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Taking Command September 2018

Local Issues September 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, 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. 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, 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.

CO, Aurora – The Aurora City Council has proposed numerous changes to the city’s animal control laws, including removing the fancier permit that allowed many responsible hobbyists to own more dogs than the city’s three-dog limit.  The item was held during the September 17 Study Session but is expected to be considered in the near future.  AKC GR is working with the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs and local clubs to communicate with the city and address concerns.

CT, New Haven –The New Haven (CT) Board of Alders decided to delay consideration of changes to their animal ordinance, providing the Board with more time to review letters its received, including those from AKC, local clubs, and concerned residents.  As currently worded, the resolution would establish breeder and litter permits, charge city personnel with evaluating what dogs can be bred, and mandate proof of parvovirus vaccinations among other changes. Read more. 

FL, Orange County — A second public hearing will be held on October 16 to discuss a proposal to allow dog-friendly dining in outdoor sections of restaurants. In a separate action, the Orange County Board of Commissioners has 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 regarding the pet store issue and proposed alternate language.

FL, Manatee County—The Manatee County Commission did not consider a proposed retail pet store ban at their meeting in August but may revisit the issue at a later date.

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 accidently released from their enclosures; establish significant fines; and enact numerous additional requirements and fees for county pet and horse owners.

NJ, Shamong Township – The Township Committee of Shamong, New Jersey, unanimously tabled concerning and controversial changes to its animal ordinances at its Tuesday, September 4, meeting, which included future prohibitions on kennels and breeders with 5 or more intact females, other breeding and ownership restrictions, and a prohibition on retail sales at pet stores. AKC GR issued multiple legislative alerts, wrote to the committee expressing opposition to the proposal, and coordinated outreach with local fanciers and enthusiasts.  AKC, local fanciers and enthusiasts, and representatives of other interested groups, are working with Township officials to craft more reasonable solutions to address Shamong’s animal issues. Read more.

NY, Suffolk County – The Suffolk County Legislature is considering a proposal that would further regulate pet stores and anyone who meets the state definition of “Pet Dealer”, defined as someone who sells over 9 dogs a year or over 25 if they are bred and raised on the person’s property.  While AKC GR agrees with some provisions of the bill, there are concerns that some requirements for pet stores are not appropriate for those home-based breeders who meet the definition of pet dealer.  AKC GR and the Associated Dog Clubs of New York State continue to work with the sponsor to address these and other concerns.  The bill was held on September 5 and may be reconsidered again in a few weeks.  Read AKC’s Legislative Alert for more information on this proposal.

TN, 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.