The AKC Government Relations Department has learned that the House Finance Committee will likely consider Senate Bill 460 on Thursday, June 24.
It is essential that all North Carolina dog lovers call AND e-mail members of the House Finance Committee TODAY. Tell them that responsible dog owners and breeders oppose SB 460, and respectfully ask them to also oppose it and not allow it to move forward in any form.
This bill, which was introduced and passed out of the Senate last year, could be passed into law within the next week or so if the House Finance Committee does not hear from enough responsible dog owners and breeders.
For your convenience, contact information and scripts are available at the bottom of this alert.
The AKC is gravely concerned with a number of provisions of Senate Bill 460 as currently written, including:
- Vague definition of “commercial breeder”. The bill defines “commercial breeder” as someone who owns 15 or more intact female dogs “of breeding age” and 30 or more puppies. It is not clear if this is a cumulative number owned over a lifetime, or the number on a property at one time. Additionally, if you live in a residential area and the state defines as a commercial breeder, you may be placed in violation of local zoning and property laws.
- North Carolina already has effective laws criminalizing animal negligence and cruelty, including a new law passed this week (S 254) which imposes tough new felony penalties on cruelty. SB 460 will do nothing to protect the health or welfare of dogs in North Carolina. North Carolina's existing animal welfare statutes, if properly enforced, actually do a better job of protecting dogs than the provisions of SB 460 would, if the bill were passed.
- Creation of a new, unfunded mandate for counties. SB 460 gives the state authority to initiate investigations on complaints against commercial breeders, but it makes county authorities responsible for conducting the investigations and follow-up work from the state's motion. It does not, however, provide funding for this. In this difficult economic climate, it is unnecessary and unwise to create a costly new program that requires North Carolina counties and their taxpayers to find the funding to properly implement it.
- False and misleading legislative findings. The bill's legislative findings are based on unsubstantiated claims and state that the bill does not interfere with a person's right to participate in hunting and working activities with their dog. However, the bill only exempts those who board or train – not those who breed – dogs for show, hunting, working, etc.
The American Kennel Club strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs and believes that all dogs should be kept in a safe and healthy environment. We also believe that any regulations should not punish responsible owners and breeders who take their responsibilities seriously. As currently written, Senate Bill 460 is vague, unnecessary, and costly to responsible breeders and North Carolina counties.
How You Can Help:
Call and e-mail the members of the House Finance Committee today and respectfully ask them to oppose Senate Bill 460. If you e-mail, please also call the legislators.
Click here for a sample phone script.
Click here for a sample e-mail letter.
The contact information is as follows:
Representative Paul Luebke (Senior Chairman)
Representative Pryor Gibson (Chairman)
Representative William L. Wainwright (Chairman)
Representative Jennifer Weiss (Chairman)
Representative Dewey Hill (Vice Chairman)
Representative Hugh Holliman (Vice Chairman)
Representative Julia Howard (Vice Chairman)
Representative Daniel McComas (Vice Chairman)
Representative Larry Womble (Vice Chairman)
Representative Kelly M. Alexander, Jr.
Representative Curtis Blackwood
Representative John Blust
Representative R. Van Braxton
Representative Becky Carney
Representative Tricia Ann Cotham
Representative Bill Faison
Representative Dale Folwell
Representative Larry Hall
Representative Sandra Spaulding Hughes
Representative Earl Jones
Representative David Lewis
Representative Darrell McCormick
Representative William McGee
Representative Bill Owens
Representative Johnathan Rhyne
Representative Deborah Ross
Representative Mitchell Setzer
Representative Paul Stam
Representative Edgar Starnes
Representative Thom Tillis
The AKC Government Relations Department will provide updated information to you via email on at www.akc.org/canine_legislation. For additional information, contact the AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AKC Government Relations Department has learned that the House Finance Committee will likely…