Legislation That Affects You
– The Anchorage City Assembly recently voted to extend the trial
period for five experimental off-leash dog parks in the city to December
31 while city officials study the issue further. An advisory task force
was formed to respond to some residents’ complaints regarding the
removal of pet waste and unruly dogs interfering with walkers, bikers
– Governor Schwarzenegger signed Sen. Figueroa’s S1548 on
September 10. The new law requires veterinary liability insurance providers
to send a complete report to the Veterinary Medical Board of any settlement
or liability award over $10,000. The law also requires any licensee of
the board to report suspected animal abuse to the appropriate law enforcement
agency. In August, Sen. Figueroa removed an amendment banning ear cropping
from S1548 after strong opposition to the provision from AKC and fanciers
across the county.
– Small dogs
now have their own turf at the Alameda Dog Park. City officials approved
the new area for dogs weighing less than 30 pounds following reports of
aggressive encounters between large and small dogs at the park.
– Los Angeles
officials recently approved an ordinance that requires owners to provide
clean, dry shelter and water at all times for dogs kept outside. Violators
would be subject to a $250 fine.
in Oakland continue to consider a proposal that limits households to a
total of four dogs. AKC will continue to monitor the situation closely,
and we urge local fanciers to do the same. For more information contact
Sharon Coleman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
– The San Jose
City Council recently approved two animal control ordinances. The first
increases licensing fees for unaltered dogs and cats to $50 and $25 respectively.
The second ordinance increases the previous household limit of two dogs
to three dogs with a maximum of five pets total.
– A vacant city
parcel is now San Jose’s newest off-leash park. The 6500-square-foot
Ryland Dog Park offers picnic tables, benches and water fountains for
dogs and their owners.
– Avon officials are considering a proposal that would require owners
of “nuisance” dogs to keep their dogs in a secure enclosure
or under the direct control of its owner while on the owner’s property.
Owners must also post a sign warning that a nuisance dog is kept on the
property. For the purpose of this proposal, nuisance dogs are defined
as those that have bitten a person or attacked or killed other pets. A
public hearing will be scheduled in early October.
– Oakland Park Commissioners recently approved the design of a new
dog park. The new park will be the first in the community and will include
“dog-friendly” landscaping, lighted parking and dog exercise
– Officials in Dogiwac recently updated the city’s leash law.
Under the new law, all dogs must be leashed when off the owner’s
property. Previously, only dogs deemed vicious were required to be leashed.
Those who repeatedly violate the new law will be fined.
– The Lake Station
City Council is considering a breed-specific dangerous dog ordinance that
would require owners of “pit bulls” to license their dogs
with the city and obtain $100,000 in liability insurance. The Canine Legislation
department sent a letter of opposition and materials to city officials
and is working with local dog owners to oppose the measure.
– After successfully lobbying against a proposed “pit bull”
ban this summer, Council Bluffs dog owners are once again facing a breed-specific
dangerous dog ordinance. The Canine Legislation department reiterated
its opposition to breed-specific laws to city officials in September,
and we encourage local fanciers to do the same. For additional information,
contact Phyllis Gasper, Council Bluffs Kennel Club (email@example.com).
officials are considering a breed-specific ordinance that automatically
classifies American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers,
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds,
Belgian Malinois, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes as dangerous
dogs. AKC sent a letter of opposition and materials to the mayor and city
council and is working with local dog owners to oppose the measure.
– After strong opposition from local Doberman Pinscher owners, members
of Augusta City Council removed the breed from a list of breeds automatically
classified as vicious under a breed-specific dangerous dog ordinance approved
in August. “Pit bulls,” American Staffordshire Terriers, and
Rottweilers remain on the list. Under the new law, vicious dogs must be
registered with the city annually at a cost of $100. Owners must also
obtain $100,000 in liability insurance.
– Hays City
Commissioners are considering revisions to the city’s dangerous
dog ordinance, however, the proposed changes do not appear to be breed-specific.
The Canine Legislation department sent a letter and materials opposing
breed-specific laws to city officials in August.
– In September, the St. Charles Parish Council passed an ordinance
requiring owners of “pit bulls” and wolf hybrids to microchip
their dogs. Parish officials
passed the ordinance at the request of local animal control officers,
but the Canine
Legislation department was unaware that such a measure was being considered.
– Lieutenant Governor Healey signed Sen. Moore’s S198 into
law on August 19. The new law increases penalties for animal cruelty.
In the most extreme cases, the crime will be punishable by up to five
years in prison, or 2 ½ years in a correction house, and/or up
to $2500 in fines. The law also requires certain state employees to report
incidents of animal cruelty.
– With a number
of animal-related bills and ordinances up for consideration throughout
Massachusetts, the need for a central legislative information source has
grown. In response to that need, members of the National Animal Interest
Alliance have created a Massachusetts legislation email list. This list
is a great source of information for news on bills proposed in the Massachusetts
Legislature and on laws in cities and counties throughout the state. To
sign up or for more information, please contact Charlotte McGowan, AKC
Legislative Liaison for the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Officials in Clarence are considering a breed-specific dangerous
dog ordinance that automatically deems “pit bulls,” Rottweilers
and German Shepherds dangerous dogs. The Canine Legislation department
sent a letter of opposition and materials to the mayor and board of aldermen.
For more information, contact the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners
Thanks to the large numbers of concerned dog owners who attended an October
4th hearing, A1135 was overwhelmingly approved by the Assembly Financial
Institutions and Insurance Committee. The bill prohibits insurance providers
from discriminating against homeowners based on a dog’s breed. A1135
was combined with a similar bill A2373, and now goes to the full Assembly
for consideration. Congratulations to the many New Jersey fanciers who
worked to help this important bill take its first step toward passage.
– Albuquerque fanciers continue to lobby against proposed changes
to the city’s animal control code that include $150 intact animal
and litter permits, mandatory microchipping, and a limit law. The AKC
sent a letter of opposition to the city council and continues to work
closely with local fanciers to oppose this ordinance, but more help is
needed! For more information, contact the Rio Grande Kennel Club (email@example.com).
– Governor Pataki signed Asm. Tonko’s A6635 into law on August
17. The new law establishes a dangerous dog advisory board and requires
owners of dangerous dogs to notify the municipal clerk so that emergency
personnel can be made aware of the dog’s presence. The law also
makes the owner of a dangerous dog that has attacked a person, companion
animal or farm animal strictly liable for medical costs caused by the
– Dogs in Durham’s Five Oaks Community have a new place to
play. The Elma Thompson Dog Park opened with an official “leash
cutting” ceremony in late August. The AKC sent a letter and materials
supporting the park to local officials.
officials continue to consider changes to strengthen the city’s
dangerous dog law in the wake of a fatal dog attack this spring. AKC reiterated
its opposition to breed-specific laws in a letter to the mayor and city
council in September. The current city ordinance defines “dangerous”
as any animal whose behavior, temperament or size constitutes a risk of
injury. The Canine Legislation department and local fanciers are monitoring
the situation closely. For more information contact Maggie Blutreich,
Piedmont Kennel Club (firstname.lastname@example.org). As part of the dangerous
dog law revision effort, this month Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers
will begin using a computerized program in designated neighborhoods to
identify and track potentially dangerous dogs before they attack by investigating
to see if the dog is properly secured and whether the owner is abiding
by the city’s existing dangerous dog ordinance. Animal Control will
then follow-up with owners to make sure they make necessary changes to
comply with the city’s laws.
– On September 22nd, the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled that a statute
penalizing owners of dangerous dogs who fail to buy liability insurance
and properly confine their animals was unconstitutional. The Court held
that the law (R.C. 955.22) violated a dog owner’s right to due process
because it did not provide owners with an opportunity to appeal a dangerous
dog determination at an administrative hearing. For more information,
please see the article on the ruling in this edition of Taking Command
or contact Melanie Tierney, Canine Friends of Cleveland (email@example.com).
– In August, Polk County Commissioners approved a measure that reduces
the county’s dog license fee to $5 if owners provide proof of rabies
vaccination, spay/neuter and microchipping. For more information, contact
Lucille Allen (PublicEd@alaskanmalamute.org).
– Local fanciers report that the Allentown City Council voted against
an animal control ordinance that included mandatory spay/neuter of dogs
over six months old unless the owner purchased a $100 breeder’s
license. The Canine Legislation department sent a letter of opposition
to council members. Congratulations to all who worked to oppose this measure!
– Officials in Rutherford County are considering strengthening the
county’s dangerous dog law. AKC sent materials and model legislation
we feel to be reasonable to local fanciers, and we continue to monitor
the situation closely.
– August County officials are considering changes to strengthen
the county’s animal control laws. The Canine Legislation department
sent a letter and materials supporting reasonable, enforceable legislation
to members of the county board. For more information, contact the Virginia
Federation of Dog Clubs (Luvwelsh@aol.com).
– Officials in the village of Luxemburg recently approved a proposal
to limit residents to a total of three cats or dogs. AKC sent a letter
and materials to village officials opposing animal limits in August.
– Legislators in Ontario are currently considering province-wide
legislation to ban “pit bulls” following a dog attack in Toronto
in August. Several Ontario cities currently have breed-specific legislation
in place, including Kitchener, Winnipeg and Edmonton. The Canine Legislation
department sent a letter of opposition and materials to province officials
– For the ninth time in ten years, the House of Commons voted in
September to outlaw the sport of hunting with hounds. The measure has
never become law due to strong opposition from the House of Lords, which
must also approve the measure. Supporters of the ban plan to force the
bill through the House of Lords by invoking the rarely used Parliament
Act, which allows bills to become law in the event of a deadlock between
the two Houses if a bill has been approved by the House of Commons two
years in a row. Hunting advocates have vowed to fight the ban in court
if it is passed.