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Today, the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) learned that Mullica Township, New Jersey, is scheduled to consider extensive changes to its animal ordinance at its meeting on Monday, July 26.  The proposal includes breeder licensing requirements, dog ownership limits, and restrictions on debarking.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages all concerned residents to contact the members of the Township Committee and express concerns with those provisions.

Concerning provisions include:

  • Defining “hobby kennel” as any noncommerical establishment where a single breed of one dog is kept for personal breeding.  Since purebred fanciers and enthusiasts may keep and breed more than one breed, and more than one dog to maintain a breeding program,  AKC believes the one breed and one dog limit in this definition is overly and unnecessarily restrictive and must be eliminated.
  • Requiring hobby kennel owners to procure a kennel license.  Hobbies are generally not licensed and regulated under law.  As such, AKC believes that the hobby breeder license requirement – including the $50 annual license fee in addition to the license and registration fee for the dog kept for personal breeding purposes – should be eliminated.
  • Limiting individuals from keeping or harboring no more than four dogs in any single-family dwelling(excluding puppies less than seven months old); and no more than six dogs on a farm of five or more acres.  This limit would not apply to licensed kennels.   Visit AKC’s Key Issue page for talking points regarding ownership limits and better alternatives.
  • Prohibiting the surgical debarking of a dog.  AKC views debarking as a viable veterinary procedure that may allow a dog owner to keep a dog that barks excessively in its loving home rather than to be forced to surrender it to a shelter. Debarking should only be performed by a qualified, licensed veterinarian after other behavioral modification efforts to correct excessive barking have failed. As with other veterinary medical decisions, because the decision to debark a dog is best left to individual owners and their veterinarians, we believe this restriction must be eliminated.

Concerned residents are encouraged to contact the members of the Mullica Township Committee to express concerned with the proposed ordinance.  All members may be reached by phone at 609-561-0064.

Bruce Crowe, Mayor/Dir. of Public Safety

Kristi Hanselmann, Deputy Mayor/ Dir. of Revenue and Finance

Christopher Silva, Dir. of Administration

Larry Riffle, Dir. of Public Works and Housing and Development

Concerned residents are also encouraged to attend the Township Committee’s July 26 meeting to express their concerns.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7PM at the Municipal Building, 4528 White Horse Pike, Elwood, NJ 08106.

For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at