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Local Issues September 2020

Local Issues September 2020

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:

CO, Aurora – The City of Aurora is considering whether to amend its current breed-specific and dangerous dog laws.  At a hearing on August 17, the city decided to delay putting the breed-specific law on the November ballot and is still determining next steps.  In addition, the city has proposed a new dangerous dog law that could be enacted regardless of action on the breed-specific law.  AKC and the Colorado federation continue to monitor.  Read more.

CO, Denver – The Denver City Council has placed a measure on the November 2020 city ballot that will allow voters to decide on changes to the city’s breed-specific law.  It would remove the breed ban and instead require an annual permit and inspection for owners of restricted breeds and would allow the opportunity for owners to obtain a regular dog license after 36 months with no animal control violations. Read more.

GA, Albany – Potential changes to the city’s animal ordinances and dangerous dog laws were presented to City Commissioners at the August 18, 2020, meeting.  Resident dog owners are urged to contact their city commissioners to learn more about this issue and how to participate in the development of new animal laws.  Read more.

 IL, Chicago – A City of Chicago proposal attempting to stop fraudulent rescues from sourcing to pet stores would define a rescue as any organization not affiliated with a breeder, and require all hobby breeders to obtain an animal facility license.  AKC GR and its federation are working closely with a group of stakeholders and key aldermen to propose a more reasonable alternative.  Read more. 

MA, Holliston – A signature petition prohibiting pet shops from selling cats and dogs unless acquired from an animal shelter or rescue was adopted at Town meeting on July 20, 2020, despite letters of concern, a legislative alert, distribution of a flyer and an Op Ed published in the local newspaper by AKC GR.  The state’s attorney general has 90 days to review changes to bylaws prior to an effective date.  AKC GR has submitted a letter to the attorney general requesting the petition be rejected as inconsistent with state law. 

MA, Marshfield – According to media reports, the Coalition to End Puppy Mills is now working on a pet retail ban ordinance for an October vote in Marshfield.

MA, Pittsfield – In February, the coalition to end puppy mills gathering signatures placing a pet store ban ordinance before city council.  Prior to its effective date, AKC GR submitted a letter of concern to the city solicitor and highlighted text in the ordinance in conflict with state law; including new regulatory definitions for animal rescue and shelter organizations.  The city solicitor has forwarded the concerns to the city’s Ordinance and Rules Committee and has indicated they will notify AKC GR when the matter is taken up.

ME, Kittery – The town of Kittery, Maine, due to increased positive COVID-19 tests has postponed a special meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday, September 9, 2020, allowing public input on proposed restrictions on dogs at public beaches. View AKC’s alert for more information.

NC, Burke County – The Burke County Commission is considering new tethering regulations and breeder permits.  AKC and local clubs and sportsmen expressed numerous concerns, and the issue was tabled on August 18 for 90 days to allow time for stakeholders to work with the Animal Advisory Board on amendments.  AKC GR is providing feedback to the board and alerting local dog owners of public hearings.  The next hearing will be on September 30.

RI, North Providence – Citing recent dog attacks a town councilor has requested that the ordinance committee update the town’s rules for proper leashing and keeping pets.  AKC GR has notified the Rhode Island clubs and will monitor the process for any necessary comments to a future draft.

 SC, Aiken County – The Aiken County Council postponed consideration of proposed ordinance at its June 16 meeting.  View a request for public review and comment posted on the county website.  Read AKC’s alert on the ordinance as it was originally proposed.