Legislation That Affects You
CALIFORNIA – The Sacramento County Board of
Supervisors will hear a proposal to establish a $150 intact animal fee
at their July 18th board meeting. Fanciers and concerned dog owners
are needed to attend and to contact their member of the Board of Supervisors
and ask him/her to oppose the measure. To read more about this restrictive
ordinance, please read our Legislative
- Riverside County is considering a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.
Although a draft is not yet available, the Animal Services Department
has provided limited details. According to the county web site, exemptions
will be granted for service animals, working dogs, registered breeding
stock and animals boarded at licensed training facilities. The county
is expected to hold a series of public meetings once a final draft is
available. For more information on this issue, please read our Legislative
- Asm. Hancock’s AB 2110 has been placed on
the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File due to the amount of money
it would cost to enforce. The bill defines “live field coursing”
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 would outlaw 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. AKC thanks the fanciers and concerned dog
owners who worked hard to defeat this bill. For additional information
about this bill, please see our Legislative
- AB 450, sponsored by Asm. Yee, would require the
Office of Emergency Services to adopt and incorporate the California
Animal Response Emergency System (CARES) program into the standardized
emergency management system. The bill passed the Senate Governmental
Organization Committee and has been sent to the Senate Appropriations
- Sen. Lowenthal’s SB 1578 passed the Senate
and will now be heard by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.
The bill prohibits tethering, chaining or tying a dog to a tree, house
or stationary object. Senate floor amendments clarify that the tethering
prohibition does not apply to activities such as working or guide dogs
or training hunting, or tethering dogs in order to draw blood, provided
that it is a licensed activity which involves the use or presence of
- SB 1806, authored by Sen. Figueroa would make it
a crime to leave an animal unattended in a car when conditions would
endanger the animal’s health. A first offense would be punishable
by a $100 fine per animal and subsequent violations would result in
a fine of up to $500 and/or up to six months imprisonment in a county
jail. The measure has passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee and
will now be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- Asm. Ridley-Thomas’s AB 2862 has passed the
Assembly and is now before the Senate Committee on Business, Professions
and Economic Development. The measure regulates pet stores, defined
as “any establishment or marketplace where animals are bought,
sold, exchanged, or offered for sale to the general public with the
intent of making a profit where the animals are intended as companions
or household animals.” The new law would regulate the feeding,
care, socialization, veterinary care and exercise of dogs being sold
at pet stores.
- The author of the mandatory spay/neuter proposal before the Berkley
Citizens Humane Commission has pulled the proposal. The measure being
debated by the commission would have required "pit bull" owners
to spay or neuter their dogs unless they obtained a $100 breeding permit
and complied with a host of regulations. The ordinance defined "pit
bulls" as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers,
Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any dog displaying the physical traits
of these breeds. Concerned dog owners are encouraged to continue to
monitor the commission’s activities as they have discussed holding
a public hearing in the fall on animal issues.
COLORADO – Governor Owens has signed Rep. Stafford’s
H1057. The new law 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.
- Sen. Owen’s S25 been signed in to law by Governor
Owens. The new law requires 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 measure 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.
For more information on Colorado legislation and how you can get
involved, please contact the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs at email@example.com.
CONNECTICUT – H5795, was signed by Governor
Rell. The new law requires the Commissioner of Agriculture, working
with specified parties, including a representative from a state dog
federation, to develop recommendations regarding animal population control
issues. The bill originally required any impounded animal to be spayed
or neutered, even if the animal were reclaimed by the owner.
DELAWARE – Rep. Valihura is sponsoring HB
420, a bill to declare the Pug as the state dog of Delaware.
The bill has passed the House Administration Committee.
- HB 425, authored by Rep. Spence adds $3.00 to the
cost of a rabies vaccine to fund low-cost spay/neuter programs. The
bill also establishes criteria for qualifying for low-cost spay/neuter
services and requires that all dogs and cats adopted from shelters or
rescues be spayed or neutered. The measure has passed the House and
will now be heard in the Senate Agriculture Committee.
- Rep. Spence’s HB 470 passed the House and
will now be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill establishes
that the owner of a dog which makes an unprovoked attack on a human
and causes death or serious physical injury to the victim shall be criminally
liable for such attack, regardless of whether the dog has previously
been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous by the Dog Control
FLORIDA – S1172, which permits local governments
to conduct a pilot program to allow dogs at certain designated outdoor
portions of restaurants, has been signed by Governor Bush.
For additional information on pending legislation in Florida, please
contact the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIANA – The Indianapolis City Council held
a public hearing on dog violence earlier this month and has decided
not to pursue breed-specific legislation. However, dog owners are encouraged
to continue to be vigilant as the Mayor has indicated that he still
supports breed-specific legislation. AKC thanks the fanciers and concerned
dog owners who attended the meeting and contacted their city officials.
ILLINOIS – Rep. Boland’s HJR101
has passed the House and is in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting assignment
to a policy committee. The resolution 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. AKC strongly supports this effort to identify strategies
that effectively address dangerous dogs.
- H2946, authored by Rep. Mitchell, prohibits a person
convicted of certain drug related felonies from owning an intact dog
or puppy older than twelve weeks of age, or a dog determined to be vicious
for up to ten years after release from prison. Any dog in possession
of a felon must be microchipped. The bill has been signed into law by
- Rep. Boland’s H4238 has been signed by the
Governor. The bill 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. Further, H4238 removes the previous
cap of $50 on fines for dogs at-large and allows counties to set the
fine at any amount.
- H4711 was signed into law by Governor Blagojevich.
The new law increases the penalty for attending of dog fight from a
Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor, and makes it a felony
to bring a child under the age of thirteen to a dog fight.
For more information on legislative issues in Illinois please contact
the Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders Association at MAJWIZ@aol.com.
KENTUCKY – The Louisville Metro Council continues
to pursue changes to its animal control ordinance. The latest draft
from the task force includes breed-specific language, 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 email@example.com.
LOUISIANA - H772, authored by Rep. Crowe, has passed
both houses and has been sent to Governor Blanco. The bill 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
animal and registration will last the lifetime of the animal. The original
version of the bill would have set the fee at $7.50 for spayed/neutered
animals and would have required that intact animals be re-registered
every three years.
- Sen. Fontenot’s S607 has been sent to Governor
Blanco. The bill requires 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.
MASSACHUSETTS – The City of Brockton is considering
a new vicious dog law in the wake of two local dog attacks. Although
a draft has not been released, at least one council member has stated
publicly that he is interested in pursuing a breed-specific ordinance.
AKC sent a letter opposing breed specific ordinances and sent packets
containing model dangerous dog legislation.
MINNESOTA - Rep. Westrom’s H2688
has been signed by Governor Pawlenty. The measure authorizes the placement
of a plaque on the Capitol grounds honoring the nation’s war dogs
and their handlers.
MISSISSIPPI – The City of Jackson is considering
breed-specific legislation in the wake of a dog attack. As a draft has
not yet been released, it is unclear what breeds would be banned or
restricted. AKC sent a letter opposing breed specific legislation and
packets containing sample dangerous dog ordinances.
MISSOURI – Rep. Low is sponsoring H1724,
a bill to require any dog or cat offered for adoption by any shelter,
humane society or rescue group be spayed or neutered. The House Agriculture
Committee will hear the bill.
NEW JERSEY – Asm. Cohen is sponsoring A2820,
to prohibit insurers from refusing to issue, terminating, charging increased
premiums or limiting coverage under a homeowner’s insurance policy
on the basis of the type or specific breed of dog harbored upon the
insured property. The measure has passed the Assembly and has been referred
to the Senate Commerce Committee.
- A3192, authored by Asm. Burzichelli, would create
a statutory right of action for economic damages for the owner of a
domestic companion animal that has been injured or killed by another
person's domestic companion animal. Under the bill, economic damages
may include, but need not be limited to, the monetary value of the animal,
replacement value of the animal, breeding potential of the animal, veterinary
expenses incurred by the owner in treating the animal, reasonable burial
or cremation expenses, reimbursement of animal training expenses, any
unique or special value of the animal, such as a guide or service animal,
and lost wages incurred by the owner due to the loss or disability of
the animal. The bill has passed the Assembly Agriculture and Natural
Resources Committee and will be voted on by the full Assembly.
- A3237, sponsored by Asm. Panter, directs the Department
of Health and Senior Services to review current regulations concerning
the proper care and housing of animals, determine the proper care and
housing for each species of animal sold by kennels, pet shops and any
other retail establishments selling animals, and adopt rules and regulations
that prohibit the overcrowding of animals. The measure has been referred
to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
- Asm. Burzichelli has also introduced A1929, a bill
to require the state, counties and municipalities to create emergency
plans for those with household pets and service animals. The bill passed
the Senate Committee on Law and Public Safety and is back in the Assembly
To find out how you can get involved in legislation in New Jersey,
please contact the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW YORK – Asm. Sandy Galef’s A
11242, a bill to prohibit ear cropping and tail docking, has
been amended. The new version of the bill contains a legislative intent
section which states that “it is the purpose and intent of this
act to eliminate cosmetic procedures that are cruel and inhumane to
dogs, and to further curtail illegal dog fighting.” The bill now
expressly states that the legislature believes that there is no medical
indication for ear cropping and tail docking and claims that the practices
are linked to dog fighting, which is already illegal under New York
state law. Amendments also remove the right of an animal rights group
to sue, but allow any dog owner to sue a breeder or owner. For more
on this important legislation and how you can help, please see our New
York Crop Dock Action Center.
- A 10767, authored by Rep. Magee has passed the Assembly
and will proceed to the Senate. The measure would allow animals to be
protected under the provisions of a court order of protection.
- Rep. Magee’s A 10929 provides that a pet
dealer must notify a person who purchases a dog that a dog residing
in the state must be licensed and that a license may be purchased in
the municipality where the dog resides. The bill has passed the House
and will now be sent to the Senate.
- Sen. Balboni’s S6913 requires local disaster
plans to including planning and coordination for those with household
pets and service animals. The bill passed the House and returns to the
Senate for concurrence.
For more information on legislative issues in New York please contact
the Long Island Coalition of Dog Owners at email@example.com
or Responsible Dog Owners Association of New York at Lettis@webtv.net.
NORTH CAROLINA - Rep. Ross has introduced H2098,
a bill to allow the plaintiff in animal cruelty proceedings to act as
the custodian of the animal in question, although the animal may not
be euthanized without the consent of the animal’s owner or the
court. Further, the bill provides that if the plaintiff prevails, the
defendant will pay all costs associated with the animal’s care.
H2098 has passed the House and has been referred to
the Senate Judiciary II Committee.
OHIO –HB 606, introduced by Rep. Jim Hughes,
would amend state law to create a commercial dog kennel control authority
to license and inspect the facilities of dog breeders. This proposed
legislation would require owners of nine or more adult dogs kept for
purposes of breeding to apply for a commercial dog breeding kennel license
including fingerprinting and a criminal background check. AKC is working
with Rep. Hughes and the cosponsors of HB 606 to address
our concerns. The bill has not been referred to any committee at this
time but the Canine Legislation Department will continue to monitor
OKLAHOMA – H2813, authored by Rep. Denney has
been signed by Governor Henry. The bill requires owners of dangerous
dogs to maintain $100,000 in liability insurance and increases penalties
for owners of dogs previously declared dangerous that run at-large and
are involved in another attack.
TEXAS - The San Antonio City Council is considering
a 5-Year Strategic Plan that includes mandatory spay/neuter and breeder
permits, as well as creation of a bill of rights for animals. The plan
was generated by the San Antonio Animal Care Services Advisory Board
and will be presented to the city council at the June 29th meeting.
Fanciers and concerned dog owners are needed to attend the meeting and
oppose these proposals. To find out more about how you can assist in
fighting this proposal, please see our Legislative
Alert or contact the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RHODE ISLAND – Rep. Voccola’s H8101
will establish a consumer protection law for dogs. The bill exempts
breeders that sell less than 3 litters or 20 puppies each year, whichever
is greater. Requires the seller to make certain disclosures and provides
remedies for illness up to twenty days after the sale and coverage for
congenital defects within two years. H8101 has passed
the House and will be heard by the Senate Constitutional and Gaming
VIRGINIA – Rep. Oder’s H906,
a bill to allow for the creation of pet trusts has been signed by Governor
UNITED STATES - AKC has announced our support for
S. 2548, the "Pet Evacuation and Transportation
Standards Act of 2006", known as "PETS". PETS amends
the federal Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to require
provisions for rescue, care, shelter and essential needs of pets and
service animals and their families in emergency and disaster relief,
and to require that such provisions be included in federal, state and
local emergency and disaster preparedness plans. For more on this important
bill and how you can assist your local communities in disaster planning,
please see our feature article.