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Palm Beach County Adopts Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Hobby Breeder Restrictions

[February 6, 2008]

Yesterday afternoon the Palm Beach County Commission voted 5-1 to restrict the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders. Commissioner Kanjian was the only member who voted to support the responsible dog owners and breeders of Palm Beach County. AKC thanks all the fanciers, dog owners and breeders who helped to fight this destructive ordinance.


The Palm Beach County Commission will take a final vote this Tuesday February 5th on changes to their animal control ordinance that will institute a strict spay/neuter program and increase the burdens on responsible hobby breeders . We need fanciers and responsible dog owners to attend this meeting and to contact the county commissioners immediately to oppose this ordinance.


Once again there have been last minute changes to the draft ordinance. They have removed the requirement for home inspections for hobby breeders, but it is still a violation of the hobby breeder license to refuse entry to animal control so breeders could still lose their license for refusing to allow entry to their private home at any time. Existing law allows animal control to obtain a warrant anytime there is proof of animal cruelty and that should be sufficient for all pet owners.

The latest draft also removes the prohibition on breeding animals with genetic faults, but continues to place onerous restrictions and fees on those who own intact animals.

To find contact information for the county commissioners, please click here.


[Wednesday, January 16, 2008]

The Palm Beach County Commission voted 6-1 yesterday to grant initial approval to an ordinance that would require mandatory spay/neuter of dogs and institute expensive hobby breeder permits. The measure will be presented for a final vote on February 5th. If it is formally adopted at that hearing the ordinance will go into effect immediately. Please plan to attend the February 5th meeting and contact the county commissioners to oppose this ordinance.

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the Commission Meeting February 5th
    2:30 pm
    301 N. Olive Avenue, 6th Floor
    West Palm Beach, FL 33401
  • Please contact the County Commission members and ask them to oppose this intrusive and damaging ordinance. Please join AKC in thanking Commissioner Kanjian for his diligent efforts to understand the potential impacts of this proposal and for his support of responsible owners and breeders. Please click here for the County Commissioners contact information


Palm Beach County, FL Considers Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Hobby Breeder Licensing

[Thursday, January 10, 2008]

On January 15th, Palm Beach County Commissioners are scheduled to hold a first hearing on a proposed ordinance which will make drastic changes to the animal control ordinance, dramatically impacting responsible owners and breeders. Although the County Commission directed staff to begin drafting this ordinance back in April of 2007, an amended draft was posted to their website only on January 8th. Furthermore this is only a draft and may still be amended prior to the January 15th meeting.


Concerned dog owners are asked to immediately call the county commissioners and request that consideration of the ordinance be postponed until the February 5th meeting to allow for sufficient public review.

The ordinance will impose mandatory spay/neuter of any dog over the age of 6 months unless the owner qualifies for and purchases a $75 intact animal license, or declares in writing that the dog will not be used for breeding. The ordinance will further require hobby breeders, defined as any individual that produces up to 2 litters or 19 dogs per calendar year, to buy a permit and to submit to home inspections. Neither the proposed ordinance nor the existing fee schedule list what the fee for this permit will be.
Key points of the legislation:

  • Qualifications for the intact animal license include:
    • Registered purebred and the owner certifies in writing that the animal is being used, trained or considered for use in a show, sporting competition or competitive event.
    • A veterinarian certifies that the dog is medically unfit to be sterilized or:
    • Dog is a current law enforcement animal or service/guide dog or;
    • The owner declares in writing that the animal is not to be used for breeding unless an appropriate permit is obtained from the department.
  • Requires hobby breeders to purchase a permit that:
    • Limits hobby breeders to 2 litters, or fewer than 19 dogs bred or sold in a calendar year (would count any animals retained for your own use).
    • Requires that animal control be allowed to inspect the breeders’ premises, without establishing standards or requiring specific training in animal husbandry for the inspectors.
    • Mandates that each animal must be licensed individually as well ($75 for intact license and $15 for sterilized animals).
    • Provides that icenses may be revoked for breeding an animal with a known genetic fault, although there is no clarification on what qualifies as a genetic fault.
  • Mandatory microchip for any animal adopted or released from a shelter, even on a first offense.


Breeder licensing fees place an undue burden on responsible breeders and owners and fail to address irresponsible individuals who neither comply with existing law nor will comply with new regulations. Such fees therefore punish responsible breeders who give the care and attention that puppies need in order to grow into healthy, well-adjusted companions and neighbors. Responsible local breeders also provide a support system to new owners; assisting them with housebreaking, training questions, behavior issues and basic new puppy care inquiries.

Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue—irresponsible ownership. Mandatory spay/neuter laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners by not licensing their pets. More regulations increase the workload of already financially strained animal control offices, making it even more difficult for them to perform their duties.

The AKC believes the answer to population issues is strict enforcement of leash and nuisance laws, rather than passage of new burdensome regulation. The key to resolving this issue is to implement and expand the wide range of programs available to educate the public about responsible breeding and animal ownership practices.


What You Can Do:

  • Please call the commissioners at the numbers listed below and request that they postpone consideration of the ordinance until February 5th.
  • Attend the Commission Meeting January 15th 10:30 am
    301 N. Olive Avenue, 6th Floor
    West Palm Beach, FL 33401
  • Please contact the Mayor and City Council members and ask them to oppose this ordinance.

Mailing address for all County Commissioners
301 N. Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Commissioner Karen Marcus, District 1
(561) 355-2201
(Toll Free outside the West Palm Beach calling area)
Fax: 561-355-6094

Commissioner Jeff Koons, District 2
(561) 355-2202
(Toll Free outside the West Palm Beach calling area)

Commissioner Robert J. Kanjian, District 3
(561) 355-2203
(Toll Free outside the West Palm Beach calling area)

Commissioner Mary McCarty, District 4
(561) 355-2204
(561) 276-1220
(South County)

Commissioner Burt Aaronson, District 5
(561) 355-2205
(Toll Free outside the West Palm Beach calling area)

Commissioner Jess R. Santamaria, District 6
(561) 355-6300
(Toll Free outside the West Palm Beach calling area)

Commissioner Addie Greene, District 7
(561) 355-2207
(561) 276-1350
(South County)

For further information please contact:

AKC Canine Legislation Department

Florida Association of Kennel Clubs

Palm Beach County Adopts Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Hobby Breeder Restrictions

[February 6,…