Legislation That Affects You
CALIFORNIA – AB 418 a bill
to ban ear cropping in California was placed on the Suspense File in
the Appropriations Committee in April. For more information on the fancy’s
opposition efforts and how you can help, please read our feature article
- SB 914, by Sen. Kehoe, makes it a misdemeanor to
sell any dog under 8 weeks of age. The bill has been amended to exempt
rescue groups and to allow puppies less than 8 weeks old to be sold
with written approval of a licensed veterinarian. Violations would be
considered a misdemeanor crime of animal cruelty punishable by a fine
of up to $1000. The bill will be heard in the Senate Committee on Business,
Professions and Economic Development.
- Officials in San Francisco are contemplating creating a fenced off-leash
dog park at Duboce Park. Currently, there is only a fenced area for
children. A task force of park, dog and kid activists is working to
decide how the land will be divided. They will make a recommendation
to the Recreation and Parks Department’s Dog Advisory Committee,
who will make final proposals to the Capital Projects division and the
- The San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare is discussing
an ordinance to license breeders (defined as all owners of unneutered/unspayed
animals) that would establish breeding standards and a licensing examination.
They are also looking into the possibility of an ordinance to prohibit
the declawing of cats, raising concerns that tail docking or ear cropping
could be next. Area fanciers are encouraged to monitor the situation
For more information about pending California legislation, contact
The Animal Council.
COLORADO – A district judge has upheld Denver’s
home-rule authority to ban “pit bulls” from the city. After
Governor Richardson signed HB1279, prohibiting breed-specific
ordinances, into law last April, dog owners were hopeful that Denver’s
ban would be overturned. The City of Denver sued the state and won,
claiming they had the right to regulate animals within their boundaries.
The city is expected to resume enforcement of the ban May 9th, so owners
have until then to remove any “pit bulls” from the city
limits. Under the ordinance, a “pit bull” is defined as
an American Pit Bull Terrier, an American Staffordshire Terrier, a Staffordshire
Bull Terrier or any dog displaying the majority of the physical traits
of this breed.
CONNECTICUT - Rep. Megna’s H6543
passed the Joint Committee on Insurance and Real Estate and was reported
out of the Legislative Commissioner’s Office to the House floor.
The bill prohibits insurers from using an owner’s breed of dog
as the basis for increased rates, cancellation of coverage, refusal
to renew or refusal to issue coverage. H6543 will allow
insurers to review the behavioral history of the individual dog and
make a risk assessment based on their deeds, not their breed. Two other
insurance bills, H5709 and S436 both
failed to pass out of committee prior to the joint favorable deadline.
- Rep. Miner’s H5445, a bill which would have
prohibited dogs from riding in the back of pick-up trucks, failed to
pass the Joint Transportation Committee.
- Rep. Hamm’s H6405, which would have required
that owners provide adequate shelter from weather conditions, failed
to meet the joint favorable deadline. An identical bill by Rep. Megna,
H6418, also failed to pass the Joint Committee on the
Environment. The Senate companion measure, S867, passed
the Joint Committee on Judiciary and has been referred to the Office
of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis.
- H5010 has been amended and is now pending before
the Joint Committee on Appropriations. The bill requires that the Commissioner
of Agriculture provide a report to the General Assembly regarding the
enforcement of laws pertaining to the sale of dogs under 1 year of age.
Originally, H1050 prohibited pet shops from selling
dogs under 1 year old.
For more information, please contact the Connecticut Dog Federation
at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
FLORIDA –Rep. Russell’s H255,
which will require veterinarians to administer rabies vaccinations using
a vaccine that is licensed by the US Department of Agriculture has passed
the House and is headed to the Senate. 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. A companion bill by Senator Rich, S898,
has passed the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Health Care and Community
Affairs and is on the Senate floor.
- H297, by Rep. Culp, increases penalties for knowingly
and intentionally torturing or tormenting an animal resulting in injury,
mutilation or death of the animal. A person convicted under this section
will be assessed a minimum, mandatory $5,000 fine and shall serve a
mandatory, minimum of 6 months in jail. H297 has been
referred to the House Committees of Agriculture and Criminal Justice
and to the State Resources Council. The companion bill, S558
has passed the Senate and is headed to the House.
- Broward County has recently opened an off-leash dog area at Markham
Park. According to the Sun Sentinel newspaper, the park will feature
two separate areas, one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs, as
well as agility equipment such as adjustable bars over which dogs can
jump and “dog logs,” tubes dogs can run through. At 2.73
acres this facility is the largest dog park in the country.
For additional information contact the Florida
Association of Kennel Clubs.
GEORGIA - Houston County is considering a plan to
limit residents to a total of three dogs and three cats. The proposal
must be approved by the local city governments. AKC is working with
local fanciers to oppose this proposal and recently sent letters to
all County Commissioners and city council members in affected cities.
For more information please contact the Macon
- Catoosa County has enacted a dangerous dog ordinance which deems
Chow Chows, Rottweilers, and “pit bull” terriers as vicious
dogs. AKC learned of this measure after its passage and sent a letter
asking the Council to reconsider the breed-specific language.
For more information on any of the above bills, contact the Georgia
HAWAII – HCR219 by Rep. Arakaki
requests a task force to investigate and report on the threat of dangerous
and vicious dogs to the public. The resolution is before the House Judiciary
Committee. A similar resolution in the Senate, Sen. Chun Oakland’s
SCR169, will be heard in the Senate Committees on Judiciary
and Hawaiian Affairs, and Intergovernmental Affairs.
- The City of Honolulu has revised their dangerous dog law to increase
the minimum fine from $50 to $500. Anyone with a previous conviction
within 5 years can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail or 1 year
on probation. The updated ordinance also requires the owner to pay for
boarding and retention of the dog if it is seized or impounded. Finally
it requires that any dog that has been declared vicious must be on a
leash no longer than 4 feet and in the control of a person over the
age of 18 when outside the owner’s premises.
ILLINOIS - HB315 was amended yet
again before passing the House last month. The bill no longer adds $3
to registration fees to pay for a low-cost spay/neuter program but instead
requires municipalities to impose dog and cat registration fees with
a minimum differential of $15 for intact animals. $10 of the differential
must be put toward animal population control. HB315
also imposes several new public safety fines--ranging from $25-$100--for
allowing a dog to run at large or bite. Portions of these fines must
also be donated to the state's pet population control programs. Additional
changes are made to Illinois's dangerous dog law. The bill does remove
an existing litter registration requirement. HB315
was referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.
- In April, consideration on HB1128 was postponed
in the House and the bill was sent back to the Rules Committee. Although
the original breed-specific language was removed, the bill requires
counties to register dogs and cats and requires the fee for unaltered
animals to be at least $10 higher than the fee for unaltered animals.
AKC and Illinois dog fanciers are concerned that counties could use
this provision as an excuse to enact extreme, unreasonable licensing
fees for those who keep intact animals. Such fees could prove unaffordable
to some responsible owners and breeders, many of whom may only keep
intact animals for the purposes of participating in conformation dog
shows or performance events. Additionally, Illinois is already struggling
with low licensing compliance, and extreme differentials could force
those rates to drop even further.
- Rep. Cross’s HB2719 amends the Animal Control
Act to redefine vicious and dangerous dogs. The bill allows an administrative
hearing to determine whether the dog is vicious, while under current
law the matter must go to court. HB2719 also allows
a dog to be deemed dangerous or vicious even if the dog was acting in
defense of itself, its owner, its offspring or a member of its household.
Local fanciers are concerned that HB2719 is overly
expansive. The bill is currently pending in the Rules Committee.
- HB2946 authored by Rep. Cross will make it illegal
for anyone convicted of a forcible felony, drug felony or animal abuse
felony from owning an unspayed or unneutered puppy older than 12 weeks
of age or an adult dog weighing more than 30 pounds. Any other dog must
be microchipped and spayed or neutered. The bill has passed the House
and will now proceed to the Senate.
- Sen. Dahl has introduced S1659 which amends the Animal
Control Act to provide that a serious injury includes death or injury
to an animal as well as a person. The bill is in the Rules Committee
awaiting referral to a policy committee.
To get involved in pending Illinois legislation, please contact the
Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders
MAINE – H1036, authored by
Sen. Piotti, will change the definition of a breeding kennel to include
anyone who sells 2 or more litters per year. Current law defines a breeder
as anyone who sells more than 16 dogs or cats per year. The bill also
requires that dogs older than 6 months be given a rabies vaccine within
30 days and adds definitions and penalties for abandoning an animal.
The bill will be heard in the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Conservation
- Rep. Thompson is sponsoring H1011 to increase the
fines for cruelty to animals. Civil fines would increase as follows:
first offense from $500 to $2500, second offense from $1,000 to $5,000,
third or subsequent offense from $5,000 to $10,000. Criminal fines would
increase from $250 for any offense to first offense between $1,000 to
$5,000, second offense between $2,000 to $5,000 and $5,000 to $10,000
for third or subsequent offenses. The bill has passed the Joint Committee
on Judiciary and will now be heard in the Joint Criminal Justice and
Public Safety Committee.
- The Town of Greenwood recently adopted a barking ordinance that would
prohibit a dog owner from allowing his or her dog to bark repeatedly.
Upon receipt of a sworn, signed statement, animal control officials
will investigate and if it is determined that the dog was barking unnecessarily,
a warning shall be issued for the first offense. If the barking continues
the fine shall be $25 for the second offense and each additional conviction
shall result in a $50 fine.
For additional information, please email
the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs or visit their webpage.
MARYLAND – Rep. McComas’s HB941
has passed both houses and will now proceed to Governor Ehrlich for
signature. 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, based on the fair market value to replace the pet.
A companion, Senator Stone’s SB347, has also
passed both houses and awaits the governor’s signature. For more
information about canine legislation in Maryland, contact the Maryland
MASSACHUSETTS – Sen. Brewer is sponsoring S844
to protect activities related to the training and use of hunting dogs
from prosecution under nuisance laws. Training areas must be compliance
with noise ordinances that were in place prior to the establishment
of the training ground. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary
- The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs reports that they are actively
lobbying in support of the following bills:
- H553, sponsored by Rep. Hill, establishes a reasonable,
enforceable dangerous dog law with specific definitions for "potentially
dangerous" and "vicious" dogs. The bill also prohibits
cities and counties from enacting breed-specific legislation.
- Introduced by Rep. Khan, HD2315 establishes animal
shelter reporting standards.
- Sponsored by Rep. Gobi, HD4390 prohibits insurance
companies from discriminating against homeowners based on the breed
of dog they own.
- The federation is also working to oppose H1346.
Sponsored by Rep. Kujawski, the bill would define "commercial breeder"
as anyone who produces and sells more than one litter per year. Fanciers
successfully defeated similar legislation in 2004.
- The Town of Pepperell is considering establishing a leash law. A
Dog Leash Law Study Committee had been established and has recommended
the ordinance. The cost of hiring a full time dog officer will also
factor into the Selectmen’s recommendation. The ordinance could
be put on the warrant (agenda whose items are voted on by members of
the town) for the Town Meeting in the fall.
- Residents of Spencer will be voting on a new vicious dog ordinance
at their May Town Meeting. The ordinance defines a vicious dog as any
wolf hybrid or any dog which attacks a person unless the person is trespassing
on the property of the owner of the dog, or any dog which attacks a
person or domestic animal when at-large. Owners of vicious dogs would
be required to register their dogs a vicious, post a sign on their property,
comply with special enclosure requirements and maintain 100,000 in liability
For more information, email
the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs or visit their webpage.
MINNESOTA – Sen. Skoglund has introduced S2066,
which increases penalties associated with dog fighting. The bill passed
the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Veterans and Gaming as well as
the Judiciary Committee and will now be heard in the Senate Crime Prevention
and Public Safety Committee. A companion bill, H1869,
has been referred to the House Committee on Public Safety Policy and
- The Dog Park Committee of Duluth is again trying to find sites for
two fenced off-leash dog parks. The Dog Park Committee was created by
the Parks and Recreation Department after citizens identified dog parks
as the city’s top recreational need. In the western portion a
possible site has been identified at Keene Creek Park. The eastern part
is proving more challenging as two sites have been rejected. They are
now considering part of the former Cobb School grounds.
- The City of St. Charles is in the process of rewriting their dangerous
dog statute. Originally, the plan included breed-specific language deeming
“pit bulls” and Rottweilers as vicious dogs, but that language
has been removed due to the hard work of local dog owners. AKC sent
a letter opposing the breed-specific language and provided dangerous
dog packets to local dog owners to give to the City Council. Congratulations
to all who worked to oppose this measure!
For more information, email the
Missouri Federation of Animal Owners or visit their webpage.
MISSOURI - SB 429 by Sen. Callahan
would provide a $100 tax credit to taxpayers that adopt a dog from an
animal shelter. The bill is currently in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
For more information on legislation in Missouri please email
the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners or visit their webpage.
NEW MEXICO – The City of Las Cruces is working
on an update to their dangerous dog law. The new ordinance will utilize
the dangerous dog definitions that were in SB432, which
was signed by Governor Richardson last month. They are also clarifying
existing law to make it clear that animals must be kept in a fenced
yard or dog run, rather than being tethered to a tree or chained. A
final change will clarify that animals in the back of pick-up trucks
must be tethered, but that wouldn’t be required of animals in
NEVADA – In March, A263 failed
to pass the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee in time and is now
ineligible for further action. The bill would have required veterinarians
to obtain informed consent when administering a vaccine or performing
a diagnostic procedure.
- A318 by Asm. Weber would have allowed a dog which
has killed or caused substantial bodily harm to another domesticated
animal without provocation to be euthanized in lieu of or in addition
to any other penalty. The bill failed to be acted upon prior to the
April 15th deadline and no further action is allowed on this bill.
NEW YORK - 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 dog over 20 pounds which has
been trained to attack or which has exhibited a vicious disposition.
Originally the bill specifically prohibited ownership of a “pit
bull,” Rottweiler or mix of those breeds weighing ten pounds or
more. The bill was amended to remove the breed-specific references and
the bill remains in the Assembly Committee on Codes.
- Asm. Townsend’s A6700 will increase the civil
penalties for the owner of a dog who bites a person or service dog.
If severe physical injury to a person occurs, the owner could be sentenced
to up to 1 year in prison. If the dog has previously been declared dangerous,
the crime becomes a Class D felony.
- A6873 by Rep. Magee makes changes to the state’s
animal license law. It allows licenses to be renewed for a period of
up to 3 years, provided that the animal’s rabies vaccine is current
through the expiration date of the license. The bill also sets fees
for the different lengths of licensing periods. A6873
passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee and will now be heard in the
Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.
- Asm. Hooker’s A6801 will increase penalties
for crimes associated with animal or ecological terrorism and create
a registry of animal and ecological terrorists. It will make tampering
with animals, such as releasing an animal from a research facility,
a Class E felony. It also creates a private right of action making violators
liable for damages, court costs, attorney fees and punitive damages.
In cases where an activist blocks entrance to, attacks, or destroys
an animal facility, the bill will establish penalties including fines
from $500-$10,000 and jail terms of up to five years. Anyone convicted
of these crimes must register with the state’s Attorney General.
A6801 has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee.
- Sen. Trunzo’s S3821 requires that animal housing
provided by pet dealers meet all fire safety standards set by the commissioner.
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection.
- The City of Ithaca has passed an ordinance requiring that dogs be
licensed by the age of four months. The previous ordinance required
that dogs be licensed by the time they were six months old. The change
brings Ithaca into compliance with a change in New York’s Agriculture
and Markets Law. The state has threatened municipalities who are not
in compliance with a loss of revenue from dog licenses.
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 - Rep. Gibson is sponsoring H685
to create a uniform system for the regulation of public and private
animal shelters. The bill passed the House Agriculture Committee and
will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee.
- Sponsored by Rep. Wilson, H862 will make it a crime
to remove an electronic collar from a dog anywhere in the state. The
bill has passed the House and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary
II Committee. A companion measure, Sen. Garwood’s S785,
is also in the Senate Judiciary II Committee.
- H1085, by Rep. Insko, will require that anyone arrested
on a dog fighting charge post a deposit to the animal shelter to pay
for the dog’s care prior to the adjudication of the charges. The
bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
- S918 by Sen. Hoyle, recognizes the right to hunt
and fish in North Carolina. The bill specifically protects the right
to hunt with dogs and recognizes its importance to the economy. The
bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary I Committee. S918
is supported by the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs because it
recognizes dogs as property and protects owners’ rights.
- Rutherford County officials continue to consider an animal control
ordinance that includes differential and breeder licensing. AKC is working
with local fanciers to oppose the legislation. The Rutherford County
Animal Owners are preparing an alternative draft to present to county
officials. Please contact the Rutherford
County Animal Owners Association for more information.
- Wilson County is in the process of revising its animal control ordinance.
The initial draft contained vague definitions and weak dangerous dog
provisions. Local fanciers are working with officials to write a more
precise, enforceable ordinance. AKC provided input, model legislation
and materials which were received.
For additional information on pending legislation in North Carolina,
contact the North Carolina Federation
of Dog Clubs.
OHIO – Rep. Walcher has introduced H189,
a bill to repeal Ohio’s current breed-specific law which lists
“pit bulls” as inherently vicious dogs. The bill will also
expand hearing rights for those whose dogs have been declared vicious
or dangerous. H189 does provide for additional remedies
for dangerous dogs including mandatory muzzling anytime the dog is off
the owner’s property and a limit of one dangerous dog per household.
The bill is currently in the Rules Committee awaiting referral to a
- The City of Columbus is considering a leash law. Under the current
draft ordinance, anyone caught without a leash can be fined up to $150.
To mitigate the impact on dog owners, the city is also examining the
possibility of establishing four off-leash dog parks. Three of the dog
park sites have been identified: Big Walnut Park, Three Creeks Park
and Big Run Park. The city is looking for a fourth site on the north
side of town.
For more information on pending legislation in Ohio please email
the Ohio Valley Dog Owners or visit their webpage,
or contact the Canine Friends
OKLAHOMA – The City of Muskogee has passed a
new ordinance requiring that all dogs be vaccinated against rabies and
be licensed. The new ordinance also restricts those on residential lots
to a maximum of 4 dogs. Anyone owning more than 4 dogs must apply for
a kennel permit, which will only be issued for appropriately zoned properties
that have a specific type of fence. Anyone owning more than 4 dogs at
the time of the adoption of the ordinance will receive a one-time exemption
provided their dogs are vaccinated and that they were in compliance
with all previous animal regulations. Failure to comply with these provisions
will result in a $200 fine plus court costs. Intentional abandonment
of a dog will result in a $500 fine and/or 30 days in jail plus court
OREGON – The City of Bend has recently opened
a new off-leash dog park in the Old Mill District. The site is temporary
pending the sale of the vacant lot, which will eventually house a retail
shop. The developer said that they have no plans to sell for at least
a year and local residents hope that by then the Bend Metro Park Recreation
District will have completed their work on an off-leash area at Big
Sky Park. The district is considering incorporating off-leash areas
into the parks they are developing within the Old Mill District neighborhood.
PENNSYLVANIA – Sen. Kasunic is sponsoring H626
which amends the state’s dangerous dog law to add civil liability
for an owner whose dog inflicts serious injury or death on any human
being. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Agriculture
and Rural Affairs. Additional information about pending dog laws in
Pennsylvania can be obtained by contacting the Pennsylvania
Federation of Dog Clubs.
RHODE ISLAND – Rep. Codeere has introduced H6371
to allow the City of Pawtucket to impose an annual license fee of $15
for spayed or neutered dogs, and a fee of $25 for intact animals. For
residents over 65 years of age, the fees would be $5 and $10 respectively.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Corporations.
- H6263, sponsored by Rep. Voccola, establishes a
consumer protection act for puppy purchasers. The bill requires sellers
to maintain health records on each puppy for two years, holds breeders
liable for disease or death of an animal within twenty days, and holds
them liable for hereditary diseases diagnosed within two years. The
bill mandates that sellers disclose certain provisions to buyers and
also requires written contracts. A breeder who sells fewer than twenty
dogs or three litters in one calendar year is exempt from the regulations
in this bill. H6263 has been referred to the House
Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Sen. Hawkins’s S626
will make it illegal to confine or restrict the movement of an animal
in a way that inflicts extended and unnecessary suffering upon an animal.
S626 will be heard in the Committee on Agriculture
and Natural Resources.
- Aiken County is drafting a new vicious dog ordinance which vaguely
prohibits the ownership of any breed of animal which “attacks
people” unless the owner is a licensed dog trainer. The county
has also directed the staff to come up with a method to test any animal
to determine if it attacks people. The County expects to have a draft
in mid-May. This proposal was sparked by a recent attack by “pit
bulls” on a woman whose arm had to be amputated. AKC has sent
a letter and dangerous dog materials including model ordinances to members
of the County Council.
TENNESSEE - Responsible Animal Owners of Tennessee
(RAOT), dog clubs, fanciers, and AKC continue to oppose various onerous
bills this session, including H148/S1686, which would
require anyone who breeds and sells more than one litter of puppies
per year to be licensed and inspected as a "dealer." Their
efforts have paid off in that several of these bills have stalled in
committee. Additional information can be found on RAOT's website.
TEXAS - Rep. Edwards’s HB1096
passed out of the House and has been assigned to the Senate Committee
on Criminal Justice. The bill will exempt cities with a population of
1.9 million or more (i.e. Houston) from the statewide ban on breed-specific
ordinances. The bill makes an unprovoked attack by a dog on another
person a Class B misdemeanor, unless the attack causes serious bodily
injury or death, in which case the offense is a third-degree felony.
However, “attack” is not defined, and owners have no opportunity
to defend themselves in court, leaving them liable for up to $10,000
in civil penalties. The bill further requires that all dogs be kept
in a secure, locked enclosure, or on a leash under the owner’s
control at all times, regardless of whether the dog is dangerous. Violations
of the leash law will be a Class C misdemeanor! Senator Ellis’s
companion bill, SB1111, has gone dormant as the Senate
focuses its attention on H1096.
AKC is working with Responsible Pet Owners Alliance to oppose the measure,
but more help is needed to stop this bill. For more information, please
email RPOA or visit their webpage.
- Rep. Eissler is sponsoring HB663, which makes it
a nuisance for dogs to bark or make other noises outside. The bill directs
animal control to take into account the time of day, proximity of the
noise to others and whether the barking is intermittent or constant
when determining a violation. If passed the law would make violations
a Class C misdemeanor publishable by a fine of not less than $50 and
not more than $200. The bill is limited to counties with a population
of 275,000 which are adjacent to a county with a population of 3.3 million
or more (i.e. Harris County). The bill has passed the House Committee
on County Affairs and is in Calendars waiting to be sent to the full
- HB2840 by Rep. Chisum will make changes to the dangerous
dog law by establishing a vague definition of “unprovoked attack”
as one that occurs whenever a dog is outside of a locked, secure enclosure,
regardless of whether the dog is being teased, tormented or defending
its owner and its property. Furthermore, a person defending his or herself
from such an attack is permitted to use any means necessary and is exempt
from liability damages. The bill has passed the House Committee on State
Affairs and it is now in Calendars waiting to be assigned to the floor.
–HB326 by Rep. Goodman to amend the state's
cruelty law has been held in the Agriculture and Livestock Committee
after failing to garner enough votes for passage. It is at the discretion
of Committee Chairman Hardcastle to bring the bill up for another vote.
Fanciers were able to stall the bill after conveying several concerns
about how it would affect training and hunting with dogs. A companion
measure, SB172 is in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
For more information, please read our Legislative
- The El Paso Animal Health and Welfare Committee is getting ready to
send a draft of new a new animal control ordinance to the City Council.
The ordinance could be voted on as early as May. The regulations include
a $125 permit to breed an animal, a one-litter-a-year limit, a $45 kennel
permit (which requires a home inspection) to keep more than 5 dogs,
cats or ferrets, and mandatory microchipping of all animals. Dedicated
fanciers have gotten this proposal sent back to the drafting board and
they will have representation on the committee. Please contact Jinnie
Strickland of the Onate Trail Dog Fanciers Association for more
The City of Austin is considering a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.
Exceptions would be allowed only if the animal is deemed medically unsuited
to the procedure, the animal is kept in Austin less than 30 days in
one year or if the owner purchases an intact animal permit. Intact animal
permits will cost $500 per owner, plus an additional $10 for each animal
that is intact. For more information, please contact George
Armstrong of the Austin Kennel Club or RPOA.
For more information on the above bills, email
the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance or visit their webpage.
VERMONT - S66 has been favorably
amended. The bill would have amended 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. The new bill creates a task force to study this issue and includes
representatives of the Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs and a local kennel
club. Congratulations to the Vermont federation and all fanciers who
worked so hard to oppose this measure.
Please contact the Vermont Federation
of Dog Clubs for additional information on pending Vermont legislation.
VIRGINIA - Localities in Virginia are considering
ordinances which limit or prohibit tethering of dogs. Northhampton County,
Norfolk and Virginia Beach have enacted ordinances and Smithfield is
reviewing a proposed ordinance on the subject and Newport News plans
to consider a proposal later this year.
- The City of Spotsylvania is reviewing its dangerous dog law in light
of several recent dog attacks. AKC is working with local fanciers to
ensure that the city adopts a strong, enforceable, non-breed specific
ordinance. Council members have been receptive to the model ordinances
presented by local dog owners. For more information, contact Maureen
For more information on pending Virginia legislation, please contact
the Virginia Federation of Dog Owners
WASHINGTON– Rep. Campbell’s H1016,
which prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against homeowners
based on the breed of dog they own, has failed to pass the Senate prior
to adjournment, however it can be voted on when session resumes in January.
The American Kennel Club supports this bill and urges dog owners to
contact their state representative and ask them to vote “Yes”
- H1150 failed to pass the Senate before adjournment.
The bill can be voted on when session resumes in January. H1150
makes an important correction to the Washington State Dangerous Dog
Law by preventing a prosecutor from introducing any evidence of a dog’s
breed when trying an owner whose dog has severely injured or killed
a person, in order to try to prove to the jury that the dog was dangerous.
Currently the law states that the prosecutor cannot “solely”
rely on evidence of a dog’s breed to prove knowledge of dangerousness.
By removing the word “solely,” owners in Washington State
will be better protected from arbitrary discrimination.
- 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 passed
both houses and is headed to Governor Gregoire’s desk for signature.
- The Vancouver City Council approved revisions to the city’s
leash law in order to accommodate proposed off-leash dog parks in Clark
County. The Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Department is working
with local dog owners to ensure that private community groups will provide
money for construction and maintenance. The county has identified 3
sites to construct the parks: Bonneville Powers Ross Complex near Hazel
Dell, Pacific Park and Hockinson Community Park, and a 240 acre site
at Northeast 172nd Avenue and 119th Street.
WEST VIRGINIA – S588, authored
by Senator Unger, will create an intervention program for youths who
engage in animal cruelty. The bill passed both houses and is now awaiting
a signature from Governor Manchin.
WISCONSIN – AB247, authored
by Rep. Hines, would change the dates when late fees on dog licenses
are assessed from April 1st to February 1st. The bill has been assigned
to the House Committee on Urban Affairs. The Dog Federation of Wisconsin
is concerned about the impact of this bill because several Wisconsin
clubs hold health clinics where dogs can be licensed in February and
March. Owners would no longer be able to take advantage of those clinics
without incurring a late fee if AB247 is enacted. For
more information contact the Dog Federation
ONTARIO, CANADA – As we reported last month,
the Ontario Legislature has passed Bill 132, a bill
banning “pit bulls” by prohibiting the breeding, purchase
or importation of “pit bulls.” Under this law, “pit
bulls” are defined as Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire
Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers or dogs which have “an appearance
and physical characteristics that are substantially similar” to
any of the breeds listed. The law will go into effect August 29, 2005.
New information has been released about how this ordinance will affect
travelers and those participating in dog shows. The following information
from the Canadian Kennel Club provides information regarding the impact
of Bill 132 in Ontario.
OWNING A RESTRICTED PIT BULL IN ONTARIO
1) Current owners may keep existing dogs or those born within 90 days
after August 29 as long as they comply with the act.
2) After the ban comes into effect, a person who did not own any pit
bulls may acquire one (1) restricted pit bull.
3) A person who owned one (1) or more pit bulls on August 29 will be
able to acquire more as long as the number does not exceed the total
owned on August 29.
PARTICIPATING AT AN ONTARIO EVENT WITH A RESTRICTED PIT BULL
1) All breeds recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club, can still participate
in Official CKC Events. The dog must have participated in at least one
approved event during the 365 day period prior to August 29, 2005 within
Ontario or elsewhere.
2) Muzzle and leash restrictions are not required while the dog is on
the site and participating in an approved event.
3) The sterilization of a dog participating in approved dog events is
TRAVELLING FROM OUTSIDE ONTARIO TO AN APPROVED EVENT
1) Restricted dogs traveling in Ontario must be registered with the
CKC or other approved registry as listed in the act.
2) Such dogs may only be in the province during 14 day periods that
include an approved dog event in which the dog participated (provide
copy of entry as documentation).
3) The dog is not required to be sterilized.
4) Except when at an approved dog event the dog must be muzzled and
leashed in public.