Legislation That Affects You
CALIFORNIA- California AB 1634, which would have required that anyone who owns an intact animal qualify for and purchase an intact animal permit (in addition to the license already required by state law), died in the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill may be brought up again in 2008, although it is unlikely to come back without significant amendments. To find out more about the status of this legislation please see our Legislative Alert.
INDIANA- HB 1719, authored by Representative Bardon, failed to be voted on prior to the end of the session and is now dead. The bill would have required that dogs be implanted with a microchip and be registered with a state-run agency. It also required owners of intact dogs to pay a $50 annual fee and to post “Beware of Dog” signs. Further, the bill established penalties for noncompliance, and allowed a county, city, or town, to adopt a dog control ordinance more restrictive than state law.
KENTUCKY- The Louisville Metro Council has enacted major changes to their animal control ordinance, including a pet limit, severe restrictions on the keeping of intact animals, licensing of in-home kennels, extreme differential licensing and vague definitions. Louisville Kennel Club along with nine other plaintiffs have filed suit to enjoin the enforcement of the ordinance. The Canine Legislation Department continues to monitor all new developments pertaining to the Louisville ordinance.
MASSACHUSETTS- HB 1948, sponsored by Representative Hill, has been heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and is eligible for executive session. The measure seeks to establish non-discriminatory, workable methods by which to deal with vicious and potentially dangerous dogs. The AKC, along with the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and responsible dog owners, strongly supports the bill and urges concerned dog owners to contact their representatives and express their support of the bill. For more information, contact Julie Rembrandt-Seeley with the Massachusetts Federation at (978) 456-8644 or e-mail.
MINNESOTA- HB 1046, the companion to Senate Bill 121 and known as the Dog and Cat Breeders Act, was pulled from the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee on March 15, 2007. It will not be considered this session. SB 121 died in committee earlier this year.
NEW HAMPSHIRE- Representative Gillick’s HB 71 was enacted by the governor. The bill excludes a municipality’s list of registered dogs from the right-to-know law, thereby protecting pet owners. HB 142, by Representatives O’Connell and Beaulieu expands the license requirements for sellers of domestic animals and requires that all out-of-state cats and dogs sold in New Hampshire be accompanied by an official health certificate. HB 142 was signed into law by Governor John Lynch.
NEW JERSEY- AB 2649, attempted to replace the state’s already comprehensive and reasonable animal cruelty laws and humane care standards. The bill provided that any person, regardless of their lack of knowledge, training, or expertise, could accuse another person of animal cruelty, while receiving immunity from prosecution for cruelty themselves; the use of a living bird or other animal in events would be considered animal abuse; the definition of "minimum care" required for the care of animals will be lessened to include "veterinary care deemed necessary by a reasonably prudent person"; and the definition of "cruelly restraining a dog" specifically bans the tethering of dogs with less than 15 feet of tether. The New Jersey Legislature is in recess until November 2007. The Canine Legislation Department will continue to monitor any developments regarding AB 2649.
NEW YORK- Assemblymen Glick’s A1896 would prohibit insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew an insurance policy, canceling a policy, or charging higher premiums, based on ownership of a particular breed of dog. The bill would allow a company to charge a higher premium if the dog has been declared dangerous in accordance by state law. A1896 is currently assigned to the Assembly Committee on Insurance.
OHIO- The Canine Legislation Department continues to monitor developments with Ohio SB 173, and its companion, HB 223. The Ohio Legislature is currently in recess and further consideration of SB 173 by the Senate Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee will occur only when the legislature reconvenes, most likely in early September. The AKC has actively monitored this legislation since July 2006, when the original HB 606 was introduced and will continue to report developments in Ohio.
OKLAHOMA- HB 1082, authored by Representative Wesselhoft is dead. The bill aimed to repeal the state law which prohibited local governments from enacting breed- specific ordinances. He is expected to pursue similar legislation in 2008.
PENNSYLVANIA- Last year, Pennsylvania Governor Rendell requested that the Department of Agriculture develop new dog law regulations. With little input from potentially affected parties, the resulting proposals attempt to impose many egregious requirements upon Pennsylvania dog breeders. The Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission issued a biting 21-page commentary on the proposal, and concluded that, “the Department should consider starting from scratch…with input from both stakeholders and the General Assembly.” The AKC and Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs continue to address the issues presented by this proposal. For more information, contact the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs or e-mail PFDC@paonline.com. Or contact the AKC’s Canine Legislation Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
RHODE ISLAND- HB 5177, creates extensive rules concerning the sale of dogs, including requirements concerning warranties, remedies and notices. It will apply only to those who sell more than 20 dogs or 3 litters in a single calendar year, whichever is greater. The bill became law without the signature of the governor.
WASHINGTON- Washington State Representative Tom Campbell will again be pursuing his Deeds Not the Breeds Bill, HB 1105. The bill will prevent insurance companies from discriminating against homeowners because of the breed of dog they own. The bill will again be in the House Rules Committee.
WASHINGTON D.C.- The District Council is considering the “Animal Protection Amendment Act” which aims to change owners to guardians, putting owners at legal risk. The measure requires that all dogs over 6 months of age be spayed or neutered. Further, the bill would allow any non-profit organization that claims to be concerned with the humane treatment of animals to sue pet owners. The Canine Legislation Department sent a letter opposing the measure and will continue to follow the proposal as it moves through the legislative process. For more on this issue please see our brochure, Preserving Your Rights.