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Friday, August 16, 2019

Please share this information with dog owners and breeders in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Immediate action is needed. 

Responsible dog and cat breeders—and citizens of Fort Smith who wish to obtain dogs and cats from local breeders in the future—are urged to immediately contact the Fort Smith Board of Directors and ask that recently-enacted breeder licensing requirements be stricken from law.  This must be communicated to Board members prior to the next Board meeting on August 20. 

To review, on August 6, 2019 the Fort Smith Board of Directors passed a law that, among other provisions, requires:

  • Every person who breeds a dog or cat must obtain breeder a license for every animal bred at a fee of $500 per animal, per year. Additional requirements and costs apply.
  • All dogs and cats in the city must carry two forms of identification. A microchip plus a tag or other form of ID are required.
  • All dogs and cats must be licensed. The annual fee is $60 per year for an unaltered animal and $10 for an altered animal.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  The Board discussed changing the requirements for the altered pet license, reducing certain penalties for owners of altered pets, and other changes to the ordinance.  Accordingly, the Board has indicated that it intends to repeal and replace the recently-enacted law at its meeting on August 20, 2019.  Please note, there was no action regarding changing or eliminating the breeder licensing requirement.

This provides a small opportunity for responsible breeders and pet owners in Fort Smith to contact their elected officials and ask that breeder licensing requirements be stricken.

Click here to view a video of the August 6 Board meeting.  Discussion and voting on the animal ordinance began at approximately 03:30 in the video. It was followed by discussion and voting on a resolution to approve a contract with a corporation that will provide animal impoundment services at taxpayer expense.  You can also view discussion of these issues that took place during a Study Session held on 8/13/19, beginning at approximately 15:00 in the Study Session video.  During both the Board meeting and the Study Session, additional legislation referred to as a “Phase 2” ordinance was discussed.  This will include MANDATORY spaying/neutering.

Without immediate action by responsible breeders, not only will the breeder licensing law remain in effect, there will be continued efforts to ban the ownership of unaltered pets in the city.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Fort Smith residents who object to provisions of the new law are urged to IMMEDIATELY contact their elected officials, politely express concerns, and ask that problematic sections be stricken.  Click here for Board of Directors contact information.

George B. McGill, Mayor@FortSmithAr.gov

Keith Lau, Keith.Lau@fortsmithar.gov

André Good, Andre.Good@FortSmithAR.gov

Lavon Morton, Lavon.Morton@FortSmithAR.gov

George Catsavis, George.Catsavis@FortSmithAR.gov

Robyn Dawson, Robyn.Dawson@FortSmithAR.gov

Kevin Settle, Kevin.Settle@FortSmithAR.gov

Neal Martin, Neal.Martin@FortSmithAR.gov

Attend the Board of Directors meeting and express your concerns:

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

6:00 p.m.

Fort Smith Public Schools Service Center, 3205 Jenny Lind Road, Building B

Talking points:

  • During the 8/6 Board meeting, Ms. Gaevon Hoover, who represented the animal impoundment contractor, stated that animal intakes had increased due to a tornado, a 500-year flood, and fireworks. None of these situations are attributable to local dog breeders.
  • Jesse Fenwick spoke in support of trap, neuter, and release protocols to reduce feral cats in the city. A feral cat population is not attributable to local dog breeders.
  • A statement by Brenda Altman, who represented the animal impoundment contractor, underscores that local purebred dog breeders are not the source of shelter intakes. When asked the amounts of adoption fees that will be charged by the animal sheltering contractor, she replied, “If we got a purebred, which is not going to happen, $200, or $30-50 depending on the animal.”

Click here to read AKC’s previous alert on this legislation.

For questions or additional information, please contact doglaw@akc.org or call 919-816-3720.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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