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Local Issues August 2018

Local Issues August 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 Los Angeles is considering removing numeric limits on pet ownership limits and amending zoning ordinances to allow retail pet stores in commercially zoned areas. Other proposed changes would 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, Palm Springs – The City of Palm Springs introduced a proposal to ban all dog and cat breeding in the city in an effort to address animal control and shelter concerns. Due to an overwhelming response from club members and breeders, the item was removed from the City Council’s meeting agenda. AKC GR continues to work with local club members to communicate with the council and develop more effective solutions to the city’s concerns.

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

CT, New Haven – The New Haven Board of Alders is expected to consider establishing breed-neutral laws regarding the keeping of vicious or dangerous dogs.  Other changes may include breeding permits and inspections of breeding premises.  AKC GR will provide more information prior to consideration of the proposal.

FL, Orange County — The Orange County Board of Commissioners directed staff to draft legislation that would restrict retail pet stores to selling only dogs and cats procured from rescue distributors. AKC GR expressed concern and proposed alternate language.

FL, Manatee County—A proposed “pet sales ban” is under discussion by the county Animal Control Advisory Board. Manatee County staff indicated that an ordinance has not yet been drafted; therefore, the scope of any proposed “pet sales ban” and whether it will affect local breeders or individuals who may wish to rehome a pet is unknown at this time.  Manatee County residents who wish to learn more about the proposal should contact their County Commissioners and members of the Animal Control Advisory Board.

KY, Spencer County—Draft legislation has been presented again to members of the Spencer County Fiscal Court that seeks to extensively expand the county animal control ordinance. Provisions under consideration would allow the confiscation of animals at the discretion of the animal control director; establish high monthly fees for the keeping of seized animals regardless of whether the owner is convicted of a violation; require a separate “kennel” or “cattery” license for every five animals; assign “at risk” designations to dogs that escape or are accidentally released from their enclosures; establish significant fines; and enact numerous additional requirements and fees for county pet and horse owners.

MD, Howard County – The Howard County Council introduced a proposal to restrict tethering in the community.  Initially, the bill included requirements regarding the temperature and time frame when a dog can be tethered, without consideration of the needs of different breeds.  The council reached out to the AKC and worked with GR staff on amendments to address concerns and develop a more effective law. The council passed a law that incorporated a majority of the recommendations made by AKC GR.

MO, Kansas City – Kansas City officials are seeking public feedback on a variety of proposed animal law changes, including implementing mandatory spay/neuter, removing current breed-specific policies, amending ownership limit laws, and regulating tethering and outdoor shelters.  Residents and those who participate in shows are encouraged to submit online comments by September 4.  Read more about this initiative.

MO, Springfield – The City of Springfield voted to overturn the city’s breed-specific bans in an election on August 7.  AKC GR encouraged local residents to vote “no” on breed-specific policies and continues to work with local dog owners to address remaining concerns in the city’s laws.  Read more about this victory for dogs and dog owners.

NJ, Shamong Township – The Township Committee of Shamong, New Jersey, is expected to consider significant changes to its animal ordinances at its Tuesday, September 4, meeting. As currently worded, the proposal contains many concerning and controversial provisions, including future prohibitions on kennels and breeders with 5 or more intact females. The proposal also includes breeding and ownership restrictions, and a prohibition on retail sales at pet stores. AKC GR has issued a legislative alert, written in opposition, and coordinated outreach with local fanciers and enthusiasts.

TN, Franklin– The City of Franklin is considering an ordinance that would restrict pet stores to selling only dogs and cats displayed in cooperation with an animal care facility or animal rescue organization, or that are procured from rescue distributors. AKC GR sent letters of concern and proposed alternate language.