There are currently three state legislatures in session and forty-seven that are in special session, recess, or have adjourned. For the latest information on the over 850 bills being tracked by the Government Relations Department, visit our 2009 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated daily, provides the latest bill text, status, and any Legislative Alerts posted by the AKC.
For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some of the highlights:
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 adult animals, has passed the Assembly as well as Senate committees. It is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.
Senate Bill 250 – As introduced, this measure required sterilization if a dog is at large, not licensed, and violates a local animal control ordinance - even on a first offense. While the first offense language has been removed, it still prohibits anyone who has ever had their intact license revoked from ever owning an intact dog again. The bill will be considered soon by the California Assembly. Read the latest on this legislation.
Massachusetts – The AKC is following several bills affecting Massachusetts dog owners. While these bills have all been heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, 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.
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 an owner may restrain their dog.
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.
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 with virtually no breeder representation. 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 – House Bill 39 updates the statute regarding ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal, debarking, and surgical birth by requiring a veterinarian to perform all such procedures. The AKC has successfully worked with the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs to address concerns with this bill, which is awaiting Governor Rendell’s signature.
Wisconsin – Two bills affecting breeders and fanciers have been introduced in Wisconsin, but neither have been heard in committee:
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.
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.