The first session of the Delaware General Assembly has closed for the year. House Bill 124 which seeks to regulate barking dogs remained in the House Appropriations Committee. Additionally, the General Assembly approved House Bill 156 which establishes the comprehensive framework for the regulation of pet insurance transactions in Delaware.
House Bill 124 would prohibit dogs from barking continuously for more than 15 minutes, or more than 30 minutes total in a day. Although the bill contains a number of exemptions requested by AKC to protect all dogs and their responsible owners, concerns remain. Further, Delaware’s Office of Animal Welfare, whose officers would be tasked with enforcing the law, opposes the bill.
Since the bill can still be considered when the General Assembly reconvenes in January 2023, those who which to comment are encouraged to contact the House Appropriations Committee and your State Representative. Let them know that you believe that this bill seeks to make barking dogs, a local nuisance issue not an animal control issue, and does little to protect dogs. It has the real potential of tying up Animal Control on trivial matters because someone is annoyed that their neighbor’s dog barks for 15 minutes instead of pursing real animal abuse. It also punishes responsible dog owners whose dogs may bark up to 30 minutes over the course of 24 hours.
- Contact the members of the House Appropriations Committee (click on members’ names for contact information) and ask that given the Office of Animal Control opposes the bill it should not be advanced to the full House.
- Contact your State Representative and ask them to encourage the Appropriations Committee to hold the bill, and also to oppose House Bill 124 should it appear on a House voting agenda.
To find the contact information, click here and then on your Representative’s name. You can also find the contact information by typing your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box on the home page of the AKC Legislative Action Center and view the name and information for your State Representative.
In addition, House Bill 156 passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Known as the “Pet Insurance Act, its purpose is to promote consumer protection by creating a comprehensive legal framework within which pet insurance may be sold in Delaware and establishes rules that insures offering pet insurance must follow.
Those wishing to contact Governor Carney’s office to comment on the bill may do so by using any of the contact methods listed at this link.
AKC Government Relations continues to monitor legislation in Delaware impacting dog owners. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.