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Seventeen state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in session. The following are highlights of current, active legislation around the country:

ArizonaSenate Bill 1047 seeks to regulate dogs outdoors. It provides specific exemptions for police and working dogs, hunting, training, “sporting and competitive functions”, and “lawful competitions”.  As introduced, the bill also included a new definition of “extreme weather”, defined by a heat advisory, certain weather warnings (such as a monsoon, dust storm, etc.), and when the temperature is below 32 degrees or over 100 degrees.  Although this measure is only applied to when proper bedding was required, AKC was concerned about the definition being used in the future to restrict when dogs could be outside, without consideration for the needs and abilities of specific breeds.  The committee removed the specific temperatures from the definition.  The bill as amended passed the Senate in February. It was further amended by the House to remove the definition of “extreme weather” in its entirety.  The bill is pending final approval in the Senate.

California – AB-2425 expanded requirements on animal shelters relative to animal adoption and attempted to expand the definition of what constitutes a dog breeder in California to be anyone who transfers 2 litters or 10 dogs from existing law of 3 litters or 20 dogs transferred. It was held in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee and will not advance this year. 

California – AB-2042 is the amended version of 2023’s AB 742, which attempted to limit the use of police canines for the purpose of arrest, apprehension, or any form of crowd control. AKC recognizes the value of highly trained working K9s for a wide variety of jobs including detection, search and rescue, and other public safety functions. AKC GR is working with impacted entities, including the US Police Canine Association as AB 2042 is considered in the Legislature. It has advanced out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is now before the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

California – AB-3241 would require police agencies to report statistics concerning the use of police canines. It would also direct the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop updated canine training standards and minimum use guidelines. It has advanced out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is now before the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration. AKC is monitoring the bill.

California – SB 921 addresses animal cruelty concerning causing harm to animals that are not owned by a potential aggressor. It has been voted out of the Senate Public Safety Committee and awaits further consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee. AKC is monitoring the bill.

California – SB 922 would have increased the financial penalties for being cited for leaving an animal in an unattended car during extreme weather conditions. It also provided for counseling and education for those cited under the statute. However, it has been pulled by the bill’s author and will not advance this year.

California – AB 1988 would allow for shelters to immediately adopt out kittens and puppies to a nonprofit organization, animal rescue organization, or adoption organization if requested by the organization in the specific circumstance of owner surrenders. It has advanced out of two Assembly committees and awaits consideration from the full body. AKC is monitoring the bill.

California – AB 2012 would restore the requirement that city and county animal shelters must report certain shelter statistics to the state under the rabies control program. This would create a uniform and objective set of data when evaluating the state of animal shelters in California. The proposal has been voted out of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee and awaits further consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AKC supports this bill.

California – AB 2133 would allow for registered veterinary technicians to perform neuter surgeries on cats. The proposal has been voted out of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee and awaits further consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AKC is monitoring this proposal.

California – AB 2216 aims to expand access to rental housing for people with pets by banning “pet rent” and generally requiring landlords to accommodate tenants with pets. It has advanced out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and awaits further consideration by the full Assembly. AKC is monitoring the proposal.

California – AB 2248 would ban the sale of dogs and cats in the specific scenario where all of the following are satisfied: the buyer is in California, contract requires a nonrefundable deposit, the contract does not reveal the source of the dog or cat. The bill has passed the Assembly unanimously and awaits consideration in the Senate. AKC is monitoring this proposal.

Connecticut – HB 5223 seeks, among other changes, to amend the legal definition of “grooming facility” to include those doing business in “any vehicle or trailer”.  During a February 28 Joint Committee on Environment hearing, AKC and the Connecticut Federation of Dog Clubs requested a bill amendment to ensure that the bill’s language would not be broadly interpreted to include professional handlers exhibiting in the state.  Following AKC’s request and a meeting with legislative and administrative staff, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture determined that those who groom a dog in preparation for a competitive event would not be impacted by the language. Read more here. On May 1, the House added text requiring dog and cat rabies vaccinations to take place between 12 and 14 weeks of age before voting passage. The amended bill was further amended by the Senate on May 8 and the House concurred with the final changes. Amended HB 5223 is headed to the Governor’s desk. 

Connecticut – SB 339 would require restitution be paid by anyone that injures or kills a police K-9 or volunteer search and rescue dog, including costs for incurred veterinary services and costs incurred in the purchase and training of a replacement dog.  AKC supported the bill in the Public Safety and Security Committee on March 7, 2024. The committee voted it favorably and the Senate voted passage on May 2. The House voted it favorably on May 8. Follow AKC’s update on how to register support with the Governor. 

Connecticut – SB 427 would (1) increase the penalty for intentionally injuring a police animal or dog in a volunteer canine search and rescue team; (2) establish a penalty for annoying, teasing, tormenting or harassing a police animal confined in a motor vehicle; (3) allow emergency medical services personnel to provide emergency treatment and transportation to an injured police animal under certain circumstances; and (4) establish a grant program to provide canine officers with body armor. AKC supports this bill, which the Joint Judiciary Committee voted favorably on March 26. The session adjourned without further action.

Connecticut – HB 5304 would designate the Siberian Husky as the state dog and the lollipop as the state candy. The Joint Government Administration and Elections Committee held a public hearing on March 8 and voted it favorably on March 22. It passed the House on April 17 and the Senate on May 8. Follow AKC’s update on how to register support with the Governor.

Connecticut – HB 5176 would establish a task force to study the provision of emergency treatment and transportation to an animal that is injured in the performance of its duties under the supervision of a peace officer. After a favorable public hearing by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security, on March 14 the bill was placed on the House calendar for consideration. AKC supports the bill but, the session adjourned without further action.

Delaware – HB 124 would prohibit owners from allowing dogs to bark continuously for more than 15 minutes, or intermittently for more than 30 minutes per day.  After discussions with the sponsor, the bill was amended to exempt dogs engaged in any lawful activity including training, hunting, performance events, etc.  AKC continues to express concerns about the likelihood of neighbor disputes, and the inability of animal control to be able to consider cases on an individual basis.  Further, AKC GR has pointed out that this bill seeks a statewide solution to a local nuisance issue.  HB 124 is currently in the House Appropriations Committee.  AKC GR has been working with other interested parties to encourage the committee to hold the bill from a full House vote.  To date, those efforts have remained successful.

Florida – HB 87/CS2/SB 632, among other provisions, seek to allow the use of lethal force against a bear when necessary to avoid an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to a person or pet, or substantial damage to a dwelling. AKC GR and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs monitored this bill, which passed in both chambers and remains ordered enrolled. 

FloridaCS2/HB 273/SB 660 seek to exempt from public records requirements the identifying information about persons, firms, associations, and other groups that adopt animals, provide foster care to animals, and all “other persons receiving legal custody of animals” from an animal shelter or animal control agency. CS2/H.B.273 passed in both chambers and remains ordered enrolled.

FloridaCS/HB 303/HB 849/CS3 SB 1040, and related bills would authorize the practice of veterinary telehealth and would authorize an employee, agent, or contractor of a county or municipal animal control authority to vaccinate against rabies dogs, cats, and ferrets under certain circumstances. HB 849 which provides for veterinary telehealth and CS/HB 303 which authorizes certain persons to administer rabies vaccinations to certain animals under indirect supervision of Veterinarian each passed in both chambers and remains ordered enrolled.

FloridaCS/HB 7073 among other provisions, reenacts state sales tax holidays on certain disaster preparation supplies. AKC GR and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs supported a provision that applies to supplies used for the evacuation of pets, purchased for noncommercial use. The bill was signed by the Governor as Chapter 2024-158. This year’s sales tax holiday dates are June 1-June 14 and August 24-September 6. Read more.

Florida – CS2/SB 1084, among numerous unrelated provisions, reenacts sections of state law on the justified killing of a dog that attacks livestock and the dog owner’s liability for damages. AKC GR monitored this bill throughout the legislative process. It was approved by the Governor as Chapter 2024-137 on May 2, 2024.

Georgia SB 410 provides for the establishment of temporary licensing for a veterinarian licensed in another state to provide sterilization services in government or nonprofit shelters, nonprofit sterilization clinics, or nonprofit mobile sterilization programs registered with this state. AKC GR monitored this bill and amendments thereto throughout the legislative process. It was signed by the Governor as Act 469 on 4/23/24.

Hawai’i HB 2058, which seeks to expand the state’s dangerous dog law, was passed as amended in a conference committee on May 3, 2024, the final day of the legislative session.  Concerns remain that the breed-neutral bill does not clearly allow for an appeals process to prevent sterilization of a dog deemed dangerous or to challenge the assessment of costs in cases where such amounts may be unreasonable.  The bill now awaits action by Governor Green.

Hawai’iSB 2120 would have required pet stores that sell pet animals (dogs, cats, domesticated rabbits, guinea pigs, domesticated pigs, or caged birds) to maintain records regarding the source and medical history of the animals sold; and to provide records to pet purchasers, and, upon request, to county law enforcement agencies.  SB 2120 would also limit any retail pet store from selling any pet animal unless it was in operation in the state before January 1, 2025, provided it operates in the same location under the same ownership as of that date.  AKC did not oppose the records requirements in SB 2120, but opposed the pet shop sourcing restrictions.  An amended SB 2120 passed by the Senate removed the sourcing restrictions.  The bill failed to garner additional consideration prior to the end of the legislative session.

Hawai’i – AKC supported SB 2874, which sought to establish a non-refundable income tax credit for residential landlords who lease a unit to a tenant with a pet for at least six months. An amended version of the bill passed the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, but failed to be further considered by the Senate Ways and Means Committee prior to the end of the legislative session.

Hawai’i HB 1527, which seeks to prohibit animal owners and their employees from performing any surgical procedures on the owner’s dog(s), has passed a conference committee and has been sent to Governor Green for his approval or veto.  HB 1527 seeks to clarify that owners and their employees shall not perform any surgical procedure on any dog, including C-sections, ear cropping, tail docking, devocalizations, dewclaw removals, or castrations via banding.  Veterinarians would still be permitted to perform the procedures listed.  Additionally, the bills do not seek to prohibit owners from performing routine care procedures on their animals, including nail trimming and ear and dental cleaning.

Idaho – SB 1302 restricts localities from enacting regulations on working animals, including dogs. The bill stalled in the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee and will not advance this year.

Illinois – HB 4630 would expand when a person may be arrested and animals may be seized to include any violation of the state’s animal welfare act – including minor, correctable offenses. As with similar legislation introduced in 2023, we are asking that at the very least the court determine that there is imminent danger to the animal. The bill was recently reassigned from the Judiciary-Criminal Committee to the Rules Committee, meaning it is unlikely to advance this year.

Illinois – HB 1169 would provide a separate legal advocate (lawyer) for dogs or cats in court cases involving its health, safety, or an injury.  AKC opposes providing rights traditionally reserved for humans to animals, as is proposed here.  The bill is pending in the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee.  At the request of AKC, an amendment was added in 2023 clarifying that the section does not change the legal status of animals as property but concerns still remain.  The bill has been assigned a new sponsor for 2024 and remains pending official committee assignment.

Kansas- HB 2583 increases penalties for killing or disabling a police dog by making it a felony. If someone is found guilty of killing or disabling a police dog it comes with a mandatory sentence of at least 30 days in jail and fine of at least $500. HB 2583 was vetoed by the Governor on April 25 but both the Kansas House and the Kansas Senate overrode the veto on April 29. The law goes into effect once it is published in the state statute book.

Kentucky – HB 328/HCS1 sought to authorize a licensed veterinary technician when under the direct supervision of a veterinarian to vaccinate a dog, cat, or ferret against rabies. AKC GR monitored this bill , which passed in the House, but did not advance beyond the Senate Committee on Committees prior to adjournment.

Louisiana HB 213 seeks to amend and reenact the crime of negligent homicide and provide for increased penalties when a person is killed by a dog or other animal and the owner is criminally negligent. HB 213 has passed in the House and in Senate committees, and is referred to the Senate for third and final reading.

LouisianaHB 407, among other provisions, seeks to prohibit healthcare providers from producing documentation relating to need for a support animal unless they satisfy requirements that would include a therapeutic relationship with the individual, prohibit misrepresentation of service dogs, and limit liability for owners and lessors for damages caused by a service dog or support animal. HB 407 has passed in the House and in the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, and is referred to the Senate for third and final reading.

Louisiana SB 476 seeks to criminalize the use of bait dogs in training dogs for dog fighting. AKC GR proposed an amendment to clarify and strengthen the definition of “bait dog” to include any dog abused as a bait dog, regardless of its temperament. The bill passed in the Senate, passed in the House with amendments, and has been returned to the Senate with amendments.

Massachusetts – Amendment #856 to the Senate Ways and Means state budget bill, SB 4, would provide law enforcement, animal control officers, judges and district attorneys with greater discretion in how to approach animal cruelty situations and prohibit convicted abusers from ownership or access to animals for a minimum of five years, with the option to petition a judge for defined exceptions after meeting certain criteria. The Senate begins budget debate on May 21.

Massachusetts – In response to dog injuries and deaths at dog day care facilities, HB 2019 and SB 1309 have been re-filed as “Ollie’s Law” and would impose requirements such as staffing ratios for boarding, training, dog day care, breeding and personal kennels. They would authorize animal control officers to inspect and tell you how many dogs you are allowed to own and enforce a new “personal breeder kennel” license for anyone with more than 4 intact female dogs over 6 months who transfers any offspring. Personal breeder kennels and commercial breeder kennels would be held to the same future regulations. Details are in AKC’s alert. In April 2024, the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee favorably released Senate and House companion mirror bills, HB 4564 and SB 2731, which have moved to their respective Ways and Means Committees. AKC is appreciative the committee removed the anti-breeder text from the bill. More details are here.

Massachusetts – HB 314 would provide consumer protections at dog day care businesses and is supported by multiple animal welfare organizations, including AKC. It was incorporated in part with the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee’s redraft of Ollie’s law as described here.

Massachusetts – SB 876/HB 1367 would prohibit housing authorities and certain housing agreements from discriminating against tenants based upon the size, weight or breed of dog owned. They also prohibit insurance companies from discriminating based upon dog breed. The bills were referred to the Joint Committee on Housing, which gave HB 1367 a favorable recommendation in March and is now pending in the committee on House Ways and Means. AKC supports the bill.

Massachusetts – SB 1311 would eliminate from current law text that exempts from pet shop licensure any person selling, exchanging or otherwise transferring the offspring of their personally owned animals. After a public hearing in the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee the committee requested an extension until June 14 to consider it.  Read AKC’s alert.

Massachusetts – HB 801 would eliminate a 48-hour facility quarantine requirement when animals are imported from neighboring states for resale or imported directly to permanent or temporary Massachusetts foster homes. AKC is concerned HB 801 may reduce compliance and increase the risk of communicable disease spread to animals and people in Massachusetts.  The Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard the bill but has taken no further action.

Massachusetts – HB 747, HB 826, SB 549, and SB 550 would require Massachusetts licensed pet shops or future pet shops to only provide the public with dogs and cats sourced from animal shelter or rescue organizations. In AKC’s experience, the number of puppies produced by responsible breeders does not satisfy demand. Shelter and rescue animals are not the best option for every family that wants a pet. AKC issued an alert and provided testimony in opposition to these bills at the Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources’ public hearing.  The committee has been given until June 14 to consider HB 826. AKC is opposed and issued an update.

Massachusetts – HB 4241 is an abuse and exploitation prevention bill that would also define “coercive control” allowing issuance of restraining orders when a person commits or threatens to commit cruelty or abuse to animals connected to the family or household member. AKC supports the bill. It has passed the House and been amended in Senate Ways and Means Committee and released for amendment and adoption by the full Senate as SB 2703. A conference committee is resolving differences in the two bills.

Massachusetts – HB 1718 and SB 1142 would establish a taskforce of Massachusetts lawyers and MSPCA/ARL-Boston to review cruelty laws and make recommendations including whether to establish a domestic animal cruelty misdemeanor charge; prohibit sale of animals under 8 weeks and transferring animals roadside with few exceptions; and allow for animal seizure and owner’s payment of board pending court action for suspected neglect. AKC testified in support of the humane care provisions of the bills and requested the committee ensure due process protections and consistent terminology. The Joint Judiciary Committee released a re-draft, now SB 2757, on May 2, 2024 that narrows the bill’s scope to prohibit selling of animals under 8 weeks and transferring animals roadside with few exceptions.

Massachusetts – As introduced in 2023, SB 190 would prohibit the declawing of cats unless a therapeutic reason offered by a veterinarian deemed it necessary and performed the surgery. After a favorable report by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure it was sent to Senate Ways and Means Committee. In January, SB 190 was amended and released as SB 2552 before passage in the Senate. SB 2552 is before the House Ways and Means Committee and would prohibit the declawing of animals unless a therapeutic reason offered by a veterinarian deemed it necessary to perform the procedure. AKC is in discussion with organizations representing field and hunting dogs to determine whether injury preventing canine dewclaw removal would be considered cruelty under the bill.

Michigan – HB 5525 would allow for non-economic damages for the injury or death of a service animal.  AKC understands the emotional pain that can result when a beloved dog is injured or killed.  However, AKC opposes the awarding of non-economic damages related to the injury or death of an animal.  AKC has long been concerned that allowing non-economic damages for pets will implicitly bring into question the legal status of pets as property.  The bill is under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.  Read more.

Minnesota – HF 3410/SF 3458 seeks to remove from current law an explicit declaration that data collected by the MN Board of Animal Health on commercial dog breeders is private or nonpublic.  The bill would also: (1) Clarify that a kennel licensed by the state must include its state license number or a symbol approved by the Board in all of its advertisements or promotions that pertain to animals being sold or traded, including but not limited to all advertisements or promotions in newspapers and flyers or on the Internet or radio; (2) Add that the Board must post on its website a list of kennels and dealers licensed and in good standing, including the number of animals kept by the licensee in the previous year; at minimum, copies of the three most recent inspection reports submitted to the Board; and a list of kennels or dealers whose licenses have expired or been revoked over the past three years, including business names that licensees used, total number of animals kept in the previous year; and reasons for revocation; and (3) Adds that the Board inspection report must contain all business names used by the commercial breeder, the facility identification number, and the address and name of the facility.  AKC expressed concerns that publication of sensitive information may provide anti-breeder protestors or animal rights extremists with facility location information, and lead to harassment of licensees or business interruptions at their facilities, including at private homes.  An amended HF 3410 is pending in the House; while an amended SF 3458 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee for further consideration.

 MissouriHB 2265/SB 937 would regulate pet stores in the state and prohibit local governments from adopting any ordinance that effectively shuts down pet stores operating legally within their license.  While AKC and its state federation support the concept of this bill protecting pet choice, there are concerns about the impact on a breeder who sources one dog to a pet store.  In addition, the current definition of pet store is broad and could encompass all who sell dogs.  A compromise amendment has been incorporated into HB 2206, which is pending consideration during the legislative budget debates.

Nebraska- LB 910 authorizes an emergency medical service to transport and emergency care providers to provide emergency medical care to injured law enforcement canines. The bill was signed into law by the Nebraska Governor on April 18. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2025.

New Hampshire – HB 1102 would label brachycephaly a “birth deformity” and make the breeding or sale of any animal that has a “birth deformity” that causes suffering a criminal act.  A public hearing was conducted on March 5, 2024.  AKC worked closely with its New Hampshire federation (Dog Owners of the Granite State) to establish a broad coalition in opposition, and to organize and prepare extensive testimony, alerts and public outreach, scientific rebuttal and educational information. Following the hearing, at which more than 80% of submitted testimony was in opposition, the committee voted the measure “inexpedient to legislate”.  AKC and DOGS continued to educate and advocate in opposition to this radical bill, and on March 28, the full House voted to lay the bill on the table to impede its forward progress for the remainder of the session. Read more.

New Hampshire – SB 385 would allow payments from the cost of care fund to be distributed to a third party for the care of animals during animal cruelty cases. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing and voted it ought to pass. It passed the Senate on March 21. It had a hearing in the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on April 16 and was voted favorably May 2.

New Hampshire –  SB 587 allow animals as part of a litter transported into the state to be quarantined together. As filed, the bill could result in additional quarantine exemptions. AKC submitted testimony expressing concern and, with NH DOGS, requested an amendment. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources adopted the amendment and the amended bill passed the Senate.  It had a hearing in the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on April 16 and was voted favorably May 2.

New Hampshire – HB 1233 would exempt individuals who have completed a nationally recognized animal chiropractic program, as determined by the executive director of the office of professional licensure and certification, from veterinary licensure requirements. After passing the House, the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee held a hearing on March 6, 2024. It was voted ought to pass by the committee and then the full Senate on April 18.

New Hampshire – HB 1526 would enable the board of veterinary medicine to issue a conditional veterinary license for veterinarians who are educated in other countries. Multiple reports of a New Hampshire veterinarian shortage exist. AKC submitted testimony on February 6 in support of enhancing access after issuing this alert. The committee voted the bill favorably and the full House passed it on March 28 by voice vote. It was referred to the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee, which held a hearing on May 1. AKC submitted testimony in support. The committee voted favorably and amended HB 1526 to make the conditional license good for two years.

New Hampshire – HB 1626 would repeal certain designated funds and change where dog licensing fees are distributed. The House Environment and Agriculture Committee and Ways and Means Committee both voted it ought to pass. An April 2 public hearing before the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee resulted in an amendment regarding reimbursement to veterinarians performing spay/neuter surgeries. A favorable vote on the bill as amended happened April 30.

New Jersey – SB 1238 would require employers that serve customers in public facilities to provide training to employees regarding the right of an individual with a disability to have a guide or service dog in a place of public accommodation or a public facility.  AKC expressed support for the bill, which was amended and passed by the Senate Labor Committee.  The bill will next be considered by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.  Click here for more information. 

New Jersey – SB 1253 seeks to create a three-year pilot program to assess the academic and health benefits associated with the use of therapy dogs in public elementary school wellness programs.  The bill, supported by AKC, was passed by the Senate Education Committee.  Click here for more information.

New York – Senate Bill 142 and Assembly Bill 3569 seek to ban “debarking” – a standard veterinary practice also known as bark softening – unless the procedure is medically necessary to treat an injury, illness, or congenital defect.  The AKC opposes these bills which would restrict the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarians. It also expands a precedent of government interference in the practice of veterinary medicine. A ban on debarking could also force some owners to relinquish their dogs to shelters as opposed to keeping them in their home. S. 142 passed the Senate and is pending in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.  A. 3569 passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee on May 20 and is pending in the Rules Committee.

New York – Senate Bill 4993 would expand the opportunities for owners to bring dogs to state parks, so long as they are in compliance with certain rules and regulations.  AKC and local clubs are supporting this bill, which passed the Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee and is pending consideration by the full Senate.  Read more.

New York – Resolution K.2193 establishes May 15 as Police Dog Appreciation Day in New York.  The resolution recognizes the tremendous value of these dogs today and throughout history.  AKC supports this resolution which was adopted on May 15.

North Carolina – H. 1005 seeks to regulate tethering in the state, including the length of the tether.  It is unclear how this would impact dogs temporarily tethered, particularly for shows and events, grooming, etc.  Walking a dog on a leash is exempt.  AKC GR is continuing to analyze and reaching out to the sponsors.  The bill was assigned to committee on May 6.

Ohio – House Bill 277 would provide tax credits to landlords who allow pets.  This is a request from local shelters, who hope this will incentivize allowing renters to keep their pets, which may help with shelter population issues.  Recent amendments in the House Ways and Means include a cap on the amount of tax credit that can be collected, and allowing landlords to limit the number of pets on the property.  They would not, however, be permitted to have breed-specific bans or policies.  The bill has had four hearings in the House Ways and Means Committee and is pending a committee vote.

Ohio – House Bill 443 would repeal a current law that protects the ability of pet stores to sell dogs in the state.  AKC is concerned about this proposal, which would limit pet choice and restrict the current protections for the humane sourcing of dogs to pet stores in the state.  The bill had its first hearing in the House Government Oversight Committee on April 16.

Ohio – House Bill 539 would expand the number of breeders subject to state licensing by redefining “high volume dog breeder” as anyone who owns six or more “breeding dogs” and sell directly to the public.  AKC is closely monitoring this legislation, which was just introduced and has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee.  Read more.

Oregon – HB 4043 creates a new crime of interfering with an animal cruelty investigation. It has passed the Legislature and has been signed by the governor.

Oregon – Initiative Petition 28, filed with the Secretary of State for possible inclusion on the 2026 ballot, is similar to proposed ballot measures from previous years that would outlaw all hunting and field trials and criminalize certain breeding, animal husbandry, and training practices.  AKC is working with two broad coalitions in opposition to this proposal and will provide more updates in the coming weeks.

Pennsylvania SB 785 establishes a new Animal Welfare Board empowered to review existing laws and regulations related to the keeping and handling of animals and make recommendations for changes.  Unlike a short-focused task force, this Board would continue until such a time that legislation was passed to eliminate it, thereby, allowing it to provide review and recommendation to any law or regulation established going forward. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

Pennsylvania – Act 18 of 2023 (SB 746) updated Pennsylvania’s dog law to include licensing increases for dogs and kennels among other changes.  Language in the legislation has caused issues for boarding kennels, especially those along the state borders, boarding dogs from out of state.  Changes require a certified certificate of veterinary inspection from the dog’s home state in order to be boarded in Pennsylvania.  AKC GR continues to work with the Bureau of Dog Law who is finalizing a guidance letter and a FAQ document.  Also, AKC GR is working with both chambers of the General Assembly to address the issue.  A proposed legislative fix in the House of Representatives is awaiting introduction.

Pennsylvania – Senate Bill 1087 would have made changes to the laws related to trespassing on private property while hunting.  Even if unarmed, a hunter would have not only been trespassing if they went on posted property to retrieve a dog but would also be charged with trespassing if their dog strayed onto posted property. Working with sportsmen groups, AKC GR was successful in having the bill amended to remove the language related to dogs entering posted property and reinstated the exemption in current law that allows for an unarmed hunter to retrieve their dog.  The bill is now awaiting action by the full Senate.

Rhode Island – HB 7236 and SB 2655 are companion bills that would amend the domestic violence prevention act to include cruelty to animals owned or cared for by a household member in the crime. AKC supports these bills and submitted testimony to the House Judiciary and Senate Judiciary committees respectively for the April 4 public hearings. The committees recommended the measures be held for further study.

Rhode Island – HB 7294 would prohibit captive hunting for domestic or wild animals without prohibiting the release of upland game birds for hunting on licensed shooting preserves. AKC negotiated a clarifying amendment to ensure that it would not interfere with lawful field trials. The bill was amended with the AKC clarifying amendment requested and voted favorably May 14 by the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee. On March 8, SB 2732 was introduced in the Senate with the AKC clarifying amendment included. It passed the Senate on April 9 and is pending before the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Rhode Island – SB 2539 would permit the town of Smithfield to enact ordinances that would allow the animal control officer to issue citations which could be paid by mail and to prescribe penalties for violations of the town’s ordinances regulating dogs. A public hearing took place on March 13 and the committee recommends passage. The Senate passed it March 21 and the House voted it favorably on April 19. It became law without the Governor’s signature on May 2.

Rhode Island – HB 8060 was introduced March 13 to allow the town of Hopkinton to enact ordinances increasing the fines for violations of any dog ordinance and increasing the fee to be paid before an animal in impoundment may be released to its owner. It was heard by the House Municipal Government & Housing Committee and voted favorably April 11. The full House passed it April 23.

South Carolina – H 3238, among other provisions, seeks to require a person, on a second conviction for animal cruelty offenses, to forfeit all animals and to not own an animal for up to five years, regardless of the nature or severity of the offense. The AKC supports full enforcement of fair and reasonable animal cruelty laws and appropriate penalties for abusers; however, the scope of H.3238 is overreaching. It has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.

South Carolina – H 3682 and similar S 456 seek to reduce necessary protections under current law regarding the award of costs of care for a confiscated animal. H 3682 was minimally amended and passed in the House in 2023. The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs positively amended H 3682, including adding a provision that if the defendant is found not guilty, then the petitioner that requested cost of care funds must reimburse the defendant the costs imposed by the court paid by the defendant. H 3682 passed in both chambers and was sent to the Governor. View AKC’s most recent alert on these bills.

South Carolina – H 3247, a bill supported by AKC, seeks to increase penalties for maltreating a police K9. It is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

South CarolinaH 4611 seeks to make it an offense for a person to intentionally remove or destroy an electronic collar or other electronic device that was placed on a dog by its owner. AKC GR sent letters of support for this legislation. It passed in both chambers and was sent to the Governor. Read more. Similar language was amended into S 903 on 51/1/24 and passed by the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee.

Tennessee – HB 467/SB 568, pursuant to a divorce, annulment, or alimony action, would have allowed a court to provide for the ownership or joint ownership of any pet or companion animal owned by the parties, taking into consideration the well-being of the animal. HB 467 failed in the Children & Family Affairs Subcommittee of House Civil Justice Committee. SB 568 passed in the Senate but did not additionally advance prior to the end of the two-year session.

Tennessee – HB 991/SB 836 sought to prohibit an insurer of homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, or insurance that covers a manufactured or mobile home from making certain changes to or refusing to issue a policy based solely on the specific breed or mixture of breeds of a dog that lives or is cared for on the property. AKC supports breed-neutral insurance underwriting. These bills did not advance prior to end of the two-year session.

Tennessee – HB 1320/SB 835 sought to criminalize restraining a dog with a chain, cord, tether, cable, or similar device under certain weather forecasts and during evacuation orders. A person would not be subject to prosecution unless the person previously received a warning citation. The bills did not consider that forecasted conditions may not occur where the dog is kept, or that tethers can be used to safely restrain a dog prior to or during an evacuation. The bills did not advance prior to end of the two-year session. View AKC’s most recent alert.

Tennessee – HB 1908/SB 1867 requires the Department of Education to establish a one-year pilot program to place a therapy dog in five public schools in the 2024-2025 school year. AKC GR thanks Rep. Gino Bulso and Sen. Joey Hensley for sponsoring this legislation that recognizes the value of a “calm, obedient canine that is trained to provide support, comfort, and companionship to people in educational, health, and therapeutic settings.” SB 1867 was signed by the Governor on May 9 as Public Chapter 954 and took effect immediately. Read more.

TennesseeHB 2266 positively amends state laws governing rental housing and leases to establish that “reliable documentation” regarding the need for a support animal does not include documentation provided through a website, the primary function of which is to provide a certificate, registration, license, or similar document for a service animal or support animal for a fee. HB 2266 was signed by the Governor on April 22 and takes effect as Public Chapter 754 on July 1, 2024. Read more.

Tennessee – HB 2691/SB 2478 additionally protects due process rights of animal owners who are suspected of an offense. These bills prohibit a state or local department or agency from entering private property without probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has occurred or is occurring, the consent of the property owner, a warrant, or a recognized warrant exception, and would require a member of a society incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals to notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of the member’s intent to make an arrest or interfere to prevent an act of cruelty and the circumstances justifying the action before doing so. AKC GR sent a letter of support for SB 2478, which passed in both chambers, was signed by the Governor on April 11, and takes effect on July 1, 2024.

TennesseeHB 2938/SB 2513 sought to require the licensure of “commercial” dog breeders by the Department of Commerce and Insurance. Licensure would have been based on the number of dogs owned rather than on commercial activity or sales. House Bill 2938 was taken “off notice” in committee. SB 2513 did not advance in the General Subcommittee of Senate Commerce and Labor Committee prior to end of the two-year session. Read concerns with these bills.

Vermont – H. 626 is a comprehensive animal welfare bill to establish a Division of Animal Welfare at the Department of Public Safety that would develop, implement, and administer a centralized program for investigating and enforcing animal welfare requirements in the State. It also would amend or establish standards for the operation of animal shelters and animal rescue organizations and detail requirements for the importation or transportation of animals into the State. The bill was referred to the House Government Operations and Military Affairs Committee which has held multiple meetings and ultimately reviewed and approved an amended H. 626 that is much narrower in scope. It would establish a new Director responsible for developing a legislative roadmap on how to move forward in creating, and funding, a new division with comprehensive responsibility for all activities. The new position would be funded by the state and an additional $3 surcharge on dog licenses advocated for by the Committee on Ways and Means. The bill was amended on April 16 to provide an extended implementation date and approved by the Committee on Appropriations. Upon passage in the House, amended H. 626 was further amended by Senate Government Operations Committee on May 2 to require animal care standards for animals imported, in addition to animals housed; and to require state agencies to estimate the number of animal welfare complaints received annually. It passed in the Senate and the House concurred with the Senate amendment on May 10. Next stop is the Governor’s desk. Details are here.

Vermont – HB 567 prohibits a pet shop in the state from selling dogs, cats, or wolf-hybrids, unless the pet shop is providing space to an animal shelter or a rescue organization offering these species to the public for adoption for an adoption fee, or the pet shop was selling these animals prior to July 1, 2024, and the pet shop maintains its ownership and license and does not exceed the number sold in calendar year 2023. The bill has been pending before the House Committee on Agriculture, Food Resiliency, and Forestry. Although the March 17 deadline for action has passed, the committee scheduled testimony from multiple witnesses and on April 25 amended a miscellaneous Senate Agriculture bill, S. 301, with the text of H. 567 starting on page 22. AKC issued this alert and provided testimony in opposition. After review by the Ways and Means Committee, amended S. 301 passed the House on May 3. The Senate Committee on Agriculture further amended S. 301 with text banning the sale of bear parts and accepted the House amendment on May 9. The House and Senate accepted all changes on May 10.