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On October 21, the Town of Yarmouth (Maine) approved several changes to its dog ordinance, incorporating many recommendations provided by AKC Government Relations.

Earlier this month, AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) published notice regarding proposed changes to the town of Yarmouth’s Chapter 309 “Dog Control Ordinance”, and highlighted many of AKC GR’s recommended amendments to address concerns.

After the town council discussed incorporating AKC GR’s recommendations at its workshop meeting, the council amended the approved October 7, 2021 draft further.  The final ordinance as approved on October 21 includes the following amendments:

  • Changing Article 4 Section A “Dogs Not to Run at Large” to allow exceptions for all working dogs and those participating in trials, tests and competitions when accompanied by its owner or keeper;
  • Increasing the maximum number of dogs an owner or keeper could have under their control at any time from three (3) to five (5); and
  • Making clear that identifying a stray dog’s owner is a high priority, and requiring an inspection for tattoos, ear tags, or other permanent forms of positive identification and scanning for a microchip upon admission and prior to transferring ownership of an unclaimed or abandoned animal. The town will include this requirement in its contracts with shelters.

The town council did not include text requiring that law enforcement investigate the validity of an animal noise nuisance complaint before issuing fines.   Law enforcement communicated that this is their policy already and the courts would be the check and balance on whether procedures were followed correctly.

AKC GR is grateful to the Yarmouth Town Council for their thoughtful consideration of all recommendations submitted, and to the resident dog owners who participated in the ordinance change process.

AKC GR continues to track and address dog-related government activities and will provide additional information as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at