New Year, New Dog Laws – Are You in Compliance?
As owners and breeders of AKC-registered dogs, we place much emphasis on the importance of responsibility. Beyond providing proper care and a safe environment for a dog, the AKC strongly believes that being a responsible dog owner or breeder includes compliance with all state and local laws.
Below is a list of the new state breeder laws enacted in the past year. It is important to remember that many local municipalities also enacted new ordinances in 2009. Contact your local animal control office and request a copy of the animal laws for your community to ensure you are in compliance.
The AKC Government Relations Department worked tirelessly alongside numerous state federations, dog clubs, fanciers, and breeders in 2009 to ensure that any law enacted protected your rights as responsible dog owners. However, we understand that many may feel the new laws are flawed. The AKC strongly urges compliance with all state and local regulations, regardless of concerns that may remain.
The following states enacted new breeder laws in 2009:
- Indiana – Indiana now requires a license for all “commercial breeders” who maintain more than 20 intact females at least one year of age. A license is also required for “commercial brokers” who sell at least 500 dogs per year.
- Nebraska – The State of Nebraska has amended its definition of “commercial breeder” to mean any one of the following persons:
- One who sells, exchanges, or transfers at least 31 dogs by April 1 of each year;
- One who owns or harbors four or more dogs or cats intended for breeding in a 12-month period (April 1-March 31);
- A person whose dogs produce 4 or more litters within a 12-month period (April 1-March 31); or
- A person who sells, exchanges or leases dogs or cats for later retail sale or broker trading.
All persons qualifying as a commercial breeder must purchase a license and make their premises available for inspection during normal business hours. Read the full law.
(New portions are underlined
- Oregon – Oregon passed a new law limiting ownership to 50 intact dogs at least two years of age. The law also contains specific record-keeping requirements for those possessing, controlling, or having charge of at least 50 intact dogs over 8 months of age. In addition, new regulations were passed regarding the rights of those purchasing a dog from a “pet dealer”, which is defined as one who sells more than 5 litters per year.
- Pennsylvania – In October 2009, Governor Rendell signed a 2008 bill making numerous changes to the commercial breeding industry in Pennsylvania. “Commercial kennels” are defined as a kennel that sells or transfers more than 60 dogs in a calendar year or sells or transfers any dog to a dealer or pet shop. Additional requirements were implemented for all kennels with at least 26 dogs.
- Tennessee – Tennessee will soon require a license for all “commercial breeders” who possess or maintain 20 or more intact females that are at least one year of age or have reached sexual maturity.
- Washington – The State of Washington now prohibits the ownership, possession, control, or charge or custody of more than 50 intact dogs over the age of six months at any time, unless the commercial breeder was licensed with the USDA before January 1, 2010. The new law also creates new standards of care for anyone who owns, possesses, controls, or has charge or custody of over ten intact dogs over six months of age.
- Wisconsin – A new law requires licensing of animal shelters, animal control facilities, dog dealers (both in-state and out-of-state), and breeders who sell more than 25 dogs a year (those with 3 or fewer litters/year are exempted). It also requires facility inspections and adherence to basic standards of care. Licenses will be required beginning June 1, 2011.
- Read the new law.
- A Breeder Advisory Committee is being established to oversee the implementation of the new law. Members of this committee must be nominated by an organization that works with dogs (which may include AKC clubs, breeder organizations, and the Wisconsin Federation of Dog Clubs). For nomination materials, contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection at (608) 224-4872 or DATCPanimals@wi.gov.