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The 2022 Kentucky legislative session ended wins for dogs and dog owners. The American Kennel Club Government Relations team thanks AKC club members, dog owners, sportsmen, and every individual who contacted lawmakers about legislation that affects dogs. 

Kentucky bills opposed by AKC: 

Senate Bill 125 sought to amend animal cruelty law and require owners of animals confiscated in conjunction with an accusation against the owner or caretaker to pay costs of impoundment for the animals, even if the owner was not the person accused, and even if an owner was found not guilty or charges were dropped. The provisions of the bill would have encompassed any alleged violation of a state or local animal cruelty law. Failure to pay would have been deemed abandonment, and the animal would be forfeited. The bill was amended to exclude livestock animals. An additional proposed amendment supported by AKC, which was intended to protect the rights of innocent animal owners, was not adopted. SB 125 passed in the Senate, but died in the House Committee on Committees.

House Bill 71, similar to SB 125, sought to allow any agency that seizes an animal to petition the court to require the owner to pay the cost of care for the animal for the anticipated costs related to seizure and care of the animal. A person unable to pay would lose their animals, even with no finding of guilt. HB 71 died in the House Committee on Committees.

AKC recommended amendments to these bills:

House Bill 20 sought to redefine torture of a dog or cat and provide for penalties. A Committee Substitute that favorably clarified the bill was proposed in the House Judiciary Committee, and an amendment to further clarify the bill was filed on the House floor. However, HB 20 did not additionally advance prior to end of the legislative session.

House Bill 180 addressed civil liability immunity for damaging a vehicle when releasing pets in danger. AKC GR discussed amendments to strengthen the bill to ensure that safe care would be provided for a dog after being released from a vehicle. HB 180 died, unamended, in the House Committee on Committees.

Stay Involved!  Problematic bills could be refiled for the 2023 session. Take time now to meet with your state senator and representative in their home districts. Let them know that you, your AKC club, and the AKC Government Relations Department are reliable and knowledgeable resources on dog issues.

2022 is an election year. Encourage dog owners to register to vote. Get to know candidates for office, learn about their positions on animal issues, and support dog-friendly candidates for seats in the state legislature.

Stay Informed.  If you are not directly receiving AKC’s legislative alerts by email, click here to sign up. By working together, we can support good legislation and oppose problematic bills, thereby preserving and protecting our rights to own, exhibit, breed, and enjoy the dogs we love.

For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at