Ten state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. AKC GR is currently is tracking more than 1,400 state bills. For the latest information on state and federal bills being tracked by AKC GR, visit the 2012 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated each weekday, provides the latest bill text, status, and legislative alerts posted by the AKC. For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com.
Here are some highlights of the state bills AKC GR is currently tracking:
California – Senate Bill 969 has been amended to allow the voluntary certification of pet groomers, defined as "an individual, licensed as a pet groomer, who bathes, brushes, clips, or styles a pet for compensation." The measure is pending before the full Senate.
California – Senate Bill 1221 would prohibit using dogs in the pursuit of a bear or bobcat. AKC GR joined other sportsmen's organizations in expressing concerns that enactment of SB 1221 would set a precedent for outlawing others forms of hunting with dogs. AKC GR has sent letters to members of the Senate and alerted California performance clubs. The bill passed the Senate and has been assigned to the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.
Delaware – Senate Concurrent Resolution 44 would establish an Animal Welfare Task Force “to consider and evaluate the state of animal welfare in Delaware.” This task force is to “convene as soon as possible” and conduct at least one public hearing prior to providing written recommendations to the legislature in March 2013. The AKC will closely monitor this resolution and task force and provide more information as it becomes available. The Senate introduced and passed the resolution on June 19.
Georgia – House Bill 685, which was supported by the AKC's state federation, the Georgia Canine Coalition, revises dangerous dog provisions and requires registration, safety and indemnity measures as a condition of owning a dog classified as "vicious" or "dangerous." The bill has been signed by the governor and becomes effective on July 1, 2012.
Louisiana – House Bill 163 would have further restricted the maximum number of dogs a person may own or keep to 75 dogs and imposed baseline care and conditions requirements, including prohibiting the stacking of cages – even temporarily at dog events – and all use of wire flooring. AKC GR issued legislative alerts on the bill and made numerous contacts with stakeholders. HB 163 was to be considered by the House Agriculture committee in April, but the bill was deferred. No further action was taken on HB 163 before the Louisiana legislature adjourned its 2012 session on June 4.
Massachusetts – House Bill 2809 would unnecessarily and severely limit keeping dogs outdoors and introduce guardianship language into Massachusetts law regarding animal ownership. The Massachusetts Joint Judiciary Committee held a public hearing, but has not yet taken any action on this bill. AKC GR issued a legislative alert on the bill and continues to work with the Massachusetts federation and other concerned fanciers and enthusiasts in opposition to the bill.
Maryland – A task force has been convened in light of the recent breed-specific Court of Appeals ruling to discuss changes to Maryland law. The task force is considering proposing significant changes to the state’s dangerous dog laws for likely introduction during the 2013 legislative session. The AKC and its Maryland federation have been communicating with the task force and stakeholders to provide recommendations on reasonable, effective solutions.
Missouri – House Bill 1404 would declare December "Pet Breeders Appreciation Month" and recognize the contributions that responsible breeders make not only to the economy, but also to the health and well-being of purebred dogs. AKC has sent a letter of support and notified Missouri clubs and breeders about this bill. The bill has passed the House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate General Laws Committee. Read more about this legislation.
Missouri – House Bill 1513 would prohibit state laws from conferring "upon any animal a right, privilege or legal status that is equivalent or that exceeds" that which the state confers upon humans. AKC has sent a letter of support and notified Missouri clubs and breeders about this bill. HB 1513 has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a public hearing on April 30, 2012, but no action was taken. Read more about this legislation.
Missouri – House Bill 1934 would exempt shelters from state licensing fees. Current law requires kennels, pet shops and shelters to obtain a license and pay an additional annual $25 fee for "Operation Bark Alert" (the reporting mechanism for unlicensed breeders). HB 1934 exempts shelters from the license and administration fees (not the license itself). It also allows a shelter license application to be denied or revoked if "it is determined…that the [shelter] unreasonably profits from the charges for adoption or sales of the animals." It also lowers the cap on license fees for commercial breeders from $2,500 to $1,000. The bill has passed the House of Representatives. The Senate General Laws Committee held a public hearing on May 1, but no action was taken.
New Jersey – Senate Bill 1840/Assembly Bill 2746 seek to impose numerous requirements on virtually all dog breeders in New Jersey, including licensing, inspections, and care standards, as well as onerous consumer protection provisions. SB 1840 was introduced on May 3, and was referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee. AB 2746 was introduced on May 10 and referred to the Assembly Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee. AKC GR, the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs, and other allied groups are working together in opposition should these bills get any legislative traction.
Ohio – Senate Bill 130 seeks to regulate "high volume" dog breeding in Ohio, defined as those who produce at least 9 litters of puppies and sell 60 or more dogs in a calendar year. A number of changes requested by AKC GR have been incorporated into the bill, including removing problematic standards and ensuring that high volume breeders are represented on a proposed advisory board. The AKC remains concerned that the new definition of "kennel" could be interpreted to mean any owner of an intact dog. While those who fall under this definition will not be affected by Senate Bill 130, the AKC continues to request that this amendment be stricken and the definition of kennel remain as it is in current law, which clarifies that a kennel license is required for those who are "professionally engaged in the business of breeding dogs…". SB 130 has passed the Senate and is pending in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee. The House committee chairman has expressed an interest in further amending the bill. AKC GR and AKC's Ohio federation continue to closely monitor SB 130. Read more about this legislation.
Oklahoma – House Bill 2921 makes several positive changes to the state's dog breeder regulations. Changes include dissolving the controversial Commercial Pet Breeder Board and moving oversight to Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. Other changes include amending the definition of "adult animal" from 6 months of age to 12 months of age and the definition of "intact female animal" from a female 6 months of age to 9 months of age. The AKC believes that these measures are an important step toward fair oversight of dog breeders in Oklahoma. The bill was signed by the Governor on May 29, 2012. Temporary regulations pursuant to HB 2921 are pending in the State Board of Agriculture.
Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry passed emergency rules on June 19 to supplement House Bill 2921, which was signed by the governor in May. Provisions include clarifying that a person must obtain a license for each facility they own and operate and allowing licensees 30 days to correct deficiencies cited during an inspection. The AKC understands that some changes were made to the proposed rules prior to passage, including lowering the breeder licensing fee. AKC GR continues to closely monitor the implementation of these new breeder laws and regulations. Read more about the emergency rules.
Rhode Island – House Bill 7663 and Senate Bill 2035, among other provisions, seek to make it unlawful for a person to keep a dog in an enclosure for more than 14 hours during any 24-hour period. This would include crating dogs for all events except hunting and field trials, which are exempted. Both bills have passed both houses. HB 7663 was signed by Gov. Chafee on June 20. SB2035 remains pending.