At a recent County Planning Commission meeting, the Rockingham County, VA (Harrisonburg, VA) Commission tabled a proposed Dog Kennel Ordinance that could impact local hobby kennels, and it is likely that a proposal will be considered at a future meeting. There has been no indication when the proposal may be reconsidered but the next meeting of the Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at 6:30pm.
Those who wish to comment are encouraged to reach out to the Planning Commission using the information below. Respectfully ask them to postpone action on the ordinance until the commission receives input from local dog clubs and breeders.
Proposal Summary and Background:
The Commonwealth of Virginia Code Section 3.2-6500 provides the following definition: “Commercial dog breeder” means any person who, during any 12-month period, maintains 30 or more adult female dogs for the primary purpose of the sale of their offspring…
However, under the Rockingham County proposal, commercial breeding kennels can have no more than four adult breeding females on the premises during any rolling 12-month period.
In addition, the current zoning ordinance related to commercial kennel operations simply contains setback requirements from neighboring properties, a waste disposal plan, and requirement that all animals be housed in an enclosed building from 9:00pm to 7:00am. The proposal contains standards for kennels that are not in line with currently accepted and approved practices and standards.
You can review the entire proposal by viewing the previous Planning Commission agenda, beginning on page 16.
In reviewing the proposal and email exchanges contained with the official meeting packet for the recent Planning Commission meeting, it appears as if much of the language in the proposal was provided from one viewpoint with little or no input from other stakeholders, specifically, local dog breeders who would be most impacted by the proposal.
What You Can Do:
Those who wish to comment are encouraged to contact the Planning Commission prior to the August 2, 2022 meeting. Request that any further action on the proposal be delayed until such a time that input from other stakeholders like local breeders, area dog clubs (the Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club meets in Harrisonburg), the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders, and the American Kennel Club is considered.
Rockingham County Planning Commission Contact Information:
Use the links below to contact the members of the commission:
AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor proposals in Virginia that could impact dog owners and breeders. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.