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Taking Command March 2015

Local Issues March 2015

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:

AZ, Yavapai County – Yavapai County is expected to consider a 5-dog ownership limit, unless the owner obtains a “use permit” approved by the county.  The county is currently accepting comments on the proposal and is expected to hold a public hearing in Cottonwood on May 20 and Prescott on June 3.

CA, Long Beach – The Long Beach City Council has given initial approval to a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. AKC GR sent letters opposing this proposal, issued legislative alerts, and worked with local fanciers to educate legislators about the ineffectiveness of mandatory spay/neuter laws. AKC has informed city officials that we will no longer consider Long Beach as a site for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship which had previously been held there from 2006-2010. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert for this proposal.

GA, Augusta/Richmond County – The Augusta/Richmond Commission returned to committee with a request for changes to a proposed ordinance that would require dogs six months and older to be surgically sterilized unless the owner obtains an unaltered animal permit. “Registered” service dogs, “actively competitive” show or hunting dogs, and dogs with serious health conditions would be exempt. Additional problematic provisions would empower animal services personnel to seize and destroy an animal believed to be “diseased” or “crippled” with no notification to the owner, require enclosures of 100 square feet per dog, and require owners to provide veterinary care for every minor injury or illness. As originally written, the proposal would require a greater level of health care for animals than is required for children. A sub-committee has been named to review the proposed ordinance.

GA, Spalding County – The Spalding County Animal Care & Control Advisory Board has proposed an ordinance that would require persons who own or have custody of a dog or cat 6 months of age or older to have the animal surgically sterilized with few exemptions. Owners who wish to maintain an intact dog would be required to purchase a registration license tag and apply for an unaltered animal permit for each dog. The Spalding County Board of Commissioners returned the proposed ordinance to the advisory board with questions. AKC GR, local dog owners, and the Georgia Canine Coalition continue to monitor action on this issue.

IN, Wayne County – Wayne County is considering kennel regulations that would include ownership limits and impose strict zoning requirements that could prevent hobbyists from breeding in their homes. No official draft has been released. AKC continues to closely monitor county actions on this issue.

NV, Washoe County – The Washoe County Board of Commissioners has held multiple public hearings regarding changes to the county’s animal control code. A revised draft is expected to come before the commission after January 1, 2015. Proposed changes include breeder licensing, dangerous dog updates, changing nuisance regulations and possible regulation of retail sales. Some of the changes will bring the county into compliance with new state laws but in some cases definitions are changed or expanded. AKC GR continues to closely monitor these hearings, and has issued a legislative alert to local clubs and parent clubs.

TN, Nashville/Davidson County – Ordinance BL2015-1008, which makes it an animal cruelty violation to tether a dog, even temporarily in conjunction with an event, unless a 15 foot tether is used and access to water, food and shelter is provided, has passed and takes effect immediately. This measure also prohibits outdoor tethering under certain weather conditions and temperatures.