Legislation That Affects You
ALABAMA – Rep. Ward is sponsoring H27,
which establishes a procedure by which a dog can be declared dangerous,
allows the owner to appeal the initial determination and provides 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. The
House Judiciary Committee will hear the bill. A companion measure, S82,
is being sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Dial and will be heard by the
Senate Judiciary Committee.
- H252, by Rep. Galliher, would require the sterilization
of all dogs and cats sold by public and private animal shelters, animal
control agencies or humane societies. The bill has been referred to
the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources.
- The City of Tuscaloosa is considering a proposal that will impose
a leash law on all dogs and will require certain breeds to be muzzled
when in public. The proposal is still being drafted and is expected
to be discussed at the Public Safety Committee meeting February 2nd.
AKC has sent materials, including sample dangerous dog ordinances and
a letter opposing breed-specific legislation, to the members of the
ARIZONA – Rep. McClure is sponsoring H2329,
which will increase the penalty for knowingly or intentionally subjecting
any animal to cruel mistreatment to a Class 5 felony. Previously, this
offense had been a class 6 felony.
ARKANSAS – The City of Greenbrier has repealed
a breed-specific ordinance that was passed last October after residents
objected to the ordinance’s prohibition on “pit bulls,”
defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers
and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. AKC wrote a letter to the city council
asking for a repeal of the breed-specific provisions and provided local
dog owners with lobbying materials and sample ordinances. Congratulations
to all who worked for this repeal!
CALIFORNIA – A Los Angeles Superior Court judge
has struck down West Hollywood’s ban on declawing cats, declaring
it to be unlawful, invalid and unenforceable. The California Veterinary
Medical Association had challenged the ban on the grounds that only
the state, not local governments, have the authority to regulate veterinary
medicine. It is not yet known whether the city will appeal the ruling.
Fanciers will recall that West Hollywood also considered a ban on ear
cropping in 2005, but the proposal was not voted on by the council.
This ruling establishes that the city could not regulate procedures
such as ear cropping or tail docking which would be classified as veterinary
- The City of Berkley has adopted an ordinance that requires dogs that
live in back yards to be provided with a five-sided dog house, fresh
water in bowls that do not tip over, nutritious food and adequate exercise.
The dog house must be large enough for the animal to turn around freely
and lie down, and also must provide clean bedding and protection from
COLORADO – At the behest of the Colorado Municipal League, Sen.
Lewis Entz has introduced S54, a bill that would once
again permit cities and counties to enact breed-specific ordinances.
A state law prohibiting such legislation was enacted in 2004 with support
from the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs and other concerned animal
organizations. S54 will be heard by the Senate Local
Government Committee. AKC and the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs have
sent letters to oppose this measure. Please read more about this proposal
and what you can do to help defeat it in our Legislative
- Sen. Owen is sponsoring S25, a bill that 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. The Senate Local Government Committee has been
assigned the bill.
- H1057 by Rep. Stafford will increase penalties for
owning a dangerous dog that inflicts bodily harm or serious injury.
The bill will also prohibit a person convicted of an animal cruelty
offense from owning an animal and further increases the penalties for
aggravated animal cruelty. Finally, the bill specifically exempts police
and law enforcement dogs from being classified as dangerous animals
and classifies dogs that have been trained to attack people or property
as dangerous dogs. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary
- The Parker Town Council has voted 6-0 not to adopt a proposed
breed-specific ordinance that would have banned new “pit bulls,”
defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers,
and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The defeated proposal would also have
placed severe restrictions on owners of a host of other breeds already
living in Parker. The town is working on toughening its existing vicious
dog regulations. Congratulations to all fanciers and concerned dog owners
who worked to oppose this measure.
- The City of Lone Tree has adopted an ordinance which will prohibit
new “pit bulls within the city. “Pit bull” is defined
as American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire
Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Canary Dog, Canary Island
Dog, Presa Canario, Perro de Presa Canario, Presa Mallorquin, Pero de
Pressa Mallorquin, Ca de Bou, Tosa Inu, Tosa Fighting Dog, Japanese
Fighting Dog, Japanese Mastiff, Cane Corso, Cane di Macellaio, Sicilian
Branchero, File Brasilairo or any dog that is a mix of these breeds.
Lone Tree residents that own these breeds must register their dogs within
60 days and obtain a special license (amount not yet determined). The
dog must be muzzled when off the owner’s property and kept in
a specified structure. The owner must obtain $100,000 worth of liability
insurance, have the dog spayed or neutered and have the animal microchipped.
Anyone violating this ordinance can be required to pay a fine of $700
or serve up to one year jail time. AKC sent a letter opposing breed-specific
legislation to the mayor and city council members.
- The City of Centennial is considering a proposal to ban “pit
bulls.” A draft is expected to unveiled at a study session on
February 10th. The AKC sent a letter opposing breed-specific legislation
to the mayor and members of the city council.
- Arapahoe County is considering a “Denver-style” breed
ban, although no specific proposal has been introduced. AKC sent a letter
to the county commissioners encouraging them to pursue a fair and reasonable
dangerous dog law rather than a breed-specific proposal.
- Lafayette is also considering a breed-specific proposal. The city
has said it will schedule a public workshop prior to a hearing on February
21st. The AKC has sent the mayor and city council a statement opposing
breed-specific measures and offering model dangerous dog legislation.
- The City of Federal Heights had a discussion about vicious animals
at its January 10th meeting, but no formal proposal has been drafted
or set for a vote. AKC contacted the mayor and city council to encourage
adoption of a generic dangerous dog ordinance that does not single out
- Lakewood is also considering dangerous dog legislation, although
no formal proposal is available at the time of publication. In a statement
to city officials, AKC stated its support for a reasonable dangerous
For more information on legislative issues in Colorado, please
contact the Colorado
Federation of Dog Clubs, Inc.
CONNECTICUT – Following the passage of a new
ordinance, dog owners in Old Saybrook can continue to traverse the beach
with their canines during off-peak times. Dogs will be prohibited from
May through mid-October due to the heavy usage of the beach during those
times of year. The proposal was a compromise after an initial proposal
to ban dogs all year met with resistance.
For more information about
the ordinance and other legislative issues in Connecticut, please contact
the Connecticut Dog Federation.
FLORIDA – Sen. Bullard’s S470,
which will modify Florida’s pet lemon law, has been triple-referred
to the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Commerce and Consumer Services
and Regulated Industries. The bill requires pet dealers (defined as
persons who sell more than two litters or 20 dogs or cats per year)
to provide animal purchase disclosures with the sale of each dog or
cat. Such disclosures will include information about the animal’s
birth, origin and registration information, if applicable.
- Sen. Bullard has also prefiled a second measure, S674,
to amend Florida’s pet dealer law. S674 will
require pet dealers to be licensed and inspected at least once a year.
The bill would 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. Pet dealers will further be required
to display license information in advertisements. S674
has been triple-referred to the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Commerce
and Consumer Services and Regulated Industries.
- S484, which was prefiled by Sen. Rich, will increase
minimum mandatory fines and periods of incarceration for certain acts
of cruelty to animals. The fine for cruelty that results in death or
excessive or unnecessary pain and suffering will increase from $2,500
to $4,000, and will now require six months mandatory jail time. If a
second violation is committed a fine of $6,000 will be assessed and
a term of ten months imprisonment will be required. The bill has been
referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee
on Criminal Justice.
To find out more about how you can assist with legislative issues
in Florida, please contact the Florida
Association of Kennel Clubs.
ILLINOIS – Attention Illinois dog owners! Rep.
Tryon has introduced two breed-specific bills. The first, H4212,
would allow municipalities to ban and regulate “scheduled dog
breeds” including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire
Terriers, pit bulls, pit bull terriers and Stafforshire Terriers. The
proposed law would allow go into effect immediately after being signed
by the Governor. The second bill, H4213, would require
that owners of dangerous or vicious dogs maintain liability insurance.
Further, the bill requires that a dog’s breed be considered in
the determination of the dog as dangerous or vicious. The bill also
imposes a mandatory presumption that any “scheduled dog breed”
is vicious. Finally, H4213 establishes 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. However, the hearing was cancelled. Rep. Tryon’s
office has indicated that he is considering withdrawing these measures.
- H4238 by Rep. Boland provides that the owner of
an intact dog that is allowed to run at large and inflicts serious injury
to a person would be guilty of a Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony is
punishable by up to three years in prison and carries a possible fine
of up to $25,000. The bill has been assigned to the House Committee
on Agriculture and Conservation.
- Rep. Black is sponsoring H4367, a bill to establish
the Vicious Dog Attack Victim Relief Fund to reimburse victims and their
families for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages resulting
from serious physical injuries caused by a vicious dog attack. The bill
also makes substantial changes to the state’s dangerous dog law
and would allow local governments to pass breed-specific regulations,
provided that they do not prohibit ownership of a specific breed. Under
H4367, if a dog is found to be vicious (defined as
being found dangerous on 2 occasions, attacking a person and causing
serious injury or death, or killing any companion animal or livestock),
the owner will be guilty of a Class 4 felony and required to pay a $500
fine into the established fund.
- Sen. Dahl has introduced S2259, which expands the
definition of dangerous dog to include one that has in any way injured
a companion animal, even if the animal is a stray that wandered onto
the dog’s property. The bill also expands the definition of a
vicious dog to include a dog that kills a companion animal, outside
of its own property. Illinois dog owners have concerns about these broad
definitions and are subsequently working with the bill sponsor.
- Chicago Alderwoman Rugai’s proposal to ban “pit bulls”
ban has been referred to the License and Consumer Protection Committee.
The committee has a hearing tentatively scheduled for February 1st,
however the agenda will not be released until two days prior to the
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 closely
- The McHenry County task force on dangerous and vicious dogs has voted
unanimously to endorse harsher penalties for owners who let their pets
run at large. The task force also voted not to support breed-specific
legislation. Under current consideration is a proposal that would allow
an owner who allows his or her dog to run at large and seriously injure
someone, to be charged with a felony, carrying the potential for a $25,000
fine and up to three years in jail.
- The City of Bloomington is considering breed-specific legislation,
although a proposal has not yet been drafted. As Bloomington is a home
rule city, the city does not believe that it’s bound by the state
law prohibiting local governments from enacting breed-specific legislation.
The AKC has sent a letter to the mayor and board of alderman opposing
breed specific legislation.
- Bolingbrook has adopted an ordinance that allows owners of vicious
dogs to be charged with a misdemeanor and be placed in jail from two
to thirty days if it’s shown that the owner failed to keep the
dogs enclosed or failed to spay or neuter the dog before an attack.
The definition of vicious has been amended to include any dog that bites
or attacks a person or animal on public or private property, any dog
that has a known tendency to attack, and any dog that has been found
dangerous on at least two other occasions. Owners can be fined $250
for the first offense with incremental increases to $500, $750 and $1,000
for repeated offenses.
For more information on legislative issues in Illinois please contact
the Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders
INDIANA – Sen. Lanane has introduced S67,
a bill to require the courts to consider counseling as part of the sentence
for an adult or juvenile convicted of animal cruelty. The bill will
be heard by the Senate Public Safety Committee.
- H1088, by Rep. Saunders, would allow local governments
to be reimbursed by the state for certain expenses related to dog attacks
and subsequent rabies treatments for the injured animals. The bill will
also allow county governments to impose a $5 tax per companion animal
and will allow cities to impose a $2 tax. H1088 has
been referred to the House Local Government Committee.
- 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
- The City of Marion has rejected a proposal that would have established
breeder permits and limited residents to a total of four animals. A
special committee has been formed to help the city address their animal
control issues and local fanciers have been appointed to serve on the
committee. Thanks to all who worked to oppose this measure.
IDAHO – Rep. Trail is expected to introduce
legislation which will make it a crime to own, train, or trade fighting
dogs or in any way contribute to a staged dog fight. A proposal introduced
last year that would have banned both dog fighting and cock fighting
failed in committee. Idaho is one of only two states where dog fighting
is not a felony.
KENTUCKY – Rep. Crimm has introduced H25,
which requires that an owner convicted of animal cruelty or torture
relinquish all animals. The bill also prohibits ownership of animals
of that same species for two years. H25 has been referred
to the House Judiciary Committee.
- H191, by Rep. Higdon, will change the definition
of animal cruelty in the second degree to include the failure to provide
shelter. The bill will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
- The Louisville Metro Council has delayed until the end of February
a vote on a breed-specific dangerous dog ordinance, after receiving
feedback from residents opposed to proposal. The measure would deem
Rottweilers and “pit bulls” (defined as American Stafforshire
Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers or
any mixed breed dog displaying similar characteristics) to be dangerous
dogs. The proposal places several onerous restrictions on owners of
these breeds, including requiring them to abide by extreme care conditions
and to provide proof of $500,000 liability insurance. For more information
please contact the Louisville
MAINE – Rep. Piotti has prefiled H121,
which will make several changes to the Animal Welfare Law, including
changing the definition of a breeding kennel to be any location where
five or more animals are kept for the purpose of breeding, or buying
and selling. The previous version of the law defined breeding kennels
as those who sold more than 16 dogs in a 12 month period. The bill also
repeals the surcharge for selling intact animals and enacts a civil
violation for endangering the welfare of a companion animal.
MARYLAND – Rep. Levy is sponsoring H11,
a bill that would allow any person (not just the owner) that inflicts
unnecessary suffering or pain an animal to be charged with a misdemeanor,
pay a fine up to $1000 or be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail.
MASSACHUSETTS – H4516, by Rep. Gobi, will prohibit
insurance companies from refusing to issue, renew or charging an increased
premium based in whole or in part of 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 is sponsoring H3650, which will prohibit
the foreign importation of cats and dogs by shelters. Further, the bill
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
who are imported from countries where veterinary health is not up to
For more information on these bills and pending legislation in
Massachusetts, please contact the
MICHIGAN - At the request of the Michigan Association
for Purebred Dogs, Sen. Gilbert has introduced SCR36,
a joint resolution that opposes any state efforts to reclassify pet,
livestock or animal owners as “guardians.” Sen. Gilbert
has also introduced this language as SR86. Both pieces
of legislation have been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AKC sent a letter to committee members regarding its support for these
important measures and encourages Michigan dog owners to contact their
representatives to voice their support as well.
MISSISSIPPI – Rep. Fleming is sponsoring H134,
which prohibits veterinarians from debarking or surgically silencing
a dog. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
- The House Judiciary Committee will also hear another bill by Rep.
Flemming, H135, a bill to allow for damages up to $5,000
for intentionally or negligently and unlawful killing a companion animal.
- S951, authored by Rep. Garcia, will create a Companion
Animal Welfare Fund to provide funds to promote sterilization and adoption
of companion animals, and to increase and improve enforcement of animal
anticruelty laws in the state. The fund would be paid for by an income
tax check-off authorized by S952. Both bills will be
heard by the Senate Finance Committee.
- Sen. Wilemon has introduced S2007 which will revise
Mississippi’s animal cruelty laws. The bill distinguishes between
felony and misdemeanor offenses, revises the process by which an animal
may be seized or destroyed and requires certification of humane enforcement
officers. The Mississippi Canine Coalition is working closely on S2007
and is helping to sponsor the bill. S2007 will be heard
by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- S2089 is similar to S2007, but
does not require certification of humane officers and does not contain
the same protections for property. Sponsored by Sen. Tollison, S2089
has also been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
MISSOURI – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has
adopted a revised vicious dog ordinance that defines a vicious animal
as one that attacks a person or domestic animal causing physical injury
or death or behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would judge
as threatening injury or death. The city did consider restricting “pit
bulls,” but decided to adopt a generic dangerous dog ordinance
instead. The measure does allow owners to appeal a vicious dog finding
to the municipal court.
- The City of Jennings Public Works Committee is expected to make a
recommendation at the January 23rd meeting on a proposal to ban “pit
bulls” from the city limits. AKC has sent the committee members
a letter encouraging them to pursue a fair and reasonable dangerous
dog ordinance rather than a breed-specific one.
- The City of Olivette is considering a dangerous dog ordinance and
has reviewed a breed-specific proposal adopted in Shrewsbury. AKC sent
a letter to the mayor and city council members opposing breed-specific
- The City of Oak Grove is researching a proposal to ban dangerous
animals from the city. Staff members have been directed to draft a ban
on “dangerous breeds,” which were not defined by the council,
but “pit bulls” were mentioned. AKC sent a statement encouraging
city council members to enact a reasonable dangerous dog law rather
than a breed ban and is working with local dog owners to oppose breed-specific
- The City of Springfield is in the process of developing a dangerous
dog ordinance but has not yet decided if they will pursue a breed-specific
policy. The Plans and Policies Committee held an initial hearing in
mid-January and will likely hold another meeting sometime in February.
AKC expressed its concerns regarding dangerous dog laws to the council
and provided them with model legislation.
NEW HAMPSHIRE – Sponsored by Rep. Allen, H1130
would change the definition of the shelter that is required for dogs.
Under H1130, if the dog lives primarily outside, owners
would be required to provide a shelter that is wind-proof and moisture
proof, has 4 walls, a roof and a solid floor that is raised off the
ground with an entrance large enough to allow access for the animal,
but small enough to keep the animal out of the direct path of winds.
The bill also requires that dogs be provided with “suitable bedding.”
H1130 is opposed by the Dog Owners of the Granite State
(DOGS) because of the subjective language in the bill. The House Committee
on Environment and Agriculture will hear the bill.
- H1239 by Rep. Weare allows an owner to keep and
obtain a license for a dog that cannot for health reasons be vaccinated
against rabies provided he or she produces written proof from a veterinarian.
The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Environment and
- Rep. Crane has introduced H1435, a bill that would
require the Director of the Division of Emergency Management to include
a plan for service animals and other animals to be evacuated in the
event of an emergency, in emergency management plans. H1435
has been assigned to the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public
- H1440, by Rep. Tilton, would change 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 is opposed by the DOGS who feel that current law, which
allows pet purchasers up to 14 days to take the animal to a veterinarian,
provides appropriate remedies for pet purchasers. The House Commerce
Committee will hear the bill.
- Rep. Reed is sponsoring 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. The bill was originally
intended to apply only to pheasant hunting, but now applies to the training
of all dogs. DOGS have strong concerns regarding the host of bureaucratic
regulations that hunters and dog trainers could be subjected to if the
measure is allowed to pass. The bill will be heard by the House Committee
on Fish and Game.
- H1594, introduced by Rep. Wells, would restrict
access to low-cost spay/neuter programs offered through shelters to
low-income residents only. Currently any one adopting a shelter
animal, regardless of income, can apply for low-cost spay/neuter programs,
and the fund regularly runs dry. DOGS supports this bill, believing
it will help ensure funding for those who truly need it. The bill has
been referred to the House Committee on Environment and Agriculture.
- H1646, by Rep. Mirski, will allow hunters to use
a leashed tracking dog to recover a wounded deer, moose or bear, after
they notify a conservation officer. The bill has been referred to the
House Committee on Fish and Game.
- Sen. Roberge has introduced S329, a bill to prohibit
owners from leaving their dogs unattended in a car. The bill will also
enable a law enforcement officer, animal control officer, an agent of
a duly licensed humane society, or a volunteer or professional fire
or rescue department member to use reasonable force to enter a motor
vehicle and remove a dog in distress. DOGS believes the bill to be vague
and further believes that existing law is more than adequate to allow
for the rescue of any dog that is in distress.
- Sen. Roberge is also sponsoring S350, which would
require boarding kennels to be licensed and inspected by the Department
of Agriculture, Food and Markets. DOGS opposes the bill, believing it
would place unnecessary burdens on those who do grooming in their homes
or occasionally board a dog for a friend. They further believe the low
level of complaints on this issue does not justify the increased time
and expenditure it would take to enforce it.
- S351, a final bill by Sen. Roberge, will make the
drowning of a companion animal an animal cruelty offense. The first
offense would be a misdemeanor and the second a Class B felony. The
Senate Environment Committee will hear the bill.
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.
- Asm. Burzichelli is sponsoring A4438, a bill requiring
that state, county and municipalities create emergency plans for household
pets and service animals. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly
Committee on Homeland Security and State Preparedness.
- The New Jersey Assembly has passed A2411, a bill
that will allow a pet owner to sue a person who is convicted of animal
cruelty that results in the death or disability of an animal. The pet
owner is allowed to recover damages including the monetary value of
the animal, breeding potential of the animal, veterinary expenses, reasonable
burial and cremation costs, reimbursement for training expenses, any
special value of a service animal and lost wages incurred by the owner
due to the loss or disability of the animal. A2411
has now been referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.
For more information on legislative issues pending in New Jersey,
please contact the New Jersey
Federation of Dog Clubs.
NEW YORK - Asm. Lentol is sponsoring A1977,
a bill that would create a program to match seniors with companion animals
and to teach seniors about the humane care of animals.
- Asm. Glick has introduced A9266, which will make
the theft of a pet grand larceny which is a Class E felony. The bill
has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Codes.
- Asm. Glick is also sponsoring A9292, a bill to ensure
that state and local disaster preparedness plans address the needs of
those with household pets and service animals. A9292
will be heard by the Assembly Government Operations Committee.
- 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 information on legislative issues in New York please contact
the Long Island Coalition of Dog Owners
or Responsible Dog Owners Association
of New York.
NORTH DAKOTA – The City of Lincoln has recently
enacted a law declaring Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers,
American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers
and any mixed breed dogs including one of these breeds as “prohibited
dogs.” The ordinance makes it unlawful to keep these dogs in the
city limits. AKC was notified after the ordinance was passed and sent
a letter to the mayor and city council members asking them to repeal
the ordinance in favor of a generic dangerous dog law.
OKLAHOMA – Sen. Aldridge is sponsoring S1569,
a bill that would allow local governments to enact breed-specific ordinances.
For more information on how you can help oppose this measure, please
read our Legislative
- Rep. Smithson has prefiled H2076, a bill that 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 who inflicts physical injury to a person or
damage to real property could be held liable for economic damages.
- The City of Purcell is reviewing its dangerous dog law in the wake
of dog attacks in nearby cities. The city is not considering breed-specific
options, and the city council has said it intends to focus on how to
prevent attacks rather than on punishment that occurs after an attack.
AKC sent the city council information on dangerous dog legislation as
well as other animal control tools such as leash laws.
- Noble is considering a proposal to require dogs that are classified
as dangerous or potentially dangerous wear a fluorescent collar. The
measure would further require owners to maintain a $50,000 liability
PENNSYLVANIA – Rep. Readshaw is sponsoring H2324,
which establishes a lost and found pet program. The proposal directs
each county treasurer to establish and maintain an internet site with
pictures of lost pets. Shelters that receive lost pets would be required
to submit information on the animal to the treasurer’s website.
The House Committee on Local Government has been assigned the bill.
RHODE ISLAND - Rep. Shanley is sponsoring H6773,
which would require owners of vicious dogs to install an electric or
invisible fence. It would also permit the transfer of a vicious dog
under certain circumstances. The House Committee on Health Education
and Welfare will hear the bill.
TEXAS – Ignoring two years of opposition efforts
by AKC, Responsible Pet Owners Alliance and local fanciers, the El Paso
City Council adopted an ordinance which includes a $75 litter permit,
a limit of one litter per year, and mandatory microchipping. The measure
will allow animal control officers to go door-to-door to enforce the
provisions of the ordinance. Many thanks to those who worked so long
to educate city officials about better alternatives to breeding restrictions.
- The City of Lubbock is revising its animal control ordinance. The
current draft would restrict residents to four dogs and four cats unless
they obtain a special permit and would require that animals have an
ID tag or be microchipped. Tethered animals are required to have access
to food, water and shelter, must be in a fenced yard, and the tether
must be at lest ten feet in length. The proposal was discussed at a
public hearing on January 10th, but a council work session on the measure
has not yet been scheduled.
- Corinth has recently updated its dangerous dog law to include animals
that have attacked other domestic animals as well as people. The move
came after attacks that killed a cat and gravely wounded another dog.
Please contact the Responsible
Pet Owners Alliance for more information on how you can help in
El Paso, Austin or San Antonio.
UTAH – Rep. Wyatt’s H61
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 treatment. 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 is sponsoring S250
which would make it a criminal act to crop a dog’s ears for cosmetic purposes. A $3000 fine would be
assessed for the first violation. If a second violation is committed,
or the person is not a licensed veterinarian, or the procedure was conducted
without the animal receiving anesthesia, it would constitute cruelty.
AKC has sent a letter of opposition to the members of the Senate Judiciary
Committee which will hear the bill. To find out how you can help oppose
S250, please read our Legislative
- Sen. Campbell has introduced S282 to prohibit the
transportation of unsecured dogs in the back of pick-up trucks. The
bill has been referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.
To find out how you can become involved in legislation in Vermont,
please contact the Vermont Federation
of Dog Clubs.
VIRGINIA – Under a new bill proposed in Virginia, all dogs and
cats acquired from dealers, hobby breeders, pet shops and adoption agencies
would be have to be sterilized and microchipped. Sponsored by Sen. W.
Roscoe Reynolds, S55 defines a "dealer" as any person who
sells or transfers companion animals (with the exception of rescue groups).
The bill further defines "hobby breeder" as one who breeds
and places one litter per year. Responsible dog breeders will most certainly
be impacted by this legislation! To read more about how you can help
oppose this measure, please read our Legislative
- Rep. Orrock has introduced H339, which requires
veterinarians to collect animal license fees when administering a rabies
vaccine. The county will pay veterinarians $2 for each license. The
bill also requires counties to charge a $10 license fee for unaltered
animals and $5 fee for altered animals. The bill further allows counties
to charge an additional $5 for any cat or dog that is impounded without
a current license.
- H340, also by Rep. Orrock, will require cities and
counties to regulate dangerous and vicious dogs. H340
will also 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.
- Rep. Hargrove has prefiled H265, a bill that will
increase the amount that local governments are allowed to charge for
animal license taxes from $10 to $35.
- H278, has been introduced by Rep. BaCote, will allow
the city of Newport News to impose a license fee of up to $35 on each
dog or cat that has not been spayed or neutered.
- Rep. Dance’s H386 will expand the definition
of a dangerous dog to include one that has without provocation chased,
confronted or approached a person in a threatening or aggressive manner
such that a reasonable person would be fearful of an attack. The proposal
would allow an animal control officer to determine whether the dog is
dangerous after an investigation.
- Rep. Welch is sponsoring H828 to prohibit live animals
from being awarded as prizes at a carnival or midway. The Virginia Federation
of Dog Clubs and AKC support this bill.
- Sen. Houck’s S200 is one of several dangerous
dog bills introduced in Virginia so far this year. The bill would provide
for criminal penalties for owners whose dogs cause serious injury or
death. It would further create a dangerous dog registry and require
owners of dangerous dogs to obtain at least $300,000 in liability insurance
coverage. S200 would allow 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.
- Sen. Houck is also sponsoring SJR12 to designate
the last week of September as Virginia Responsible Dog Ownership week.
- Pasquotank County has adopted an ordinance which allows the sheriff
to designate dogs as dangerous or potentially dangerous. The measure
defines a “dangerous dog” as one that has killed or severely
injured a person or domestic animal or one that has been trained as
a fighting dog. The ordinance also establishes a leash law that requires
residents to keep their dogs restrained in open area in residential
subdivisions and mobile home parks.
For more information on pending legislation in Virginia, please
contact the Virginia Federation of
WEST VIRGINIA – Rep. Sumner is sponsoring H2650
to require that dogs and cats be inoculated with a rabies vaccine that
lasts three years.
- H3120, introduced by Rep. Overington, would expand
the crimes under animal fighting. Specifically, the bill 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 ability.
- The City of Wheeling has voted to adopt an ordinance which will deem
“pit bull terriers,” defined as Staffordshire Bull Terriers,
American Pit Bull Terriers or American Stafforshire Terriers and “canary
dogs,” defined as Canary Dogs or Perro do Presa Canario, to be
vicious dogs. This designation requires owners of these breeds to comply
with a host of requirements, including special confinement, expensive
liability insurance and mandatory spay/neuter. The city is unsure who
will be responsible for enforcing the ordinance, and the county dog
officer has said he will not enforce it. AKC sent the council members
a letter of opposition and worked with local club members to educate
legislators and provide alternatives.
UNITED STATES – Chairman Ron Menaker has received a letter from Senator
Santorum regarding the status of the PAWS bill and the amendments discussed
at the November hearing. Read
the full text of this letter here.