As stated in a previous alert, different versions of bills in Virginia regulating leaving dogs outdoors in specific temperature ranges and allowing localities to arbitrarily pass laws regulating the care of dogs have been moving in Virginia. Both bills passed their respective Chambers, but HB 1552 was amended in committee prior to final House passage. Since the bills are now different, they were sent to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to conform the two.
During Senate conforming, House Bill 1552 was amended to include temperature requirements, but remove the local law provision.
During House conforming, Senate Bill 272 was amended so the temperatures were removed, but the local law provision remains.
Both bills are now awaiting action (HB 1552 in the Senate and SB 272 in the House). Unless there are further floor amendments or one of the bills is defeated on the floor, the bills will be headed to a conference committee.
While it would be best if both bills were defeated, if something does pass, AKC is advocating for removal of both the specific temperature language and the provision regarding local laws.
Additional talking points and information may be found in our previous alert.
What You Can Do:
With the Virginia session ending March 8, 2020, any upcoming action on these bills will happen quickly. We encourage those who reside or participate in events in Virginia to do the following today:
- Contact you Virginia Delegate and Senator. Express your concerns with House Bill 1552 and Senate Bill 272. Ask them to support removing both the specific temperature requirements and the local law provision. Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to get the name and contact information for your Virginia Delegate and Senator.
- Contact the bill sponsors. Respectfully encourage them to agree to an amendment that removes the absolute temperature range and local provisions:
Senator John Bell
Delegate Mark Levine
AKC Government Relations and the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders continue to closely monitor these and several other bills under consideration and communicate our concerns to the members of the General Assembly. For questions or more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.