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Some positive actions for dog owners were taken in the Virginia House Agriculture Subcommittee on Wednesday, January 29, and we appreciate all who have taken time to contact their legislators.  The bills continue to move quickly, and AKC will continue to provide updates.

Actions this week include:

Amendment to regulations on tethering and keeping dogs outdoors:

One regulation in HB 1552 would have required dogs to be tethered outside on a lead that was at least 15 feet long. Thanks to a nice demonstration by the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders, where they demonstrated just how much area is required for a tether that length, the bill was promptly changed back to the 10 feet required in current law.

Provisions regulating the appropriate temperature for dogs outdoors, and a provision allowing localities to pass their own, more strict regulations on the care of dogs (including food, water and veterinary care) are still included in the bill.  Also, please be aware that the companion Senate Bill 272 did pass out of the Senate ACNR Companion Animals Subcommittee with no amendments.  Read AKC’s previous alert for more information.

We will continue to monitor both HB 1552 and SB 272 and encourage both the House and Senate to stop their efforts to change what was passed and became law last session.  More information on these bills and the next actions to be taken will be provided soon.

Bill limiting consumer choice and protection tabled until 2021:

House Bill 1480, which would allow any locality to regulate or restrict the acquisition, marketing, and sale of animals in a pet shop was requested to be held over for next year with Delegate Gooditis asking everyone to work together on the issue.  AKC thanks the sponsor for her willingness to consider all sides of this issue and will be reaching out to her.

We thank the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners for their continued efforts, and all of you who took the time to reach the members of the House Agriculture Subcommittee.  Remember your emails and phones do make a difference!  It is imperative that dog owners continue contacting their members and educating them.  AKC Government Relations and the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders will continue to closely monitor these bills and communicate our concerns to the members of the General Assembly.  For questions or more information, contact