Minnesota Representative John Lesch is proposing a statewide ban on five breeds of dogs that he deems to be a threat to public safety. He wants to ban Akitas, chow chows, Rottweilers, pit bulls and wolf hybrids or mixed-breed dogs with any of the above traits in Minnesota.
CA AB 1634 –
Californians faced a major challenge this year in fighting AB 1634. This legislation would have required the mandatory spaying and neutering of all dogs and cats over the age of six months, with limited and expensive exceptions. The department identified and contacted over 100,000 dog owners and AKC breeders in California to get them involved in the fight. For the first time, the AKC also hired a local lobbyist to assist us and also conducted our first state-level lobby days. The response from fanciers and concerned dog owners was tremendous. More letters were received about this bill than any other before the Legislature this year and we overflowed the committee hearing rooms at every opportunity.
Although the bill passed the State Assembly, it was stopped in the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill is eligible to be heard again in 2008 and the Canine Legislation department will be closely monitoring this situation and working with concerned dog owners to defeat this bill should it return.
NM HB 1106
Known as the “Pet Owner Responsibility Act”, this bill, if adopted, would have required all dogs six months of age or older to be spayed or neutered. The Canine Legislation department’s outreach to fanciers and concerned dog owners helped convince the sponsor to pull the bill.
VA HB 1853
This bill would have required the mandatory spaying or neutering of dogs and cats purchased from a “dealer”. While the bill provided certain exemptions, the definitions of the exempted parties were inadequate to protect the right to own and breed dogs responsibly without undue governmental influence. The Canine Legislation department reached out to a countless number of fanciers, enthusiasts, and concerned dog owners, whose voices were heard by the House committee members who tabled the bill.
Hillsborough County, FL
In response to a dog attack, the Hillsborough County animal control director assembled a list of legislative options, including mandatory spay/neuter, high intact animal fees, mandatory microchipping and high fines. After fanciers organized to oppose these provisions, they were rejected by the Animal Control Advisory Board. A task force has been formed to study how education can improve responsible pet ownership as well as reduce dog bites. The county is now pursuing outreach programs to educate the public about responsible dog ownership. AKC club members are working with local officials in the county and schools to distribute copies of AKC’s educational programs Safety Around Dogs and Best Friends.
Coeur d’Alene, ID
The Coeur d’Alene City Council considered breed-specific legislation after a local dog attack. The Canine Legislation department sent dangerous dog packets to members of the Coeur d’Alene Dog Fanciers Club who personally delivered them to the city council members. The department also sent a letter to the mayor and city council. The city decided against a breed-specific ordinance and the Coeur d’ Alene Dog Fanciers Club is working with the city to help streamline animal control and develop a dog training program for community members.
Baton Rouge, LA
The City of Baton Rouge had been discussing a breed-specific ordinance to ban “pit bulls,” although which breeds would have been included was never revealed. The proposal was tabled in favor of a generic dangerous dog ordinance. The AKC Canine Legislation department worked with local fanciers to provide model legislation and also sent letters to the city council members.