State Issues: News from the State Capitols
Here are some highlights of state-level issues AKC GR is currently tracking. Visit the 2019 Legislation Tracking page and click on your state to get the latest updates on state bills monitored by the AKC.
Alabama – HB 209 seeks to authorize food service establishments to allow pet dogs in outdoor restaurant seating areas if the company wishes to do so. It requires that the dog be leashed or in a pet carrier and under control, and sets out access, sanitation, and other requirements. HB 209 passed in the House and will next be considered by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Read AKC’s alert in support of this bill.
Alabama – SB 67 seeks to prohibit leaving a pet in a motor vehicle unattended in a manner that creates unreasonable risk of harm to the animal, sets out processes for notifying a public safety official and for removing and securing the animal, provides criminal immunity for a person who removes an animal, and provides immunity from criminal and civil liability to the owner should the dog removed from a vehicle bite or injure a person during the course of the rescue effort. SB 67 passed in the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee.
Alabama – SB 196 would bring animal enterprises and working animals under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Agriculture and Industries. It would provide specific protections for the use of working animals in commerce, service, therapy, farming, law enforcement, search and rescue, competitive sports, and other uses. It would establish authority and procedures for the investigation of animal cruelty and set out specific criteria for the impoundment of animals when cruelty is alleged. It would also provide a mechanism for the department and animal control agencies to address factually unfounded complaints by making it an offense to submit a frivolous animal cruelty complaint against an animal enterprise. SB 196 was reported favorably by the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. Read the alert.
California – AB 2692 would regulate dog trainers in the state and require inspections of their training facilities. Other provisions include reporting on the training methods used and extensive record-keeping requirements, with significant fines for violations. AKC GR reached out to the sponsor’s office and expressed concerns. The sponsor has pulled the bill for the year and has expressed a desire to work with AKC in the interim on other alternatives.
California – AB 2152 establishes a total ban on the sale of dogs and cats by pet stores. It allows for space to be provided to showcase animals for adoption which may only be from a public animal control agency or shelter, or a rescue. Rescues permitted to showcase animals at pet stores must be 501(c)(3) and not breed animals, obtain animals from a breeder or broker, have any personnel in common with a breeder, or be on the same premises as a breeder. In addition, the rescue may not facilitate sales of animals obtained from a breeder. Finally, all animals must be sterilized, and the adoption fees may not exceed $500. There is a concern that the bill implies that breeders should not be involved in rescue work. AKC GR sent a letter to the sponsor asking that an amendment be considered which would still ensure those who are falsely operating as a rescue cannot source to pet stores, but still allow reputable breeders and AKC clubs to continue in legitimate rescue activities. This bill passed the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on May 21 and was referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. AKC will continue to closely monitor the bill. Read more.
California – AB 1850 is one of many bills that seeks to amend AB 5 from 2019, which codifies the decision of the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) that presumes a worker is an employee unless a hiring entity satisfies a three-factor test known as the ABC test, and exempts from the test certain professions and business to business relationships. While it remains open to interpretation if judges for a variety of events, competitions and trials, including AKC events, are exempt under AB 5, AB 1850 includes a clear exemption for A competition judge with a specialized skillset or expertise providing services that require the exercise of discretion and independent judgment to an organization for the purposes of determining the outcome of a competition. The bill passed the Assembly Labor and Employment on May 20 and was referred to the Assembly Committee of Appropriations. AKC will continue to closely monitor the bill.
California – SB 1041 seeks to ban hunting deer with dogs in the state. This is a follow-up to a bill passed in 2019 that banned bobcat hunting in the state. Supporters are spreading much information about hunting, including stating that a dog running through the woods during hunting activities will cause irreparable harm to any wildlife the dog encounters. AKC has expressed concerns with this bill, which is another attempt to limit a dog’s ability to do what it was bred to do. The bill was scheduled for a hearing on April 14, but has been tabled for the year.
California – AB 2059 is labeled “Protection from Unnecessary Testing Act” and will prohibit animal testing, except under certain conditions. Conducting testing outside the limitations of this bill would become a criminal act. This bill is currently in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
Colorado – Senate Bill 20-104 would expand the powers of the state’s Bureau of Animal Protection agents. This includes granting agents who have completed training the power to conduct investigations. Concerns among others that have been raised include who may be appointed as agents and therefore be given these expanded powers. An amendment supported by AKC’s federation was added by the Senate to clarify that agents may only be employees of the state or a municipality/county in Colorado, or a Colorado-based non-profit or municipal corporation. This compromise amendment will ensure that no out-of-state group may be employed as an animal protection agent in Colorado. AKC GR and the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs continue to work to address concerns with this bill, which passed the House Rural Affairs and Agriculture Committee on May 27 and is pending in the House Appropriations Committee. Read more.
Connecticut – The state department of agriculture publicly released notice of draft regulations overseeing animal importers and shelters. AKC GR reviewed the proposal and issued an alert encouraging the individual submission of recommendations for strengthening the proposed rules. The deadline for submitting comments is June 16, 2020 and AKC GR will submit formal comment.
Connecticut – The Connecticut legislature has adjourned for the year and multiple problematic bills were not adopted. For instance, HB 5368 would have established a task force composed of political appointees to study the use of breed of dog as an underwriting factor for homeowner’s insurance policies. AKC GR issued an alert with talking points on HB 5368 in opposition, because there is no guarantee that the interests of dog owners would have been represented on the taskforce.
Florida – HB 241 / SB 1082 authorizes a court issuing a domestic violence injunction to award to the petitioner the exclusive care, possession, or control of an animal, except an animal owned primarily for a bona fide agricultural purpose; order the respondent to have no contact with the animal; and enjoin the respondent from taking, transferring, harming, or disposing of the animal. AKC GR monitored this bill, which has passed in the Senate and House. Read the alert.
Florida – HB 1193 includes a provision that empowers employees, agents, or contractors of animal shelters, humane organizations, or animal control agencies to implant dogs and cats with microchips. AKC GR recommended that this provision be amended to require that a microchip may be implanted by a person who is not a licensed veterinarian only after the dog or cat has been thoroughly scanned for an existing microchip. HB 1193 has passed in the House and Senate without this recommended amendment.
Florida – SB 1084 would prohibit discrimination in housing provided to a person with a disability or a disability-related need for an emotional support animal, prohibit a health care practitioner from providing information regarding a person’s need for an emotional support animal without having personal knowledge of that person’s need for the animal, and prohibit the falsification of information or other fraudulent misrepresentation regarding the use of an emotional support animal. SB 1084 has passed in the Senate and House.
Georgia – HB 886 would create a state microchip database and require veterinarians who provide treatment to pets to scan for microchips. If a microchip is identified and a review of the database suggests that the person who presented the pet for treatment or on whose behalf the pet was presented for treatment is not the rightful owner, the licensed veterinarian shall report that information to the law enforcement agency or animal control officer within the jurisdiction where the veterinary facility is located. HB 886 has passed in the House.
Georgia – HB 999 would recognize the benefits and contributions of purebred dogs; recognizes the dedicated individuals in Georgia who breed dogs to develop unique, predictable characteristics that enable dogs to excel in a wide range of beneficial areas, and would designate May 1 as Purebred Dog Day on an ongoing basis. HB 999 passed in the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
Georgia – SB 338, among other provisions, would increase the maximum pet dealer (breeder) license fee to $800 per year, require an applicant to provide a current criminal background check, and require licensed pet dealers and shelters to post surety with the state. As introduced, the bill would have lowered the threshold for breeder licensure; however, the Georgia Canine Coalition worked on amendment that include maintaining current licensing thresholds, which was adopted by the Senate. Read the alert, which was issued prior to the amendment. SB 338 passed in the Senate and has been assigned to the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
Hawaii – HB 2163 seeks to limit the practices of surgical births, debarking, tail docking, and ear cropping by prohibiting an animal’s owner, and the owner’s employees, from performing these procedures. This bill was removed from the February 5 meeting agenda of the House Agriculture Committee and has not been rescheduled for consideration. The Hawaii State Legislature remains in recess until further notice due to COVID-19.
Hawaii – SB 677 seeks to further restrict tethering practices. The bill was scheduled for decision making on Wednesday, March 18, but was deleted from the meeting schedule and has not been rescheduled for consideration. AKC continues to monitor the Hawaii State Legislature for developments on this bill.
Illinois – House Bill 3989 would exempt any individual or business from liability for exposure to COVID-19, except in cases of wanton misconduct. The bill has been placed on a second reading calendar, with a deadline for a third reading (vote) in the House by June 23, 2020.
Iowa – House File 737 makes several changes to the state’s cruelty laws, including defining animal abuse as when a person “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” inflicts injury. Questions were raised about accidents and incidents where a dog gets injured, even if the owner was acting in a responsible manner. Other amendments include changes to the regulations for shelter, food, and other aspects of dog care. The Senate amended the bill to exempt those who are licensed by the state, so long as they are in full compliance with the state’s breeder laws and standards. The bill as amended passed the Senate in March and now awaits final approval by the House when the legislature goes back into session at the end of their extended recess.
Louisiana – SB 425 would allow the confiscation of any animal on the premises where an arrest is made for dogfighting. It has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary C Committee.
Massachusetts – 2018 passage of SB 2646, PAWS II, established a special commission to study and report on the feasibility and cost of mandating that employees and contractors of the Department of Children and Families, employees and contractors of the Department of Elder Affairs and investigators for the Disabled Persons Protection Commission report known or suspected animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. As the result of significant input and now the COVID-19 emergency, the final report with possible legislative recommendations has been significantly delayed.
Massachusetts – On May 8, 2020, the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government released a committee re-draft of multiple animal bills that did not include the HB 1822 proposed ban on dogs outside and unattended opposed by AKC GR and Massachusetts dog owners, breeders, sportsmen and police officers that have dogs that would be negatively impacted. A re-draft would change current law per AKC GR recommendations, but does not have a bill number or committee assignment at this time.
Massachusetts – Two pet retail ban bills HB 800 and SB 175 were re-drafted by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. The re-draft, SB 2592, Reforming the Sale of Cats, Dogs and Rabbits in the Commonwealth does not ban pet stores from selling dogs or cats. Instead, it establishes health certificate requirements, consumer protections and standards for all animal transfers whether made by a pet store, animal shelter, rescue or breeder. AKC GR is generally pleased with SB 2592 and will advocate for clarifying amendments when the General Court resumes normal session procedures.
Massachusetts – SB 2158 would create a civil infraction for presenting a pet dog as a service dog and authorize the executive office of labor and workforce development to prepare and make available to businesses upon request: (i) a decal suitable for posting in a front window or door stating that service dogs are welcome and that misrepresentation of a service dog is a violation of Massachusetts law; and (ii) a brochure detailing permissible questions a business owner may ask to determine whether a dog is a service dog, acceptable answers to those questions, and guidelines defining unacceptable behavior. It was favorably reported from the Joint Federal Affairs Committee on April 21, 2020 and sent to Senate Ways and Means for consideration. AKC GR supports this bill.
Massachusetts –HB 4230 and SB 2423 (“Nero’s bill”) would allow EMTs to treat and transport law enforcement K9s injured in the line of duty. Grassroots support from the Massachusetts dog clubs has been significant. AKC GR continues to work with bill sponsors to pass the legislation this session.
Massachusetts – SB 595 would prohibit insurance companies from denying homeowners or renters insurance, or from requiring a higher premium based upon breed, size or weight of a dog owned. On April 27, 2020, the bill was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Financial Services Bill and was referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means. The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and AKC GR support it.
Michigan – House Bill 4035 would prohibit municipalities from enacting breed-specific laws. Municipalities would still be permitted to enact other policies and regulations on dog owners, so long as these laws do not target specific breeds. This bill was heard in the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee in February and has had significant support from the AKC and clubs. It now awaits review by the House Ways and Means Committee. Read more
Michigan – House Bill 5577 would significantly restrict when dogs could be kept outside – even for a temporary period of time – and includes any time the dog is not in the visual range of the owner (even in their own yard). The bill was been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee on March 5, and AKC understands that the chairwoman is very sympathetic to the many concerns and unintended consequences with the bill. It has not been scheduled for a hearing. Read more.
Michigan – House Bills 5808 and 5809 would address the issue of animals seized on suspicion of cruelty. While the AKC does not object to portions of the proposal relating to actions after a conviction, there are concerns about portions that would require payments during an ongoing trial, and the potential for permanently losing ownership of animals if a payment is missed. The bills were introduced on May 20 and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. AKC and its federation are monitoring this closely.
Minnesota – HF 3369 sought to prohibit the sale of dogs and cats by retail pet shops, which AKC strongly opposed. HF 3369 failed upon adjournment of the Minnesota Legislature on May 18.
Minnesota – HF 3584 sought to create a Companion Animal Board as the primary authority for regulating companion animals in this state. AKC GR opposed the legislation based on its overbroad and potentially onerous language. The legislation failed upon adjournment of the Minnesota Legislature on May 18.
Mississippi – HB 679 and SB 2311 both contain sections that would reenact provisions currently scheduled to end on July 1, 2020, which allow certain emergency responders to transport a police dog injured in the line of duty for treatment if there are no persons requiring medical attention or transport at that time. HB 679 has passed in the House and SB 2311 has passed in the Senate.
Mississippi – SB 2658 seeks to increase penalties for animal cruelty, make each act of cruelty a separate offense, make aggravated cruelty a felony, and provide that a court may prohibit a person convicted of simple animal cruelty from owing or residing with a dog or cat for a period of time not to exceed 5 to 15 years. Further, it would require a court to prohibit a person convicted of aggravated animal cruelty from owning or residing with a dog or cat for not less than 5 years. SB 2658 has passed in the Senate and is under the cognizance of the House Judiciary B Committee.
Mississippi – SB 2723 would give the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to authority to extend certain open hunting seasons that end on a Friday to 30 minutes after sunset on the following Sunday. SB 2723 passed in the Senate and was referred to the House Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Committee.
Missouri – HB 2241 and HB 2244 would have prohibited any county or municipality (including those under home rule) from controlling or regulating specific breeds of dogs. It would also make any existing breed-specific law in the state null and void. Counties and municipalities may regulate dogs, including at-large and vicious dogs, so long as the laws are not breed-specific. These bills, supported by AKC GR and its Missouri federation, were placed on the third reading calendar in March; despite numerous attempts, the bills ultimately did not advance. Read more.
Missouri – House Bill 2111 would have made several positive changes to protect the rights of dog owners whose animals are seized on suspicion of cruelty or neglect. The purpose of the bill is to ensure that the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty, and to protect their dogs that are seized and held during a trial. The bill would also hold the organization holding the animals accountable for neglect that occurs under their care. AKC and its Missouri federation supported this bill, which was placed on the third reading calendar for consideration by the full House in March. Ultimately the bill did not advance before the legislature adjourned. Read more.
New Hampshire – AKC GR and New Hampshire Dog Owners of the Granite State (NH DOGS) are waiting for the legislative session to resume June 11, 2020 when the House of Representatives are scheduled to meet. When they last met in March, the House voted as follows:
- HB 1630 – This bill sets the limit of dogs that may be transferred in one year without a pet vendor license to 35 from 25 and creates an exemption from the requirement to obtain a pet vendor license for certain breeders. House Environment and Agriculture recommended passage as amended and the House adopted the recommendation.
- HB 1388 – This bill would prohibit the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits by pet vendors. House Environment and Agriculture Committee recommended not to pass, and the House adopted the recommendation.
- HB 1449 – This bill inserts a definition of “animal hoarding disorder” into the animal cruelty law recognizing this mental illness results in animal neglect and if untreated, it repeats. The text would authorize courts to order an evaluation and treatment for a defendant, as necessary. House Environment and Agriculture Committee recommended passage as amended, and the House adopted the recommendation.
- HB 1187 – This bill allows animal shelters to own or lease their facilities and clarifies that they are required to vaccinate for rabies and provide a form of positive identification before transfer, if unknown. The House adopted the recommendation of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee to pass the bill with amendments.
- HB 1560 – This bill creates a class B felony for anyone who knowingly or recklessly violates the law requiring adequate sustenance or shelter and the animal dies or “suffers serious bodily injury” as defined in the criminal code for human victims. This change could treat animals as victims with qualifying rights under the law. The House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety omitted the reference to criminal code for humans and inserted a definition into the animal cruelty law for “serious injury”. These changes were adopted by the House.
- HB 1164 – This bill authorizes the court to appoint a volunteer law student or lawyer as an animal advocate during prosecution for cruelty charges. House Committee on Judiciary recommended not to pass, and the House adopted the recommendation.
- HB 1542 – This bill classifies dogs as victims, along with children and vulnerable adults by changing law to authorize any person to take any action to rescue them, without any liability, if they believe it necessary due to extreme temperatures in a motor vehicle. House Committee on Judiciary recommended not to pass, and the House adopted the recommendation.
New Hampshire – AKC GR and NH DOGS has successfully negotiated an amendment with Senator Sherman to address concerns with SB 608 authorizing the public to take whatever action necessary to rescue an animal subject to extreme temperature in a motor vehicle, without liability. The amendment, under Senate Committee on Judiciary review, would authorize law enforcement to permit an individual with a witness present to rescue an animal under extreme circumstances.
New York – As written, S.4577 would restrict dogs being outdoors in certain temperatures. The Department of Agriculture would be required to issue a Blue Alert or Red Alert when the temperate meets a certain limit. When an alert is issued, no animal may be left outside or in a vehicle without proper shelter or protection. AKC continues to communicate with the sponsor to address concerns. The bill passed the Senate Domestic Animal Welfare Committee in February. It remains pending in the Senate Finance Committee.
New York – S. 4234A would prohibit pet stores from selling dogs or cats. Instead, they would only be allowed to “showcase” animals available for adoption from a shelter, rescue, or adoption agency. The measure also specifically removes retail pet stores from the definition of “pet dealer”, thereby removing them from the state’s consumer protection laws. AKC continues to express concerns with this bill, which passed the Senate Domestic Animal Welfare Committee on February. It has been on the calendar for consideration by the full Senate since then.
North Carolina – On April 30, division leaders of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NC Wildlife) conducted a virtual public meeting regarding the proposed temporary, emergency regulations regarding Controlled Rabbit Hunting Preserves. The meeting was scheduled due to the response of local field trial clubs, hunters, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) to the proposal. NC Wildlife staff explained that the “emergency” nature of the rule proposal was a result of a newly effective law. NC Wildlife sought an expedited process to ensure rule adoption before the start of North Carolina’s 2020-2021 hunting seas. Together, the statutory and proposed rule changes explicitly permit hunting preserves practices that have been conducted in North Carolina for generations but that had not been explicitly permitted in law. The law will remain effective; however, due to concerns expressed by stakeholders, NC Wildlife reported recommended that the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission not move forward with the emergency rule. The Commission accepted that recommendation. NC Wildlife staff is expected to pursue changes to the draft controlled rabbit hunting preserves rule via its regular rulemaking process later this year, which will provide stakeholders with additional opportunities to meet face-to-face with NC Wildlife staff and help craft more reasonable rules. Click here for more information.
North Carolina – As part of its periodic review of current regulations, the Wildlife Resources Commission has proposed amendments to the Dog Training and Field Trials rule. The rule is being amended to provide for the issuance of field trial permits online, to clarify who may apply for permits, and to make organizational and technical changes. AKC has issued a regulatory alert on the matter and participated in the May 7 online public hearing on the proposal. Comment period on the proposal concludes on June 1. Read more.
Oklahoma – Senate Bill 1946 would protect a person conducting business in the state from liability for exposure to COVID-19 if they were following recommended state and federal protocols. This bill was signed by the governor on May 21, 2020.
Rhode Island – After hearing from AKC GR, the House Majority Leader did not re-file legislation to establish an animal rights advisory council charged with making annual policy recommendations this session. However, a rank and file legislator has amended the title to establish an animal welfare advisory council with the original appointees and filed House Bill 7606 for consideration this year. AKC GR is concerned the representation on the council would not provide a balanced policy perspective and will submit testimony when committee hearings resume.
Rhode Island – The Senate President has established a commission relative to dangerous dogs with a goal of filing legislation to update state law. AKC GR presented a summary of effective state laws and AKC’s model dangerous dog act on December 12, 2019. The commission was now finalizing its draft legislation before the COVID-19 pause of the legislative session and after accepting input from AKC GR and other stakeholders.
Rhode Island – House Bill 7912 would allow state courts to appoint a law student or volunteer lawyer to serve as an animal’s advocate during court proceedings to represent the animal in the interests of justice. Advocates of the bill report having approval for the measure from the State Veterinarian and the chiefs of police. AKC GR has spoken with Rhode Island dog clubs about concerns the measure could result in changing the legal status of animals as property and a fact sheet has been finalized with club logos for distribution to lawmakers when the session resumes.
South Dakota – Senate Bill 84 provides additional categories in its Service Animal Definition. The bill was supported by AKC and signed into law by Governor Noem in late March.
Tennessee – HB 281 / SB 436 seek to regulate pet stores at the state level. AKC GR requested that these bills be clarified so that individuals and breeders who sell a dog directly to a buyer shall specifically be excluded from the definition of “retail pet store”. These bills did not advance in the 2019 session and carried over to 2020.
Tennessee – HB 1661 / SB 1933 seek to penalize misrepresentation of a service or support animal. Action on SB 1933 has been deferred in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. HB 1661 passed in the House Business Subcommittee and has been placed on the calendar of the House Commerce Committee.
Tennessee – HB 2543 / SB 2442 would provide that if an animal control agency takes possession of an animal due to the death of the animal’s owner and the owner’s relative fails to retrieve the animal within seven days, it shall be treated as an abandoned animal. AKC GR requested a friendly amendment to HB 2543 to provide that a relative, co-owner, or other authorized person who contacts the animal control agency within seven days and states intent to retrieve the animal shall be granted additional time. Additional time could be conditioned upon payment of a reasonable and customary boarding fee to the impounding agency. HB 2543 passed unamended in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee. A meeting scheduled for the full committee has been canceled. Action on SB 2442 has been deferred in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
Tennessee – HB 852 / SB 1277, as introduced, sought to enhance aggravated animal cruelty penalties. In 2019, an amendment to HB 852 proposed to direct a court to impose vastly increased penalties for any offense; expand confiscation to include animals, equipment, and property; and further enable the awarding of seized property, fines and fees to non-governmental organizations. A more recent proposed amendment additionally sought to authorize non-governmental “societies” to seize animals; require the seizure of animals when a person is taken into custody on an accusation of a violation of certain offenses involving animals; provide that animals not subjected to alleged cruelty shall also be seized if it was believed they could be at risk of being the subject of some future offense; require that seized animals be placed in the custody of a specified list of entities that excluded veterinarians, co-owners, and boarding facilities; and require that any second or subsequent conviction for simple animal cruelty is a felony. AKC GR submitted letters of concern in 2019 and 2020 regarding the proposed amendments to HB 852. The amendment failed in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and the bill was taken off notice.
Vermont –The Vermont Legislature committed to review formal recommendations by the VT Animal Cruelty Investigation Advisory Board. After informal discussions, including the Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs with input by AKC GR, the House Agriculture committee introduced HB 940 establishing animal cruelty investigation, training and certification for animal control officers. The bill has been posted to the notice calendar for House consideration. AKC GR will continue to work closely with the Federation on bill text.
Vermont – HB 636 requires a dog trainer to inform his or her client of the methods and equipment that will be used to train the client’s dog and of the risks and benefits of those methods and equipment, and to require the dog trainer to obtain the client’s consent to that training. AKC GR plans to contact the bill sponsor to understand the rationale for the measure once the pandemic emergency subsides.
Vermont – Animal rescues and shelters are asking Governor Scott for authority via emergency orders to resume importing animals into the state and considering breeding animals to meet the demand for pets. In 2016, registration and oversight requirements for animal importers and shelters were eliminated. The Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs sent a letter to the Governor on May 21st stating that public health and safety requires registration, vaccination and quarantine by these organizations. AKC GR issued an alert encouraging emails be sent to the Governor in support of the letter.