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March 5, 2019

AKC has just learned that vague provisions in a Kentucky bill could result in forfeiture of animals NOT owned by the person who committed a crime.  Concerned animal owners are urged to immediately contact committee members and ask that the bill be amended so that innocent parties will not lose custody of their animals because of an offense committed by another person.  Senate Bill 67 will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee TOMORROW, March 6, 2019, at noon.

SB 67 establishes the crime of sexual abuse against an animal.  While this measure is well-intentioned, innocent parties could lose possession of their animals under vague provisions in the bill.  SB 67 would require that a person convicted shall be ordered to “relinquish custody of all animals under the person’s control.” It is unclear if a co-owner of the animal would also lose custody, even if the co-owner had no knowledge that the offense was occurring.

Further, it is unclear if family members and co-residents would be ordered to relinquish custody of all animals under shared “control” with the offender, even if the family members or co-residents had no knowledge that the offense was occurring.

SB 67 also requires that the person convicted “reimburse the agency caring for the animal for reasonable costs of care and treatment of the animal from date of impoundment until the disposition of the criminal proceeding.” It is unclear under what authority the animal would be impounded prior to a conviction, or what “agency” would receive the animals.

If a person accused of a violation was an employee of a boarding kennel, training facility, professional handler, farm, stable, veterinary clinic, groomer, or other animal care provider, it is unclear if all animals “under the person’s control” would be impounded upon an accusation or if custody of those animals would be relinquished upon a conviction. It is also unclear if owners of the impounded animals would be able to recover their animals if the person convicted of the crime failed to pay the costs of care.

SB 67 has already passed in Senate.  Concerned animal owners are urged to contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to amend problematic provisions in SB 67 so that innocent parties cannot have their animals impounded upon an accusation or forfeit upon conviction of a crime committed by another person.

House Judiciary Committee

Jason Petrie – (H) – Chair
Ed Massey – (H) – Vice Chair
John Blanton – (H)
Charles Booker – (H)
Kevin D. Bratcher – (H)
McKenzie Cantrell – (H)
Daniel Elliott – (H)
Joseph M. Fischer – (H)
Chris Harris – (H)
Angie Hatton – (H)
Jeff Hoover – (H)
Joni L. Jenkins – (H)
Nima Kulkarni – (H)
Stan Lee – (H)
Derek Lewis – (H)
Savannah Maddox – (H)
Chad McCoy – (H)
Reginald Meeks – (H)
Patti Minter – (H)
Kimberly Poore Moser – (H) 
Jason Nemes – (H)
Brandon Reed – (H)
Maria Sorolis – (H)

For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at or 919-816-3720.