In addition to state and federal legislation, the AKC Government Relations Department assists responsible dog owners with local dog ordinance proposals. If you hear of an issue in your town or county, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 we are monitoring.
Rio Rancho, NM – The Rio Rancho Animal Welfare Taskforce has presented a series of recommendations to the city council, including expanding regulation of hobby breeders and prohibiting the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores. Although these proposals are not yet scheduled for a vote, the AKC encourages concerned dog owners and responsible breeders to review the recommendations and contact their city council members to express any concerns. The AKC Government Relations staff will continue to monitor this proposal and will notify residents of any impending action.
Rockingham County, NC – The Rockingham County Planning Board tabled a proposal that would have deemed any resident owning 6 or more dogs to be a private kennel and anyone owning 10 or more domestic animals (dogs, cats or household pets) as a commercial kennel. The measure placed expensive and burdensome regulations on responsible owners and breeders. AKC encouraged local clubs to oppose the measure and also sent a letter to the planning board. The planning board is expected to revisit the issue at an upcoming meeting, but no date has been set.
Springdale, AR – Springdale’s city attorney has provided the city council with 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 establish 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. A complete draft of the proposal is not yet available.
Dangerous Dog/Breed-Specific Legislation
Marion County, FL (Ocala) – The county enacted changes to its dangerous dog ordinance, which still contain problematic provisions regarding due process, citizen enforcement, and exemptions for dogs participating in performance/field events or hunting. The AKC issued letters of concern regarding the ordinance, and worked closely with the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs.
Memphis, TN – A Memphis city councilman has introduced an ordinance to require that all "pit bulls" 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. "Pit bulls" are defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any dogs displaying the physical characteristics of these breeds. The proposal must be read three times before a vote can occur.
Toledo, OH – In light of the recent court ruling regarding Toledo’s dangerous dog laws (See the “News from the Courts” article in this issue) and the concerns of numerous citizens, the Toledo City Council is considering establishing an advisory committee to re-examine its strict breed-specific laws and make recommendations. All Toledo residents are encouraged to contact the Council and ask them to establish this committee.
Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara City Council will consider adopting the county’s intact dog licensing requirements at its meeting on Tuesday, March 2. The county code requires that an owner consult with a veterinarian prior to obtaining an intact dog license. All Santa Barbara residents are encouraged to attend the hearing and to contact the council with any concerns or feedback.