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.
Springdale, AR – The Springdale City Council Ordinance Committee 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 establish fines for unsterilized animals picked up at-large that are significantly higher than for at-large sterilized animals. The fines for unsterilized animals would be reduced to those for a sterilized animal if the animal is spayed or neutered prior to the owner's sentencing. Local fanciers and responsible owners and breeders are working to educate the city council and animal control department about the ineffectiveness of these proposals.
Liberty County, GA – The Liberty County Humane Society submitted a proposed ordinance to the county which would require that all cats and dogs over the age of six months be spayed or neutered unless the owner qualified for an exemption and purchased an unaltered animal license. It is not clear if the council plans to schedule this proposal for a vote. The AKC Government Relations department sent a letter opposing the measure to the county commissioners and is working with concerned local dog owners to address concerns.
Madison County, VA – The Madison County Board of Supervisors has rejected proposed changes that would have outlawed all dog breeding in residential areas and put significant restrictions and burdens on breeders in conservation and agricultural districts. The AKC Government Relations department sent a letter to the board of supervisors opposing the change and thanks all the local responsible dog owners who attended the meeting to voice their concerns.
Dangerous Dog/Breed-Specific Legislation
Auburn, CA – The City of Auburn received a report from their animal control department proposing a breed-specific, mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. The report also recommended a limit law, increased license fees for intact animals, and enhanced penalties for both dangerous and at-large dogs. The AKC Government Relations Department sent a letter to city officials opposing breed-specific ordinances, mandatory spay/neuter regulations, and limit laws. AKC also provided samples of effective dangerous dog and nuisance ordinances used in other jurisdictions.
Exeter, CA – The Exeter City Council has delayed a vote on a proposed ordinance to regulate the ownership of Akitas, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Anatolian Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers and “pit bulls,” defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any mix of these breeds. California state law prohibits breed-specific legislation, except breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter ordinances. The AKC Government Relations Department sent a letter to city officials opposing the restrictions and highlighting the state law. Local residents were also encouraged to attend the initial council meeting in February.
Elgin, IL –The Elgin City Council voted unanimously against a proposal which would have deemed “pit bulls,” defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any dog exhibiting the characteristics of these breeds to be dangerous dogs. 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.
Memphis, TN – The Memphis City Council will consider an ordinance on March 16, 2010, 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. The proposal defines “pit bulls” as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any dogs displaying the physical characteristics of these breeds. The AKC and the Tennessee federation have sent letters and materials to the mayor and city council opposing these changes, and asked local responsible dog owners to attend the hearings in opposition of the ordinance.
Vesper, WI – The Vesper City Council adopted an ordinance that restricts the ownership of American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Mastiffs, and mixes of these breeds. The AKC GR department was notified after the ordinance was enacted and has sent a letter requesting repeal. AKC GR also contacted parent clubs of the affected breeds asking that they send letters as well.
Elkhart, IN – The Elkhart Common Council has published a new 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 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 regarding breeders, 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. Local residents are encouraged to contact the council and express concerns with the proposal.
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 in the next few weeks. All residents are encouraged to contact the council members and mayor with any concerns.
Moorhead, MN – In October of 2009, Moorhead City Councilmember Greg Lemke made a presentation to the city council encouraging adoption of ordinances prohibiting ear cropping and tail docking, mandating spaying/neutering of dogs, restricting tethering, banning loose dogs in pick up trucks and prohibiting roadside pet sales. In February 2010, the council voted to draft legislation to prohibit the transportation of dogs in the back of pick-up trucks and to research amending the city’s animal licensing provisions. At this time, it does not appear that the council wishes to pursue any additional items. The AKC GR department provided council members and the mayor with information on these issues and urged them to work with local, responsible breeders and owners to draft legislation that will positively impact animal control issues in their community.