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Legislative Successes

Legislative Successes

The following list highlights some of the AKC Government Relations’ (AKC GR) legislative successes through June 6, 2024.  These and other victories have been won in cooperation with AKC federations, clubs, and responsible dog owners and breeders around the country who continue to work tirelessly to promote positive canine legislation in their state and community.

To view all Legislative Alerts posted for your state in 2024, as well as the latest information on all bills being tracked by the AKC Government Relations Department, visit the AKC Legislative Action Center at


Senate Bill 1047 seeks to regulate dogs outdoors.  It provides specific exemptions for police and working dogs, hunting, training, “sporting and competitive functions”, and “lawful competitions”.  As introduced, the bill also included a new definition of “extreme weather”, defined by a heat advisory, certain weather warnings (such as a monsoon, dust storm, etc.), and when the temperature is below 32 degrees or over 100 degrees.  Although in this measure it only applied to when proper bedding was required, AKC was concerned about the definition being used in the future to restrict when dogs could be outside, without consideration for the needs and abilities of specific breeds.  References to “extreme weather” were removed from the bill.  The bill awaits final approval by the Senate.

Senate Bill 1204 would have expanded current problematic law in matters relating to seizure of animals.  It expanded when an animal may be seized and increases the amount of the bond required per animal to cover boarding, veterinary care and impound fees.  While the money would be returned if the owner is found not guilty, current law would still cause an owner to lose the animals if they do not pay the bond within 10 days. It also allowed for third parties to care for the animal during the proceedings.  AKC contacted the sponsor asking for clarification on the requirements for those permitted to care for the animals, and for the owner be given the right to approve who cares for the animal.  It was held in the Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee.


AB-2425 expanded requirements on animal shelters relative to animal adoption and attempted to expand the definition of what constitutes a dog breeder in California to be anyone who transfers 2 litters or 10 dogs from existing law of 3 litters or 20 dogs transferred. AKC GR expressed opposition to the new definition of dog breeder in written and oral testimony, issued alerts, and communicated with the author’s office and committee staff.  It was held in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee and will not advance this year.



SB 339 would require restitution to be paid by anyone who injures or kills a police K-9 or volunteer search and rescue dog, including costs for incurred veterinary services and costs incurred in the purchase and training of a replacement dog.  AKC supported the bill in the Public Safety and Security Committee on March 7, 2024. The committee voted it favorably and the Senate voted passage on May 2. The House voted it favorably on May 8. AKC’s update noted how to register support with the Governor and it became law on May 28.

HB 5223 seeks among other changes, to amend the legal definition of “grooming facility” to include those doing business in “any vehicle or trailer”.  During a February 28 hearing on the bill by the Joint Committee on Environment, AKC and the Connecticut Federation of Dog Clubs requested a bill amendment to ensure that the bill’s language would not be broadly interpreted to include professional handlers exhibiting in the state.  Following AKC’s request and a meeting with legislative and administrative staff, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture determined that those who groom a dog in preparation for a competitive event would not be impacted by the language.


HB 7073, which among other provisions reenacts state sales tax holidays on certain disaster preparation supplies, was signed by the Governor as Chapter 2024-158. The 2024 sales tax holiday dates are June 1-June 14 and August 24-September 6. AKC and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs supported this provision, which applies to certain supplies used for the evacuation of pets.

HB 297/SB 272 sought to authorize a court to appoint a separate advocate regarding an animal’s welfare in prosecutions and certain other court proceedings. AKC GR submitted a letter of concern on this legislation. SB 272 passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, then died in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. HB 297 died in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

CS HB 873 /CS SB 1156 sought to expand dangerous dog provisions and requirements and establish a dangerous dog registry. AKC GR recommended amendatory language; HB 873 was favorably amended in the House Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee; and SB 1156 was favorably amended in the Senate Committee on Agriculture. However, neither bill additionally advanced prior to end of session, and both bills died in their respective committees. Read more about this legislation.


SB 142, as introduced, sought to problematically expand the definition of “dangerous dog.” Among other requirements, the owner of a “dangerous dog” would have been required to provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of $500,000 specific to bodily injury or property damage caused by the dog. AKC GR provided recommended amendatory language to the Georgia Canine Coalition, and the bill was positively amended by committee substitute in the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee on February 22, 2024. The committee substitute included more reasonable provisions and required liability insurance in the amount of $50,000. However, the bill received no additional action and did not advance prior to end of session.

HR 1368, which commends the benefits and contributions of purebred dogs and recognizes May 1, 2024, as Purebred Dog Day in the State of Georgia, was adopted by the House of Representatives on 3/7/24. HR 1368 is in addition to SR 344, which was adopted by the Georgia Senate to recognize Purebred Dog Day. Read more about this resolution.

Senate Resolution 344, which commends the benefits and contributions of purebred dogs and recognizes May 1, 2024, as Purebred Dog Day in the State of Georgia, was adopted by the Georgia Senate on January 24, 2024. Click here then click “Current Version” to read the resolution in its entirety. Gail LaBerge, President of the Georgia Canine Coalition, worked tirelessly to advance this resolution. Read more.


SB 2120 sought to limit any retail pet store from selling any pet animal (dogs, cats, domesticated rabbits, guinea pigs, domesticated pigs, or caged birds) unless it was in operation in the state before January 1, 2025, provided it was in operation in the same location under the same ownership as of that date.  SB 2120 would have also required pet stores that sell pet animals to maintain records regarding the source and medical history of the animals sold; and to provide records to pet purchasers, and, upon request, to county law enforcement agencies.  AKC expressed opposition to the SB 2120’s pet shop sourcing restrictions.  An amended SB 2120 passed the Senate without those restrictions.  The bill failed to garner additional consideration prior to the end of the legislative session. 


House Bill 1412 allows pet stores to continue to operate in the state and overturns current local retail bans that have already passed in several Indiana communities.  The bill also mandates the registration of all rescues that transfer more than 12 dogs in the state and allows for inspections of rescues if there are complaints about the care of the animals.  At the request of AKC and the Indiana Purebred Dog Alliance, the Senate Agriculture Committee amended the bill to ensure it solely addressed standards for pet stores and commercial breeders who source to them, and remove language that could have been misconstrued as requiring hobby breeders to comply with standards designed for large commercial kennels.  With this amendment, AKC was neutral on the bill, which was signed by the governor and goes into effect on July 1, 2024.


HB 2542 as introduced was would have required licensees under the Kansas Pet Animal Act to post a bond for the care of animals if they are seized by the Department of Agriculture for violations of the Act.  The bill had no limits on the amount of the bond/cost of care and AKC participated in multiple meetings with key legislators and agency staff to convey our concern that even if someone does not mistreat their animals, they can ultimately lose ownership simply because they cannot afford to post a bond.  The bill was amended to remove all bond for care language, along with many other provisions.  It will not advance this year.


HB 258 defines “serious physical injury or infirmity,” redefines “torture,” provides that torture of a dog or cat is a Class D felony, and provides that each act may constitute a separate offense. Existing law and HB 258 include necessary exemptions, and this bill specifically exempts breed-specific alterations such as cropping ears, docking tails, and declawing a cat when performed by a veterinarian. A Committee Substitute bill that was discussed by AKC GR with legislative staff and was supported by AKC and allied organizations was signed by the Governor on April 4.


SB 476 criminalizes the use of bait dogs in training dogs for dog fighting. AKC proposed an amendment to clarify and strengthen the definition of “bait dog” to include any dog abused as a bait dog, regardless of its temperament. SB 476 was signed by Governor Jeff Landry, became Act No. 359, and takes effect August 1, 2024.


On March 12, S.P. 979 was filed recognizing May 1 as Purebred Dog Day. It was immediately adopted in the Senate and the House concurred with its adoption the next day, March 13. On March 20, it was passed to be enacted.


HB 2019 and SB 1309 ( “Ollie’s Law”) as introduced would have imposed requirements such as staffing ratios for boarding, training, dog daycare, breeding and personal kennels. They would also have authorized animal control officers to inspect and tell you how many dogs you are allowed to own and enforce a new “personal breeder kennel” license for anyone with more than 4 intact female dogs over 6 months who transfers any offspring. Personal breeder kennels and commercial breeder kennels would have been held to the same future regulations. AKC issued an alert and communicated with lawmakers in opposition. In April 2024, the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee favorably released Senate and House companion mirror bills, HB 4564 and SB 2731, which have moved to their respective Ways and Means Committees. AKC is appreciative the committee removed the anti-breeder text from the bill.

HB 801 would eliminate a 48-hour facility quarantine requirement when animals are imported from neighboring states for resale or imported directly to permanent or temporary Massachusetts foster homes. AKC is concerned HB 801 may reduce compliance and increase the risk of communicable disease spread to animals and people in Massachusetts.  The Environment and Natural Resources Committee sent it to study order on May 23.

SB 1056 would, among other provisions, require a minimum of 100 square feet per dog for outdoor enclosures and ban the kenneling of any dog outside unattended for more than 5 hours or from 10pm to 6am.  AKC opposes the measure as introduced. On February 6 the bill was sent to study order and will not advance.


HF 3410/SF 3458 attempted to remove from current law an explicit declaration that data collected by the MN Board of Animal Health on commercial dog breeders is private or nonpublic.  The bill would also have: (1) Clarified that a kennel licensed by the state must include its state license number or a symbol approved by the Board in all of its advertisements or promotions that pertain to animals being sold or traded, including but not limited to all advertisements or promotions in newspapers and flyers or on the Internet or radio; (2) Added that the Board must post on its website a list of kennels and dealers licensed and in good standing, including the number of animals kept by the licensee in the previous year; at minimum, copies of the three most recent inspection reports submitted to the Board; and a list of kennels or dealers whose licenses have expired or been revoked over the past three years, including business names that licensees used, total number of animals kept in the previous year; and reasons for revocation; and (3) Added that the Board inspection report must contain all business names used by the commercial breeder, the facility identification number, and the address and name of the facility.  AKC expressed concerns that publication of sensitive information may provide anti-breeder protestors or animal rights extremists with facility location information, and lead to harassment of licensees or business interruptions at their facilities, including at private homes.  Both bills failed to progress beyond committee consideration prior to the end of the legislative session.

New Hampshire

SB 587 as introduced allowed animals as part of a litter transported into the state to be quarantined together. As filed, the bill could result in additional quarantine exemptions. AKC submitted testimony expressing concern and, with NH DOGS, requested an amendment. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources adopted the amendment and the amended bill has passed the House and Senate.

HB 1501 would repeal the requirement that cats and dogs be registered annually. AKC testified in opposition at a House Environment and Agriculture Committee’s February 21 public hearing and the committee voted it inexpedient to legislate on March 13 and the full House agreed on March 28.

HB 1505 would establish an animal abuse offender registry. The House Environment and Agriculture Committee received AKC testimony in opposition for the February 20 public hearing because registries have not been shown to deter animal abuse and alternative enforcement methods are more effective. The committee voted the bill inexpedient to legislate on March 5.

HB 1556 would remove the requirement that dogs exempt from the rabies vaccine requirement be muzzled when outside. AKC testified in opposition at a House Environment and Agriculture Committee’s February 21 public hearing and the committee voted it inexpedient to legislate on March 13 and the full House agreed on March 28.

HB 1173 would authorize seizure and a court order to issue and euthanize any dog that has attacked a human being or a domestic animal that resulted in the puncture or tearing of skin, two or more times within a 12-month period. AKC expressed concerns at a House Environment and Agriculture Committee’s February 21 public hearing that the bill did not account for instances where a dog might respond to a trespasser or have been provoked. The committee voted it inexpedient to legislate on March 13 and the full House agreed on March 28.

HB 1316 would define “co-ownership” of dogs so the city of Manchester, NH could verify whether dogs being boarded at an individual’s house without the proper zoning permit is valid or not. AKC reached out to the bill sponsor and city to identify an alternative solution. AKC submitted testimony in opposition to the House Environment and Agriculture’s February 21 public hearing noting the bill would remove privacy protections for some New Hampshire dog owners. On March 13, the committee voted the bill inexpedient to legislative expecting a local solution would be found and the full House agreed on March 28.

HB 1684 seeks to expand the relationship eligible for “loss of consortium” damages in civil cases to include pet owners in cases involving the person’s pet when its death was caused intentionally or recklessly.  AKC expressed opposition to the bill, which was considered by the House Judiciary Committee on February 21, 2024.  The committee voted it inexpedient to legislate on March 12.

SB 541 would have defined “pet vendor” as related to a  “retail pet store” as a licensee that transfers animals at retail to the public from a physical facility. It would also: cap “retail pet stores” to the transfer of cats and dogs at 2023 levels; prohibit the sale of “retail pet stores” to anyone but family members; and require future NH “retail pet stores” to source dogs and cats only from animal shelters. AKC issued an alert and testified in opposition. The committee voted February 6 to refer the bill to interim study. A companion bill, HB 1680, was considered by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee. AKC testified in opposition with NH DOGS and the bill was voted inexpedient to legislate on February 6. Details are here.

Rhode Island

HB 7639 sought to declare that animals would no longer be considered as property under the law, reversing centuries of legal tradition and potentially destabilizing laws impacting animals.  The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. After discussions with AKC and the state veterinarian, the bill sponsor withdrew the bill from further consideration.

HB 7294 would prohibit captive hunting for domestic or wild animals without prohibiting the release of upland game birds for hunting on licensed shooting preserves. AKC negotiated a clarifying amendment with proponents of the bill to ensure that adoption would not interfere with lawful field trials.

South Carolina

HB 4611 makes it an offense for a person to intentionally remove or destroy an electronic collar or other electronic device that was placed on a dog by its owner. AKC sent letters of support for this legislation, which was signed by Governor Henry McMaster on May 20, 2024, and took effect immediately.


On May 9, 2024, Governor Bill Lee signed into law SB 1867, the “Beyond Ordinary Learning Opportunities (BOLO) Act.” Named after Bolo, a Lagotto Romagnolo therapy dog, this law recognizes the value of a “calm, obedient canine that is trained to provide support, comfort, and companionship to people in educational, health, and therapeutic settings.” It requires the Tennessee Department of Education to establish a one-year pilot program to place a therapy dog in five public schools during the 2024-2025 school year. AKC thanks Representative Gino Bulso and Senator Joey Hensley for sponsoring this legislation. It was enacted as Public Chapter 954 and took effect immediately. Read more.

SB 2478 helps protect the rights of animal owners by prohibiting a state or local department or agency from entering private property without probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has occurred or is occurring, the consent of the property owner, a warrant, or a recognized warrant exception, and requires a member of a society incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals to notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of the member’s intent to make an arrest or interfere to prevent an act of cruelty and the circumstances justifying the action before doing so. AKC GR submitted letters of support for this legislation and thanked Senator Joey Hensley and Representative Clay Doggett for sponsoring the bills. SB 2478 was enacted on April 17, 2024, as Public Chapter 704 and takes effect July 1, 2024.

HB 2266 positively amends state laws governing rental housing to establish that “reliable documentation” regarding the need for a support animal does not include documentation provided through a website, the primary function of which is to provide a certificate, registration, license, or similar document for a service animal or support animal for a fee. AKC strongly condemns characterizing dogs as service animals when they are not, and in prior sessions discussed with legislative staff the wording of certain provisions to help ensure compliance with federal law. HB 2266 was enacted on April 22 as Public Chapter 754 and takes effect July 1, 2024. Read more.

HB 1635, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibits emotional support animals that are not trained or being trained as service animals from being brought into indoor areas of food service establishments. Prior to supporting the bill, AKC GR reached out and confirmed with legislative staff that food providers that operate in conjunction with animal events would not be negatively affected. HB 1635 was enacted as Public Chapter 566 on March 15, 2024, and took effect immediately.

SB1957 establishes a process for a licensed veterinarian to report suspected animal cruelty and to testify in a judicial or administrative proceeding concerning the care of the animal without being subject to criminal or civil liability. The bills specify that the veterinarian will be acting in a professional capacity and in a current veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and have reasonable cause to believe that an animal has been subjected to animal cruelty in violation of Tennessee state laws § 39-14-202, § 39-14-214, or § 39-14-217. AKC GR monitored this legislation throughout the 2024 legislative session and encouraged interested dog owners to express their support. SB 1957 was enacted as Public Chapter 584 on March 15, 2024, and took effect immediately. Read more.

HB 2938/SB 2513 sought to require the licensure of “commercial” dog breeders by the Department of Commerce and Insurance. Licensure would have been based on the number of dogs owned rather than on commercial activity or sales. AKC submitted letters of opposition that included information on a previous costly and overreaching state commercial dog breeder bill that was enacted in 2009 with a sunset clause and allowed to expire in 2014. House Bill 2938 was taken off notice in committee and SB 2513 did not advance prior to the end of session.

HB 1320/SB 835 sought to criminalize restraining a dog with a chain, cord, tether, cable, or similar device under certain weather forecasts and during evacuation orders. While AKC advocates that dogs should never be tethered in a manner that could cause harm to them, these bills were problematic in that they did not consider that forecasted conditions might not occur where a dog is kept or that tethers can be used to safely restrain a dog prior to or during an evacuation. AKC submitted a letter outlining these concerns. The bills did not advance in committees prior to the end of session. Read more.


House Bill 478 as introduced sought to regulate breeders in the state, and included multiple amendments requested by AKC on a previous version from 2023.  The House of Representatives removed all the breeder requirements from the bill and instead passed a bill with standards and requirements for shelters and rescues.  The bill as amended was signed by the governor and goes into effect on May 1, 2024.


HB 1012 is a bill carried over from 2023 that will provide state grants to localities so they can protect their citizens and their pets during extreme weather events. This would include funding for emergency shelters, transportation and lodging during extreme weather. AKC issued written and oral testimony in support of this bill, which was signed by the governor on March 19.

West Virginia

Senate Resolution 60 declares May 1, 2024, as Purebred Dog Day in West Virginia. It recognizes the dedicated individuals in West Virginia who breed dogs to develop unique, predictable characteristics that enable dogs to excel in a wide range of beneficial areas.  It also recognizes the “benefits and contributions” of purebred dogs and discusses their importance to society, history, and culture.  AKC thanks Adrianne Dering of the Mountaineer Kennel Club for her work on getting this resolution drafted and advanced.  It passed on March 1.