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 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 currently being addressed by AKC GR:
Austin, TX – The City of Austin is considering a proposal to ban the retail sale of companion animals. The AKC is closely monitoring this proposal and working with its Texas federation to address concerns.
St. Clair County, MI – The county commission has tabled a proposal that would have limited ownership to 10 dogs of any age, banned debarking, and implemented numerous breeding restrictions. The AKC sent a letter to county officials and worked with AKC’s Michigan federation and local dog owners to address the proposal. The county formed an advisory committee to obtain input from local clubs and dog breeders.
Dangerous Dog/Breed-Specific Legislation
Auburn, CA – The City of Auburn is scheduled to consider numerous changes to its animal control ordinances on May 24. These changes include limiting ownership to two dogs and mandating the sterilization of all "pit bulls". "Pit bulls" are defined as any dog "that a reasonable person would believe to be a Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier" and any dog having these characteristics. Anyone wanting to breed one of these dogs must first obtain a permit and submit to inspections. The dog being bred must also be proven to be a "show dog". The AKC is sending a letter of concern to the council and notifying local clubs and AKC officials of the hearing.
Garfield, NJ – The Garfield City Council voted against a proposal that would have placed numerous restrictions on “pit bull” owners. “Pit bull” was defined as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and any dog that has the characteristics and appearance of these breeds. Restrictions would have included muzzling the dog anytime it is not on the owner’s property, specific leash requirements, and prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from walking one of these breeds. Owners would also have been required to purchase $50,000 of liability insurance. The AKC contacted local lawmakers and notified local clubs and AKC officials of the hearing.
Hollister, CA – The Hollister City Council has granted the city attorney permission to draft a proposal mandating the sterilization of all “pit bulls” and Chihuahuas in an attempt to decrease shelter population and dog bite incidents. No hearing date has been set, but residents are encouraged to contact the council members and express opposition to this breed-specific, mandatory sterilization proposal.
Laurel, MS – The City of Laurel has passed an animal control proposal that would establish at-large fines five times higher for German Shepherds, Chow Chows, Dobermans, Rottweilers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers. The vague language could also be interpreted as to allow for the euthanization of any of these breeds found at-large if the owner could not be immediately located. Furthermore, the new law limits residents to owning no more than 3 dogs per household in residential areas. The AKC sent a letter to the Council opposing breed-specific and animal limit policies and notified local clubs and AKC officials of the hearing.
Lodi, NJ – AKC GR has learned that the Borough of Lodi is considering restricting the ownership of "pit bulls". No draft is available and no hearing has been scheduled at this time. Local residents are encouraged to contact the Borough and express opposition to breed-specific proposals.
Lucas County, OH – The county has appointed a new dog warden who is amenable to examining many long-standing breed-specific policies that have led to the euthanization of numerous dogs. In addition the citizens Dog Warden Advisory Committee charged with drafting a new dangerous dog law proposal has decided to not single out specific breeds. The AKC has sent numerous public education and dangerous dog policy materials to the county commission, dog warden, and Dog Warden Advisory Committee. Local residents are encouraged to contact the county commission and ask them to repeal the breed-specific policies.
Point Coupee, LA – The Point Coupee Policy Jury will consider numerous changes to the Parish’s animal control ordinance on May 25, 2010, for owners of “Pit Bulls”, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, and Akitas. These include ownership age restrictions, increased licensing fees, and muzzling requirements. Parish residents are encouraged to contact the members of the police jury and ask them to oppose this breed-specific proposal. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert on this issue.
Elkhart, IN – The Elkhart Common Council adopted numerous revisions to the city’s animal control law that contain many 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 new law 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 sent several letters of concern to the council and worked with the Indiana federation and local concerned dog owners.
Farina, IL – The Village of Farina will consider limiting animal ownership at its June 7, 2010, meeting. Under current law, dog owners may obtain a kennel license if they own 4 or more dogs over 6 months of age. The proposal currently under consideration will strike the kennel language from law, thereby limiting animal ownership to 3 dogs with no exception. AKC GR is sending a letter to the village council and working with the AKC's Illinois federation, the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners, and local concerned dog owners to address this proposal.
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.
Mequon, WI – The city may soon consider repealing its current dog fancier permit, which would effectively limit dog ownership for residents. The AKC and the Wisconsin federation have both sent letters of concern and continue to closely monitor this proposal.
West Bend, WI – Local dog owners are working to get the city council to repeal the current 2-dog limit law. The AKC has sent two letters to the council urging repeal and contacted local dog clubs and AKC officials. The AKC continues to work with its Wisconsin federation to address this issue. Local residents are encouraged to contact the West Bend Common Council and urge them to repeal this limit on dog ownership.
New Orleans, LA – On May 6, the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring all dogs six months of age to be spay or neutered, or for owners to acquire annual intact dog permits. The new law also limits female dogs from whelping more than one litter per year and from whelping a litter if younger than 18 months of age. GR worked with local dog owners and politicians and prepared a number of letters and Legislative Alerts in opposition to the proposal.