March 2005

CA Ear Cropping Ban Considered Once Again
Many concerned fanciers are by now aware that officials in West Hollywood, California are considering a city ordinance to ban ear cropping, tail docking and other non-therapeutic measures. AKC has been actively working with California fanciers and parent clubs to oppose the measure. The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) shared AKC's concern over the proposed ordinance because they believe it to be in violation of the state's Veterinary Medical Practice Act. The Act clearly states that local governments cannot enact legislation that is already regulated by a state agency, as is the case with veterinary medicine. Questions were raised as to whether passage of West Hollywood's proposal could result in legal challenges against the city.

Read the full article.

ARKANSAS - Officials in Hot Springs recently voted in favor of an ordinance that prohibits the adoption of "pit bulls" and pit bull mixes from animal shelters. The new law also prevents the purchase of the breed from pet stores or breeders. AKC had no prior knowledge that the measure was being considered.

See news from other states.

Help Celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership
Where will you be on September 17th? Hopefully, you'll be joining the AKC and affiliated dog clubs and federations across the country in our annual celebration of Responsible Dog Ownership Day. Now in its third year, the event commemorates the day the American Kennel Club was founded in 1884 and aims to educate the public about the importance of responsible dog ownership.

RDO Day events are a great way for Legislative Liaisons, fanciers, and general dog owners to reach out to their communities, as well as to their elected officials, in a positive way. Good will and good publicity can make the world of difference the next time animal control concerns arise in your community. Better still, teaching owners how to be responsible with their pets can actually help avoid negative legislation! And with celebrations going on throughout the month of September, there's no end to the possibilities of events that can be held. For more information on how you can participate, please click here.

And the Award Goes To . . .
The Canine Legislation Department is pleased to announce that the Whidbey Island Kennel Club and Walla Walla Kennel Club (both in Washington state) are the most recent AKC Community Achievement Award recipients. The award recognizes outstanding public education and legislation efforts of AKC-affiliated clubs, AKC-recognized federations, and their members. Each honoree receives a certificate and a $1,000 check payable to the club or federation to support public education and canine legislation efforts.

Read the full article.

New Face in Canine Legislation
The Canine Legislation department is pleased to welcome Sarah Sprouse as our new Program Administrator. She replaces Kortni Campbell, who recently resigned. Sarah brings with her a wealth of public policy experience, having served as staff to numerous California state legislators. More recently, she worked for North Carolina Victory 2004 where she coordinated get-out-the-vote efforts in Wake County. A graduate of University of California Davis, Sarah is the proud owner of two Pugs.

Sarah will be responsible for managing all of AKC's legislative concerns at the city and county level. Please join me in welcoming her!

February may have been a short month, but more than a fair share of animal-related bills were introduced in those 28 days. Breed-specific measures are now being considered in several states, while breeder licensing measures are pending in Illinois, Vermont and Tennessee. In addition, California's deadline for bill filing came and went, bringing with it a proposal to ban ear cropping in the state, as well as several other bills of concern. Please see our feature article as well as Around the Nation for more details.

On a positive note, fanciers have been working diligently to oppose many restrictive measures. Significant victories have already been posted in several states, particularly on the BSL front. At the same time, several federations, including those in Georgia, New Mexico and New York are actively supporting positive legislative initiatives that would help protect dog owners' rights. It seems that despite the never-ending amount of work to be done, fanciers always rise to the challenge.

Also this month, the Canine Legislation department bids a fond farewell to Kortni Campbell, our former Program Administrator who recently resigned. In her place, we welcome Sarah Sprouse, who will be your new contact on all city and county initiatives. Best wishes to both Kortni and Sarah.


Stephanie Lane
Stephanie Lane, Director
Sarah Sprouse, Program Administrator
Phone: 919-816-3720 | Fax: 919-816-4275 | Email:

© The American Kennel Club 2005
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