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 assistance 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:
Menifee, CA – The Menifee City Council has tasked an ad-hoc committee of two councilmembers to review language for a possible ordinance to ban the sale of dogs and cats in the city. It is unknown how this might affect local breeders. AKC GR staff is continuing to monitor the issue.
Porter County, IN – The Porter County Commission has agreed to not move forward with over 40 pages of changes to the animal control code, including requiring anyone who breeds a litter or owns five intact dogs in a year to comply with USDA standards and open their homes for inspections. These regulations are significantly higher than those required in state law for commercial breeders. AKC GR continues to work closely with its Indiana state federation and local clubs to help the county commission develop more effective animal control solutions. Read more about this victory .
St. Joseph, MO – The St. Joseph City Council will convene a work session to consider amending kennel regulations passed in 2011. The 2011 kennel regulations require licensing and inspections for boarding, rescue, and breeding kennels, which includes anyone who keeps more than four intact females over 6 months of age for sale, breeding or “exhibition purposes.” They also allow a kennel owner to choose whether to have a state inspector, city official, or a veterinarian of the owner’s choice perform the inspection. City Animal Control has asked that only city inspectors be allowed to conduct inspections or that all inspectors be required to comply with specific city criteria regarding completing and filing reports. AKC GR is working with its Missouri federation to address concerns with these amendments and the underlying law.
Lenoir, NC – The Lenoir City Council has tabled until August 21st amendments to the zoning and animal control ordinances that would have defined a "high-volume breeder" as a person who owns five intact dogs and a “high-volume retailer” as a person who sells 30 dogs in a calendar year. Individuals meeting these criteria would have been subject to onerous new regulations. AKC GR alerted local residents and sent letters of opposition to the city council. The council has convened a committee of legislators and interested parties to draft a new proposal. AKC continues to closely monitor this issue and has provided resources to local clubs working to advise the council on more effective solutions to animal control issues.
Breed-Specific Legislation/Dangerous Dog Measures
Marianna, AR – Marianna commissioners will appoint a citizen’s committee to make recommendations regarding a dangerous dog ordinance. AKC GR sent information in support of fair measures that do not discriminate against owners of specific breeds and will continue to offer assistance to the committee.
Miami-Dade County, FL – The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners voted 3-1 to allow county voters to decide whether to repeal the current breed-specific ban. "Pit bull" is defined in current law as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American pit bull terriers and any dog which conforms to the standards for these breeds. The State of Florida prohibits local governments from enacting breed-specific laws, but the Miami-Dade ordinance was grandfathered in since it was passed before the state law. AKC GR thanks the many Florida residents who have fought this ordinance since its inception in 1989. The issue will be on the August 14 primary ballot.
Hinesville, GA – In response to a citizen’s request to ban “pit bulls,” Hinesville city leaders discussed dangerous dog measures at a July planning workshop. AKC GR sent a letter and information in support of fair measures that do not discriminate against owners of specific breeds. The city council determined that revisions to the city’s animal control ordinance will not include breed-specific provisions. AKC GR and the Georgia Canine Coalition continue to offer assistance in crafting a fair and reasonable dangerous dog ordinance.
Valier, IL – A resident of Valier is expected to present a petition at the July 23 council meeting requesting that the city consider bans on certain dog breeds. AKC GR sent a letter to the mayor, city council, and city attorney reminding them of the Illinois state law prohibiting breed-specific policies and also sent recommendations of more effective solutions. AKC GR continues to work with its Illinois federation to address this issue.
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 continues to work with the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs on this issue, and will respond once a proposal is introduced.
Ballston Spa Village, NY – The Ballston Spa Village Board declined to move forward on a 5 dog limit law after hearing from many concerned AKC club members and dog owners. This limit would have included any dogs harbored in a household within city limits – meaning the threshold could have included dogs staying temporarily on a property, even if they are not owned by the resident. AKC GR sent a letter of opposition, and notified parent clubs and local constituents, as well as show chairmen and secretaries of AKC dog shows in Ballston Spa. Read more about this victory.
Kewaunee, WI – The Kewaunee Common Council is considering imposing a 3-pet limit on all residents. This includes banning all “kennels” (defined more than three intact dogs or cats over 6 months of age), and prohibiting the ownership of more than three mammals, reptiles or birds. The proposal also states that the city may declare any number of animals “determined to be detrimental to the healthful and comfortable life of that person, family or neighborhood” as a public nuisance. The Common Council’s next meeting is on August 13. AKC GR has notified local clubs and breeders and is sending a letter of opposition to the council.