The U.S. Congress, 14 state legislatures, and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session; Pennsylvania and California are in special session. Throughout 2010, AKC Government Relations (GR) has tracked over 1,100 bills at all levels of government. For the latest information on the state and federal bills being tracked by the Government Relations (GR) Department, visit our 2010 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated daily, provides the latest bill text, status, and Legislative Alerts posted by the AKC.
For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com.
Here are some highlights:
Connecticut – Senate Bill 274 originally sought to prohibit as “unreasonable” the tethering of dogs and the use of primary dog enclosures smaller than 100 square feet, regardless of the size of the dog. Due to efforts led by the Connecticut federation and assisted by AKC GR, the unreasonable enclosure space requirement has been removed. The bill has been signed by the Governor.
Missouri – A statutory initiative relating to dog breeding may be placed on the November 2010 mid-term election ballot. Supporters of the initiative, which duplicates previous unsuccessful legislative efforts, claim to have collected the required number of signatures to put the initiative on the November ballot. The initiative contains a 50-dog ownership limit. A lawsuit by the Missouri Federation to stop the ballot initiative is currently pending. AKC has issued a legislative alert expressing opposition to the proposal, and continues to work with the Missouri federation to defeat this initiative effort.
New York –Assembly Bill 5507, known as “Charlemagne’s Law”, will significantly impact certain responsible dog breeders if enacted as introduced. The bill would amend the state’s existing definition of “pet dealer” to include those who sell or offer to sell more than five (reduced from nine) dogs or cats per year at wholesale or retail. It also would reduce the current breeder-retailer exception from fewer than 25 dogs or cats per year to 10 dogs or cats per year and impose new restrictions on “pet dealers”. In addition, the bill creates a definition of “commercial kennel”, defines extensive care and conditions requirements for these kennels, and requires annual inspections. A.B. 5507 has been held in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
North Carolina – Senate Bill 460 is under consideration by the House Finance Committee. This bill, carried over from 2009, seeks to regulate "commercial breeders", which are defined as anyone who owns 15 or more intact female dogs "of breeding age" and 30 or more puppies. It is unclear if this is the number on the property at one time, or if it is a cumulative number over a lifetime. The AKC joins many organizations in opposing the bill because of this vague and unclear definition, as well as its creation of a new, unfunded mandate for counties. North Carolina residents are urged to contact the House Finance Committee and ask them to not support this bill. It is possible the bill will be considered next week. Read more about Senate Bill 460 and how you can help fight this legislation.
Ohio – The Ohio General Assembly has recessed for the summer and leadership has not yet announced when the legislature will reconvene to consider bills. The American Kennel Club is tracking two bills of interest in Ohio:
Senate Bill 95 – This bill, which seeks to regulate “high volume” dog breeding in Ohio, was passed by the Senate State & Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committee. It defines “high volume dog breeder” as one who produces at least 9 litters and sells at least 60 puppies and/or adult dogs per year. Numerous amendments have been added to address many of the AKC’s concerns, including ensuring breeder representation on the new Kennel Control Authority Board and eliminating the limits on breeding ages. Other problematic provisions remain, however, including a definition of “kennel” that could be interpreted to mean any owner of a purebred dog and problematic standards for “high volume breeders". Read the latest Legislative Alert for more information on SB 95.
Rhode Island – The Rhode Island Senate has passed Senate Bill 2022. As currently written, this bill would outlaw keeping any dog outside, tethered, penned, caged, fenced or otherwise confined for more than one hour without access to an “outdoor housing facility” unless the person in charge of the dog was also outside with it. The measure also uses “guardianship” language, which could undermine owners’ legal rights to their animals, and authorizes local humane society personnel to act as enforcement officers without requiring standard legal and procedural training. The bill will now be considered by the House Judiciary Committee. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert.