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The Cobb County (Georgia) Commission is holding a public hearing on changes to the county code that would negatively affect dog owners, exhibitors, and breeders.  Residents are urged to attend the public hearing on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, and to contact their commissioners prior to the hearing to respectfully ask that the proposed code amendments regarding animals be extensively amended or stricken.  

 As currently written, the proposed code changes place the safety of animal breeders at risk; impose overreaching restrictions on animal sales; may disallow the use of certain county facilities for sanctioned animal exhibitions, shows, and trials where animals are allowed off-leash; and fail to protect consumer choice when selecting a pet.

Provisions of concern with the proposed code amendment include:

  • “Private breeder” would be defined as “any person or entity who breeds animals that they own for purpose of sale to the public provided the animals are sold on the premises where such animals were bred and reared.” This provision would require animal breeders to conduct all sales on the premises where the animal was bred and reared, and in no other location.  This puts breeders at risk of being victims of theft, assault, kidnapping, and other crimes committed by criminals who seek access to a breeder’s premises under the guise of viewing or purchasing an animal. Further, it is unclear how this provision would affect animal breeders who participate in animal fostering and rehoming activities, and how it would affect compliance with zoning codes.
  • Animals in park facilities would be required to be kept on leashes no longer than 10 feet except when in designated fenced off-leash areas. It is unclear how this provision would affect the use of park facilities for obedience, rally, and other events and trials where dogs compete off-leash; dock diving; working man-trailing and search-and-rescue dogs; rodeos; animal events and demonstrations held at the North Georgia State Fair; and other animal events held at park facilities in the county.
  • Pet stores would be prevented from selling, giving away or transferring dogs or cats, and would be limited to providing free space for the sale of cats and dogs by Cobb County Animal Services, rescue groups, and undefined “animal care facilities”.

What you can do:

Attend the public hearing at 7:00pm, January 28, 2020, at 100 Cherokee Street, Marietta, GA 30090.   Each person who wishes to comment on the proposed code changes will be allowed three minutes to speak.  A second public hearing and vote to adopt is scheduled for February 11, 2020, at 9:00am.

Contact County Commissioners prior to the meeting to express your concerns:

Mike Boyce, Commission Chairman
(770) 528-3305

Keli Gambrill, District 1 Commissioner
(770) 528-3313

Bob Ott, District 2 Commissioner
(770) 528-3316

JoAnn Birrell, District 3 Commissioner
(770) 528-3317

Lisa Cupid, District 4 Commissioner
(770) 528-3312

District map, please click and scroll down:


The Georgia Canine Coalition has expressed the following concern:

“It has been brought to our attention that Cobb County is updating ordinances including parts of the definitions of Chapter 10-Animals, Article 1. In General.  Below is the section we are concerned with. 


Private Breeder means any person or entity who breeds animals that they own for the purpose of sale to the public provided that the animals are sold on the premises where such animals were bred and reared.

 Hobby Breeders do not breed with the intent of selling, rather they breed to improve their lines and continue the breed.  Occasionally they do have some puppies they aren’t going to keep and they look for good homes to sell these puppies to.  Hobby Breeders develop a relationship with those they sell a puppy to, and in turn, those puppy buyers will go back to that breeder for another puppy later.

 Our concern is that by requiring that the puppies be sold on the premises, where they ‘were  bred and reared’, would prevent a Private Breeder from sending a puppy to someone who has acquired a puppy from the Hobby Breeder in the past but who has moved out of the area.  It would keep the puppy buyer from meeting the Hobby Breeder half-way in order to acquire their new puppy.

 Please contact your County Commissioner and the Chairman of the County Commission and express your concern with the way Private Breeder is defined.”


For more information, please contact or call 919-816-3720.