The AKC Government Relations Department continues to work with responsible dog owners to help with canine legislation issues in their local communities. If you hear of an issue in your town or county, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com. We will be happy to provide you with the resources, tools, and support you need to help fight for responsible dog ownership in your community.
Here are some examples of the local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR.
Springdale, AR – The Springdale City Council has temporarily tabled a complete rewrite of the city’s animal code, including the establishment of a $50 litter fee and a $100 breeder license for anyone who breeds 2 or more litters. The measure would also have established fines for unsterilized animals picked up at-large that are significantly higher than for sterilized animals. The fines for unsterilized animals would be reduced to those for a sterilized animal if the animal was spayed or neutered prior to the owner’s sentencing.
Dangerous Dog/Breed-Specific Legislation
Elgin, IL – The Elgin City Council has rejected an ordinance that would have deemed “pit bulls” to be dangerous dogs. It defined “pit bulls” as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any dog exhibiting the characteristics of these breeds. Owners would have been required to confine the animals in a specified manner, purchase $100,000 worth of liability insurance, and sterilize their dog. The AKC sent a letter to the Elgin City Council opposing these changes and asked local residents and clubs to communicate their opposition to their elected officials.
Regent, ND – The Regent City Council will consider a proposal on April 12, 2010, that would declare all Rottweilers and “pit bulls” to be dangerous animals, and therefore banned from being within city limits. The term “pit bull” is not defined in the proposal. The AKC GR department sent a letter opposing this ban to the Regent City Council and notified North Dakota residents of the proposal.
Suffern, NY – The Suffern Village Board rejected a proposal on April 5, 2010, that would have labeled all Rottweilers as “vicious dogs”. Under current law, all vicious dogs must be securely muzzled in public and restrained with a chain with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds that is no more than three feet in length. Owners must also post notices along the perimeters of their property warning that a vicious dog is on the premises. Owners of American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers were already subject to these restrictions. The board is forming an advisory committee on how to best deal with dangerous dogs in the community without targeting specific breeds. The AKC sent a letter of opposition to the Village Board and notified parent clubs and local clubs of the hearing.
Memphis, TN – The Memphis City Council held a public hearing on March 16, 2010, to receive testimony on a proposal that would require dogs over 8 weeks of age be sterilized unless the owner qualifies for a medical exemption, operates a commercial kennel, or the dog is recognized as a show dog. The AKC and the Tennessee federation have sent letters and materials to the mayor and city council opposing these changes. Local responsible dog owners and breeders are encouraged to contact the city council and oppose the adoption of a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. A final draft has not yet been released, nor has a formal hearing been scheduled.
Elkhart, IN – The Elkhart Common Council continues to deliberate on a proposed draft of revisions to the city’s animal control law which contain a number of problematic provisions. New provisions include limiting residents to four animals (excluding small, caged animals) unless their property is at least one-third of an acre and there is at least 1,000 additional square feet of property available for each additional animal. The proposal also requires licenses for anyone who breeds one or more dogs. All breeders must also comply with zoning regulations, regardless of the number of litters bred. The AKC has sent several letters of concern to the council and is working with the Indiana federation and local concerned dog owners. A Committee of the Whole meeting was held on April 1, and the council is expected to hold a final vote on the measure soon. Local residents are encouraged to contact the council and express concerns with the proposal.
Bellbrook, OH – The AKC supports a proposal by the Bellbrook Planning Commission to change the city’s definition of “kennel”. Under current law, “kennels”, defined as any premises in which two or more dogs or cats over four months of age are kept, are prohibited in residential areas. The AKC GR department has sent a letter supporting the repeal of this de-facto limit law. A public hearing will be held on April 12, 2010.
Gladewater, TX – The Gladewater City Council has released a draft of an animal control ordinance which would limit the number of dogs residents could own. The proposal also contains significant restrictions on tethering and requires that outdoor enclosures must provide 150 square feet for each dog six months or older, regardless of size or breed. A final draft has not yet been released and no hearing date is currently scheduled. AKC GR staff will continue to monitor this issue.
Kent County, DE – The Kent County Regional Planning Commission pulled from their March 31 agenda a proposal that would limit residences to no more than 4 domestic animals over six months of age. The measure also sought to place significant restrictions on hunting kennels. The commission will likely meet with local stakeholders soon to discuss amendments to the proposal. AKC GR sent a letter of opposition to the commission and continues to work with local dog clubs to address concerns as this issue progresses.
Jefferson Parish, LA – The Jefferson Parish Council recently passed changes to its animal ordinance, including differential licensing rates and requirements that a dog be spayed or neutered upon a second redemption from the Parish animal shelter during the lifetime of the animal. The Parish Council deferred action on a proposed breeder permit requirement. AKC GR continues to work with concerned Jefferson Parish residents. Read the AKC’s Legislative Alert.
Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara City Council has sent a proposal to the Ordinance Committee that would require all residents to receive a certificate of approval from a veterinarian prior to obtaining an intact animal permit. The AKC sent a letter of concern to the council and continues to work with local residents to address this proposal. A public hearing is expected to be scheduled soon. All residents are encouraged to contact the council members and mayor with any concerns.