This Monday, September 17, the New Haven Board of Alders is scheduled to vote on significant changes to the city’s animal ordinance. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is deeply concerned with changes that will impact hobby breeders, including new breeder and litter permits, inspections of breeders’ facilities, and breeding suitability determinations to be made by city officials. The proposal also seeks to establish new dangerous dog and vicious dog care requirements. It is imperative that concerned breeders and owners in New Haven contact the members of the Board of Alders to express concerns on the current draft of the proposal and respectfully request the proposal be returned to the Legislation Committee for amendments.
WHAT THE PROPOSAL WILL DO:
- Requires anyone who wants to breed their dog to obtain a breeding permit. The fee for each permit shall be $100. Further, the proposal requires breeders’ facilities to be subject to pre- and post-permit inspections, and requires the city to evaluate the physical and behavioral characteristics regarding the suitability of the particular dogs to be bred. Breeders must also acquire a litter permit ($25), but are limited to no more than two litter permits per year.
On principle, the AKC opposes the concepts of breeding permits, breeding bans or mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who meet their responsibilities.
Furthermore, the AKC believes that health decisions, including whether or not a dog should be bred, are best made by a dog’s owner in consultation with the dog’s veterinarian. The proposal is also unclear how evaluations will be objectively made by Animal Services department personnel. For these reasons, we believe that the provision requiring the city’s evaluation of breeding dogs must be removed.
- Mandates parvovirus vaccinations. Again, AKC believes that health decisions are best made by owners and veterinarians. Owners should be permitted to opt for serum antibody titers to ensure a dog remains protected against viruses.
- Creates a new definition of “Dangerous or Vicious Dog” and imposes city registration and care requirements on such dogs.
- Adds a new leash law requirement for all dogs off their owner’s property, with an exception for service dogs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
First, concerned New Haven residents are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the Board of Alders and respectfully request they return the proposed animal ordinance changes to the Legislation Committee to make further amendments in line with these recommendations.
Click here to contact the Board of Alders by phone or email per their membership list.
Second, concerned New Haven residents are strongly encouraged to attend the Board of Alders Meeting and request, in person, that the ordinance be returned to the Legislation Committee to further amend the proposal. The meeting is scheduled to take place Monday, September 17, 2018, at 7:00 pm in the Board of Alders Chamber, 165 Church Street, #2, New Haven, CT 06510.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information on New Haven and other pending Connecticut legislation as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.