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Taking Command
October 2008

United States – The “Puppy Uniform Protection Statute”, or PUPS Act, has been introduced in the United States Congress. In the House, the bill is known as H.R. 6949; in the Senate, as S. 3519. Purportedly, the legislation will close a loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act that currently allows large, commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to escape licensing and regulation. The bill would require that anyone who sells an animal directly to the public for use as a pet and who breeds or raises more than 50 dogs for use as pets during any one-year period to be licensed. Additionally, it imposes mandatory exercise requirements for animals kept on dealers’ premises.

California – The City of Los Angeles’ mandatory spay/neuter ordinance went in to effect on October 1. The AKC requested and has been granted status as an “approved registry” allowing residents with AKC papers to apply for an intact animal license if their dog is currently competing, has a title, or is being trained to compete.

Massachusetts –House Bill 5092 is a conglomeration of many anti-responsible breeder and anti-responsible dog owner provisions. These include: mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs over 12 months of age, unless owners qualify for and annually purchase an intact animal permit at a cost of up to $500 per dog; limiting the number of reproductive events per female dog to one litter per year, with few exceptions; requiring the reporting of all sales of puppies to local jurisdictions; eliminating the practice of humane tethering, without allowances for hunting or sled dogs; allowing towns and cities to impose breed-specific ordinances; and instituting state-mandated vaccination schedules, instead of allowing vaccination schedules to be provided by, and in consultation with, a veterinarian. The bill will be heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government on October 23.

Delaware – The Seaford City Council’s amendments to Article 4 “Dogs” of the city code have passed the first reading and will come up for a final reading on November 11, 2008. The new ordinance includes impoundment fees, dog limits, and breed-specific regulations (including American Staffordshire Terriers). Dogs covered by the breed-specific restrictions will be subject to permitting, muzzling, enclosure, and leashing requirements, and their owners must obtain $100,000 of liability insurance coverage.

Nevada – The Clark County Animal Control Advisory Board is considering recommending a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance to the County Commission. Las Vegas is the largest city in this county and AKC is working with our local clubs and breeders to oppose this measure. The county already requires that breeders obtain a pet fancier permit that requires a home inspection.

Pennsylvania– House Bill 2525, which makes extensive changes to the Pennsylvania Dog Law with regard to the issuance of dog licenses, kennel licenses, out-of-state dealer licenses, kennel requirements, and inspections of premises and dogs was substantively amended in the Senate prior to the bill’s passage out of the Senate. The Pennsylvania House concurred with the Senate amendments and Governor Rendell signed the bill into law on Thursday, October 9.

Illinois – The Chicago City Council’s Committees on Finance and License and Consumer Protection held a joint hearing on a possible mandatory spay/neuter ordinance on July 29. Due to the number of people speaking in opposition to the proposal, any vote on the ordinance has been postponed and a new hearing date has not yet been established.