Search Menu

Thursday, June 13, 2019

New Jersey Senate Bill 3531 and Assembly Bill 4552, which seek to prohibit the leasing of dogs and cats in New Jersey, are scheduled to be considered by the Senate Commerce Committee on Monday, June 17.  The American Kennel Club continues to request that the bills be amended to specifically preserve the ability of purebred dog fanciers and enthusiasts to lease of dogs for the purpose of breeding and preserving their specific bloodlines and breeds.  AKC urges breeders and fanciers to contact members of the Senate Commerce Committee, and their own state senator, in support of the amendment to allow leasing for breeding and preservation of breeds and bloodlines. Scroll down for contact information.

The American Kennel Club supports a ban on predatory pet leasing schemes that victimize potential owners, undermine a lifetime commitment to a pet, and do not confer the rights and responsibilities associated with legal ownership of a pet.  We are concerned, however, that S3531/A4552 would not only ban those leases, but also another, very different type of lease that is used by responsible breeders to preserve specific bloodlines and breeds of dogs.

As a purebred dog registry, the American Kennel Club has historically allowed leases to be recorded in limited circumstances, for the purposes of careful breeding to preserve breeds and bloodlines. Under this system, for example, a lessee of a female would be considered the breeder of a litter the female produced during the limited term of the lease and while in that person’s possession.  In this limited context, leases are an important tool used by purebred breeders and enthusiasts to collaborate in ensuring genetic diversity for future generations of purebred dogs, and sanctioned by AKC.  Similar breeding is performed by responsible purebred cat breeders and sanctioned by cat registries similar to AKC, including The Cat Fanciers Association.  Because its current wording may no longer allow such leases under New Jersey law, the American Kennel Club is concerned with S3531/A4552.

We respectfully request the bills be amended as follows to preserve the right of purebred dog and cat fanciers and enthusiasts to lease dogs or cats for the express and limited purpose of breeding:

1. …
d. The provisions of this section shall not apply to, and shall not prohibit the temporary leasing or rental of the following animals, so long as the animals are used in accordance with applicable federal, state and local animal protection laws:
(1) A purebred dog or cat which is leased for the express purpose of breeding pursuant to a written lease recorded with a national purebred dog or cat registry, and which lease is for a specific time and has an established end-date; or
(2) A “working animal”, which means an animal trained or utilized to perform tasks, including, but not limited to, guide dogs, security dogs, law enforcement dogs, and other assistance animals.

New Jersey purebred dog fanciers and enthusiasts should contact the members of the Senate Commerce Committee and senate bill’s sponsor Vin Gopal today and respectfully urge them to amend the bill in line with AKC’s recommendations.

Senate Commerce Committee Members:

To email all committee members and the sponsor once, cut and paste all email addresses into your email program:;;;;;

State Senator Nellie Pou, Chair
(973) 247-1555

State Senator Joseph P. Cryan, Vice Chair
(908) 624-0880

State Senator Gerald Cardinale
(201) 567-2324

State Senator Thomas H. Kean
(908) 232-3673

State Senator Nicholas P. Scutari
(908) 587-0404

State Senator Vin Gopal, S3531 Sponsor
(732) 695-3371

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or