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Local Issues November 2021

Local Issues November 2021

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:

AL, Montgomery – An ad hoc committee of the Montgomery City Council met on October 27 to consider proposed changes to the city animal ordinance. Included were a proposed $20 to $150 permit for breeding animals, with requirements for a business license, insurance, and veterinary records for all animals. Provisions regarding vicious animals, at large animals, animal housing requirements, cruelty penalties, and other topics were also discussed. The committee will meet again to finalize an ordinance for consideration by the full council. Read AKC’s alert regarding the initial committee meeting.

CO, Colorado Springs – The Colorado Springs city council on Tuesday, November 9 voted down a proposal that would have banned the sale of dogs at pet stores in the city unless they were sourced from a shelter or rescue. AKC GR submitted a letter and other resources opposing the ban and providing more effective alternatives, and issued an alert urging local dog owners to oppose the proposal.  The council voted 5-4 against the proposal and as a result pet stores may continue selling dogs sourced from breeders.

IA, Muscatine – The city of Muscatine, Iowa is considering changes to an existing ban on the keeping of pit bulls. The city council directed staff during a March 5 meeting to prepare changes to the cities ‘Keeping of Pit Bulls’ ordinance. The city council heard testimony and took public comments at an October 28 meeting at 7:00pm but no action was taken at the meeting and discussions will be ongoing. AKC urged city council to repeal the ban on keeping of certain dog breeds that has been in effect since 2003. Read more.

KY, Louisville/Jefferson County – a proposed animal ordinance that includes licensing and inspections for “residential breeders” (defined as an entity, organization, or person who breeds, sells or transfers more than one dog, cat, or ferret within a 12month period that was raised on or sold/transferred from property intended for residential use), mandatory microchipping and pet licensing, and required reporting of all transfers of ownership of licensed animals remains held in the Public Safety Committee.

KY, Henderson County – Amendments to the county animal ordinance were discussed at a special called meeting of the Henderson County (KY) Fiscal Court on August 9, 2021. Among other expected provisions, the proposed ordinance will address dangerous animals and the safety of dogs left enclosed in hot cars. AKC GR issued a legislative alert urging residents to participate in the legislative process.

ME, Yarmouth – AKC GR posted an alert regarding proposed changes to the town of Yarmouth’s dog ordinances.  A letter with recommendations was submitted to the town council by AKC GR.  One issue identified is an original draft only required an officer to make a reasonable effort, “if possible” to notify the owner of an impounded dog.  AKC GR has requested striking the phrase “if possible” and adding the following, “Where an owner is not known, all animal shelter facilities shall inspect for tattoos, ear tags, or other permanent forms of positive identification and shall scan for a microchip upon admission and prior to transferring ownership of an unclaimed or abandoned animal.” The draft proposal inserted AKC GR’s recommendations and public hearings to review and vote upon the draft took place at the council’s October 7, and 21, meetings where most AKC recommendations were adopted.  Details are here.

PA, Conshohocken – The Conshohocken Borough Council will be considering an amendment to their animal control ordinance that will prohibit off-leash animals within the Borough except on the private property of the person in possession of said animal or where specific permission has otherwise been granted to be on the private property of another.  AKC GR has sent a letter asking Council to consider less restrictive language that allows for dogs to not be considered running at large if they are under verbal command, at heel, or beside and under control by a responsible person. 

SC, Horry County The Horry County Council approved on second reading an animal ordinance that seeks to establish animals care provisions, ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores, and allow enforcement authorities to break into a vehicle to release a pet.  Although certain sections of the proposed ordinance were revised in response to recommendations by constituents and AKC GR, numerous problematic provisions remain.  Read more about concerns with the revised proposal and positive actions by county staff.  A third and enacting vote could be held on November 16.