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 email@example.com. We will be happy to provide you with the resources, tools and support you need to help support and defend responsible dog ownership in your community.
Here are some examples of local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR:
Pasco County, FL – The Pasco County Commission is considering numerous changes to the county animal control ordinance. Proposed ordinance CS12-012 is expected to be considered in an upcoming commission hearing. According to the county attorney’s office, the following controversial provisions will be considered: mandatory breeder permits for anyone whose dogs or cats produce more than two litters or more than 20 animals per 12 month period, expanded requirements for owners of dangerous dogs, and tethering limits. AKC sent a letter of concern, issued a Legislative Alert, and is working with its Florida federation to address this problematic proposal.
Cecil County, MD – The Cecil County Board of Commissioners is considering numerous changes to its licensing laws. These provisions include requiring a license and inspection for anyone who keeps dogs for hunting, tracking, performance events or field or obedience trials. Anyone who breeds three or more litters in a year would be required to obtain a commercial breeder license, individual dog licenses and a business license, as well as comply with zoning requirements. Other provisions include implementing a differential licensing and fee structure for individual dog licenses depending on whether the dog is intact and microchipped. A license for an intact dog would cost four times as much as one for a dog that is sterilized and microchipped. The commission has held numerous work sessions and is expected to schedule an opportunity for public comment in the near future. Local fanciers, breeders, and exhibitors are encouraged to contact the commission and express opposition to these proposals. Read more.
Medford, MA – The Medford City Council is considering a mandatory spay/neuter proposal. Although a final draft is not yet available, AKC GR has sent a letter of concern regarding mandatory sterilization laws and suggesting more positive alternatives. AKC GR is working with its Massachusetts federation to address this proposal.
St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is considering Board Bill 107, which would redefine hobby/show breeders in current law and impose a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, among other provisions. Under the proposal, all dogs in city limits for more than 30 days must be sterilized. Exemptions would be made for those with hobby/show permits (which would be required for all who own two intact dogs, down from 10 in current law). Anyone who purchases a hobby/show permit would also have to pay an annual $200 inspection fee. The proposal includes a new limit law and defines "commercial breeder" as anyone who owns more than one intact female for the primary purpose of breeding animals for sale and holds a state license for that purpose. The bill has been approved by committee and is pending consideration by the full board. The bill has been on the inactive calendar since September, meaning that the sponsor and Board must now decide whether to bring the bill forward for a vote. AKC GR has contacted the board in opposition to the measure several times and encourages local dog owners to do the same. Read more about this legislation and how to contact the board.
Dangerous Dog/Breed-Specific Legislation
Fond du Lac, WI – The Fond du Lac City Council agreed to table proposed breed-specific legislation during its meeting on Wednesday, January 25. AKC GR and the Dog Federation of Wisconsin had both issued alerts encouraging local residents to attend the meeting and contact the council.
Salt Lake City, UT – The Salt Lake City Council adopted several changes to its animal control laws, including repealing the two-dog ownership limit at its meeting on February 7. AKC GR sent a letter in support of the repeal.
Franklin Lakes, NJ – AKC GR has learned that the Franklin Lakes Board of Health has recommended that the Mayor and Council duly consider placing limits on the number of pets that can be legally kept at any single residence. AKC GR will continue to work with the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs in addressing any proposal, and will respond once one is introduced.
Mendham Township, NJ – The Township Committee recently considered a dog ownership limit ordinance. Due to the strong reaction of both Township residents and interested organizations, including the American Kennel Club, the ordinance was unanimously tabled. AKC GR continues to work with the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs in an effort to ensure that any effort on the part of Mendham Township to strengthen their nuisance laws does not include ownership limits.