Legislation That Affects You
ALABAMA – S82 passed the House Judiciary Committee
and now proceeds to the full House. The bill establishes a procedure
by which a dog can be declared dangerous, provides an appeal process
and requires that a dog found to be a significant threat to public health
and safety be humanely euthanized. Owners of dangerous dogs may be fined
up $300 for the first offense and $600 for a second offense. The dog
is also required to be registered with the city or county for an unspecified
CALIFORNIA – The Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors has given tentative approval to a new mandatory spay/neuter
ordinance for all dogs. Exceptions are made only if
the dog is a law enforcement dog, a service animal or qualifies as a
“competition dog.” In addition, owners of intact animals
that qualify are required to purchase a $60 permit for each dog. AKC
is working with local fanciers and concerned dog owners to oppose this
measure. To find out more details about this proposal and how you can
help please read our Legislative
- Sen. Lowenthal’s SB 1578 passed the Senate
Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development and now
proceeds to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill prohibits
tethering, chaining or tying a dog to a tree, house or stationary object.
- Asm. Hancock’s AB 2110 has passed the Assembly
Public Safety Committee with amendments. “Field coursing,”
has been changed to “live field coursing” and is defined
as “a competition in which dogs are, by the use of rabbits,
hares, or foxes, assessed as to skill in hunting live rabbits, hares,
or foxes.” The bill now outlaws AKC Basset Hound, Beagle
and Dachshund Field Trials. The original bill language targeted events
where the rabbit, hare or fox were killed. In AKC events, dogs track
the scent of the rabbit, but do not kill the animal. Fanciers
and concerned dog owners are asked to contact their representative in
the state assembly immediately to oppose this legislation as it is currently
drafted. The Assembly Appropriations Committee will now consider the
- The Berkley Citizens Humane Commission is considering an ordinance
to require "pit bull" owners in the city to spay or neuter
their dogs unless they obtain a $100 breeding permit and comply with
a host of regulations. The ordinance defines "pit bulls" as
American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire
Bull Terriers and any dog displaying the physical traits of these breeds.
For more information on this proposal, please see our Legislative
CONNECTICUT – The Joint Committee on Environment
is sponsoring H5743, a bill to establish a training
and certification program for municipal animal control officers. The
Joint Committee on Planning and Development will hear the bill.
- H5751 is also sponsored by the Joint Committee on
Environment and will enable animal control officers to issue citations.
The measure further provides that the officer involved can not be a
member of a hearing board if the citation is appealed. The bill has
been referred to the Joint Committee on Judiciary.
- A final bill by the Joint Committee on Environment, H5795,
will require any impounded animal to be spayed or neutered, even if
the animal is reclaimed by the owner. The proposal will further establish
low cost spay/neuter programs and increases redemption fees. The measure
passed the Joint Committee on Environment and will now proceed to the
Joint Appropriations Committee.
FLORIDA - Sen. Bullard’s S470
has failed to be put on the hearing calendar for the Senate Commerce
and Consumer Services Committee, effectively prohibiting the bill from
moving any further. The bill would have required anyone who offered
a dog or cat for sale to provide animal purchase disclosures with the
sale of each dog or cat. Such disclosures would include information
about the breeder, and the animal’s birth, origin, and registration
information, if applicable. The Florida Association of Kennel Clubs
has worked to oppose S470. For more information please
contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Senate Agriculture Committee has temporarily deferred Sen. Bullard’s
S674. This bill would require pet dealers (defined
as persons who sell more than two litters or 20 dogs or cats per year)
to be licensed and inspected at least once a year. The bill would further
institute a dealer license fee of $100 for a pet dealer selling more
than 25 dogs or cats per year, and a fee of $25 for pet dealers selling
fewer than 25 animals. Pet dealers will also be required to display
license information in advertisements. S674 also includes several additional
modifications to the state’s existing pet dealer law. The Florida
Association of Kennel Clubs also opposes S674. For more information
please contact them at email@example.com.
- The Palm Beach County Commission is considering a proposal by the
animal control director to assess a $300 fine for any intact animal
that is reclaimed at a shelter. AKC has sent a letter to the commissioners
and the animal control director encouraging them not to support such
an unreasonably high fine for a first offense.
GEORGIA – Rep. Knight’s H1497
was sent to Governor Perdue. The bill will define a vicious dog as one
that is owned or trained for the purpose of fighting, or one that, on
a previous occasion known to the owner, has attacked or injured any
human being without provocation. Exemptions are included for dogs that
attack people who are trespassing or teasing the animal. H1497
further provides penalties for violators. The Georgia Canine Coalition
is supporting the measure with reservations, as they would prefer to
see a complete overhaul made to the state’s dangerous dog law
in the 2007-08 session. For more information about this bill and other
pending legislation in Georgia, please contact the Georgia Canine Coalition
HAWAII – Rep. Moses is sponsoring HCR207,
a resolution to recognize the importance of dog training and to promote
the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizenship program. The
House Judiciary Committee will consider the resolution.
IDAHO –S1396 has been sent to Governor Kempthorne.
The bill will amend the state animal cruelty laws and will expand the
duties of animal control officers. S1396 also allows
for an expedited forfeiture hearing to determine whether the owner of
a seized animal will pay for the boarding and care of the animal or
if they will relinquish ownership. This provision is intended to decrease
the costs for local agencies to care for the animals pending adjudication
of the charges.
ILLINOIS – Rep. Berrios is sponsoring HR1026,
a resolution to encourage municipalities not to enact breed-specific
legislation, to pass laws that target irresponsible dog owners and to
encourage programs that educate residents. The resolution has passed
the House Committee on Local Government and will now go before the full
- Rep. Boland’s HJR101 establishes the Vicious
and Dangerous Dog Task Force to study and make recommendations concerning
how to best protect the public from dog attacks. The 17-member panel
will include representatives from the veterinary community, animal control
community, a not-for-profit humane society, the American Kennel Club
and an animal behaviorist. The resolution has passed out of the House
Committee on Agriculture and Conservation and will be voted on by the
full House. AKC strongly supports this effort to identify strategies
that effectively address dangerous dogs. SJR80, sponsored
by Sen. Harmon, is the Senate companion bill.
- Rep. Chapa-LaVia’s H4711 passed both houses
and now proceeds to the governor. The bill increases penalties relating
to dog fighting from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.
If a person who is under thirteen years of age is brought to a dog fight,
the parent, guardian or adult who brought the child would be charged
with a Class 4 felony for a first offense.
- Rep. Boland’s H4238 passed both houses and
is headed to Governor Blagojevich. The bill has been amended to provide
that owners of dogs who allow their animals to run loose and seriously
injure or kill someone will be guilty of a Class 4 felony. Previously,
H4238 punished only owners of intact dogs who committed
this crime. AKC, the Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders Association, and
concerned dog owners successfully argued that stronger penalties for
dangerous dog violations should apply to all owners, not just those
who own unaltered animals.
- The City of Elgin is investigating dangerous dog legislation, including
possibly enacting breed-specific legislation. AKC sent a letter encouraging
officials to pursue a non-discriminatory dangerous dog ordinance, and
forwarded sample dangerous dog legislation to members of the city council.
- AKC has learned that Hoffman Estates has a breed-specific ordinance
which declares “pit bulls,” defined as American Pit Bull
Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers
or any mixed breed dog with similar characteristics, to be vicious animals.
The ordinance requires that “pit bulls” be confined indoors
or in a locked pen, muzzled when off the owner’s property, and
that owners post signs stating that there is a vicious dog on the premises.
AKC has sent a letter encouraging the city council to repeal this ordinance
in favor of a dangerous dog ordinance that targets irresponsible owners.
For more information on legislative issues in Illinois please contact
the Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders Association at MAJWIZ@aol.com.
INDIANA – Governor Daniels singed H1418
into law. The new law requires that major and minor kennels be inspected
by specified persons before a license is issued by a township assessor.
- A proposal before the Indianapolis City Council that would have declared
Rottweilers and “pit bulls” to be vicious dogs has died
because the author did not bring it up for a vote in time to meet a
deadline. The Hoosier Rottweiler Club and other concerned dog owners
worked hard to educate city council members about the ineffectiveness
of breed-specific ordinances and are to be commended for their dedication.
KANSAS – The Leavenworth City Council is considering
breed-specific legislation. The council reviewed a similar proposal
in 2004 and decided against a breed-specific ordinance. AKC has sent
copies of our dangerous dog packets, containing model dangerous dog
legislation, as well as a letter opposing a breed-specific ordinance
to members of the city council.
KENTUCKY – H733 failed to pass before the legislature
adjourned. The measure would have prohibited insurance companies from
refusing to issue or renew a homeowner’s insurance policy based
upon the breed of dog owned by the insured.
- The Louisville Metro Council continues to pursue changes to its animal
control ordinance. The latest draft from the task force includes breed-specific
language, possible fee increases, burdensome confinement provisions
and will allow an animal control officer more latitude to issue citations.
To find our more details about the situation in Louisville, please see
our Legislative Alert.
To find out how you can assist in fighting this measure please contact
the Louisville Kennel Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- AKC was notified by the Paducah Kennel Club that the Mayfield City
Council adopted a breed-specific ordinance that deems Rottweilers and
“pit bulls” to be vicious dogs. The new ordinance does not
define what constitutes a “pit bull.” AKC sent a letter
to members of the city council asking them to repeal the ordinance in
favor of a non-discriminatory dangerous dog ordinance. AKC also provided
Paducah Kennel Club members with lobbying packets to help them work
with the city council to reverse this law.
- Nearby Crittenden County is also considering adopting a breed-specific
ordinance. AKC has sent a letter of opposition and is working with members
of the Paducah Kennel Club to educate local officials about the ineffectiveness
of a breed-specific ordinance.
LOUISIANA - Rep. Hopkins introduced H549,
a bill to expand the current law which makes it illegal to interfere
with animal research facilities to also include concealing an animal
that has bitten or inflicted serious bodily injury to any human. The
bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Administration of Criminal
- H772, authored by Rep. Crowe, will create the Louisiana
Pet Registry. Owners will be able to register their pets and obtain
a unique identifier number. The fee will be $15 for each intact animal,
and intact animals much be registered every three years. Animals that
are spayed or neutered will be registered for a fee of $7.50 and will
only need to be registered once. H772 has been referred
to the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural
- In the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Sen. Fontenot has
introduced S607, a bill to require the creation of
disaster plans for service animals and household pets. Animal shelters,
humane societies, veterinary offices, boarding kennels, breeders, grooming
facilities, hospitals, schools, animal testing facilities and any other
business or not for profit agencies that house pets will be required
to create evacuation plans to be submitted to the Louisiana Department
of Agriculture and Forestry and their local parish. These plans shall
be made available to the public upon request. The Senate Judiciary Committee
B will hear the bill.
MAINE – Governor Baldacci signed H1321
into law. The bill repeals a surcharge that is currently assessed for
intact animals sold by a breeding kennel. The bill also changes the
definition of a kennel from a facility that exchanges more than 16 dogs
or cats in one year to any facility which houses more than 5 dogs, cats
or wolf hybrids for the purpose of breeding, buying or selling. Finally,
this legislation makes it a crime to endanger a companion animal.
MASSACHUSETTS - H3650 will prohibit shelters from
importing animals from other countries, US territories, Alaska or Hawaii.
The measure has been set aside for further study by the Joint Committee
on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. The Massachusetts
Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Owners supports the bill.
– H4516, by Rep. Gobi, has been heard by the
Joint Committee on Financial Services and is now eligible for Executive
Session. The bill will prohibit insurance companies from refusing to
issue, renew or charging an increased premium based on the breed of
dog residing at the property. The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs
and Responsible Dog Owners is working with Rep. Gobi to promote the
bill, and the Canine Legislation department sent a letter of support
- S1190, authored by Sen. Moore, will allow local
governments to require specified training for animal control officers.
The bill has passed the Senate Committee on Municipalities and Regional
Government and has now been referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics
For more information on these bills and pending legislation in Massachusetts,
please contact the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible
Dog Owners at email@example.com.
MISSOURI – H1686, Rep. Chappelle-Nadal’s
bill to require owners of “pit bulls” to obtain a state
permit, has been referred to the House Agriculture Policy Committee.
To find out more about this important legislation, please see our Legislative
- Rep. Deeken is sponsoring HCR 44, a resolution to
encourage dog training programs and kennel clubs in Missouri to provide
training and education for pet owners based on the AKC’s Canine
Good Citizenship program.
- The City of Springfield approved a breed-specific dangerous dog ordinance
that has been under discussion since late 2005. Owners or “pit
bulls,” defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire
Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers and mixed breed dogs with similar
characteristics, are required to register with the city, pay a $50 fee,
as well as get the dog sterilized and microchipped. Any time a “pit
bull” is off the owner’s property it must be leashed and
muzzled. A narrow exception is provided for show dogs. The AKC worked
with the Ozarks Kennel Club and sent the city council letters opposing
breed-specific legislation, as well as samples of generic, reasonable
and enforceable dangerous dog laws.
For more information on legislative issues in Missouri, contact the
Missouri Federation of Animal Owners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW JERSEY – Sen. Weinberg’s S695
has been assigned to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.
The bill will allow municipalities to charge up to $21 annually for
dog licenses. Current law caps the amount at a maximum of $7.
- S1753, authored by Sen. Asselta, will provide for
civil action against a person committing an act of cruelty against a
domestic companion animal. The bill has been referred to the Senate
Economic Growth Committee.
- Asm. Caraballo A2645’s has been assigned to
the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. The bill would
prohibit landlords, not including apartment complexes, from refusing
to lease or renew a lease because of a pet. To be covered by this law,
an animal would have to be spayed or neutered and the owner must be
in compliance with local animal control laws.
To find out how you can assist with legislative issues in New Jersey,
please contact the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs at email@example.com.
NEW YORK - Sen. Maltese has introduced S7056,
a bill that will prohibit the confinement of companion animals in vehicles
in extreme temperatures. The bill also authorizes certain officers and
peace officers to remove animals from a vehicle when the owner can not
be located. A person found guilty under this section will be assessed
a $15 fine. The Senate Agriculture Committee will hear the bill. The
Responsible Dog Owners of New York and the Long Island Coalition of
Dog Owners both support this proposal.
For more information on legislative issues in New York please contact
the Long Island Coalition of Dog Owners at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Responsible Dog Owners Association of New York at Lettis@webtv.net.
OHIO – Rep. Webster’s H533,
a bill to remove the provision in state law that deems “pit bulls”
to be dangerous dogs, has been assigned to the House Committee on Agriculture
and Natural Resources. The measure will allow local governments to enact
breed-specific ordinances. For more information about H533,
please contact Ohio Valley Dog Owners at email@example.com.
OKLAHOMA – H2813, authored by Rep. Denney, has
been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill requires
owners of dogs that have been declared dangerous to obtain $100,000
worth of liability insurance. The bill further requires that owners
of dangerous dogs that have escaped their property serve forty hours
of community service in addition to possible fines and jail time.
RHODE ISLAND – The House Committee on Health,
Education and Welfare has recommended that Rep. Voccola’s H6829
be held for further study. The bill would have created a new chapter
to establish warranties, remedies and disclosure notices pertaining
to the sale of dogs.
SOUTH CAROLINA – H4804, authored by Rep. McGee,
will enact the Protection of Pets and Companion Animals Act of 2006.
The bill will make it a felony, resulting in up to five years confinement
or a $5,000 fine, to steal a companion animal with the intent to sell
that animal to a scientific research facility. The measure has been
assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
- The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee is sponsoring
S1241, a bill that will make it illegal to confine
an animal in such a way that it inflicts extended and unnecessary suffering
upon an animal.
- The Rock Hill City Council was considering a proposal to declare
Rottweilers and “pit bulls,” defined as Bull Terriers, Staffordshire
Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and mixed breeds with similar
characteristics, to be vicious dogs. The measure would have required
that these dogs be kept in a locked pen and muzzled when walked. The
city council pulled this item from their agenda after a public outcry.
AKC congratulates fanciers and concerned dog owner who worked hard to
oppose this measure.
TENNESSEE – Rep. Tindell’s H3511
passed the House Agriculture Committee and now proceeds to the House
Committee on Finance, Ways and Means. The bill will establish a program
to reimburse counties for providing low cost spay/neuter programs. H3511
also creates a statewide education campaign about the benefits of spaying
VIRGINIA - Sen. Stolle’s S574
has been signed by Governor Kane. The new law prohibits giving away
any unweaned dog or cat. The Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs had requested
a specific exemption for rejected or orphaned animals. For more information
on legislation in Virginia, please contact the Virginia Federation of
Dog Clubs at Luvwelsh@aol.com.
WEST VIRGINIA – HCR101, sponsored by Rep. Frich,
failed to pass the House prior to adjournment. The measure requested
that the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the feasibility
and effectiveness of requiring owners of vicious dogs to carry liability