Mayor for his signature.  There is one pet shop in Springfield and the owner has indicated he intends to sue the city. 

NC, Burke County – Burke County proposed mandatory breeder permits and other onerous regulations that would have punished breeders and sportsmen. AKC worked with local sporting dog enthusiasts and fanciers to communicate concerns to the Animal Advisory Board and county commission. In December, the advisory committee voted unanimously to table the breeder permit and instead work with AKC on breeder standards of care. AKC worked with the board and local animal shelter director on amendments for several months, and many of the amendments were accepted. The advisory board approved the amended proposal and it will be considered by the county commission on May 18.