Legislation That Affects You
ARKANSAS – Officials in Hot Springs recently
voted in favor of an ordinance that prohibits the adoption of “pit
bulls” and pit bull mixes from animal shelters. The new law also
prevents the purchase of the breed from pet stores or breeders. AKC
had no prior knowledge that the measure was being considered.
ALABAMA – Rep. Galliher has introduced HB354,
which would require mandatory sterilization for all animals from public
or private shelters, animal control and humane societies. The bill has
been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. A
companion bill by Senator Penn has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary
- Senator Dial is sponsoring SB295, which would establish
procedures by which a dog could be declared dangerous. SB295
is currently in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Its companion
measure, HB164, is in the House Judiciary Committee. The House version
is sponsored by Rep. Cam Ward, whom the Canine Legislation department
has been in touch with regarding reasonable dangerous dog laws. Local
fanciers have several concerns with these bills. Broad definitions would
allow a dog to be deemed dangerous if it so much as “nips or grips”
a person or another animal. Dog owners are also opposed to the extremely
high ($10,000) penalty fine, as well as a provision allowing municipalities
to set a dangerous dog registration fee at any amount they choose. Alabama
fanciers are working with legislators to amend these concerns.
CALIFORNIA -- AB 418, introduced
by Asm. Koretz seeks to ban ear cropping. AKC is working with fanciers
to oppose the measure. For more information please see this month's
-AB 762, authored by Asm. Koretz, creates a licensing
scheme for animal groomers. It sets specified standards for a person
that operates an animal grooming facility, prohibits them from engaging
in veterinary medicine and establishes fines and jail time for violations
of this act.
- Asm. Levine is sponsoring AB 1428, a bill that would
prohibit the commercial sale and transfer of cloned or genetically modified
- AB 1659, by Asm. Levine, “declares the intent
of the Legislature to end dog and cat overpopulation”. This is
likely a “spot bill” filed in time to meet the required
deadline but with the intent that it will be amended later. Asm. Levine
filed a similar measure last session which was amended to impose breeder
regulations. That bill died, but AB 1659 could take
a similar tone. AKC will closely monitor this bill and provide updates
as they become available.
- Senator Soto has introduced SB 156 which increases
penalties for animal fighting and training animals to fight. This bill
would allow subsequent violations of the law to be prosecuted as felonies.
- SB 914, by Senator Kehoe, makes it a misdemeanor
to sell, giveaway or transfer any dog under 8 weeks of age. Violations
would be considered a misdemeanor crime of animal cruelty.
- Asm. Gordon has introduced AB 359, which would establish
an off-leash dog beach pilot program at Dockweiler State Beach in the
County of Los Angeles. The bill has been assigned to the Committee on
Water, Parks and Wildlife.
- West Hollywood Mayor John Duran has proposed an ordinance to ban
ear cropping and tail docking in the city. The Canine Legislation department
is working with local fanciers to oppose the measure. For more information,
please read our Legislative
Alert on this issue.
For more information about pending California legislation, contact
The Animal Council.
CONNECTICUT – Rep. Mushinsky has introduced
H5580, a bill that allows municipalities to increase
animal adoption fees to provide additional funding for animal control
officers. H5580 was referred to the Joint Committee
– H5709, sponsored by Rep. Nafis, prohibits
insurance providers from refusing homeowners’ or renters coverage
to individuals who own certain breeds of dogs. The bill has been referred
to the Joint Committee on Insurance and Real Estate. A similar bill,
Sen. Handley’s S436, has also been referred to
the Joint Committee on Insurance and Real Estate.
– Rep. Pawelkiewicz’s H5932 was referred
to the Joint Committee on Environment. The bill establishes a training
and certification program for animal control officers.
– Three bills pertaining to shelter for animals have been referred
to the Joint Committee on Environment. H6405, sponsored
by Rep. Hamm, Rep. Megna’s H6418, and Sen. Handley’s
S867 provide that proper shelter for animals should
be determined by climate and the animals physical characteristics.
- Sen. Roraback is sponsoring S864, a bill that provides
exemptions for cats and dogs from rabies shots when a veterinarian determines
that the vaccination could be harmful and when testing can be done to
verify the animal’s immunity.
For more information about legislation pending in Connecticut, please
contact the Connecticut Dog Federation at email@example.com
FLORIDA – Senator Rich is sponsoring S898,
which will require veterinarians to administer rabies vaccinations using
a vaccine that is licensed by the US Department of Agriculture. The
bill prohibits using evidence of rabies antibodies in lieu of vaccination
and prohibits local governments from requiring revaccination of currently
vaccinated animals except for post-exposure treatment. The bill is assigned
to the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Health Care and Community Affairs.
A companion bill, (H255) has been sponsored by Rep.
Russell in the House.
For additional information contact the Florida
Association of Kennel Clubs.
GEORGIA – H78 has not seen
any movement since its introduction last month. The bill prohibits ownership
of “pit bulls,” American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull
Terriers, or any dog displaying a majority of traits of those breeds.
H78 further provides that it is unlawful for any person to sell, transport,
or keep any of those breeds in the state. Exemptions are provided for
those that own, transport, or keep the dog for zoological, educational,
or scientific purposes and for non-residents transporting a dog through
the state for a period of less than one day. The bill was referred to
the House Committee on Special Judiciary. The Canine Legislation department
and the Georgia Canine Coalition are working with the bill sponsor and
other Georgia legislators to oppose the measure. For more information,
please see our Legislative
- At the request of the Georgia Canine Coalition, Senator Goggans is
sponsoring S111. This legislation will protect dog
entities, including owners, breeders, groomers and boarding kennels,
from being forced to shut down because of a new property owner in the
area or a change in zoning. The bill is headed to the full Senate for
a vote after being passed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and
For more information on any of the above bills, contact the Georgia
HAWAII – Rep. Wakai’s H866
establishes the crime of killing, distributing, or purchasing stray
or stolen dogs or cats for human consumption, punishable as a Class
C felony. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.
A companion bill, Sen. Chun Oakland’s S564, was
referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs.
– Rep. Sonson has introduced H870, a bill that
makes “pit bull” owners strictly liable for injuries or
damages if their dog bites or attacks someone without provocation. The
bill defines pit bull as Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers
and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. H870 has been referred
to the House Committee on Judiciary.
- Rep. Tanaka’s H1626 revises the state’s
dangerous dog law. It prohibits the owner of a dangerous dog from allowing
the dog to roam without supervision, makes provisions for animal control
officers to intervene in dangerous dog complaints, and requires owners
of dangerous dogs to obtain liability insurance if the dog is found
to be inadequately supervised. The bill does not contain any breed specific
- H1761, sponsored by Rep. Luke, will establish a
leash law and require all animals within an urban district to be confined.
The bill is being considered by the House Judiciary Committee.
– Sponsored by Sen. Ige, S135 permits dogs
in municipal and state parks as long as they are leashed and owners
remove pet waste. The bill was referred to both the Senate Committee
on Business and Economic Development and the Senate Committee on Water,
Land, and Agriculture.
ILLINOIS – Sen. Martin Sandoval has introduced
SB1790, another breed specific proposal. This bill
would automatically deem the following breeds as dangerous: "Pit
bull," Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute,
Doberman Pinscher, Chow Chow, Great Dane, St. Bernard, Akita. Owners
of these dogs would be required to spay or neuter their dogs. There
is no exemption for those who participate in confirmation dog shows
or other events. Owners would also be required to license their animals
with the state for a yet-to-be-determined amount and obtain "canine
liability insurance" through a program to be developed by the Division
of Insurance. SB1790 has been assigned to the Senate
Committee on Agriculture and Conservation. AKC is working with the Illinois
Dog Clubs and Breeders Association and other concerned dog owners to
oppose this legislation. For more information on how you can help oppose
this poorly-written bill, visit our Legislative
- Rep. Burke’s HB315 creates the Illinois Public
Health and Safety Animal Control Act. The bill requires municipalities
to register dogs and cats and adds $3 to these fees to pay for a low-cost
spay/neuter program. The fine for not registering an animal would be
$100. HB315 also deletes existing litter registration
requirements. The bill is being considered by the House Executive Committee.
- HB707, sponsored by Rep. Elaine Nekritz, amends
the state’s Animal Welfare Act to require licenses for all “animal
caretakers.” This definition includes but is not limited to anyone
who sells, exchanges, or offers for adoption dogs, cats, birds, fish,
reptiles, and other animals commonly kept as pets. Hobby breeders, pet
stores, adoption facilities, shelters, and private individuals that
sell, transfer or adopt out even one animal will therefore be subject
to licensing under HB707. The Illinois Animal Welfare
Act currently requires licensing for pet shops only.
Licensees will be required to:
• Provide new owners with health certificates and other information
such as vaccination records, breeder’s name and address, and contact
information for any past owners.
• Submit to an inspection of their premises by the Department
• Give animals a “stimulating, enriching environment”
as a component of humane living conditions. HB707 does not define what
is “stimulating and enriching” for dogs and cats.
Violators would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A second or
subsequent violation would constitute a Class 4 felony for every day
that a violation continues. The licensing expansion proposed in HB707
will be extremely costly and impossible to enforce. Moreover, it will
likely force many reputable hobby breeders, rescue groups and concerned
owners to abandon programs that match healthy, well-socialized animals
with responsible homes. The House Committee on Agriculture and Conservation
will review HB707. The Canine Legislation department’s
alert can be read here.
- Rep. Mitchell’s HB1128, which would have rescinded
the current prohibition on local governments to regulate animals by
breed, was defeated 9-6 in the House Agriculture Committee. AKC sent
a letter of opposition to Rep. Mitchell and worked with the Illinois
Dog Clubs and Breeders Association to defeat this legislation. The Canine
Legislation department’s alert can be found here.
- HB2406, by Rep. Phelps, will make a host of changes
related to the regulation of animal foster homes and doggie daycare
businesses. The bill clarifies that the existing 4 animal limit on foster
homes does not include the owner’s personal animals or puppies
and kittens under 8 weeks of age. HB2406 will require
that dog daycares, humane societies and foster homes be licensed. Additionally,
in order to operate a foster home, a person must obtain sponsorship
from an animal shelter, animal rescue group or humane society. The bill
has been assigned to the House Executive Committee.
- Rep. Leitch has introduced HB2447, which requires
municipalities to register dogs and cats, and permits them to require
microchipping if they so desire. The bill has been assigned to the Local
To get involved in pending Illinois legislation, please contact the
Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders
INDIANA – Sen. Antich’s S562
makes killing a domestic animal a non-suspendible Class D felony unless
the killing was necessary to prevent injury to a person, to protect
property, or prevent a seriously injured animal from prolonged suffering.
S562 was referred to the Senate Committee on Corrections,
Criminal, and Civil Matters.
KANSAS – S135, introduced by
Sen. Haley, was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. The bill
makes it a crime to cause any physical injury to an animal, regardless
of the intent.
- The City of Mission Hills has redefined what constitutes a dangerous
dog in the wake of a dog attack where a woman was bitten in the face.
A dangerous dog is classified as one who inflicts severe injury on a
person or kills another domestic animal without provocation. The council
has also defined all “pit bulls” as “potentially dangerous
dogs.” Dangerous dogs are required to be muzzled and on a 40-ft
leash in public and chained and 6 feet away from the fence while on
private property. AKC learned of the measure after it had been passed.
Interested fanciers can get additional information by contacting the
Kansas Kennel Association.
MAINE – S164, by Rep. Andrews,
will require dog owners to purchase a dog license from the veterinarian
at the time they obtain their rabies and other vaccinations. The veterinarian
will issue a voucher for the license which the dog owner shall present
to the municipal clerk or unorganized territory dog recorder. This legislation
is currently in the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and
- S45 by Senator Andrews has died. The bill would
have required the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
to maintain a publicly accessible internet database of all dogs registered
in the state and list name and contact information for the owner of
- Senator Mitchell has introduced S169, which would
prohibit insurance carriers from canceling or refusing to renew homeowner’s
insurance based solely on the breed of dog. The bill is currently in
the Joint Committee on Insurance and Financial Services. AKC sent a
letter of support to the author and the Chairperson of the Joint Committee
on Insurance and Financial Services.
- Rep. Peter Rines is sponsoring H314, which will
require veterinarians to provide a vaccine disclosure form to the owner
prior to vaccinating a cat or dog. The form will contain information
about the advantages and disadvantages of vaccines. The bill has been
assigned to the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
For additional information, please email
the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs or visit their webpage.
MARYLAND – Rep. McComas has introduced HB941.
The bill establishes that a person who tortiously causes injury or death
to a pet is liable to the owner for compensatory damages of up to $10,000.
The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. A companion,
Senator Stone’s SB347, is being considered by
the Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings.
- Rep. Conway is sponsoring HB1330, which increases
the penalty for aggravated cruelty to animals when it results in the
death of animal. The crime would be punishable by up to five years in
prison and/or fines of up to $10,000. The House Judiciary Committee
will consider this legislation.
For more information about canine legislation in Maryland, contact
the Maryland Dog Federation.
MISSISSIPPI – Officials in Starkville are considering
a breed-specific ordinance to regulate pit bulls. The Canine Legislation
department sent materials and a statement opposing such laws to the
mayor and city council. Local fanciers are encouraged to do the same.
For more information, contact the Mississippi
NEW HAMPSHIRE – Sen. Roberge is sponsoring S91,
a bill that increases the co-payment for the state’s low-cost
spay/neuter program. The bill increases the fee from $30 to $40 for
eligible owners. Pet owners eligible for Medicaid and food stamps will
now pay $20 (up from $15). S91 was referred to the Senate Committee
on Environment and Wildlife. For more information, contact Dog
Owners of the Granite State.
NEW JERSEY – Senator Sweeney has introduced
S2356, which adds to the definition of animal cruelty
the use of an animal to injure another animal, or the use of any direct
or indirect means to inflict the cruelty. A companion bill, A1583
has been introduced by Asm. Fisher and assigned to the Assembly Agriculture
and Natural Resources Committee. For additional information, contact
the New Jersey
Federation of Dog Clubs.
NEW MEXICO – HB400, sponsored
by Rep. Garcia, seeks to establish a dangerous dog law. Although the
bill does not target a specific breed, it does not prohibit municipalities
from passing breed-specific ordinances. Fanciers are concerned with
this and other problematic provisions, including the fact that a dog
can be declared dangerous if it injures or kills another animal that
strays onto its own property. HB400 remains in the
House Judiciary Committee. A similar bill, Senator Grubesic’s
SB432, recently passed the Senate and now moves to
the House Committee on Consumer and Public Affairs. Fanciers are working
to amend these bills to make them more reasonable for responsible dog
owners. Additionally, they would like to see the bills include a preemptive
breed-specific clause and a clause preventing insurers from canceling,
refusing to issue or charging higher premiums based solely on the breed
of dog on the premises.
- AKC and concerned New Mexico fanciers and dog owners continue to
oppose Sen.Wilson Beffort’s SB188. The bill severely
restricts the ownership of “pit bulls.” SB188
prohibits residents from acquiring or breeding pit bulls after July
1, 2005. Current owners of the breed may keep their dogs if they are
spayed or neutered, and restrained by chain and muzzle when off the
owner’s property, licensed annually, and covered by $100,00 in
liability insurance. Pit bull owners will face $1000 fine if their dog
is found at large.
Additionally, SB188 declares Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes,
American or “Old Country” Bull Dogs, Boxers, Presa Canarios,
Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Rottweilers,
Siberian Huskies and wolf-hybrids to be dangerous dogs. For more information,
access the Canine Legislation department’s alert
on the issue.
- Sponsored by Sen. Komadina, SB1 supports practices,
programs, and research related to animal welfare and opposes the use
of public funds to promote the animal rights agenda. The bill is now
in the House Appropriation and Finance Committee. Area fanciers strongly
support this bill.
- Senator Garcia’s SB414, the Animal Sheltering
Services Act, would establish licensing procedures for euthanasia providers.
The bill also creates an Animal Sheltering Services Board which would
develop and implement operating standards for all shelters. New Mexico
fanciers have several concerns with this bill, particularly with the
amount of oversight that would be given to a civilian, government appointed
board. The bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.
- Eddy County is reviewing a proposed update to their animal control
ordinance. Items addressed in the proposal include leash laws, vaccination
requirements, animal hoarding and a mandatory spay/neuter proposal.
For more information about the New Mexico measures above, please contact
the Rio Grande Kennel Club at BEDRCKBOUV@aol.com
NEW YORK – Asm. Stringer’s A1595
would allow veterinarians to adopt out abandoned animals as long as
proper notice is given to the animal’s owner. The bill requires
veterinarians to maintain files on adopted animals for at least two
years. A1595 was referred to the Assembly Committee
– Sponsored by Asm. McEneny, A1641 defines the
crime of abandoning an animal as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by
up to one year in prison and/or a $1000 fine.
– Asm. Glick’s A1824 prohibits insurance
companies from discriminating against homeowners based on the breed
of dog they own. The bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on
– Introduced by Asm. Lentol, A1977 provides
for the creation of programs to match seniors with pets in order to
improve seniors’ quality of life. The bill is currently in the
Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.
– A3585, also sponsored by Asm. Glick, establishes
a civil cause of action for the wrongful injury or death of a companion
animal and provides for compensatory and punitive damages. A three-year
statute of limitations applies to such cases. A3585
was referred to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary.
- A3825, introduced by Asm. Scarborough, would establish
a dangerous dog registry with a five-member advisory board in the Department
of Agriculture. The bill also imposes a $25 registration fee for dangerous
dogs. A3825 is currently assigned to the Assembly Committee
- Introduced by Asm. Diaz, A4187 would make the owner
of a dog liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by
the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place (including
the owner’s property) regardless of whether the dog had ever bitten
or acted viciously before. The bill has been referred to the Assembly
Judiciary Committee. S2107, the companion bill, has
been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- A4253, which is sponsored by Asm. Weprin, establishes
standards for the care and treatment of animals by kennel owners. The
bill is currently assigned to the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
A companion measure, S2164, has been assigned to the
Senate Consumer Protection Committee.
- Asm. Cohen has introduced A4377, which provides
that cruelty to any animal, specifically torture of either a companion
or non-companion animal, shall constitute a felony. The bill exempts
hunting, fishing, trapping, disposal of rabid animals and scientific
experiments. Further, it increases penalties to a maximum of two years
in prison. The bill is being heard in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
- A4433, sponsored by Asm. Diaz, will increase the
penalty for allowing a dog to bite to $1500. If the dog had previously
been declared dangerous, the fine increases to $3000. The bill has been
assigned to the Assembly Agriculture Committee. Its companion measure,
S2234, is being heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Sponsored by Rep. Asm. Kirwan, A4858 will make it
unlawful for anyone who has been convicted of a felony or other drug-related
offense to own a “pit bull,” Rottweiler or mix of those
breeds weighing ten pounds or more. Such individuals are also prohibited
from owning any dog over ten pounds that has exhibited vicious behavior.
Violations would be a Class A misdemeanor. The bill has been assigned
to the Assembly Committee on Codes.
- A4897, introduced by Asm. Seminerio, prohibits insurers
from canceling, refusing to issue or charging increased premiums for
homeowners or renters insurance based upon the ownership of a specific
breed of dog. The bill will be heard by the Assembly Insurance Committee.
The companion bill, S2289 by Senator Skelos, will be
considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Sponsored by Asm. Tonko, A5132 prohibits the confinement
of companion animals in extreme temperatures. Fines will be levied between
$50-$100 for the first offense and $100-$250 for second and subsequent
violations. A5132 has been referred to the Assembly
Committee on Agriculture.
- Asm. DiNapoli is sponsoring A5167 which will regulate
boarding kennels and allow for certain inspections of these facilities.
The bill also requires that owners present proof of vaccination to kennels
and groomers. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture
– Sponsored by Sen. Padavan, S1860 provides
that no person over the age of 62 may be denied occupancy or evicted
from an apartment or condominium on the sole ground that he or she owns
a pet. Exemptions are provided for cases where the animal has caused
damage to the premises. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee
- Senator Robach is sponsoring S1895, which will prohibit
insurance carriers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel or impose
an increased premium for homeowners’s insurance based on the breed
of dog owned. The bill has been sent to the Senate Committee on Insurance.
- New York City is considering an ordinance that would allow dogs to
be deemed dangerous if they kill or severely injure a domestic animal.
Current law only allows a dangerous dog determination to be imposed
if the animal kills or injures a person. This proposal was introduced
by Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz after two “pit bulls” killed
a Chihuahua last August.
For more information on pending legislation in New York, please contact
the Responsible Dog Owners of New York
or the Long Island Coalition of Dog
NORTH CAROLINA – Rutherford County officials
are considering an animal control ordinance that includes differential
licensing and breeder inspections. AKC is working with local fanciers
to oppose the legislation. Please contact the Rutherford
County Animal Owners Association for more information.
OHIO – Sponsored by Rep. Carano HB63
creates a consumer protection act for puppy purchasers. It requires
anyone who sells a dog younger than 15 months to provide remedies if
the dog exhibits a congenital hereditary disorder or is discovered to
be of a different registration status with a pedigree organization than
the seller represented. Ohio Valley Dog Owners Association supports
the bill but with several amendments. These include the removal of thyroid
disease from the list of genetic diseases, because it can also be an
acquired disease. They would support an additional provision exempting
breeders who do not do genetic testing if they post a sign to that affect.
- Liberty Township has approved an ordinance which makes nuisance barking,
defined as barking for more than 20 cumulative minutes per hour, a misdemeanor.
They are following in the footsteps of the neighboring Orange Township,
which made nuisance barking for more than 20 consecutive minutes a misdemeanor
Please contact the Ohio Valley
Dog Owners Association for additional information about pending
legislation in Ohio.
OKLAHOMA – Senator Garrison has introduced S52
which authorizes county commissioners to establish an animal nuisance
ordinance within stated parameters. The bill would authorize the sheriff
to investigate animal nuisance reports and issue citations. The Senate
Committee on Tourism and Wildlife will hear the bill.
- Sen. Reynolds recently dropped his support of SB247,
which would have allowed municipalities to enact breed-specific laws.
Without the Senator's support, the bill effectively died in committee.
AKC sent a letter of opposition to the sponsor and worked with local
fanciers to oppose the bill. For more information, see our Legislative
OREGON – H2022, introduced
by Rep. Minnis, expands the crime of animal abuse to include actions
relating to assistance animals. The bill provides that the crime of
negligently hindering a service animal is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor
and carries a fine of $6,250 and/or up to a year in jail. Intentionally
hindering or injuring a service animal is punishable as a Class C felony
and carries a fine of up to $125,000 and/or up to five years in prison.
H2022 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
– Sen. Courtney’s S246 requires that certain
public and private officials report suspected animal abuse. The list
of officials includes veterinarians, doctors, social workers and peace
officers. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The Senate Committee on Environment and Land Use has introduced S529
to establish the Pet Sterilization Fund. It increases by $3 the licensing
fees on dogs in counties having a population of 100,000 or more. The
measure has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and
Land Use and then Senate Ways and Means. Oregon fanciers oppose this
measure, believing that the increased fee will only drive licensing
compliance down further.
For more information on legislation pending in Oregon, please contact
the Responsible Dog Breeders Association
PENNSYLVANIA – Officials in Lebanon are considering
an ordinance that limits residents to a total of four animals per household.
The Canine Legislation department sent materials and a letter opposing
limit laws to the mayor and city council.
- Officials in the City of Hazelton are considering an ordinance to
label the Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull
Terrier, Rottweiler, Akita, Chow or any other dog displaying the majority
of physical traits of any one or more of these breeds, as a dangerous
dog. Owners of dangerous dogs would be required to pay a $10 annual
registration fee and display a sign alerting the public that there is
a dangerous dog on the property. Additionally, if the dog is kept outside
it is required to be in a structure with secure sides and a secure top.
When dangerous dogs are off their owner’s property they are required
to be on a leash not less than six feet and muzzled. When registering
the dog, the owner must present proof of a liability policy which covers
dangerous dogs. AKC has sent a letter of opposition and dangerous dog
packets to the City Council.
Additional information about pending dog laws in Pennsylvania can be
obtained by contacting the Pennsylvania
Federation of Dog Clubs.
RHODE ISLAND – Rep. Shaklee’s H5318
amends state law pertaining to vicious dogs by adding microchip identification
and other keeping requirements. H5318 was referred
to the House Committee on Corporations.
- Rep. Galleon is sponsoring H5356, which would prohibit
animal circuses in Rhode Island. Specifically exempted are county fairs,
livestock shows, purebred dog and cat shows, and any other exhibitions
“intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences.” The
House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare will consider the bill.
- H5396, by Rep. Lewiss, would establish a fund for
spaying and neutering, as well as a committee to oversee the fund. It
will be considered by the House Committee on Finance. Senator Pery has
introduced a companion bill, S406, which is in the
Senate Finance Committee.
- Rep. Lewiss has also introduced H5430, which will
enable the creation of trusts for the care of animals. The bill is being
considered by the Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.
- H5433, another bill sponsored by Rep. Lewiss, will
define and create penalties for various acts of animal abuse, cruelty
and neglect, and would create a cause of action for the intentional
or negligent death of a pet. It has been assigned to the Committee on
Health, Education and Welfare.
SOUTH CAROLINA – The Lexington City Council may
soon consider legislation that limits the number of dogs residents may
own. AKC sent a statement of opposition and materials to the mayor and
city council and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
TENNESSEE – H148, sponsored
by Rep. Turner, has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.
The bill expands the state’s present definition of “dealer”
to include individuals who breed and sell more than one litter of puppies
per year. A companion bill, Sen. Cohen’s S1686,
was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Agriculture.
The Canine Legislation Department sent a letter opposing the changes
to the bill sponsors and is working with the Responsible Animal Owners
of Tennessee to organize local opposition.
- Sponsored by Rep. McDaniel, H280 will prevent insurers
from denying homeowner’s or renter’s coverage based upon
the breed of dog owned by the insured. The bill does allow an insurer
to deny or cancel coverage based on the history of violence of a specific
dog. The bill is in the House Committee on Commerce. A companion bill,
Sen. Herron’s S1796, has been assigned to the
Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Agriculture.
- Rep. Marrero has introduced H435, which requires
that kennels that keep more than 4 dogs or cats be licensed by the Commissioner
of Agriculture. The bill has been referred to the Commerce Committee.
A companion bill, S49, is being sponsored by Senator
Contact the Responsible Animal Owners
of Tennessee to learn more about how you can get involved in pending
TEXAS –HB326 by Rep. Goodman
and its companion SB172 by Senator Harris, would amend
the state's cruelty law in several ways. First, the measures make it
a crime to cause bodily injury to an animal, with "animal"
being defined as any "nonhuman mammal, bird or captive amphibian
or reptile." The exemption for wild creatures (those that are often
hunted) has been removed. Furthermore, while the existing cruelty law
includes a straightforward exemption for those who hunt, fish or trap,
HB326/SB172 changes that language to say that hunting
"may be used as a defense" if you are prosecuted for animal
cruelty. These changes mean that hunters could more easily be charged
with cruelty and consequently be forced to defend themselves in court.
HB326/SB172 would also criminalize "training
or conditioning" one animal to fight with another. Those who use
treadmills and similar devices to keep their dogs in shape for competition
also worry that under HB326/S172, mere evidence of
this equipment would create a presumption that owners are training dogs
to fight. For more information, please read our Legislative
- HB590 by Rep. Brown would change the definition
of animal cruelty. The bill is similar to HB326, but
keeps the hunting exemption in place and does not add “trains
or conditions” to the animal fighting clause.
- Rep. Goolsby’s HB521 has been referred to
the House Committee on Livestock. The bill prohibits the chaining or
tethering of dogs for more than eight hours within a 24-hour period.
Exceptions are provided in cases where the chain or tether is over 10-feet
long, the dog is attached to an approved dog run, and adequate food,
water and shelter are provided.
Please contact the Responsible Pet
Owners Alliance or visit their Web
site for further information on pending legislation in Texas.
VERMONT – Senator Dunne is sponsoring S116,
which will create different tiers of homeowner’s insurance depending
on the likelihood of damage by a domestic animal. The bill has been
referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
- Sen. John Campbell is sponsoring S66, a bill that
would amend the definition of "pet merchant" to include anyone
who sells, exchanges, or donates animals. Duly incorporated humane societies
would be exempt. Under existing law in Vermont, "pet merchants"
must be licensed by the state at a cost of $150 per year. S66
is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee on Economic Housing,
Development, and General Affairs. The Canine Legislation department
is working with local fanciers to oppose this legislation, but more
help is needed. For more information, read our Legislative
Please contact the Vermont Federation
of Dog Clubs for additional information on pending Vermont legislation.
VIRGINIA – Del. Ward’s HJR768
encourages municipalities to promote spaying and neutering of companion
animals. HJR768 now goes to the Governor’s desk,
having passed both the House and Senate.
- Rep. Athey’s H2338 is now eligible for the
Governor’s desk. The bill originally required municipalities to
require licenses for pet shops, but that language was weakened to say
municipalities may require such licenses. H2338 further
allows municipalities to impose a $500 fine for violations.
- H2723 has died. The bill would have allowed localities
to regulate potentially dangerous dogs, defined as any dog that has,
when unprovoked, endangered a person by exhibiting dangerously threatening
– H2859, introduced by Del. Peterson, establishes
an annual schedule for pet shop inspections to be carried out by the
state veterinarian and authorizes the creation of a citation system
- Senator Locke’s S765, which would have established
a maximum license fee for both spayed and neutered pets ($10) and for
unaltered pets ($20), has been tabled. The bill would have also increased
the kennel license fee. Congratulations to all fanciers who helped oppose
- Senator Potts’ S775 died in the Senate Courts
of Justice Committee. The bill would have created a criminal penalty
for persons who dispose of or dump a companion animal within a highway
For more information on pending Virginia legislation, please contact
the Virginia Federation of Dog Owners
WASHINGTON – Rep. Campbell’s H1016
has been recommended as “do pass” by the House Committee
on Financial Institutions and Insurance. The bill prohibits insurance
companies from discriminating against homeowners based on the breed
of dog they own. The American Kennel Club supports this bill and urges
dog owners to contact their state representative and ask them to vote
“Yes” on H1016. To find out who represents
you, click here.
- Rep. Kirby is sponsoring H1150, which makes changes
to Washington’s dangerous dog law. A previous version of the bill
has precluded municipalities from passing breed specific ordinances,
but that provision was removed. H1150 is currently
in the House Rules Committee.
- Sponsored by Rep. Kessler, H1304 establishes that
a person is guilty of first degree animal cruelty when they starve,
dehydrate or suffocate an animal and the animal suffers unnecessary
or unjustifiable physical pain or death as a result. The bill is currently
in the House Rules Committee.
- H1499, sponsored by Rep. O’Brien, increases
existing penalties for animal cruelty. The bill has been referred to
the House Committee on Judiciary.
WEST VIRGINIA – Rep. Talbott is sponsoring H2039,
which exempts the retrieval of a dog turned loose on Sunday from the
offense of hunting on Sunday. The bill has been assigned to the House
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- Rep. Talbott has also introduced H2040, which will
prohibit a person from removing tags, collars or apparel from a dog
without the dog owner’s approval. The bill is assigned to the
House Judiciary Committee.
WISCONSIN – The Common Council of the City of
Cudahy is considering a ban on “pit bills.” Cudahy already has a dangerous dog ordinance in place.
AKC has notified the Common Council of our opposition to the ordinance
and is working with the Dog Federation of Wisconsin to organize local
fanciers. For more information, contact the Dog
Federation of Wisconsin or visit their Web