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The City of Atlanta’s Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee is scheduled to vote on an ordinance to on Tuesday, October 23, that would restrict sourcing of animals to pet stores. Instead, they would only be allowed to provide animals from shelters or rescues.

Even if you do not personally provide dogs to pet stores, this bill could have significant implications for all who want to promote the breeding and sale of healthy, purebred dogs.

The committee is also expected to consider a nuisance ordinance that would make it a violation for a dog to bark for more than 20 continuous minutes.

Greater Atlanta residents and those who have purchased or plan to purchase a pet in the Atlanta area are strongly encouraged to contact the council and express your concerns with Ordinance 18-O-1655.  You may also comment on Ordinance 18-O-1655 regarding barking dogs.  Scroll down for contact information. 

Talking Points Against the Ordinance 18-O-1655 (pet store ban):

  • Fewer than four (4) percent of pets purchased in the US come from pet shops. These laws limit choice and will do little to address any issues associated with substandard breeders.
  • This proposal will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and restrict pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated and uninspected sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations).
  • This proposal will dramatically reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that comes with purebred pets from regulated sources. Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.
  • This proposal will harm responsible pet breeders and retailers who are regulated under federal and/or state laws, while encouraging the sale of pets that come from unlicensed and unregulated sources that are not subject to federal animal welfare or Georgia consumer protection laws.
  • This proposal does not require shelters or rescues to supply pet shops with dogs to sell. A lack of supply will prove economically disastrous for these businesses and the people who are employed by them.

The American Kennel Club® emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. AKC® actively promotes efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible ownership and have access to a pet that is right for them. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from

shelter or rescue distributors.

For additional talking points, read the article Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You

Summary Of Ordinance 18-O-1663 (Barking Dogs/Nuisance):

This proposal would make it a violation for a dog to bark more than 20 continuous minutes if the animal is not contained in an enclosure “sufficient to baffle loud noises and render them reasonably unobjectionable.”   Continuous barking means 20 minutes with no break for longer than 20 seconds.

The animal control officer or law enforcement officer must receive complaints from two unrelated adult witnesses from different addresses, or one if they have recorded video.  The sworn affidavits must come from businesses or residents within a 1,000-foot radius of where the violation occurred.

Each violation is considered a separate offense, with a graduated scale of fines depending on the number of violations. 

What You Can Do:

Contact the following Committee members and ask them to not support the pet store ban.  Encourage them to instead support alternative language that would strengthen consumer protection laws by limiting pet store sales to dogs obtained from USDA-licensed breeders with no health or welfare violations and require that pet stores obtain and maintain this inspection information from the breeders they source pets from.

You may also submit comments on the barking dog ordinance, which is also being considered by the committee.

Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Members:

Dustin Hollis, Chair, (404) 330-6044,  drhillis@atlantaga.gov
Michael Julian Bond,  (404) 330-6770, mbond@atlantaga.gov
Andrea L Boone,  (404) 330-6055, aboone@atlantaga.gov

Andre Dickens, (404) 330-6041, adickens@atlantaga.gov
Marci Collier Overstreet, (404) 330-6054, mcoverstreet@atlantaga.gov
Joyce M Sheperd, (404) 330-6053, jmsheperd@atlantaga.gov

Cleta Winslow,  (404) 330-6047,  cwinslow@atlantaga.gov

You can also plan on attending the meeting:
Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee
October 23, 3:00pm
Committee Room 1
55 Trinity Avenue
Second Floor
Atlanta, GA 3030

AKC Government Relations and the Georgia Canine Coalition continue to closely monitor this bill.  For more information, contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org.

 

 

 

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