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After receiving public comment on a proposed Dog Kennel Ordinance, the Rockingham County, VA, Board of Supervisors voted to table the proposal at its September 28 public hearing.

As noted in a previous alert, the proposed ordinance could have impacted local hobby kennels.  Although some positive changes were made to the original version of the proposed ordinance, the revised proposal still contained some problematic and unclear issues.

County Attorney Tom Miller pointed out that nothing in the current proposal is written in stone and gave the example that a smaller parcel size may be proposed and the threshold of litters to be considered a commercial kennel is still open for debate.  He encouraged those with suggested changes to contact him.  AKC encourages local breeders and club members to contact him at the information listed below and provide your feedback on this issue. 

The entire proposal as it is currently written is available beginning on page 27 of the Board of Supervisors recent meeting agenda.

We would like to thank the Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club, the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders, and the many local breeders and supporters of responsible breeding who attended the hearing and shared their concerns regarding the proposed ordinance with the Board of Supervisors.

During the hearing, several in attendance spoke about their concerns with the current proposal.  Issues raised included limiting the number of litters that would be allowed, language that limits kennels to appropriately zoned parcels containing no less than five acres, and the one size-fits-all nature of many of the proposed care and condition standards.

AKC Government Relations also testified and encouraged the Board to work with the Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club, Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders, and local breeders to ensure that the final proposal provides the best protection for dogs, their responsible owners and breeders, and addresses concerns of the general public.

What You Can Do:

Since a public hearing has been held on the proposal, the Board of Supervisors can take action on any rewrite at any future meeting without the need for another public hearing.

Those who wish to provide suggested changes or provide further comment on the proposal are encouraged to contact County Attorney Tom Miller without delay.

Since any rewrite of or amendment to the current proposal could be substantial, we would encourage you to contact the Board of Supervisors and request them to hold a public hearing on the rewrite.

County Attorney Thomas H. Miller, Jr. Contact Information:

Thomas H. Miller, Jr.

Rockingham County Administration Center

20 E. Gay St.

Harrisonburg, VA 22802

(540) 564-3027


Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Contact Information:

Use the links below to contact Supervisors:

Sallie Wolfe-Garrison

Dewey Ritchie

Rick Chandler

William Kyger

Michael Breeden                                       

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