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AKC's Canine Legislation Department — 2006 Highlights
January / February 2007

Thousands of fanciers, Legislative Liaisons, federation members and responsible dog owners across the country benefited from the AKC Canine Legislation department’s efforts in 2006. In the past year, the department:

  • Tracked nearly 600 state bills relating to canine ownership.
  • Assisted local dog owners in participating in over 150 local city and county ordinances.
  • Responded to over 3,700 email inquires to
  • Posted more than 70 legislative alerts to AKC’s Web site.
  • Hosted our fourth annual Lobby Day event in Washington, DC and expanded this year’s program.
  • Cosponsored “Pet Night” on Capitol Hill for Members of Congress.
  • Networked with nearly 12,000 legislators at the National Conference of State Legislators and National Association of Counties Conference.
  • Hosted Legislative Seminars in Pleasanton, CA; Long Beach, CA and Boston, MA.
  • Added 464 new Legislative Liaisons to the program.

2006 Major Moments in Legislation
AETA – The American Kennel Club worked to support this federal legislation which protects “animal enterprises”, i.e. places where animals are housed or kept, as well as lawful commercial enterprises related to animal use. The definition of “animal enterprise” in the AETA specifically includes “lawful competitive animal events” such as dog shows, field trials and the like, and also includes animal breeders. AETA passed both houses and was signed in to law by President Bush.

PETS – The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006 amended 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. The Canine Legislation Department thanks all fanciers who encouraged their elected officials to support this important legislation. AKC will continue to work with the federal, state and local governments to implement the provisions of PETS.

New York A. 11242 – The dog fancy came together in 2006 to fight this bill which would have prohibited ear cropping and tail docking. Fanciers worked diligently to educate officials about these issues and were ultimately successful when the bill failed to receive a hearing before the Agriculture Committee.

Ohio HB 606 – The American Kennel Club, as well as local breeders, fanciers, concerned dog owners and other affected groups, worked closely with Rep. Hughes' staff regarding the concerns with HB 606. The bill that would have established a licensing framework and standards of care for certain dog kennels, dog intermediaries, animal rescues, and animal shelters. The bill died when it failed to pass prior to the adjournment of session.

Vermont S. 250 – The Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs and the Canine Legislation Department worked hard in 2006 to defeat a proposed ban on ear cropping. Senate Bill 250 would have made ear cropping crop illegal, allowing for a fine of up to $3,000 for a first offense. Subsequent violations or performing the procedure without anesthesia could have allowed for criminal charges.

Indianapolis, IN – The American Kennel Club applauds the Indianapolis City-County Council for their passage of a stronger dangerous dog law and a new leash law. The Rules and Public Policy Committee deserves much of the credit as they worked with fanciers and concerned dog owners to avoid breed-specific legislation and a mandatory spay/neuter proposal. The committee members spent countless hours working with dog owning constituents to ensure that the council moved forward with a reasonable, enforceable measure that would benefit the whole community and protect responsible owners. Indianapolis is a great example of how concerned dog owners working with their legislators can effect positive changes in animal control in their communities.

Los Angeles County, CA – Despite opposition from local dog owners and the Canine Legislation Department, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that requires all dogs, except those that are law enforcement dogs, service dogs or that qualify as "competition" dogs to be spayed or neutered. The Canine Legislation Department continues to fight similar measures across California and the country.

Louisville, KYIn spite of opposition from the Louisville Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, other animal groups and local pet owners, the Louisville Metro Council enacted major changes to their animal control ordinance. The new provisions include a pet limit, severe restrictions on the keeping of intact animals, licensing of in-home kennels, extreme differential licensing and vague definitions. The Louisville Kennel Club continues to fight the implementation of these unreasonable terms.

Detroit, MI – The Michigan Association for Purebred Dogs and the AKC Canine Legislation worked to support local dog owners in their efforts to educate city officials about breed-specific legislation. Responsible owners prevailed when the council rejected a proposal to ban new "pit bulls," defined as American Stafforshire Terriers, Stafforshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and mixed breeds with similar traits, and further required existing owners to comply with restrictive care conditions.