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New Orleans Update: Proposed Changes Will Impact Responsible Dog Breeders and Owners - Take Action Now!

(Friday, November 02, 2012)

As previously reported, significant changes to the City of New Orleans’ animal ordinances are currently under consideration by the City Council.  The proposal includes reasonable changes including changing vaccination requirements to a three-year term, requiring dogs to be moved indoors during extreme weather as indicated by NOAA warnings, limiting the practice of dog tethering, and adding a designation of “potentially dangerous” dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC), however, is concerned with several other aspects of the proposal, including:

  • An Increase in the cost of the initial intact dog permit application fee from $10 to $75. (Sec. 18-309(d)(7).) Proposed as a way of encouraging more owners to spay or neuter their dogs, this massive fee increase seeks to make the intact permit cost similar to charges for sterilization procedures. On principle, the AKC opposes breeding permits, and believes that this increase unfairly targets New Orleans’ responsible breeders and owners who already have to endure differential licensing fees for their intact dogs but who are not responsible for animal law enforcement costs being incurred by the city.
  • A changed definition of “exhibition” that will include conformation shows and other AKC-sanctioned dog events. (Sec. 18-86.) The AKC believes that, when considered with other aspects of the proposal, this change will effectively prohibit AKC clubs from conducting future events in New Orleans. For example, as a result of the changed definition of “exhibition”, dog clubs would now be required to obtain a permit from the city for their events (Sec. 18-111.); and would be required by Sec. 18-122(5)(a) to provide, prior to the issuance of the exhibition permit, “veterinary health certificates from a certified veterinarian issued prior to performance dates...” for each dog entered. Because dogs that compete in AKC shows are owned by individual owners that often come from outside of the immediate area and not by the show-giving clubs, it would not be possible for clubs to comply with this requirement. It is imperative that this proposed requirement be removed. Additionally, to make New Orleans more hospitable to future dog events, Sec. 18-201 (that currently exempts cats passing through the city or exhibited at animal shows from city laws regarding licensing, impoundment, dangerous or vicious animals, or spaying and neutering requirements) should be extended to dog passing through the city or exhibited at dog events.
  • Several instances where animal ownership will revert to LA/SPCA should certain conditions not be met (Sec. 18-2.1(a)(5) regarding living conditions; Secs. 18-296(f), 18-297(g) regarding damages caused by dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs). The AKC believes that these provisions are constitutionally questionable by empowering local enforcement officials to deprive dog owners’ rights without, in the case of Sec. 18-2.1, a judicial process that results in the determination that the owner maintained an animal in a substandard manner that was not remedied appropriately; or, in the cases of Secs. 18-296 and 18-297, a judicial process that should result in a judgment lien for damage caused to property.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
It is of utmost importance that concerned residents contact the members of the New Orleans City Council and respectfully yet strongly express any concerns about the proposed changes to the animal ordinances.

Click here for a customizable sample letter.

Stacy Head, Council President
City Hall, Room 2W40
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1060
Fax: (504) 658-1068
shead@nola.gov

Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Council Vice President
City Hall, Room 2W50
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1070
Fax: (504) 658-1077
jbclarkson@nola.gov

Susan G. Guidry, Dist. A (Sponsor)
City Hall, Room 2W80
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1010
Fax: (504) 658-1016
sgguidry@nola.gov

Diana Bajoie, Dist. B 
City Hall, Room 2W10
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1020
Fax: (504) 658-1025

Kristen Gisleson Palmer, Dist. C
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037
kgpalmer@nola.gov

Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, Dist. D
City Hall, Room 2W20
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1040
Fax: (504) 658-1048
chmorrell@nola.gov

Ernest F. Charbonnet, Dist. E
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058
efcharbonnet@nola.gov

Concerned area residents are also strongly encouraged to contact Ed Jimenez, Legislative Liaison of the Metairie Kennel Club, to coordinate local advocacy efforts. He may be reached at ej.jimenez11@gmail.com.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.