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The Clark County, NV County Commission will consider changes to their animal control code on Tuesday, November 17th which will negatively impact breeders, fanciers and dog owners. It is imperative that responsible owners and breeders contact their county commissioners and attend this meeting to oppose these changes.

Clark County, NV is revising their existing breeder and intact dog restrictions which were adopted in 2008. AKC opposed the 2008 proposal and the proposed changes will only tighten restrictions on responsible owners and breeders. Clark County’s own statistics demonstrate that dog impounds and euthanasias have both increased significantly since the adoption of that ordinance. This demonstrates precisely why animal organizations including AKC, NAIA, AVMA, ASPCA, No Kill Advocacy Center, and the American College of Theriogenologists oppose these burdensome and ineffective policies.

Particularly problematic are the provisions that allow animal control to impound puppies and kittens born in a household without a “Breeder/Show Permit” and which requires intact animals maintained under these permits to be shown at least once a year.

Impounding puppies and kittens which are in responsible and loving homes is dangerous to the health of these animals and does not serve any rational purpose.  It also creates unnecessary animal control issues and costs for county taxpayers.

The majority of AKC show dogs are personal pets that participate in dog shows as a weekend activity. Most are shown for only a year or two to demonstrate their quality as breeding stock – and do not go to shows their entire life. There are a variety of reasons a dog might not be shown in a given year including whelping a litter, illness of the owner or a family member, inability to travel due to family or work commitments, not to mention that many breeds are not shown until they are closer to two years of age or after they are five. The ordinance makes no provision for dogs that have already obtained a championship and does not specify what constitutes a show. It is unclear whether only conformation events will be adequate or if companion or performance events will be accepted.

Further, the proposal requires that any dog or cat sold by the holder of a breeder/show permit be spayed or neutered unless the purchaser holds a breeder/show permit. This appears to require that 8 week old puppies and kittens be sterilized prior to sale.

Recent scientific studies demonstrate that mandatory sterilization – particularly at an early age – can lead to serious health issues including cancer, hip dysplasia, ligament damage and even a shorter life span.  Furthermore, the decision to sterilize an animal is an important decision that should be made by an owner in conjunction with their veterinarian.  The ordinance does not speak to how this is handled if the new owner lives in a different jurisdiction.


Provisions of the Ordinance Include:

  • Modifies the “breeder/show permit” to require that EACH animal must be shown once a year.
  • Requires that any dog or cat sold by the holder of a breeder/show permit have a microchip implanted and be spayed or neutered unless the purchaser holds a breeder/show permit.
  • Declares an animal at-large even if it is on its owner’s property unless it is contained by an enclosure, on a tether, leash, cord or chain.
  • Defines a kennel as a place where at least 10 dogs or not less than 4 months of age are kept, harbored, or maintained for boarding, training, or breeding for sale to a retailer or dealer. Sterilized animals, those being used by law enforcement, the armed forces search and rescue teams or dogs used for farming, ranching, assistance dogs are not counted when determining the number of dogs that are kept, harbored or maintained.
  • Defines “rescue organization” as a 501 (c)(3).
  • Defines a “retailer” as anyone who acquires pets or profits from an action to buy, sell, trade, import or export animals for resale.
  • Makes it unlawful to possess any puppy, kitten or piglet born to an animal in violation of the spay/neuter ordinance. Directs animal control to impound the mother with the offspring if the animal is eight weeks of age or younger unless it is determined to be in the best interests of the animal to do otherwise.
  • Provides that other pet animals may only be sold by dealers, operators or retailers. This appears to require a pet owner who needs to rehome a pet because of a move, illness or other reason surrender the animal to a shelter or rescue rather than rehoming the animal privately. This adds to animal control concerns rather than reducing them.
  • Provides that any intact animal that is impounded and whose owner does not have a current exemption or breeder/show permit must be sterilized before it is released.
  • Imposes additional shelter fees on animals which weigh in excess of 100 pounds.


What You Can Do

  • Attend Clark County Commission meeting on November 17th and voice your opposition to this measure.
  • Contact the members of the Clark County Commission and ask them not to support this ineffective and burdensome ordinance.  

AKC Resources:

Visit the AKC Mandatory Spay/Neuter Issue Page on the AKC Legislative Action Center.

View sample letters and letters to the editor available in the AKC GR Toolbox

AKC Position Statement: Canine Population Issues
AKC Position Statement: Spaying and Neutering
Mandatory Spay-Neuter Issue Brief
Issue Analysis: Why Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws are Ineffective

Members of the Clark County Commission

Commissioner Steve Sisolak, Chair

Phone: (702) 455-3500 

Commissioner Larry Brown

Phone: (702) 455-3500

Commissioner Marilyn Kilpatrick


Phone: (702) 455-3500

Commissioner Susan Brager


Phone: (702) 455-3500

Commissioner Mary Beth Scow

Phone: (702) 455-3500

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani


Phone: (702) 455-3500

Commissioner Lawrence Weekly


Phone: (702) 455-3500

For more information please contact the AKC Government Relations department at 919-816-3720 or

It is imperative that responsible owners and breeders contact their county commissioners and attend this meeting to oppose these changes.