The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) assists dog owners and breeders with canine legislation issues in their local communities, but we can’t help unless we are aware of the proposal! If you hear of an issue in your town or county, please contact us at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com. 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.
El Paso, TX – The El Paso City Council approved changes to the animal control code over the objections of local dog clubs, responsible breeders and veterinarians. The measure includes the establishment of breeder licensing and inspections, litter permits, and mandatory microchipping. In the final draft, differential license requirements were removed and provisions were added to define which organizations qualify as animal welfare organizations and to restrict what pet stores and animal welfare organizations may charge for dogs or cats. AKC GR contacted the city council numerous times in opposition to the changes, posted legislative alerts, and notified local citizens to help fight the measure.
Guilford County, NC – The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is considering an ordinance that will regulate and define high-volume breeders as anyone who owns seven or more intact females, regardless of whether they are bred. The current version of the proposal would also define high-volume retailers as anyone who sells more than 50 dogs per year. Residents meeting these thresholds will be required to comply with a host of burdensome engineering standards and allow inspections of their private property even when no proof of animal cruelty or neglect exists. A previous version of the ordinance contained an exemption for breeders who passed AKC’s rigorous inspections programs, but that has been removed in the latest version. The AKC GR department has sent letters to the working committee as well as all the commissioners, contacted local clubs, fanciers, hunters and breeders and posted a Legislative Alert on our website.
Jacksonville, FL – The City of Jacksonville is considering an ordinance that would require an annual permit for anyone who sells or gives away an animal. An “Occasional Seller” permit would allow the sale or placement of up to two litters, ten individual unsterilized animals, or a combination of one litter and six individual unsterilized animals per year. A “Hobby Breeder” permit, compliance with regulations and standards for care, and an annual inspection would be required to sell or place up to four litters per year. Any person or entity that sells more than four litters or twenty unsterilized dogs or cats in a year would be defined as an “Animal Dealer”, subject to undetermined permitting fees and extensive regulations, kennel engineering standards and reporting requirements. If no permit is maintained as an “Animal Dealer,” “Hobby Breeder,” or “Occasional Seller,” anyone with more than five unsterilized cats and/or dogs on a property would be required to purchase an “Excessive Unsterilized Animal” permit with annual fees of $50 to $500 per animal based on the number of intact animals. Sterilization would be required upon a second impoundment of an at-large dog. GR has sent information to council members, alerted area fanciers, is working with the AKC Florida federation, and continues to provide support to local clubs to oppose this proposal.
Memphis, TN – The Memphis City Council has adopted changes to their animal control ordinance, including mandatory sterilization of all dogs unless the owner purchases a $200 Fertile Animal Permit. The ordinance also defines any dog that has “bitten once and been at-large twice” as a dangerous dog. AKC GR has contacted the city council in opposition to these changes, posted a Legislative Alert, and worked with local clubs and fanciers in opposition to this measure.
North Olmstead, OH – The North Olmsted City Council unanimously postponed a vote on a dog breeding proposal and sent it back to committee after numerous concerns were voiced by local dog owners. As introduced, the proposal defined “breeder” as anyone who has ever had an unspayed female on their premises, had two litters birthed within 18 months on their premises, and has advertised the sale of puppies under 6 months of age or advertised an unspayed female dog for breeding purposes. The definition would apply even if someone met these criteria before the proposed law was enacted. Under the proposed law, breeders could keep two intact dogs, as long as their residential lot is at least one acre. An additional acre is required for each additional intact dog, regardless of breed. AKC GR sent a letter of concern to the council and notified local clubs and AKC officials of the proposal and the council hearing.
Rio Rancho, NM – On November 2nd, the Rio Rancho City Council will consider changes to the city’s animal control ordinance including mandatory spay/neuter of dogs and cats, pet limits, and requiring permits for breeders, animal rescues, animal shelters, boarding kennels, groomers, pet day cares, training facilities, pet stores and pet sitters. Hobby breeders, defined as producing even a single litter, will be required to obtain a conditional use permit from the zoning department, as well as a business permit to sell the dogs and allow for an inspection of the their facility. The AKC GR department has alerted local clubs and breeders and sent materials to the city council on the ineffectiveness of these proposals.
Shelby County, AL – The Shelby County Planning Commission is recommending that a definition for “kennel” be added to zoning regulations and requesting that the Shelby County Commission consider drafting comprehensive animal control regulations. AKC GR contacted Planning Services staff with concerns about the definition that was initially proposed and alerted local fanciers, who worked with county staff to develop an alternative definition. Some local fanciers and breeders continue to have concerns with the revised definition. AKC GR staff will notify concerned residents when a hearing is scheduled.Dangerous Dog/Breed-Specific Legislation
Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY – The AKC GR department has been made aware of a provision approved by the Cornwall-on-Hudson Village Board that requires that owners of all “pit bulls,” defined as Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American pit bull terriers and any dog having the characteristics or ancestry of these breeds, to post warning signs on all entrances to their property. The AKC GR department has sent a letter requesting a repeal, as the AKC contends this ordinance is in direct conflict with New York state law prohibiting breed-specific regulations.
Douglasville, GA – The Douglasville City Council rejected a proposed breed-specific ordinance that would have placed restrictions on the ownership of “pit bulls.” The AKC GR department sent a letter explaining the ineffectiveness of breed-based restrictions and worked to support the work of AKC’s Georgia federation in educating council members about this important issue.
Hollister, CA – The Hollister City Council will vote on October 18th on a proposal to mandate the sterilization of all Chihuahuas and “pit bulls,” defined as Bull Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any mix of these breeds. The most recent version of this ordinance will require owners of these “restricted breeds” to pay a one-time registration fee, an annual license fee, have the dog examined annually by a veterinarian, follow the preventative health care program the veterinarian recommends and comply with specified care and conditions. The registration would allow breeders of these dogs to breed one litter per year per female unless a veterinarian recommends otherwise. The fees for the registration and permit are not specified in the ordinance. The AKC GR department sent letters opposing the measure to the mayor and city council and posted a Legislative Alert. Local fanciers and clubs attempted to educate staff about the ineffectiveness of mandatory spay/neuter proposals, however the staff decided to support the policy.
Ogden, UT – The Ogden City Council is considering an ordinance that would place additional requirements on owners of pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and other “bully” breeds. The AKC GR staff alerted local AKC clubs and officials and also sent letters to council members expressing concerns with this measure.
Sheboygan, WI– The Sheboygan Common Council unanimously rejected an ordinance severely restricting ownership of “pit bulls,” defined as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers or mixed breed dogs with similar characteristics. The ordinance would have required owners to build “stockade” style fences, muzzle their dogs, and purchase liability insurance in the amount of $300,000.00, among other restrictions. A task force is being established to develop a more general dangerous dog law. The AKC GR department contacted the council with concerns regarding this measure and notified AKC parent clubs and local AKC clubs and officials of the proposal and hearing. AKC GR has also sent sample legislation and materials to the task force to help them draft a more effective dangerous dog policy.
Sterling Heights, MI– The Sterling Heights City Council held a work session in September to gather information regarding possible restrictions on “pit bulls.” AKC GR contacted local clubs about the proposal. AKC GR also sent a letter to the council in opposition to this measure and provided them with information on effective dangerous dog policies.
Toledo, OH - The Toledo City Council unanimously repealed the city’s long-standing ban on “pit bulls” in October 2010. The law also allowed any dog considered to be a “pit bull” found at large to be seized and potentially euthanized. AKC GR sent letters and materials to the new Lucas County Dog Warden and the city’s new Dangerous Dog Advisory Committee in Spring 2010 urging repeal of the breed-specific law and providing assistance in developing more effective dangerous dog laws. GR also sent a letter of support to the mayor and council once the repeal was formally introduced and notified local dog owners and AKC parent clubs of the upcoming vote and encouraged them to contact the council as well.
Topeka, KS – The Topeka City Council has repealed their breed-specific ordinance which restricted the ownership of American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and any mixed-breed dog with the characteristics of these breeds. AKC GR sent a letter supporting the repeal and packets containing sample dangerous dog ordinances to the city attorney and city council members. AKC GR also asked local fanciers and breeders to contact the council in support of the proposed repeal.
Waukon, IA – The Waukon City Council is considering an ordinance banning Rottweilers and “pit bulls” defined as Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers. Current owners of those breeds would be allowed to keep their dogs only if they comply with significant restrictions. AKC GR sent a letter opposing this ordinance to the council, and notified local AKC clubs and officials.
Ypsilanti Township, MI– The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees is considering an ordinance mandating spaying and neutering of all “pit bulls,” defined as Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, or mixed breeds displaying characteristics of those breeds in an attempt to decrease the number of dogs euthanized in the township. AKC GR sent a letter opposing this measure and alerted local fanciers, breeders and clubs.Limit Laws
Los Angeles, CA – The City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department has held two town hall meetings to discuss a possible increase of the city’s current animal limit from 3 dogs or cats to 5 dogs or cats. AKC GR staff alerted local club members and breeders in Los Angeles County and provided them with talking points that laud the proposed changes, but also discuss the ineffectiveness of limit laws.
Gates, NY – The Gates City Council has instituted a moratorium on the enforcement of the city’s limit law after a local couple was charged and told to remove one of their 3 dogs from the home. AKC GR sent a letter to the mayor and city council urging a repeal and encouraging the community to write and enforce clear and effective leash and nuisance laws.
Nashville, TN – The Nashville Metro Health Department is considering proposing an ordinance that, among other provisions, would restrict the number of dogs and cats (combined) older than four months that may be maintained on a property. The draft proposal would allow five cats and/or dogs on properties of less than an acre, ten on 1.5 to 2.5 acres, twenty on 2.5 to 5 acres, and 21 or more on larger properties. AKC GR staff and local fanciers have expressed concerns to the health department and are monitoring further action.