Six state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. So far this year, AKC GR has tracked more than 1,400 state bills that could impact dogs and dog ownership. 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 listed, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ohio
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 Assembly Appropriation Committee.
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 the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. It is pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Delaware – Senate Concurrent Resolution 44 establishes 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 resolution has been approved by both the Senate and House.
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 became effective on July 1.
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.
Massachusetts – House Bill 2809 would unnecessarily and severely limit keeping dogs outdoors even for a short period, and introduce guardianship language into Massachusetts law regarding animal ownership. The AKC believes that statutory use of the term “guardian” in lieu of “owner” would limit the legal rights of dog owners. 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 AKC’s Massachusetts federation and other concerned fanciers and enthusiasts in opposition to the bill.
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 .
New Jersey – Senate Bill 1840 / Assembly Bill 2746 are being described as consumer protection bills but instead seek to significantly regulate breeders across the state, including licensing, inspections, onerous breeding and sales restrictions, and care and conditions rules. Both bills have been assigned to committee, but neither has been scheduled for consideration. AKC GR continues to work closely with the New Jersey Federation of Dog clubs and other allied groups in opposition to the bills as currently written.
– 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. The House is currently in summer recess. Read more about this legislation.