California – The AKC is closely following two bills of interest in California:
Assembly Bill 241 – This bill, which will prohibit dog breeders from owning more than 50 intact animals, passed the Senate Public Safety Committee and will likely be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 18. Read more about this bill and learn how you can help fight this legislation.
Senate Bill 250 – This measure requires sterilization if a dog is at large, not licensed, and violates a local animal control ordinance- even on a first offense. SB 250 has been sent to the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File. A final hearing to determine whether the bill will proceed this session will occur prior to the August 28th fiscal deadline. Read the latest on this legislation.
Massachusetts – The AKC is following several bills affecting Massachusetts dog owners. While these bills have had a hearing, there have not yet been any votes. Read our Legislative Alert for more information on these bills and to learn how you can help:
House Bill 1977 – This bill, supported by the AKC, seeks to strengthen dangerous dog laws without targeting specific breeds. The bill was heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government on July 14, but has yet to receive a vote.
House Bill 1997 – HB 1997 requires owners of unsterilized dogs to purchase an intact animal permit for an undisclosed fee. It also allows municipalities to adopt breed-specific legislation, allows for euthanasia of dogs deemed to be a nuisance, and severely limits the means by which owners may restrain their dog. The bill was heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government on July 14, but has yet to receive a vote.
Senate Bill 774 – This bill seeks to restrict the rights of responsible dog breeders, including requiring any owner of four or more dogs to obtain a kennel permit. It also limits ownership to 25 dogs, restricts breeding ages, allows for warrantless inspections, and imposes strict engineering standards for kennels. The bill was heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government on July 14, but has yet to receive a vote.
North Carolina –Senate Bill 460 as amended provided a vague definition of “commercial breeder” that included anyone who owns or maintains at least 15 intact females at least one year of age and 30 puppies. It also had problematic legislative findings and created an unfunded mandate for counties to inspect complaints. The bill sponsor pulled SB 460 from consideration in the House Finance Committee, and the bill is dead for the year. AKC worked with the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs and other like-minded organizations by sending out thousands of e-mail alerts, conducting legislative training sessions, and providing extensive legislative analysis, among other efforts. Read more about this victory for North Carolina dog owners and breeders.
Ohio – Several bills of interest have been introduced in Ohio:
House Bill 79 – The AKC supports this bill, which removes the term “pit bull” from Ohio’s statutory definition of dangerous dogs. The bill has been referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and the AKC is urging all Ohioans to contact the committee and request a hearing on this bill.
Senate Bill 95/House Bill 124 – These bills include provisions for search and seizures, limits on ear cropping and tail docking, prohibitions on females breeding more than one litter per year, and the creation of a kennel control authority board. The bill has not yet had a vote, but action is expected soon. The AKC has issued a Legislative Alert and urges Ohioans to contact the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Pennsylvania – The AKC is monitoring two bills of interest in Pennsylvania:
House Bill 39 – This bill seeks to update the statute regarding ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal, debarking, and surgical birth by requiring a veterinarian to perform all such procedures. HB 39 unanimously passed the House. The Senate also unanimously passed the bill after amendments were made in committee. The bill has been sent back to the House for its concurrence in the Senate's amendments. If concurrence is not reached, the bill will be sent to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The AKC has successfully worked with the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs to address concerns with this bill.
House Resolution 418 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted House Resolution 418, which congratulates the AKC on their 125th anniversary and designates September 2009 as “American Kennel Club Month” in Pennsylvania.
Wisconsin – Several bills affecting breeders and fanciers have been introduced in Wisconsin:
Assembly Bill 250 – This bill would require a license for anyone who sells over 25 dogs a year in the state, including non-residents. Licenses would also be required for animal shelters and animal control facilities. The bill also allows for warrantless searches and inspections. The bill has not yet received a hearing.
Senate Bill 208 – This bill seeks to require licenses for any person who sells 25 or more dogs/year, including nonresidents who sell dogs in Wisconsin. Inspections are required prior to issuing a license, and then every two years thereafter. In addition, licensees may not sell dogs under seven weeks old, and must abide by basic care and conditions standards listed in the bill. The bill has not yet received a hearing.