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Two bills are pending in the Iowa Senate that would impose detrimental requirements on those who are classified as “commercial breeders”. In current law, a “commercial breeder” is defined as anyone who owns at least four intact dogs or cats and receives any consideration for breeding.

These bills would significantly restrict the ability of those who meet this definition to continue to own and breed dogs. Responsible dog owners who reside or participate in dog events in Iowa are urged to ask Iowa Senators to oppose both Senate File 2073 and Senate Study Bill 3159.


Iowa Code defines a “commercial breeder” as someone who sells, exchanges, or leases dogs (or even offers to do so) in return for consideration. While those who keep dogs or cats for “hunting, for practice training, for exhibition at shows or field or obedience trials” are exempted, if anyone has four or more intact dogs and receives any kind of consideration for breeding, they are considered a commercial breeder and must be licensed, inspected, and comply with commercial breeder laws. This would include offering a stud dog and receiving any compensation or “consideration” from the resulting litter. The term “consideration” is not defined.

Senate File 2073:

Senate File 2073 creates guidelines for what a commercial breeder licensee must do when a license is expired or revoked. If they are unable or unwilling to obtain a new license, then the owner is given 45 days to either sterilize their dogs and cats or “dispose” of them until they are under the commercial breeder threshold. The bill clearly states that this may be done by selling the dogs (if the breeder is able to obtain a temporary authorization), transferring the titles, or “humane destruction”.

Continued regulations (including bills currently under consideration in the Iowa Legislature) are making it virtually impossible for those who breed and raise dogs in their homes to comply. Should this bill pass, these responsible dog owners could be forced to sterilize or get rid of their pets.

Read AKC's letter to the Iowa Senate on SF 2073.

How You Can Help:

SF 2073 was approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee and is pending consideration in the full Senate. Call you State Senator today and ask them to vote “no” on Senate File 2073. Click here to find the name and contact information for your State Senator (Be sure to contact your State Senator, rather than U.S. Senator).

Senate Study Bill 3159:

Senate Study Bill 3159 makes several significant changes to the laws regarding “commercial breeders”, including:

  • Surety Bond or Letter of Credit Requirement – SSB 3159 would require all licensees to obtain a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit from a financial institution that will then be used if an animal is placed with a custodian as a result of a violation of the state's animal cruelty or neglect laws. The AKC believes this is an unnecessary and unreasonable requirement. It also makes the unfair and offensive assumption that a license holder will at some point be irresponsible or cruel to their animals.
  • Ability to Deny License Without Hearing – This bill also removes the ability for a person seeking a license to have a public hearing if their application for commercial breeder authorization is denied. As a result, the department may simply determine that someone is not in compliance with the laws and regulations regarding care and conditions for animals, and there is no ability for the applicant to appeal.

    Those who are denied a license must then never receive any consideration for breeding a dog, or ensure they have three or fewer intact dogs.

Read AKC's letter to the Senate Commerce Committee.

How You Can Help:

SSB 3159 is pending in the Senate Commerce Committee. Please contact the members of the committee and respectfully ask them to oppose Senate Study Bill 3159. The committee e-mail addresses are as follows:

Senator Matt McCoy (Chair, Sponsor of SSB 3159)

Senator Tom Rielly (Vice Chair)

Senator Bill Anderson (Ranking Member)

Senator Daryl Beall

Senator Rick Bertrand

Senator Joe Bolkcom

Senator Thomas G. Courtney

Senator Randy Feenstra

Senator Steve Kettering

Senator Liz Mathis

Senator Brian Schoenjahn

Senator Dr. Joe M. Seng

Senator Pat Ward

Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm

Senator Brad Zaun


The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) is closely tracking both pieces of legislation and will provide more information as it becomes available. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or

Two bills are pending in the Iowa Senate that would impose detrimental requirements on those who are…