Legislation That Affects You
CALIFORNIA – Following a public hearing on Tuesday,
December 14, members of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved
a new animal control ordinance by a vote of four to one. Following strong
opposition to the initial proposal at a hearing in late November, the
Board amended the ordinance by reducing the proposed unaltered animal
license from $100 to $28 for those who are active members of state or
national clubs that participate in conformation, agility, training and
hunting events. Those who operate a ranch or farm on more than two acres
also qualify for the reduced fee.
The ordinance still requires breeders to purchase a $100 breeding permit
and limits them to one litter per year. Breeders must include their
permit number in any puppy sale advertisements and are further required
to microchip their dogs or cats and register them with the Department
of Animal Services. The ordinance also directs breeders to provide the
Department of Animal Services with the contact information for the animal's
new owner within five days of the sale or transfer. Any owner or breeder
in violation of these provisions must provide proof of sterilization
and microchipping or be subject to a $500 fine. Failure to include permit
numbers in any advertisement for sale or transfer is punishable by a
$100 fine for the first occurrence, $200 for the second offense and
$300 for each subsequent offense.
Noting continued opposition to the ordinance, the Board of Supervisors
plans to review the impact of the ordinance on the county’s pet
population concerns at regular intervals. Currently, the ordinance only
applies to unincorporated areas of the county. However, AKC and local
fanciers will continue to monitor the situation closely as cities within
Stanislaus County will likely consider implementing the ordinance in
the future. For more information, contact The
– Likely using the Stanislaus ordinance as their model, officials
in Madera County are considering a proposed animal control ordinance
that includes a $100 annual license for intact dogs or cats over the
age of four months and a $100 breeding permit. The ordinance also uses
the term “guardian” interchangeably with owner. The Canine
Legislation department sent a letter outlining AKC’s opposition
to breeding restrictions and the use of the term “guardian”
to the Board of Supervisors in December. Local fanciers are encouraged
to attend a public hearing on the issue at the Madera County Government
Center on Tuesday, January 11 at 9:00 AM. For more information on how
you can help oppose the measure, contact The
– In early January, Modesto officials will consider a breeding
permit ordinance similar to the one recently approved in Stanislaus
County. The Canine Legislation department sent a letter of opposition
to the Modesto mayor and city council and we encourage local fanciers
to do the same. For contact information, please click here.
– Late in 2004, Roseville officials approved an ordinance allowing
dog owners to walk their leashed pets in some of the city’s developed
walking trails. The new ordinance lifted a 25 year-old ban on dogs,
even leashed ones, from the city’s parks.
– In December, before AKC was aware, the City of Watsonville
adopted an ordinance that requires dogs and cats over the age of six
months to be spayed or neutered. Exemptions are provided for service
dogs and those used in law enforcement, as breeding stock or livestock
guardians. Animals with health concerns due to illness or age may also
be excluded from the requirement with a veterinarian’s approval.
Owners provided exemptions must obtain an unaltered animal certificate.
Under the new law owners of unaltered animals are limited to one litter
per year and must display their unaltered animal certificate number
in any puppy or kitten sale advertisements.
COLORADO – In December, the Denver District
Court upheld the city’s 15-year ban on “pit bulls”
and related breeds. The court’s decision stated that “home
rule” gives Denver the right to ban certain breeds of dogs, despite
a new state law that prohibits cities and counties from enacting breed-specific
– Before AKC or local fanciers were aware, Glenwood Springs officials
approved an ordinance that limits residents to three dogs and three
cats per household. The City Council continues to consider a ban on
FLORIDA – Officials in Pembroke Pines recently
approved an ordinance that classifies dogs as vicious after one bite
and requires the owners of those dogs to obtain $300,000 in liability
insurance. The Canine Legislation Department sent a letter to city officials
supporting reasonable dangerous dog laws but voicing concern that the
ordinance punishes owners equally for very different offenses. For example,
an owner whose dog bites an animal while playing could face the same
strict penalty as the owner of a dog that has seriously injured another
animal or person. For more information, contact Diane
ILLINOIS – The Pekin City Council is considering
an ordinance that limits residents to a total of three dogs or cats
per household. The Canine Legislation department sent a letter opposing
animal limits to city officials last month and encourages local dog
owners to do the same.
NEBRASKA – Kudos to the Seward City Council,
who recently voted against an ordinance banning specific breeds. Instead,
city officials approved a strict but breed-generic dangerous dog ordinance.
In late 2004, AKC sent a statement and materials to the mayor and city
council in support of more reasonable, enforceable dangerous dog legislation,
and we applaud the city’s effort in this regard.
NEW JERSEY – Asm. Gusciora’s A3578 has
been referred to the Assembly Committee on Law and Public Safety. The
bill requires any animal that has been trained, tormented, badgered,
baited or encouraged to attack people or domestic animals to be confiscated
from its owner or trainer. In addition, A3578 provides that any individual
who has had an animal removed for any of the above listed reasons would
not be permitted to own, harbor, adopt, or reside with an animal for
a period of two years without posting a $550,000 bond. Those found violating
this act would be subject to a fine of $2,000.
– Sen. Allen’s S801 was sent to the governor in December.
The bill, which was substituted for a similar bill (A1087) increases
penalties for injuring or killing animals used in law enforcement or
search and rescue. S801 makes it a crime of the third degree to kill
a law enforcement or search and rescue dog and a crime of the fourth
degree to injure one.
NEW MEXICO – Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort has announced
plans to introduce legislation to ban the breeding of “pit bulls”
in the state. The legislation, currently in draft form only, defines
pit bulls as pit bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, or dogs
identified as such. The measure will require pit bulls to be spayed
or neutered and be subject to strict care and keeping regulations. No
new pit bulls will be allowed to enter the state. Additionally, breeds
including Akitas, Boxers, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes,
German Shepherds and Rottweilers will be classified as dangerous dogs,
and their owners will be assessed an additional $500 fee if the dog
bites a person. The Canine Legislation department is working closely
with New Mexico dog clubs, Legislative Liaisons, fanciers and elected
officials to oppose the breed-specific measure in favor of a more reasonable
dangerous dog law. A statement has been sent to Sen. Wilson Beffort
opposing the poorly-written legislation, and we will continue to monitor
the situation closely. For more information, contact the Rio
Grande Kennel Club.
– Edgewood officials may soon consider a breed-specific dangerous
dog ordinance. AKC sent a letter opposing breed-specific laws and materials
to the mayor and city council in December.
NORTH CAROLINA – The Charlotte City Council
recently voted to strengthen the city’s dangerous dog law. The
new law provides that animal control officers may now spay or neuter
dogs that are deemed dangerous. It also allows for the doubling of animal-related
fines more than 30 days overdue. Pet owners may now only keep two dogs
or cats outside without obtaining a permit. For more information, contact
Dale Maddox-Geddis, North Carolina
UTAH – In December, Provo officials voted to
allow residents to own up to two dogs and two cats at the same time.
Previously residents were limited to a total of two cats or dogs.
WASHINGTON – Officials in Pasco are currently
considering a breed-specific dangerous dog ordinance that would require
owners of “pit bulls,” Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire
Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers to purchase an annual $250
permit and obtain $250,000 in liability insurance. The Canine Legislation
department sent materials and a statement opposing the ordinance to
the mayor, city council, and city administrators. AKC and local dog
owners are monitoring the situation closely.