Legislation That Affects You
ALABAMA – S82 was passed by the Senate Judiciary
Committee. S82 is the companion measure to Rep. Ward’s
H27. The bills establish a procedure by which a dog
can be declared dangerous, provide an appeal process and require 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 fee.
- H252 has passed the House and will proceed to the
Senate. The bill would require the sterilization of all dogs and cats
sold by public and private animal shelters, animal control agencies
or humane societies.
- The City of Tuscaloosa has rejected a proposal to require certain
breeds to be muzzled when in public. The city council is looking into
increasing the fines for animal cruelty, limiting tethering and increasing
enforcement of existing laws. AKC sent materials, including sample dangerous
dog ordinances and a letter opposing breed-specific legislation, to
the members of the city council.
ARIZONA – Rep. Lujan’s H2447
will expand the dangerous dog law to include injury of a domestic pet
in the definition of a vicious dog and to require that dangerous dogs
be sterilized and microchipped. The bill has been referred to the House
CALIFORNIA – The Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors has requested staff to draft a proposal to impose mandatory
spay/neuter and breeding restrictions on all “pit bulls”
and Rottweilers in the unincorporated areas of the county. The Board
of Supervisors is expected to vote on the ordinance at their February
21st meeting. 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
- Thanks to successful opposition efforts by AKC and the fancy, AB418,
Asm. Koretz’s bill to prohibit ear cropping, was placed on the
Appropriations Suspense file last May but was eligible for reconsideration
this year. The bill failed to meet a procedural deadline and has now
effectively died. Congratulations to all the fanciers who worked to
oppose this measure.
- Asm. Yee’s AB450 will require that the emergency
management system include plans for residents with household pets, service
animals and livestock following a major disaster or emergency. The bill
passed the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee and now proceeds
to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- Asm. Koretz’s AB762, a bill to set standards
for animal groomers and to prevent them from practicing veterinary medicine,
died because it did not receive a hearing prior to a procedural deadline.
- AB1428, a bill to prohibit the sale or transfer
of cloned or genetically modified pets, failed to pass the Assembly
Business and Professions Committee prior to a recent deadline. The bill
is now dead.
- The City of Fresno has adopted a leash law and increased license
fees for animals that are not spayed and neutered. The license fee for
intact animals will be $10, and the fee for sterilized animals will
be $4. The city is also planning to crack down on dog owners who abuse
their animals or train them to be aggressive or fight.
COLORADO – S54, a bill that would permit cities
and counties to enact breed-specific ordinances, failed to pass the
Senate Local Government Committee. You can read more about this proposal
in our Legislative Alert.
- Sen. Owen’s S25 has passed the Senate and
will now be heard by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill would require
owners of dangerous dogs to post signs on their property, notify certain
service providers of the presence of a dangerous dog, and notify the
animal protection bureau if the animal’s status changes. The bill
further requires that the court confiscate a dangerous dog if it inflicts
serious bodily injury or if another dog owned by the same resident is
involved in an incident.
- Rep. Solano is sponsoring H1146 to increase penalties
for animal cruelty. The bill would establish proper care conditions
including specified types of shelter, adequate food, available water
and limitations on tethering. The bill has been referred to the House
Judiciary Committee. The Colorado Federation of Kennel Clubs is opposed
to the bill because they feel it is overly prescriptive, and that the
existing Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act already allows the Agriculture
Department to inspect and regulate commercial facilities.
- H1057, by Rep. Stafford, has passed the House Judiciary
Committee and will now proceed to the House Appropriations Committee.
The bill will increase penalties for owning a dangerous dog that inflicts
bodily harm or serious injury. H1057 will also prohibit
a person convicted of an animal cruelty offense from owning an animal,
and further increases the penalties for aggravated animal cruelty. The
bill specifically exempts police and law enforcement dogs from being
classified as dangerous animals, but does classify dogs that have been
trained to attack people or property as dangerous dogs.
- The City of Centennial is considering a proposal to ban “pit
bulls.” The issue has been discussed in recent meetings, but no
formal draft has been written. The AKC sent a letter opposing breed-specific
legislation to the mayor and members of the city council.
- Lafayette is also considering a breed-specific proposal, although
a draft is not yet available. The city will be discussing the proposal
at their February 21st meeting. AKC has sent the mayor and city council
a statement opposing breed-specific measures and offering model dangerous
- The City of Federal Heights continues to work on a draft of a new
dangerous dog ordinance, though a hearing date has not yet been set.
AKC contacted the mayor and city council to encourage adoption of a
generic dangerous dog ordinance that does not single out specific breeds.
- Lakewood has decided not to pursue breed-specific legislation, and
the city attorney is working to draft a new generic dangerous dog ordinance.
AKC has forwarded sample ordinances to the city and has sent a statement
to city officials voicing support for a reasonable dangerous dog law.
For more information on legislative issues in Colorado, please
contact the Colorado Federation
of Dog Clubs, Inc.
FLORIDA - Sen. Rich is sponsoring S1484,
a bill to require that the shelter component of the state emergency
management plan contain strategies to ensure adequate shelter space
for evacuees with pets. A companion bill, H545, has
been filed by Rep. Detert in the House.
- The Volusia County Animal Control Advisory Board is having a workshop
on Tuesday, February 28, at 9:30a.m.regarding proposed animal rescue
group guidelines. Restrictions under consideration include requiring
inspections of all foster homes, requiring rescues to be licensed by
the county and a prohibition on soliciting donations unless the rescue
is a 501 (c) 3. For additional information contact Florida
Animal Owners Alliance.
To find out more about how you can assist with legislative issues
in Florida, please contact the Florida
Association of Kennel Clubs.
HAWAII – Rep. Yamane has introduced H2252,
a bill to require the state’s Department of Defense to conduct
a cost benefit analysis of providing accommodations for pets at shelters.
The measure has been assigned to the House Public Safety and Military
- H2784, authored by Rep. Nishimoto, requires that
a dog walked on public property be leashed and muzzled. There is an
exemption for dogs who have received their AKC Canine Good Citizenship
certificate or who have completed an obedience course taught by an instructor
certified by the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors or
the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. The bill has been referred to the
House Judiciary Committee.
- The House Judiciary Committee will also hear H3239,
Rep. Luke’s animal cruelty bill. The bill allows a court to forfeit
an animal before the trial on an animal cruelty charge and would permit
the court to allow a defendant to post a bond in lieu of forfeiture.
Further, H3239 would allow a law enforcement officer
to enter private property to care for or impound an animal that is being
subjected to cruelty. There is concern over the amount of power designated
to law enforcement officials with regard to the burden placed on dog
- H3240, sponsored by Rep. Luke, creates a new Class
C felony of aggravated animal cruelty and requires offenders convicted
of this type of offense to undergo treatment for behavior or conduct
disorders. The House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee will hear
- Sen. Hanabusa has introduced S2924, a bill to allow
a shelter or humane society that is holding an animal during an animal
cruelty trial to petition a court for an order of forfeiture of the
animal prior to the disposition of criminal charges. The court is required
to hold a hearing on the matter within 14 days, and if the court finds
sufficient evidence that the defendant has committed an animal cruelty
offense, the defendant must post a security deposit or bond to cover
costs incurred by the shelter or humane society.
- Sen. Hanabusa’s S2930 will clarify that costs
incurred caring for abused or neglected animals are the responsibility
of the abuser. The measure has been referred to the House Committee
on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs.
IDAHO – The House Agriculture Affairs Committee
is sponsoring H516, legislation that will make it a
felony to participate in certain activities related to dog fighting
exhibitions. According to the Associated Press, Idaho is one of only
two states where dog fighting is not a felony. AKC opposes dog fighting
and has sent the committee a statement of support.
ILLINOIS – Rep. Mitchell’s H2946
passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill prohibits felons from owning intact dogs and dogs over thirty
pounds. Further, all dogs owned by felons must be microchipped.
- Rep. Chapa-LaVia has introduced H4711, a bill that
would increase 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.
The House Committee on Judiciary II – Criminal Law will hear the
- H4761, authored by Rep. Beaubien, has been tabled
by the author. The bill would have allowed the animal control warden
to find a dog vicious. Under current law only a circuit court may determine
that a dog is vicious.
- Rep. Tenhouse has introduced H4804 to require the
Illinois Emergency Management Act operations plan to include the needs
of those with pets and service animals. The bill has been read twice
and is now on the House Short Debate Calendar. A similar measure, S2836,
sponsored by Sen. Dillard, has been introduced in the Senate.
- Rep. Myers has introduced H5367, a bill to amend
the State Parks Act to designate areas within state parks where dogs,
cats and other domesticated animals may be exercised or trained. Any
animals brought into the park would be required to have appropriate
- H5541, authored by Rep. Beaubien, has been tabled.
The measure would have eliminated a limitation on fines or penalties
in excess of $50 for dogs running at large. Additionally, the bill would
also have allowed a county board to appoint an Administrative Law Judge
to conduct a hearing to determine if a dog is vicious.
- HR866, authored by Rep. Tryon, creates an Animal
Control Task Force to study the issue of dangerous dogs and vicious
dogs and subsequently recommend changes to the Animal Control Act. The
Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs strongly supports the resolution provided
that dog owners have representation on the task force.
- Rep. Tryon has tabled H4213. The proposal would
have required that owners of dangerous or vicious dogs maintain liability
insurance. Further, the bill required that a dog’s breed be considered
in the determination of the dog as dangerous or vicious. The bill imposed
a mandatory presumption that any “scheduled dog breed” is
vicious. Finally, H4213 established a series of fines
and criminal penalties for owners of dangerous or vicious dogs who attack
a person. AKC sent statements of opposition to the House Committee on
Agriculture and Conservation who was scheduled to hear H4213.
- H4238, by Rep. Boland, has been amended to specify
that a dog engaged in hunting, training or is in a dog park is not considered
at large. More importantly, the bill now provides 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.
With these amendments, the bill passed the House Agriculture and Conservation
- Rep. Boland has also introduced HJ101, a resolution
to establish 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. AKC strongly supports
this effort to identify strategies that effectively address dangerous
- Sen. Dahl’s S2259 was referred to the Senate
Agriculture and Conservation Committee and is currently being held in
committee. Among other changes, the bill expands the definition of a
vicious dog to include a dog that kills a companion animal outside of
its own property. Illinois dog owners are working with Senator Dahl
to address specific concerns with this language.
- Sen. Cronin’s S2887 will make an owner liable
for civil damages if a dog or other animal attacks or injures any person.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Agriculture and Conservation
- Chicago Alderwoman Rugai’s proposal to ban “pit bulls”
ban has been referred to the License and Consumer Protection Committee,
but has still not been scheduled for a hearing. Although Illinois state
law prohibits local governments from enacting breed-specific legislation,
the Chicago City Attorney believes that home rule will allow Chicago
to adopt such a measure. AKC has worked closely over the years with
Chicago’s Board of Aldermen, Department of Animal Control, and
local fanciers to oppose breed-specific legislation and will continue
to do so now. Illinois dog owners are encouraged to monitor the situation
- The Village of Bloomingdale has rejected a plan to ban “pit
bulls” from the village. Instead the council will review the city’s
dog ordinance, including its leash law and dangerous dog law. The council
intends to strengthen owner responsibilities and enforcement.
For more information on legislative issues in Illinois please contact
the Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders
INDIANA – Rep. Ayers has introduced H1418,
a bill to require the inspection of a kennel before a township assessor
issues a license. The measure has been referred to the House Committee
on Agriculture and Rural Development.
- A breed-specific proposal remains in the Indianapolis City-County
Council Rules and Public Policy Committee. Local fanciers expect a hearing
soon. The proposal would deem Rottweilers, American Pit Bull Terriers,
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, “pit
bull” terriers and any mix of these dogs to be dangerous dogs.
Owners would be required to license these dogs and would be limited
to owning two dogs of these breeds. Dangerous dogs would be required
to be kept in a fenced yard, and a person must not be able to stick
their fingers or hand through the fence. AKC has sent a letter of opposition
and provided materials to local fanciers. To find out how to help oppose
this proposal please contact the Hoosier
IOWA – Sen. McCoy’s S2138,
a bill that will increase penalties for animal cruelty, has been referred
to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
KENTUCKY – Rep. Miller is sponsoring HR139,
a resolution to endorse the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good
Citizenship program. The measure has passed the House.
- The Louisville Metro Council is considering a new animal control
proposal that will impose a number of burdensome fees, expensive licenses,
and punitive restrictions that will affect all dog owners. The AKC has
sent a letter of opposition to the council members and is working with
local fanciers and dog owners to oppose the measure. To find our more
details about this proposal please see our Legislative
Alert. To find out how you can assist in fighting this measure please
contact the Louisville Kennel
LOUISANA – The City of Mandeville has adopted
a new leash law. Prior to the recent change a dog was allowed to be
controlled by voice commands. Owners who use the lakefront to exercise
their dogs and allow their dogs to swim may still do so between 5a.m.
and 8a.m. without confining the animals to a leash.
MARYLAND – The Maryland Dog Federation reports
that the Prince George’s County government is now allowing out-of-county
adoptions of “pit bulls” to county or state animal control
facilities. The federation believes that this move constitutes recognition
of the fact that most of the “pit bulls” seized by the county
are friendly and adoptable. Prince George’s County has had a “pit
bull” ban in place for nine years, and they prohibit ownership
of any American Pit Bull Terrier or other dog resembling this breed.
For more information about please contact the Maryland
MASSACHUSETTS – H4516, by Rep. Gobi, has been
referred to the Joint Committee on Financial Services. 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.
- Rep. Kahn’s H3650 will prohibit the foreign
importation of cats and dogs by shelters. The bill has been heard by
the Joint Committee on Public Health and is eligible for Executive Session.
H3650 requires shelters to keep records regarding animals
imported into Massachusetts from other states. The bill was prompted
by an incident in July, 2004 when a puppy with a new strain of rabies
was imported into a Massachusetts shelter. The bill aims to protect
the pet buying public from animals that are imported from countries
where veterinary health is not up to US standards.
For more information on these bills and pending legislation in
Massachusetts, please contact the Massachusetts
Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners.
MICHIGAN - Sen. Gilbert’s SCR36,
which was introduced at the request of the Michigan Association for
Purebred Dogs, has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This concurrent resolution opposes any state efforts to reclassify pet,
livestock or animal owners as “guardians.” Sen. Gilbert
has also introduced this language as SR86, which has
also been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. AKC sent a letter
to committee members regarding its support for these important measures,
and we encourage Michigan dog owners to contact their representatives
to voice their support as well.
-The Detroit City Council has unanimously rejected a proposed breed
ban. The Michigan Association of Purebred Dogs, local fanciers and responsible
dog owners successfully convinced the council members that breed-specific
legislation would be unenforceable, penalize responsible dog owners
and would not improve public safety. The measure would have banned new
"pit bulls," defined as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire
Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and mixed breeds with similar
traits, and further required existing owners to comply with restrictive
care conditions. Thank you to all the concerned dog owners who contacted
the city council in opposition to this measure.
To find out how to get involved in legislative issues in Michigan
please contact the Michigan Association
for Purebred Dogs.
MISSISSIPPI – Several bills have died in committee
including H134, a bill to prohibit debarking; H135,
a bill to provide civil damages for intentionally and unlawfully killing
a pet; and H710, H1377 and S2007,
all of which contained broad revisions to the animal cruelty laws.
MISSOURI – Rep. Chappelle-Nadal is sponsoring
H1686, a bill to require mandatory spay/neuter of all
“pit bulls,” defined as American Staffordshire Terriers,
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and any dog
exhibiting the characteristics of these breeds. Owners of these breeds
will further be required to leash and muzzle their dogs when off the
owner’s property, purchase a $500 permit for each dog and be limited
to two “pit bulls.” For more information about this bill and how you can
get involved, please read our Legislative
- The Maplewood City Council has approved a new animal control ordinance
that will establish a leash law, require proper shelter, food and veterinary
care, prohibit abandoning an animal and prohibit transporting an animal
in an open vehicle. The ordinance further makes it illegal to use an
animal for fighting, prohibits tormenting or abusing an animal and prohibits
tethering an animal outside for more than eight continuous hours or
more than twelve hours in a twenty-four hour period.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – H1440, by Rep. Tilton, has failed
passage in the House Commerce Committee. The proposal would have changed
the state’s consumer protection law to allow consumers up to 20
days to have the animal examined by a veterinarian and to be granted
either reimbursement of the purchase price, replacement of the animal
or repayment for veterinarian’s bills. The bill was opposed by
Dog Owners of the Granite State who felt that current law, which allows
pet purchasers up to 14 days to take the animal to a veterinarian, provided
appropriate remedies for pet purchasers.
- Rep. Reed’s H1524, a bill that would allow
the Department of Fish and Game to adopt rules concerning the time period
allowed for the training of dogs, has failed to pass the House Fish
and Game Committee.
- Sen. Roberge’s S350 has been amended. The
section requiring boarding kennels to be licensed and inspected by the
Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets has been removed and several
other important changes have been made. Dog Owners of the Granite State
worked hard to obtain these changes.
- S351, a bill to make the drowning of a companion
animal an animal cruelty offense, has received approval from the Senate
and will proceed to the House. The first offense would be a misdemeanor
and the second a Class B felony.
NEW JERSEY – S801 is Sen. James’s reintroduction
of the “Responsible Pit Bull Ownership Licensing Act.” Nearly
identical legislation was introduced and soundly defeated in two previous
sessions. The measure would require owners of “pit bulls,” defined as American Staffordshire Terriers, American
Pit Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers, to obtain
an annual license. S801 further requires anyone
who owns a dog to prove that it ISN'T a pit
bull. The license fee will be set by each municipality and can be between
$150 and $700 annually. Residents who obtain a license are also required
to comply with a host of other requirements including muzzling the dog
when off the owner’s property, building a specific
type of enclosure and obtaining liability insurance. The proposal has
been referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee. For additional information
on how you can help oppose this bill please read our Legislative
- A2111, by Asm. Rooney, will require that dog bites
be reported to the Department of Health and Senior Services and to municipal
prosecutors. The bill further requires municipal court hearings for
owners of certain impounded dogs. A2111 will be heard
by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
- Asm. Green is authoring A465 to clarify that the
term deadly weapon includes an animal. The Assembly Judiciary Committee
will hear the bill.
- A666, sponsored by Asm. Connors, has been withdrawn
from consideration. The bill would have clarified that cruelty to animals
includes the use of an animal to injure another animal or the use of
any direct or indirect means to inflict cruelty.
- A469 is Rep. Green’s bill to establish a new
crime of assault by an animal. The bill provides that a person who purposefully
uses an animal to intimidate or put another in fear of bodily injury
is guilty of assault by animal. If the animal causes bodily injury the
crime increases from fourth degree assault to third degree assault.
If the victim is a law enforcement officer the crime is classified as
second degree assault. A469 has been referred to the
Assembly Judiciary Committee.
- Asm. Van Drew’s A1051 will clarify that animal
cruelty investigations may be conducted by the county sheriff’s
office. The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee has been assigned
- Asm. Vainieri Huttle is sponsoring A1432 to permit
each municipality to set the cost for a dog license. S695,
a companion bill, has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Weinberg.
- A1704, sponsored by Asm. Fisher, will require public
schools to include instruction on humane treatment of animals as a part
of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and
Physical Education. The measure has been referred to the Assembly Education
- A1745, authored by Asm. Johnson, will require the
municipal court to hear certain violations of the animal cruelty statutes
within fourteen days of the summons date. The bill has been sent to
the Assembly Judiciary Committee for review.
- Asm. Burzichelli has introduced A1929, a proposal
that will require the state, counties and municipalities to create an
emergency plan for companion animals. The Assembly Homeland Security
and State Preparedness Committee will hear the bill.
- A2050, introduced by Asm. Oliver, will require that
dogs licensed out of state that are brought into New Jersey be licensed
within sixty days. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly Committee
on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- Rep. Greenstein’s A2150 provides for the reorganization
of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
It has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Sen. Martin has withdrawn S386, a measure to add
“seizure alert” dogs to the definition of a service animal.
- S872, authored by Sen. Ciesla, directs the Department
of Health and Senior Services to adopt regulations prohibiting overcrowding
of animals in kennels, pet shops and other retail establishments. The
bill has been assigned to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.
- A2502, authored by Rep. Cohen, will define use of
an animal to carry drugs or facilities drug-related crimes as animal
cruelty. The measure has been referred to the Assembly Agriculture and
Natural Resources Committee.
- Rep. Corodemus has introduced AR114, a resolution
to endorse the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen program and
supporting its effort to promote responsible dog ownership. The measure
has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources
For more information on legislative issues pending in New Jersey,
please contact the New Jersey
Federation of Dog Clubs.
NEW MEXICO - Rep. Gutierrez is sponsoring H227,
the Animal Sheltering Services Act, to promote safe, healthy and clean
living conditions for animals housed in animal shelters, to license
euthanasia providers and euthanasia agencies, and to certify euthanasia
instructors. H227 has passed the House Committee on
Consumer and Public Affairs and will proceed to the House floor. A companion
measure in the Senate, S122, is sponsored by Sen. Garcia
and has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
- Rep. Martinez’s H615 makes a $100,000 appropriation
from the general fund for a statewide low-cost or no-cost cat and dog
spay/neuter program. The measure has been double referred to the House
Committee on Consumer and Public Affairs and the House Appropriations
and Finance Committee.
- HJM13 was tabled in the House. The measure requested
the Governor to declare June “Spay and Neuter Awareness Month”
and requested state officials to take steps to reduce animal overpopulation.
NEW YORK - Asm. Lentol’s A1977
has passed the Assembly and will proceed to the Senate Committee on
Aging. The bill would create a program to match seniors with companion
animals and to teach seniors about the humane care of animals.
- A9744, authored by Asm. Magee, will prohibit dogs
from being tethered or attached to a pulley system for more than six
hours per day. The Assembly Committee on Agriculture will hear the bill.
- Asm. Peralta has introduced A9775 to require that
all dogs and cats be microchipped and provides for the creation of a
registry. The proposal has been referred to the Assembly Agriculture
- A9300, authored by Rep. Ignizio, would make the
German Shephard Dog the official state dog of New York. It has been
referred to the Assembly Governmental Relations Committee. For more
about the bill please see our recent news
article on the press conference at AKC headquarters.
- Asm. Tedisco is preparing to introduce a bill to make it a felony
to use an animal to commit a crime. The proposal is a response to a
recent case where drug smugglers implanted heroin in puppies in order
to transport the drugs.
- A recently enacted state law requires that dog licenses be valid
only until a dog’s rabies certificate expires. Prior to this a
change an owner could purchase a year license even if the rabies vaccine
expired in three months. Municipalities can issue one, two or three
year licenses, but the term of the license can not extend beyond the
dog’s revaccination date. Some residents are upset that they will
have to purchase two licenses this year in order to remain in compliance.
For more information on legislative issues in New York please contact
the Long Island Coalition of Dog Owners
or Responsible Dog Owners Association
of New York.
OHIO - Lancaster is considering an ordinance to update
its dangerous dog law. City Law Director Terre Vandervoort is preparing
several drafts, one of which will include banning “pit bulls,”
although it is not yet known which breeds may be affected. The Ohio
Supreme Court ruled last year that much of the state’s dangerous
dog law, which automatically deems “pit bulls” vicious,
was unconstitutional because it did not contain an appeals process.
The city law director hopes to have a draft ready for the council’s
review by the end of February.
OKLAHOMA –Four breed-specific bills have now
been introduced and assigned to committees in Oklahoma. The Canine Legislation
department sent statements of opposition and model dangerous dog laws
to sponsors and committee members, but more help is needed. To find
out how you can help, please see our Legislative
- Rep. Smithson's H2076 has been assigned to the House
Health and Human Services Committee. The bill would allow the owner
of a dog that has killed a human to be charged with a felony, be sentenced
to up to five years in prison, and face a fine of up to $25,000. The
owner of a dog that had been previously declared potentially dangerous
and that inflicts physical injury to a person or damage to real property
could be held liable for economic damages.
- H2697, authored by Rep. Worthen, is another dangerous
dog bill that will expand the definitions of potentially dangerous and
dangerous dogs. This bill has been assigned to the House Health and
Human Services Committee.
- A final dangerous dog proposal, H2813, would require
owners of dogs that have been declared dangerous to obtain a $100,000
liability policy. Further, an owner who allows a dangerous dog to escape
would be required to serve 40 hours of community service in addition
to any jail term they might receive.
RHODE ISLAND - H6829, authored by Rep. Voccola, will
establish a consumer protection bill for dog purchasers. The proposal
requires that animal sellers make certain declarations in writing including
a statement about the animal’s health and whether or not the dog
has been seen by a veterinarian. The bill also entitles pet purchasers
to remedies from the seller if 1.) A veterinarian states in writing,
within 20 days of purchase, that the animal is suffering from or has
died from an illness, disease or other defect adversely affecting the
animal's health and that this condition existed in the dog on or before
delivery to the purchaser or 2.) A veterinarian states that within 2
years of purchase the animal possesses or has died from a congenital
or hereditary condition adversely affecting its health. The remedies
include returning the animal for a refund and reasonable payment of
veterinary bills, exchanging the animal and receiving reimbursement
of reasonable veterinary fees, or retaining the animal and receiving
reimbursement for reasonable veterinary expenses. The bill will be heard
by the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee.
- The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare will also hear
Rep. Lewiss’s H6901, a bill to prohibit tethering
when the owner is not home. The bill further prohibits leaving the dog
outside, tethered or in a pen, for more than 30 minutes if shelter is
not available. It also includes very complicated standards that must
be followed in order to avoid cruelty charges.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Charleston County is considering
a proposal that would require all animals released from the shelter,
including those reclaimed by owners for a first offense, to be spayed
or neutered. AKC has sent a letter urging the council members to work
with local fanciers and dog owners to reach a reasonable compromise
regarding dogs reclaimed by their owners.
TENNESSEE – Rep. West is sponsoring H2616,
a bill that will allow animal shelters holding animals that are illegally
used for animal fighting to receive compensation from the defendant
for caring for the animals pending the disposition of the charges.
- S2626, introduced by Sen. Burchett, would establish
an education program and a program to reimburse local governments for
subsidizing spay/neuter clinics and surgeries. The program will be funded
by rabies vaccination certificates, sales of the new Animal Friendly
specialty license plate and any funds appropriated from the general
UTAH – Rep. Wyatt’s H61
has passed the House Judiciary Committee. The proposal would make the
torture of an animal a felony. The bill also makes changes to penalties
for other animal cruelty offenses. Further, H61 requires
that the court specifically state why a person convicted of an animal
cruelty offense is not required to receive counseling. The bill also
requires that the perpetrator pay restitution and be prohibited from
having possession of animals for a specified period. Finally, the bill
requires that a confiscated animal be offered for adoption or for sale
at auction prior to being euthanized.
VERMONT – Sen. Cummings’s S250,
which would make it a criminal act to crop a dog’s ears for non-therapeutic
purposes, has passed the Senate and will now proceed to the House Agriculture
Committee. A $3000 fine would be assessed for the first violation. AKC
has sent several letters of opposition to state legislators, and is
working closely with the Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs, but more Vermont
fanciers’ voices are urgently needed! To find out how you can
help oppose S250, please read our Legislative
- Sen. Illuzzi has introduced S286 to require that
the Vermont Emergency Management division establish a state animal response
team to develop an animal disaster emergency plan. The proposal has
been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee.
To find out how you can become involved in legislation in Vermont,
please contact the Vermont Federation
of Dog Clubs.
VIRGINIA - H340 has been amended to provide an exemption
when a dog attacks another companion animal that has provoked it. H340
will further require cities and counties to regulate dangerous and vicious
dogs and establishes the Commonwealth of Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry.
The bill will grant law enforcement officers the power to petition a
court to find a dog dangerous. It further prohibits the sale, adoption,
transfer or foster of dangerous dogs. H340 passed the
House and was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake
and Natural Resources.
- S491, authored by Sen. Quayle, will create a new
Class 6 felony for recklessly controlling or handling a dog or other
animal that seriously injures another person. The bill has passed the
Senate and will proceed to the House.
- Rep. Cole is sponsoring H1411, a bill to exempt
from the “dealer” definition anyone that breeds show or
hunting dogs. Further, the proposal would exempt these breeders from
any local permitting requirement. The bill is supported by the Virginia
Federation of Dog Clubs.
- Rep. Shuler has introduced H1532, a bill that will
prohibit the abandonment or dumping of companion animals. Violators
can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. H1532 has
been referred to the House Agriculture, Chesapeake & Natural Resources
- H1563, authored by Rep. Orrock, will require the
Department of Criminal Justice Services to approve a training course
for animal control officers. The proposal, which is supported by the
Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs, has been assigned to the House Agriculture,
Chesapeake & Natural Resources Committee.
- H858, authored by Rep. Hargrove, provides that anyone
using violence against a dog in the face of an actual or imminent attack
by the dog shall be presumed not to violate the cruelty to animal’s
provisions. The House Agriculture, Chesapeake & Natural Resources
Committee will hear the bill.
- Rep. Melvin is sponsoring H1039, a bill to create
a Class 6 felony for recklessly controlling or handling a dog or other
animal that severely injures another person. The measure has passed
the House and will proceed to the Senate.
- H1168, sponsored by Rep. Eisenberg, requires the
state veterinarian or his designee to conduct inspections of every pound
and shelter annually and every pet shop twice annually. The bill has
been assigned to the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and
- Rep. Kilgore is sponsoring HJR116, a resolution
to direct the State Crime Commission to study the need for regulation,
training and funding of animal control officers. The Virginia Federation
of Dog Clubs has endorsed this resolution. It has passed the House and
now moves to the Senate.
- HJR124, authored by Rep. Orrock, encourages the
Virginia Association of Counties and the Virginia Municipal League to
advise their respective members to adopt public nuisance animal ordinances.
The proposal, which is supported by the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs,
has passed the House and will proceed to the Senate Rules Committee.
- Rep. Hargrove’s H265, a bill that will increase
the amount that local governments are allowed to charge for animal license
taxes from $10 to $35, has been assigned to the House Agriculture, Chesapeake
& Natural Resources Committee.
- Rep. Welch’s H828 has been tabled by the House
Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. The bill would
have prohibited live animals from being awarded as prizes at a carnival
or midway. The Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and AKC supported this
- Sen. Houck’s S200 has passed the Senate and
will now proceed to the House. S200 provides criminal
penalties for owners whose dogs cause serious injury or death. It further
creates a dangerous dog registry and requires owners of dangerous dogs
to obtain at least $300,000 in liability insurance coverage. The bill
allows any law enforcement officer or animal control officer to initiate
a dangerous dog hearing and mandates that municipalities enact dangerous
dog laws. Sen. Houck introduced this bill in honor of an elderly woman
in his district – Fredericksburg – who was killed in a dog
attack last year.
- S232, authored by Sen. Ticer, will protect any person
who in good faith makes a report or provides information to a government
agency regarding animal cruelty by a pet shop, pound, kennel or releasing
agency. The measure has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Courts
- Sen. Stolle’s S574 prohibits giving away any
unweaned dog or cat. The Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs believes that
an exemption is needed for rejected or orphaned animals. The measure
has passed the Senate and is headed to the House.
For more information on pending legislation in Virginia, please
contact the Virginia Federation of
WEST VIRGINIA – H3120, introduced by Rep. Overington,
has been referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee.
The bill would expand the crimes under animal fighting. Specifically,
the measure would make it illegal to organize, aid, be employed at,
or sell admission to any animal fighting venture, or permit premises
to be used for animal fighting. The bill would also make it illegal
to possess, own, train transport or sell animals to fight, or to possess
gaffs, slashers or any device to enhance an animal’s fighting
- Rep. Talbott’s H4072 will prohibit a person
who is not a dog’s owner from removing the tags, collar or apparel
of a dog without the owner’s permission.
- H4295, authored by Rep. Kiss, will establish a $10
bird dog training permit and establishes certain requirements for where
and how training may take place. The bill has passed the House Committee
on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- HR8, authored by Rep. Tansill, endorses the AKC
Canine Good Citizenship program and supports its effort to promote responsible
- Sen. Edgell’s S15 would create the West Virginia
Exotic and Domestic Animal Control Act. The bill would establish an
Exotic and Domestic Animal Control Board that would have the power to
designate animals or species as dangerous to public safety. The bill
has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee.
UNITED STATES – Senator Santorum's staff and
Senate legislative counsel have completed a draft of the revised PAWS
bill. The draft was provided to the US Department of Agriculture and
the 26 Senate co-sponsors of PAWS at a recent briefing for their review
and comment. The Discussion Draft of PAWS will be made public after
the USDA and the co-sponsors have an opportunity to review the updated
language. Senator Santorum's staff has told us they expect this to be
accomplished shortly. To read more about the status of the PAWS bill,
please read our recent news
ENGLAND – The Animal Welfare Minister has announced
support for a bill proposing a total ban on tail docking. There are
no exemptions for hunting dogs or police dogs or even for a veterinarian
to remove a tail when medically necessary.