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The Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders reports that the Senate Rules Committee decisively voted 15-1 to oppose SJR37 at Friday's public hearing. Only Senator Potts, sponsor of the resolution, voted in favor of it. The vote sends a strong message that legislators will not tolerate proposals for studies with a predetermined outcome, which in this case would have negatively affected hundreds of responsible breeders and owners. Many thanks to everyone who attended the hearing and/or called, faxed, phoned and e-mailed committee members to voice their opposition. Congratulations!

Please read the full alert below for additional information on how SJR37 would have impacted purebred dog owners.


Pending Resolution Would Impact Virginia Breeders

[Wednesday, January 28, 2004]

AKC and Virginia fanciers are concerned about possible infringements on their right to breed dogs responsibly. Senate Joint Resolution 37 directs the state veterinarian to study the state's animal population and euthanasia concerns and arrive at predetermined conclusions that could hurt hobby breeders. One such result will be the development of legislation that allows municipalities to enact mandatory spay/neuter laws unless one purchases a special license. Another conclusion of the study will require veterinarians to charge for spay/neuter services according to a sliding fee based on the owner's income.

The AKC opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans and mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of responsible breeders and owners. The AKC supports responsible breeding programs that are undertaken for the purpose of improving the breed. We are opposed to the production of dogs by those who do so without regard to the welfare of the dogs they produce and without accepting responsibility for placing puppies in caring homes committed to responsible dog ownership.

If pet population issues are indeed a concern in Virginia, then AKC believes an objective study group should be formed to address this issue, with input from members of various animal organizations, including purebred dog breeders. Such a study group should explore the many reasons why animals are relinquished to shelters, including animal behavior problems, an owner moving or having a child, or a poor breed match for an owner's lifestyle.

SJR37 is being considering by the Senate Rules Committee. A public hearing will be held on the resolution on Friday, January 30th.


What You Can Do:

  • Attend the hearing, which will be held at 8:30 in Senate Room A, on the first floor of the General Assembly building. Urge committee members to oppose SJR37.
  • If you cannot attend the hearing, contact the Senate Rules Committee and ask that they vote no on SJR37.


Senate Rules Committee
Senate Committee Operations
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: 804/698-7450

Members of the Senate Rules Committee
Sen. Thomas K. Norment (R) [Chair]
Sen. John H. Chichester (R)
Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D)
Sen. Emmett W. Hanger (R)
Sen. Charles R. Hawkins (R)
Sen. R. Edward Houck (D)
Sen. Stephen H. Martin (R)
Sen. H. Russell Potts (R)
Sen. Frederick M. Quayle (R)
Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D)
Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (R)
Sen. Walter A. Stosch (R)
Sen. William C. Wampler (R)
Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D)
Sen. Marty E. Williams (R)

For more information, contact:
The Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders

AKC's Canine Legislation department

The Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders reports that the Senate Rules Committee decisively…