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Sporting badges and patriotic ribbons to identify themselves as responsible animal owners, purebred dog fanciers, hunters, cat fanciers, and other concerned animal groups joined the American Kennel Club April 6 at a public hearing in Raleigh on proposed changes to the state's animal care and control laws. An impressive turnout of dog owners from every corner of North Carolina crowded into the hearing room to make their voices heard. Members of the North Carolina House Interim Committee on the Prevention and Disposition of Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Animals publicly read through the draft legislation first before opening the floor to comments. Speakers were given three minutes each to give their remarks.

Thanks in no small part to early letters, phone calls and e-mails from the purebred dog community, the draft bill did not include previously proposed breeder permits or mandatory spay/neuter provisions. In its comments to the Committee on Tuesday, AKC thanked the members for their consideration of the fancy's opposition to breeding restrictions. At the same time, the organization noted some continued concerns, specifically with the requirement that municipalities enact differential licensing fees in order to qualify for low-cost spay neuter reimbursement. To read AKC's remarks, please click here.

Committee members were receptive to much of the public's input, and over the next two weeks will incorporate any changes to the bill they feel appropriate. AKC strongly believes that legislators are continuing to give full consideration to the fancy's concerns. A final version of the bill will be presented to the full Committee for a vote on April 22. The approved language will then be introduced in the House of Representatives when the General Assembly convenes in May.

Congratulations to the many dog owners and other concerned individuals who responded to AKC's call to action on this issue. Your professional, organized efforts have already helped improve the proposed legislation tremendously. However, your continued involvement and awareness will be critical to our success. It is important that legislators continue to view responsible dog owners as part of the solution rather than part of the problem. AKC therefore urges dog owners to contact members of the House Interim Committee to thank them for their consideration of our position and for their ongoing interest in our concerns.

Members of the Committee:

Rep. Julia Howard (919/733-5904, {Co-Chair}
Rep. Dewey Hill (919/733-5830, {Co-Chair}
Rep. Cary Allred (919/733-5878,
Rep. Alice Bordsen (919/733-5820,
Rep. Becky Carney (919/733-5900,
Rep. Walter Church, Sr. (919/733-5805,
Rep. Michael Decker (919/733-5988,
Rep. Rick Eddins (919/733-5800,
Rep. Maggie Jeffus (919/733-5191,
Rep. Linda Johnson (919/733-5757,
Rep. Carolyn Justice (919/733-5905,
Rep. William McGee (919/715-3009,
Rep. Louis Pate, Jr. (919/715-0873,
Rep. Drew Saunders (919/733-5606,
Rep. William Wainwright (919/733-5995,
Rep. Keith Williams (919/715-1883,

AKC will continue to provide updates on this issue as they develop, so please visit our Website regularly.

For more information, contact the Canine Legislation department (919-816-3720,

Sporting badges and patriotic ribbons to identify themselves as responsible
animal owners,…