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Taking Command July 2018

Local Issues July 2018

Local/Other: Issues at the City, County, and Metropolitan Levels, and in U.S. Territories

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 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, City of 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. The City Council has asked to meet with the AKC and local clubs to discuss the issue.

CA, The West Hollywood City Council – 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.

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.  The proposal has been referred to the Board’s Legislation Committee.  AKC GR will provide more information when the proposal is released.

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.

MD, Howard County – The Howard County Council introduced a proposal to restrict tethering in the community.  Initially, the bill would include 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 is expected to vote on the amended ordinance on July 27.

TN, The City of Franklin – The Franklin City Council 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.

TX, Dallas – On June 27, the Dallas City Council enacted extensive amendments to the City’s animal ordinances, including the removal of the exceptions for competition dogs, service dogs, or dogs subject to a breeding permit from sterilization fee requirements for owner redemptions.  The AKC expressed concerns that the wording could result in the sterilization of owner-redeemed dogs owned by non-residents in the city for events or training.  AKC issued multiple action alerts, letters to the Dallas City Council, published a blog entry, and participated in a podcast on the matter, requesting that the current protections for competition dogs remain.  Despite public comments by City officials, the AKC’s concerns remain.

TX, Fort Worth – The Fort Worth City Council is expected to consider many changes to the city’s animal ordinances.  Topics for consideration include: Microchipping over licensing requirements, multifamily dwelling pet requirements, dangerous and aggressive dog provisions, pet waste pickup, pet redemption fees, intact pet fees, leashing requirements, multi-pet permits, and retail dog and cat sales restrictions.  AKC GR will provide outreach information in the coming weeks.