|Be Alert: National Patterns of Legislation
Dog fanciers in every state need to be cognizant of a commonality of language and purpose in much of the negative canine legislation introduced each year at the state and local levels. Mandatory spay and neuter ordinances, state-level breeders’ legislation, and tethering bills are particularly susceptible to duplication across the country. The exact same language appears in bills introduced in multiple communities and states, suggesting that these are not local initiatives but are instead a concerted effort of a well-financed animal rights movement operating in an organized pattern to infringe on the rights of responsible dog owners.
Tip O’Neill, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, coined the oft repeated phrase that “all politics is local.” While we concentrate on monitoring local ordinances and state-level bill introductions, we also need to be aware that legislation is usually introduced at the behest of an individual or group and always has a legislative intent. Mandatory spay and neuter ordinances and anti-tethering bills are rampant in their introduction across the nation. A goal is to set precedent in one locality or state by the adoption of negative legislation and then export the same language to an adjoining state or community. Los Angeles County, California adopted a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance and upon passage of the law a similar ordinance was introduced in nearby Riverside County. It is only reasonable to conclude that the concurrent introduction of such bills, sharing common language, is part of an orchestrated agenda to eliminate the rights to own and breed dogs.
It is imperative that the purebred dog community work together against this onslaught. The AKC Canine Legislation Department stands ready to assist fanciers in combating egregious laws. Monitoring the AKC website for legislative alerts and posts allows fanciers to identify pressing issues. Typing “federations” in the search engine box on the AKC website provides a direct link to state federation websites, permitting fanciers to contact federations directly and identify issues occurring within states and across the nation. In 2007, we look forward to working with the dog fancy to present a united front against legislation that threatens the rights of responsible dog owners.