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Last night, the Indianapolis City-County Council introduced a proposal to require all owners of intact dogs to register and comply with certain requirements for care and breeding.  This is in response to shelter population concerns in Indianapolis and Marion County.

While the agenda is not yet posted, the proposal will likely be considered by the Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee on Monday, July 15.  Local club members and hobbyists are encouraged to attend the meeting and reach out to the council members to express concerns.

AKC does not oppose the basic care of animals, including appropriate veterinary care, microchipping, and ensuring females are healthy enough for breeding.  Our concerns are that there is an assumption with this proposal that intact animals are being used solely for breeding, and that home-based breeders are the primary reason for shelter population concerns.  Scroll down for talking points and contact information.


Proposal 207 would establish an intact animal registry for Indianapolis- Marion County for all who own at least one intact dog over 6 months of age, unless they have a certificate from a veterinarian stating the dog cannot be sterilized for an age or medical reason.

There is no cost to register, but it must be renewed annually.  Those who register must adhere to the “Guidelines for Responsible Unaltered Animal Ownership”, which includes the following requirements:

  • An annual veterinarian exam, including an oral exam, and updated vaccinations including rabies for all dogs over 3 months of age and parvovirus
  • Keeping records of all litters produced and sold for at least 2 years, including the contact information for every dog sold/transferred
  • Reporting litters to the Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) within 2 weeks of birth
  • Not breeding a female until a veterinarian has deemed the dog healthy enough for breeding, and not breeding the female more than once every 18 months, and no more than 6 litters in a lifetime
  • Obtaining a unique litter ID from IACS that must be included in any offer of sale and provided to the person obtaining a puppy
  • Microchipping puppies prior to transfer. New owners are responsible for updating microchip information

For a first violation, the owner will be given information on the law and the benefits of spaying and neutering, and the city may recheck within 30 days to ensure compliance.  Fines and other penalties are assessed for subsequent violations.

Talking Points:

We encourage those contacting the committee to consider the following talking points:

  • Spay/neuter laws are incredibly difficult to enforce. A better solution is strong enforcement of at-large and other animal control laws and penalties for those whose dogs are continuing to end up in the shelter system due to irresponsible ownership.
  • Many people choose to keep an intact dog for participation in AKC events or other humane and reasonable purposes. The AKC estimates that the economic impact of dog shows is vast. Surveys demonstrate that exhibitors at AKC conformation dog shows spend an average of $982 per show weekend. This means spending by AKC dog show exhibitors for a show weekend could inject more than $2.15 million into the local economy – and this amount does not include spending for events such as Agility, Rally, Obedience, and similar competitions.  While this proposal would not prevent the ownership of intact dogs, it is definitely a deterrent and burden on responsible owners.
  • This proposal implies a dog should be sterilized at 6 months. Numerous studies show that sterilizing a dog at a young age can lead to significant health issues later in life.  It is unclear if these considerations would be permitted in the exemption to the registry.
  • Responsible home-based breeders are not the reason for shelter population concerns. It is for this reason these breeders are exempt from the current city-county definition of “kennel”.  Consider telling the council your story, including the steps you take to ensure the health of your dogs and that dogs you breed do not end up in the shelter system.
  • Common reasons for current shelter population concerns in communities include economical or other unforeseen circumstances, including housing. We strongly support the IACS programs to help rehome dogs without them entering the shelter system and the Indy Cares program to provide necessary assistance to dog owners in need.  We support more resources to education and implementation of these important programs.

Contact the Members of the Metropolitan and Community Development Committee:

Maggie Lewis, District 5, Chair

Paul Annee, District 22

John Barth, District 7

Derek Cahill, District 23

Brienne Delaney, District 2

Jared Evans, District 17

Ron Gibson, District 8

Michael-Paul Hart, District 20

Kristin Jones, District 18

Brian Mowery, District 25

Nick Roberts, District 4

Leroy Robinson, District 1

AKC and the Indiana Purebred Dog Alliance will provide more information as it is available, including details on the committee meeting.  For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at