The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) assists dog owners 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 city or county, please 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 defend responsible dog ownership in your community.
Here are some examples of local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR:
Visalia, CA – The Visalia City Council is has adopted new fees for breeders and is in the process of revising the definitions for breeders and kennels. AKC GR has alerted local clubs and residents to encourage them to work with city officials in drafting these revisions.
Medford, MA – The Medford City Council is considering a mandatory spay/neuter proposal. While a final draft is not yet available, AKC GR has sent a letter of concern regarding mandatory sterilization laws and suggesting more positive alternatives, and is working with its Massachusetts federation to address this proposal.
St. Joseph, MO – The St. Joseph City Council is considering a proposal that would require licensing, inspections, and strict engineering standards for those who own at least three intact dogs of any age for the purpose of breeding or exhibition. The regulations would also impact rescues and boarding kennels. Among other provisions, licensees must be inspected every year and comply with numerous requirements included unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area that is at least two times the size of the animal’s indoor area. The proposal was postponed to the May 16 meeting. AKC GR has sent a letter of concern to the council, alerted local clubs and AKC parent clubs, and continues to work with its Missouri federation to defeat this measure.
Rio Rancho, NM – The Rio Rancho City Council has scheduled a hearing on changes to the city’s animal control ordinance for April 13th. The council agenda is not yet available, and it is unclear whether an amended version of the ordinance will be brought forth. The initial draft includes mandatory spay/neuter of dogs and cats, pet ownership limits, and permit requirements for breeders, animal rescues, animal shelters, boarding kennels, groomers, pet day cares, training facilities, pet stores and pet sitters. Hobby breeders, defined as those who produce even a single litter, would be required to obtain a conditional use permit from the zoning department and a business permit to sell the dogs. They would also be required to allow for an inspection of their facility. The city council held a series of public workshops on the issue. The AKC GR department has alerted local clubs and breeders and sent materials to the city council on the ineffectiveness of these proposals.
Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia City Council is considering a proposal that makes numerous changes to dog licensing and ownership laws. Among other provisions, it limits ownership to two intact dogs and requires kennel licenses for anyone who owns 13 or more dogs or cats (regardless of whether they are intact). The proposal also prohibits shelters and pet stores from adopting out or selling dogs that have not been sterilized. The proposal passed the Committee on Law and Government and is expected to be considered by the council as early as April 14. Read more about this proposal.
Dangerous Dog/Breed-Specific Legislation
Santa Clara County, CA – The Santa Clara Animal Control Advisory Commission has recommended against a possible breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. GR staff sent an alert to local clubs on this issue and has provided the commission with recommendations and educational materials.
Hopkinton, IA – The Hopkinton City Council voted unanimously against adding Rottweilers to its existing breed ban. The city's current ban on "pit bulls" will remain in effect. AKC thanks the local clubs and dog owners who worked to educate the Council.
Malden, MA – The Malden City Council’s Ordinance Committee has recommended that the full city council consider an ordinance that would require all “pit bulls” be muzzled. A draft of the ordinance is not yet available. The AKC GR department sent a letter to the mayor and city council opposing the adoption of a breed-specific ordinance.
Saginaw, MI – The City of Saginaw is seeking to restrict the ownership of five dog breeds (“Pit Bulls,” Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Bullmastiffs, and Alaskan Malamutes), and impose a 3-dog limit on all dog owners, regardless of breed. The list of breeds will be reconsidered and updated each year. These proposals are expected to be formally introduced on April 18 and scheduled for a final vote on May 9. AKC GR provided Legislative Alerts, talking points and other information to help local fanciers oppose the measure.
Waxhaw, NC – The Waxhaw Town Council has released a draft of possible changes to the animal control code including a two dog limit and strict confinement provisions which require that all dogs be maintained in locked pens when outside of the owner’s home. GR staff is working with local residents to oppose the measure.