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Taking Command April 2018

Local Issues April 2018

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:

CA, Los Angeles is considering changes that would remove numeric limits on pet ownership limits and change zoning ordinances to would allow retail pet stores in commercially zoned areas.  The changes would also encourage pet retailers to provide dogs from rescue organizations, along with shelter animals.  AKC GR has prepared a response offering assistance in drafting ordinance language.

CA, The Los Angeles Board of Animal Services
 is considering a plan to only use plant-based (vegan) dog food at the city’s six animal shelters.  AKC GR is monitoring the issue and will comment if necessary.

CA, The West Hollywood City Council 
has directed city staff to investigate and draft ordinances establishing standards and requirements for animal groomers. AKC GR will reach out to the city to offer its expertise on this topic.

GA, Roswell – An ordinance that sought to make it an animal cruelty violation to allow an animal to be outdoors when the temperature is below 32 degrees or above 85 degrees was amended to remove these temperature restrictions. A section that prohibits unattended tethering of a dog was amended to remove the requirement that the owner or custodian must remain outside with the dog; however, it requires that a tethered dog must remain in the direct line of sight of the owner or custodian. Click here to read AKC’s legislative alert on the original proposal.

MD, Baltimore County – The Baltimore County Council passed a law prohibiting dogs from being kept outside when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, among other regulations.  AKC GR worked with local clubs to recommend changes that would protect the welfare of dogs without the specific temperature restrictions, and members of the council expressed their understanding and support of the amendments, but ultimately chose to pass the proposal as introduced.

NY, Onondaga County –
Two Onondaga County proposals would restrict tethering in the county.  One proposal would prohibit tethering unless the temperature is between 32 and 85 degrees.  A second would prohibit leaving a dog outside without shelter if its health and safety are at risk.  AKC, local clubs, and the NY Federation worked closely with the sponsor in supporting the second proposal with several clarifying amendments.  Ultimately, neither bill passed and the decision was made to focus instead on current state laws that already protect animals kept outside.  Read more about this victory for county dogs and dog owners.