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Legislative Successes

Legislative Successes

The following list highlights some of the AKC Government Relations’ (AKC GR) legislative successes through June 30,  2023.  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 2023, as well as the latest information on all bills being tracked by the AKC Government Relations Department, visit the AKC Legislative Action Center at


HB 1591, a bill supported by AKC Government Relations that limits a local government from enacting certain restrictions regarding the acquisition and sales of pets in retail pet stores, was enacted.


AB-554 would clarify animal cruelty enforcement. At AKC’s request, the bill was amended to ensure Californians’ right to due process is respected. The amended bill passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee. However, it was ultimately held.

AB 554 could have significantly broadened animal laws to allow for civil action to seize dogs as a “preventative” action prior to the commission of any actual infraction of such laws; at AKC’s request, the bill was amended to ensure Californians’ rights would be protected from preventative action being taken. Although the bill did not move forward this year, the author will likely attempt to try again next year.


The City of Lafayette was considering a ban on all sales – including private sales – of dogs in the city.  AKC worked with local clubs and the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs to coordinate verbal and written testimony in opposition.  The proposal was tabled with an agreement that the private sales ban would not be reintroduced.

The City of Colorado Springs proposed a ban on the retail sales of pets in the city.  AKC and the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs joined local businesses and residents in testifying in opposition and encouraging the city to support the humane care of animals and pet choice.  The proposal was defeated by the council.


SB 1069 would have, among other provisions, required a kennel license for anyone who breeds more than two litters annually.  AKC and the state federation worked to address concerns. In addition, legislative leaders further amended the bill to only require inspection and kennel licensure for those producing more than five litters in year. The amended bill was signed into law on June 5, 2023.

SB 1060 would have expanded the court’s authority to appoint an attorney to represent animals generally. AKC issued an alert and testified in opposition on March 1 with the Connecticut Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (CFDRDO). During the Judiciary Committee’s discussion, it became apparent that multiple Connecticut laws define “animal” differently and the bill was passed over.

HB 6714 redefines the crime of sexual contact with an animal.  AKC, CFDRDO and veterinarians expressed concern it could be interpreted as prohibiting routine canine reproduction procedures, such as artificial insemination. It was amended to ensure that bona fide veterinary and animal husbandry purposes would not be inadvertently banned. The bill was signed on June 27 by the Governor.


HB 124 and HB 84 would prohibit owners from allowing dogs to bark continuously for more than 15 minutes, or intermittently for more than 30 minutes per day.  After discussions with the sponsor, HB 124 was amended to exempt dogs engaged in lawful activities including training, hunting, and dog events, and such actions as barking at animals in the yard.  AKC continued to express concerns about the likelihood of neighbor disputes, and the inability of animal control to be able to consider cases on an individual basis.  Further, AKC GR has pointed out that this bill seeks a statewide solution to a local nuisance issue.  HB 84 was stricken by the sponsor and HB 124 was held in the House Appropriations Committee.


 House Bill 941/Senate Bill 942, supported by AKC Government Relations, authorize public housing authorities to adopt policies related to dogs provided such requirements are not specific to the breed, weight or size, and set aside remaining local breed-specific ordinances in the state. SB 942 was signed by the Governor as Chapter No. 2023-253 and takes effect October 1, 2023.

HB 157/SB 518 would have exempted information about persons who have adopted an animal from a local animal shelter or animal control agency from public records requirements. AKC GR expressed concern that this could negatively impact tracking a pet with a disease process and would hide pet trafficking under the guise of rescue from public oversight. Both bills ultimately were held in the Senate.

HB 849/SB 800 sought to prohibit pet stores from selling dogs and cats and would have allowed the enactment and enforcement of more stringent municipal and county ordinances regarding any animal sale. AKC Government Relations closely monitored this problematic legislation, which did not receive committee hearings and failed upon adjournment.

HB 989/SB 1006 would have authorized a separate advocate be appointed in the interests of justice for certain civil and criminal proceedings regarding an animal’s welfare or custody. Both bills were ultimately held in committee.

SB 932 sought to criminalize allowing a dog to have its nose out of a vehicle; certain accepted and safe transport methods for dogs; and unattended tethering of dogs. It also sought to establish an animal abuser registry that would have included restrictions on both the abuser and others not charged with or complicit in an offense. SB 932 received negative media attention and constituent opposition. AKC GR strongly opposed this bill, which was held in committee.

HB 1047/SB 1300, supported by AKC GR, increase protections for police, fire, and search and rescue canines. It was signed by the Governor and takes effect October 1, 2023.

HB 7063, among numerous other provisions, establishes sales tax holidays in 2023 for purchases of certain supplies necessary for the evacuation of household pets, including pet foods, portable kennels/carriers, pet beds, and other items. The section that abates sales tax on certain pet supplies takes effect May 27 through June 9 and August 26 through September 8 in 2023.

House Bill 719/Senate Bill 722 allow certain out-of-state veterinarians to provide specified services under the supervision of a veterinarian licensed in the state. HB 719 was signed by the Governor and takes effect July 1, 2023.


HB 217 is an animal fighting bill that contains prohibitions on possessing, purchasing, or selling “fighting related objects.” AKC GR and the Georgia Canine Coalition sought clarifying language so that the use of treadmills and other common dog training, conditioning, and physical therapy “objects” cannot be misinterpreted. The bill did not advance and carries over to the 2024 session.

HB 423/SB 155 are positive measures that increase protections for public safe animals, which include law enforcement and search and rescue animals. SB 155 was signed by the Governor.

SB 142 seeks to expand the definition of “dangerous dog” to include]: (i) Unprovoked barking, when people are present; (ii) Aggressively running along fence lines when people are present; or (iii) Escaping confinement or restraint to chase people.” The owner of a “dangerous dog” would be required to obtain $500,000 in liability insurance. This overreaching bill has 36 co-sponsors and carries over to the 2024 session.


AKC opposed House Bill 849, which seeks to limit consumer choice by requiring pet stores to sell dogs obtained only from animal control or a shelter/rescue.  The House Committee on Agriculture and Food Systems considered the bill February 13, and deferred the measure.


HB 1049 would prohibit homeowners’ and renters’ insurers from canceling, refusing, or raising premiums for coverage based solely on the breed of dog owned by the insured.  AKC supports this bill, which is a good first step in protecting resident Illinois dog owners.  It is pending with the governor.

SB 1499 would have allowed forfeiture of animals for virtually any violation of state law regarding the care of animals.  AKC and the state federation expressed concerns that this could include minor, correctable infractions.  After meeting with the sponsor and county and state attorneys, it was amended to only apply to true acts of cruelty.  A further amendment allows for a person to be under supervision rather than convicted of certain cruelty charges.  The bill was transmitted to the governor on June 16.

HB 3200 would require genetic testing for all dogs owned by dog breeders.  If any “genetic defect or mutation that causes early death or physical impairments” is found, the dog must be immediately sterilized.  AKC and IFDCO have provided extensive information to the sponsor on this issue and continue to work with her. The bill may be considered again in 2024.

HB 1169 would provide a legal advocate (lawyer) for dogs or cats in court cases involving its health, safety, or an injury.  At the request of AKC, an amendment was added clarifying that the bill does not change the legal status of animals as property, but concerns still remained. The bill was held, and AKC and the state federation continue to communicate with the sponsor, as the bill could be reconsidered in 2024.

SB 1372 seeks to license all dog trainers, including handling, agility, CGC, performance events, and other training classes.  AKC GR, the Illinois federation, and multiple national dog training organizations are expressing strong concerns with this bill, which would only allow for one training philosophy and could severely limit training options in the state.  This coalition has also been in multiple meetings with the sponsor and committee where the bill was assigned.  The sponsor has committed to continuing to work with us, as the bill could be reconsidered in 2024.

HB 3695 would expand the laws prohibiting exotic animals from being used for exhibition in the state.  However, it defines “exotic animal” as any animal that does not originate in the United States.  AKC GR and the state federation reached out to the sponsor asking for an amendment to clarify that this definition does not apply to domesticated animals, including dogs.  The sponsor committed to holding the bill for the 2023 session.  It could be reconsidered in 2024.


HB 2437 would have required cost of care payments for seized animals even for minor violations of the Kansas Pet Animal Act and would have led to loss of ownership of dogs for anyone that could not pay for monthly cost of care within 10 days of receiving a bill even if they were ultimately found not guilty. AKC submitted opposition to the House Agriculture Committee, where the bill ultimately died without a vote.


House Bill 103 sought to expand Kentucky’s animal cruelty provisions. Although HB 103 contained certain protective provisions, AKC GR joined sportsmen’s groups in expressing concerns about the bill as originally filed. As introduced, HB 103 would have provided that a dog with a parasite, such as a tick or flea, was suffering from “physical infirmity” that could result in a felony charge of “torture” against the owner. The definition of physical infirmity in the bill was amended to read in part, “mange or other skin disease or parasitic infestation that has been refused medical care.” HB 103, as amended, passed in the House, but did not advance in Senate committees and failed sine die.

House Bill 115 includes electronics detection dogs in the state’s definition of “service animal” and thereby extends protections under existing law that make assault on a service animal a felony. The bill also includes a definition of and protections for a “police dog.”  AKC monitored and supported this bill through its final form, which was signed by the Governor on 4/4/23.

House Bill 212 addressed dangerous dog law and sought to expand certain penalties, including prohibitions on owning dogs for five years. The bill did not advance during the 2023 session and failed sine die.

House Bill 321 attempted to problematically amend vicious dog law. It included a prohibition on the possession of dogs for certain offenses; an expansion of animal confiscation provisions; establishing cost of care requirements for confiscated animals and forfeiture of the dogs if not paid by the owner; and granting immunity for releasing a dog from a vehicle without consideration of consequences of such action. HB 321 failed sine die in the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 56 sought to prohibit pet stores from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits, but did not restrict pet stores from showcasing pets from animal shelters and nonprofit organizations that “adopt” animals. Showcasing of pets would have been prohibited for any entity affiliated with a breeder, thereby excluding many club-related volunteer dog-rehoming groups. SB 56 failed sine die in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Senate Bill 92, as amended, would have included provisions regarding the definitions of assistant dog and emotional support animal; provided that a therapeutic relationship with a healthcare provider does not include transactions for documentation of disability in exchange for fee unless there has been a face-to-face in-office consultation with the health care provider; and made it a violation to misrepresent a dog as an assistance dog to gain accommodation. AKC GR supported the bill in principle, but was concerned that, as introduced, it contained certain provisions potentially in violation of federal law. A corrected committee substitute bill passed in the Senate but did not advance in the House.

Senate Bill 230 sought to create procedures for seizing agencies to petition a court to order payment of animal care costs by the owner. It failed sine die in the Senate Agriculture Committee.


SF 2744, an omnibus Department of Commerce bill, in part prohibits homeowner’s insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew, or canceling an insurance policy or contract basely solely on a specific breed or mixture of breeds.  The bill was signed into law on May 24, 2023.

HF 1276 and SF 1317, sought to only allow pet stores to sell dogs obtained from animal control or a shelter/rescue.  AKC opposed these bills, which were both ultimately held in committee.


HB 530 was an overreaching dangerous dog bill that sought to authorize confiscation of a dog following certain complaints. It also would have allowed a dog to be declared dangerous under loosely stated provisions. The bill included broad requirements regarding euthanasia of dogs declared dangerous and other problematic provisions. It died in the House Judiciary B Committee.
New Hampshire

In addition to defining biodiversity and requiring its inclusion in certain land use regulations, SB 164 would authorize entering into private contracts for “guardianship” appointments to preserve the rights of domestic animals and wild animals.  AKC issued an alert in opposition. AKC was joined by New Hampshire Dog Owners of the Granite State (NH DOGS) and multiple stakeholders testifying in opposition to the guardianship provisions of the bill. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee significantly amended the bill and removed all guardianship text before voting it ought to pass on February 15.

New Mexico

SB 429 would have prevented tethering dogs for longer than 3 hours and would have impacted AKC events. AKC secured an amendment to protect dog sports and urged additional amendments. The bill was ultimately held in committee.

New York

Senate Bill 142 would have banned “debarking” – a veterinary practice also known as bark softening.  This bill would have prohibited veterinarians from performing this procedure unless it is medically necessary to treat an injury, illness, or congenital defect.  The bill passed the Senate but was held in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

Senate Bill 4099/Assembly Bill 2917 make certain hunting competitions illegal.  However, prior to passage, amendments were added at the request of AKC and sportsmen to protect training, performance events, and certain other hunting activities.  This measure passed both chambers, will be transmitted to the governor.

Assembly Bill 3714/Senate Bill 5674 would have prohibited ear cropping and tail docking unless necessary to treat an illness or injury.  These bills are introduced every year.  AKC met with leadership of the committees where these bills were assigned, and the bills once again were never scheduled for a hearing.


HB 2059 will lessen the reporting burden for state licensed dog breeders. Previous law required a yearly application and a yearly report on the number of dogs possessed but this bill removes the reporting requirement. The bill was signed by the Governor and immediately went into effect. AKC supported the bill throughout the legislative process to lessen the burden on licensed breeders.

HB 1992, also known as the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights, did not create new requirements or law, but if it were codified it could open the door for a radical shift in the legal status of animals. AKC met with the House Agriculture Committee Chair to urge him not hear this bill and he agreed.


SB 746 and HB 1322 seek to update the Commonwealth’s Dog Law.  Even though AKC participated in a stakeholder meeting ahead of the formal introduction, both bills contained language not discussed in the stakeholders’ meetings that removed an existing provision providing an exemption from licensing and health certification requirements for dogs entering the Commonwealth temporarily to participate in dog events. Further, the legislation changed the provision of a veterinarian issued health certificate to requiring an interstate certification of veterinarian inspection.  AKC GR was successful in securing an amendment to reinstate this important exemption.  The bill has passed the Senate and is pending consideration by the full House.

Rhode Island 

HB 5114 would permit the family court to award custody of household pets to the plaintiff in a domestic abuse complaint, including the enforcement remedy of a restraining order or other injunctive relief. AKC expressed concerns about using the legal term “custody”, given the three types of child custody at the February 14 hearing. The bill did not advance this session.

HB 5207 would have established an animal abuser registry and require pet sellers to check the registry before transferring an animal to avoid fines.  AKC testified with other stakeholders that a better use of the State’s resources would be to focus on and utilize enforcement activities that are proven effective. The bill did not advance this session.

South Caroliona

HB 3682 and similar SB 456 eliminate necessary protections under current law regarding the award of costs of care for a confiscated animal. H 3682 was amended; however, significant concerns remain. H 3682 is pending a second vote in the Senate. These bills, which are strongly opposed by AKC GR, carry over to year two of the 2023-2024 session.

House 3247, a bill supported by AKC Government Relations, seeks to increase penalties for maltreating a police K9. It is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. It carries over to year two of the 2023-2024 session.


HB 165/SB 451 positively revise certain provisions for a “guide dog” in training and the penalties for misrepresentation of service or support animal. SB 451 was signed by the Governor as Public Chapter 194 and takes effect July 1, 2023. 

 House Bill 398/Senate Bill 183 require mental health evaluation and treatment for juveniles who commit aggravated animal cruelty under certain circumstances. AKC Government Relations closely monitored, SB 183, which was signed by the Governor and takes effect July 1, 2023.

House Bill 472/SB 195would have established overreaching requirements and engineering standards for “necessary shelter” for a dog. At the request of committee members, AKC Government Relations submitted recommended amendments. Both bills were favorably amended. SB 195 was signed by the Governor and takes effect July 1, 2023.

House Bill 1126/Senate Bill 1320 require a judge to order payment of restitution by an owner who is convicted of allowing their dog to run loose and the dog causes bodily injury or death to another person, or damages another person’s property, including the award of incidental and consequential damages. AKC Government Relations closely monitored this legislation. SB 1320 was signed by the Governor,  and takes effect July 1, 2023.

House Bill 1320/Senate Bill 835 seek to criminalize restraining a dog with a chain, cord, tether, cable, or similar device under certain weather forecasts and during evacuation orders, and do not consider that forecasted conditions may not occur where the dog is kept, or that tethers can be used to safely restrain a dog prior to or during an evacuation. Both bills remain pending in committee and neither is expected be considered in 2023.  AKC Government Relations continues to monitor this legislation through the two-year session.


HB 3587 would have required mandatory spay and neuter for any at large dog that was caught by a releasing agency for a second time in the dog’s lifetime. AKC reached out to the sponsor in early 2023 to express our opposition to the bill and it ultimately never received a hearing.

 HB 66 would have required anyone that housed 3 or more dogs to install fire sprinklers and retain 24-hour employees. AKC expressed concerns and ultimately HB 2063 was filed which requires kennel facility operators (those who are providing boarding for breeding, sheltering, training, hunting, “or similar purposes” for more than three dogs for compensation) to provide written notice to owners if their pet will be left unattended and without a fire sprinkler system. The bill was signed by the governor.

HB 3756 offered liability protections for individuals who remove a domestic animal from a motor vehicle if the person had a good faith and reasonable belief it was necessary to avoid imminent harm.  AKC GR expressed concerns about negative unintended consequences. The bill ultimately died in the Senate.

HB 4164, supported by AKC, makes it a misdemeanor to misrepresent a service animal.  The bill was signed by the governor.


House Bill 359 as introduced would have required a permit for anyone who breeds and sells one dog in the state, with regulations to be developed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  After discussions with the sponsor, numerous amendments were added to remove the permit requirements, exempt hobbyists, and ensure that the regulation of pet breeding facilities do not include private homes.  The bill passed the House but did not receive a Senate vote before the end of session.  The sponsor has asked AKC to meet in the interim to discuss alternatives for next session.


HB 1984 as introduced sought to amend the definition of “adequate water” by specifying that for dogs, “adequate water” means water that is continuously available, unless restricted by a veterinarian, in a receptacle that is cleaned and sanitized before being used to provide water to a different dog or a different social grouping of dogs.  AKC expressed numerous questions on the impact of this on crating, events, transportation, grooming, and even walking dogs.  The sponsor discussed various amendments, but this bill was left in Committee.  Session ended on February 25, 2023.