Many local municipalities are also considering ordinances that will have a tremendous impact on dog owners and breeders.
The AKC is unable to track every single city and town in the country, so if you hear about an issue in your community, be sure to contact us at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com. We have a number of resources available to help your efforts to protect your rights as a dog owner in your community.
Here are some of the highlights so far in 2009:
Chicago, IL – The Chicago City Council has delayed a vote on a new version of the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance introduced in 2008. It is critical that Chicago residents contact their representatives on the council. Chicago residents should contact their Alderman and express their opposition to the bill. Make sure to include your full name and mailing address so you will be recognized as a constituent. To find out who represents you, click here. Make sure to include your full name and mailing address so you will be recognized as a constituent.
Laguna Woods, CA – The City of Laguna Woods is considering an ordinance requiring spay/neuter of all dogs over four months of age, with few exceptions. These exceptions include a dog “used to show, compete, or breed”, so long as the dog has competed in at least 3 events in a calendar year, earned a title from a purebred registry, or is registered with a purebred breed club. Service animals and dogs unable to be spayed/neutered are also exempted. The AKC wrote a letter to the Laguna Woods City Council expressing our opposition to mandatory spay/neuter laws. The ordinance will be discussed at a future meeting.
Riverside County, CA – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to enact an ordinance that will require an impounded dog be spayed/neutered, even on a first offense. Spaying/neutering will also be required if the owner is cited for three violations of the animal control ordinance. The ordinance further requires all dogs to be microchipped. The Government Relations Department posted a legislative alert, wrote a letter opposing these changes and worked to support local breeders, owners and fanciers in educating the Board of Supervisors on these issues.
The Board also established a committee to define “breeder” and evaluate the success of the ordinance over the next year. Responsible dog owners who are interested in serving on this committee, which will be comprised equally of supporters and opponents of the ordinance, should contact their representative on the Board of Supervisors.
Santa Barbara County, CA – In 2007, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors declined to pass a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance and created a task force to study animal control issues including shelter population issues in the county. A dedicated group of local fanciers, owners and breeders has been attending these meetings, but more help is needed! If you live in the Santa Barbara County area, please consider attending the task force meeting and speak up for the rights of responsible breeders and owners. AKC has sent a letter to the task force and a sample letter to all our constituents in the county.
Torrance County, NM – The Torrance County Commission is considering a proposal which will require breeders to obtain kennel licenses and purchase business licenses (which they may not qualify for). The proposal also includes strict limits and other vague and unenforceable language. The Government Relations Department has written a letter to the county commissioners and sent materials to local fanciers who are working to educate the commissioners about reasonable animal control legislation and help draft alternative language that will work for this rural county.
Fayette City, MO – The Fayette City Council unanimously approved an ordinance which bans “pit bulls”. The Government Relations Department became aware of the ordinance after its adoption and sent city leaders a letter asking them to repeal the ordinance in favor of a non-breed-specific dangerous dog law.
Lancaster, CA – The City of Lancaster has adopted an ordinance which requires the mandatory spaying/neutering of all Rottweilers, and “pit bulls,” defined as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, or any dog with the characteristics of these breeds. The legislation also enhances penalties for dogs deemed dangerous or vicious.
North Plains, OR – A newly elected city council member has announced a desire to ban “pit bulls.” The AKC staff has alerted local club officers and judges so that they can begin educating their city council representatives.
Tea, SD – The Tea City Council enacted an ordinance which bans American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers. The Government Relations Department has sent a letter encouraging a repeal of this ordinance and is working to support local clubs in their efforts to educate city council members.
Laguna Woods, CA – The Laguna Woods City Council passed an ordinance to limit ownership to three dogs or cats per household in the community. While this is an increase on the previous limit of one dog or cat, the AKC still opposes laws that limit dog ownership, as they are difficult to enforce and do not address the issue of responsible dog ownership.
South Heart, ND – The South Heart City Council has recently placed a three dog limit on all households in the town. AKC wrote a letter of opposition to the mayor and city council requesting they repeal this ordinance.
Wichita, KS – The Wichita City Council has given preliminary approval to an ordinance that would severely impact the rights of local dog owners. Anyone wishing to own more than two dogs or cats must obtain an Animal Maintenance Permit (AMP), at which time they may own up to four dogs or cats. Owners of “pit bulls” may not apply for an AMP and must sterilize their dogs. The proposal imposes several other restrictions, including banning “pit bulls” from dog parks and limiting the number of dogs a person may have at a dog park at any time. AKC has submitted a letter and memo to the City Council and is working with local dog clubs to stop this ordinance.
Ukiah, CA – The Ukiah City Council has passed an ordinance which will change the term “owner” to “guardian” in the city code. The AKC has sent a letter opposing the change and supporting the term “owner,” as it places responsibility on people for the care and actions of their dogs. AKC has also provided educational pamphlets to local residents to use in educating their elected officials.
For the latest news, please see our Legislative Alerts page.