On Tuesday, February 13, a Kansas committee will consider House Bill 2542, which make numerous changes to the Kansas Pet Animal Act. The most concerning provision of the legislation will allow the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture to enter contracts with any licensed animal shelter or rescue to seize animals and provide care for those animals for nearly any violation of the Kansas Pet Animal Act.
The AKC opposes HB 2542 because it could lead to loss of ownership of a licensee’s animals even if they are ultimately found not in violation of the Kansas Pet Animal Act if they are unable to post an uncapped bond for the care of the animals within 10 days of seizure. The AKC strongly believes that it is a fundamental right of all Kansans that you are innocent until proven guilty and we are deeply concerned about the potential for these provisions in HB 2542 to be abused and used to infringe on the private property rights of Kansas dog breeders.
How to Help
HB 2542 will be heard on Tuesday, February 13 in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Concerned dog owners in Kansas should contact the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and oppose HB 2542. Committee contact information can be found HERE.
AKC printable handout on Bond for Care Legislation
AKC Responsible Policy Video: Protecting Due Process Rights for Dog Owners
AKC shares concerns about the need to assure that animal control agencies receive adequate public funding to achieve their public mandate. However, such funding mechanisms must not exist to the detriment of dog owners’ procedural and substantive due process rights. To that end, AKC is asking that HB 2542 ensure that dog owners are not forced to forfeit ownership of their animals if they are unable to pay for mandated costs without regard of whether they are ultimately found not guilty. AKC is also asking that the bill explicitly limit costs to those based on a daily public—not private—care rate and ensure the costs are directly related to the basic care of the animals.
Existing law already requires licensees that are found in violation of the Kansas Pet Animal Act to pay for the cost of care for their animals if they are seized by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Existing law also requires that the Kansas Department of Agriculture shall pay the cost of care for seized animals if the licensee is ultimately found not in violation of the Kansas Pet Animal Act.
AKC GR continues to monitor Kansas legislation impacting dog owners and will continue to provide updates as necessary. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org