The New York Assembly will soon vote on two bills that will have a significant impact on New York dog owners. New York residents are strongly encouraged to contact your State Assemblyperson and ask them to support Assembly Bill 3952 (prevent breed discrimination in insurance) and oppose Assembly Bill 1204 (ban on debarking procedures).
Both of these bills passed the Assembly in 2013, but died in the Senate. They were both immediately placed on a calendar on the first day of the 2014 session, meaning they can now be voted on in the Assembly any day.
To find the name and contact information for your New York State Assemblymember, click here and type in your address. A full list of Assemblymember e-mail addresses can be found here.
Assembly Bill 3952 – Prevent Breed Discrimination in Insurance
Assembly Bill 3952 prohibits insurers from refusing to issue, renew or cancel or raise premiums for homeowners’ insurance based solely on the breed of dog (or mixed-breed) owned by the policyholder. The bill does allow for insurance companies to take these actions if the dog has been declared dangerous based on current law.
New York state law already expressly prohibits municipalities from passing laws that target specific breeds of dogs. AKC GR supports A. 3952, which would ensure that the rights of dog owners are also protected when obtaining homeowners’ insurance. At the same time, it does allow insurance companies to impose a “reasonably increased premium or rate” or to cancel or deny a policy if the applicant owns a dog that has been declared dangerous as defined in state law.
Assembly Bill 1204, which would outlaw the veterinary surgery commonly called “debarking” or “bark softening”, has been scheduled for a vote by the NY Assembly.
The AKC opposes this measure, which would restrict the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarians.
There is much misinformation about the veterinary surgical procedure of debarking. Debarking is a viable veterinary procedure that may allow a dog owner to keep a dog in its loving home rather than to be forced toeuthanize or surrender it to a shelter when the pet's noisy behavior continually disrupts the community.
Debarking should only be performed under anesthesia by a qualified veterinarian after behavioral medication efforts to correct a dog’s excessive barking have failed. As with other veterinary medical decisions, the decision to debark a dog is best left to individual owners and their veterinarians.
IN Alert: City of Marion to Discuss Mandatory Spay/Neuter on Jan. 7
December 19, 2013
AKC Government Relations understands that a Marion City Council Rules Subcommittee has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, January 7, to discuss a possible mandatory spay/neuter proposal for the city. It is believed that this proposal is an attempt to address shelter population issues in Marion.
Although a draft is not yet available, items that have been discussed include requiring all dogs and cats over six months of age to be sterilized unless the owner purchases a breeding license and complies with numerous regulations. Media reports indicate that other provisions may include limits on the number of females bred in a year and the number of dogs and cats that may be owned.
Residents are strongly encouraged to consider attending the January 7 meeting and express your opposition to this proposal. Although the discussion is currently residing with a subcommittee, please also consider contacting the Marion City Council and ask them to not support any measure that would punish responsible dog owners and breeders.
Marion City Council Rules Subcommittee Tuesday, January 7, 2013 5:00 pm City Council Chambers 301 S. Branson Street Marion, Indiana
City Council Contact Information:
URGENT: AZ Alert: Phoenix City Council to Consider Problematic Definition of “Pet Dealer” TOMORROW (12/18)
December 17, 2013
The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) has just learned that the Phoenix City Council will consider a proposal tomorrow that would prevent “pet dealers” from selling puppies unless the puppies come from a shelter or nonprofit rescue.
The concern is that the definition of “pet dealer” exempts kennels, which are defined as those who keep or harbor five or more dogs. It is unclear if those who have fewer than five dogs would be considered a “pet dealer” and therefore subject to this regulation.
Those who reside or participate in dog events in Phoenix are encouraged to consider attending tomorrow’s hearing and contacting the Phoenix City Council and respectfully ask them to clarify this proposal to ensure that Phoenix hobbyists with fewer than five dogs are not included in this ordinance.
Phoenix City Council Hearing Wednesday, December 18, 2013 3:00 pm Phoenix City Hall Council Chambers 200 W Jefferson Street
Contact Information: Click here to find your City Council member
Click here to find the contact information for Mayor Stanton and the Phoenix City Council.
NY Update: Ask Governor Cuomo to Veto Pet Dealer Legislation
Two bills pending in New York may be of concern to those defined as “pet dealers” in the state. AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) has learned that Governor Cuomo has not heard much opposition to Assembly Bill 740 and Senate Bill 3753, which would allow municipalities to create regulations for “pet dealers” that are more strict than state law.
New York residents are strongly encouraged to contact Governor Cuomo and respectfully ask that he veto these measures that could create new, unnecessary and confusing regulations on those who meet the definition of “pet dealer” in New York. Scroll down for contact information.
Assembly Bill 740 and Senate Bill 3753 clarify that counties and municipalities may enact laws, rules, and regulations governing “pet dealers” (defined in current law as those who sell 9 or more dogs/year Breeders who raise fewer than 25 dogs/year on their residential premises are exempt.). Under this proposal, such regulations could not be less stringent than state law. If they are more stringent, it would be incumbent on the local government to enforce that law.
The bills would also allow municipalities to enact local laws and regulations governing pet dealers, including laws that address “the source of animals offered for sale by pet dealers”, whether spaying/neutering should be required prior to sales by pet dealers, and regulations concerning “the health and safety of animals maintained by pet dealers.”
The AKC is concerned that this could allow for strict, burdensome, unnecessary new laws for those who meet the definition of “pet dealers”. It would also create a problematic patchwork of varying local laws that will be difficult to enforce.
Contacting the Governor:
New York residents wishing to contact the governor to ask for a veto may do so in one of the following ways:
Mail: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224
Ventura County, CA Holds Final Vote on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance, Breeder Permits December 10th
Ventura County, CA Holds Final Vote on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance, Breeder Permits
Please pass this information on to your club members in the Ventura County area.
On Tuesday, December 10th, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors will hold a final vote on an ordinance that would establish mandatory spay/neuter of dogs and cats in the county unless the owner qualifies for an exemption. The measure passed by a vote of 4-1 in November. It also would require breeders to purchase a $100 breeding permit and submit to property inspections. It is imperative that responsible owners and breeders attend this meeting and oppose these burdensome and ineffective proposals.
Dog clubs and organizations are encouraged to personalize the attached letter and send it to the Supervisors at the email addresses listed below. A sample letter for individuals to personalize can be found here.
Ventura County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Date: Tuesday December 10th
Time: 2:00 PM (Special hearing time for this item)
Location: County Government Center, Hall of Administration, Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009
The full draft of the ordinance can be seen online here. Very few modifications have been made from the November draft. Provisions include:
Section 4221: Prohibition against Unaltered Dog or Cat
Animals may only remain intact if one the following exemptions apply:
The dog or cat is a breed approved by and is registered with the American Kennel Club or a similar foreign registry recognized by the Division, whose program and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals, and the dog or cat is actively used to exhibit or compete and has competed in at least one legitimate exhibition or sporting competition hosted by, or under the approval of, the American Kennel Club or a similar foreign registry, within the last two years, or is being trained or groomed to exhibit or compete and is too young to have yet competed.
The dog has earned, or if under three years old, is actively being trained and in the process of earning, an agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, hunting, working, or other title from a registry or association approved by the Division.
The dog is being, or has been, appropriately trained and is actively used in a manner that meets the definition of a guide, signal or service dog as set forth in Penal Code section 365.5, subdivisions (d), (e) and (f), or the dog is enrolled in a guide dog program administered by a person licensed under Business and Professions Code section 7200 et seq.
The dog is being, or has been, appropriately trained and is actively used by law enforcement agencies, the military, or search and rescue organizations, for law enforcement, military, or search and rescue activities.
The owner of the dog or cat provides a letter to the Division from a licensed veterinarian certifying that the animal's health would be best served by spaying or neutering after a specified date; or that due to age, poor health, or illness of the animal, it is detrimental to the health of the animal to spay or neuter the animal; or that arrangements have been made to spay or neuter the dog or cat within 60 days after the compliance deadline and the dog or cat is spayed or neutered within that 60-day period. This letter shall include the veterinarian's license number and the date by which the animal may be safely spayed or neutered. The letter shall be updated periodically as necessary in the event the condition of the animal changes.
The owner of the dog or cat is an AKC "Breeder of Merit."
The dog or cat has a valid breeding permit issued to the owner by the Division.
The American Kennel Club opposes the spay/neuter laws and arbitrary breeder permits as ineffective because they fail to address the underlying issue of irresponsible ownership. California state law already provides for the sterilization of animals adopted from shelters and mandates that the license fee for intact animals be at least double that of sterilized animals. The mandatory sterilization requirements proposed in this ordinance will merely punish those who are responsible owners and breeders, and the irresponsible owners who are not complying with current laws are likely to continue their behavior.
Many communities that have implemented mandatory spay/neuter policies have found them to be ineffective and expensive. For example, after Dallas, Texas enacted MSN policies in 2008, it experienced a 22 percent increase in animal control costs and an overall decrease in licensing compliance. MSN laws often result in owners either ignoring animal control laws entirely, or relinquishing their pets to the public shelter to be cared for at the taxpayers’ expense rather than pay for expensive sterilization surgery or breeder permits. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), some owners also opt to avoid rabies vaccinations and other general veterinary care in order to hide their lack of compliance with MSN laws.
Section 4225: Breeding Permit
The fee for this permit will be $100 and a separate permit is required for EACH animal to be bred.
Limits residents who own female dogs to a single litter per household per year unless written permission is obtained from the animal control director.
Requires breeders to submit to inspections of their property.
Requires breeders to provide their permit number to puppy purchasers and in advertisements.
Requires breeders to provide the department with contact information for puppy purchasers.
AKC Breeders of Merit are exempt.
Section 4428: Prohibition on the Sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores
Prohibits the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in any pet store, retail establishment or commercial establishment, with the exception of animals obtained from an animal shelter or rescue group.
The STCA Board passed the following resolution on Legislation:
7-9-10: Motion: I make a motion to adopt and publish this statement. The Scottish Terrier Club of America was formed and exists to encourage and promote the responsible breeding and ownership of Scottish Terriers and to protect and advance the interests of these dogs. Towards these ends, all members of the STCA sign the following Code of Ethics.
The STCA encourages its members to become educated about and involved in local legislative issues and to support the AKC. We also ask for members to notify the legislative committee of important legislation in their area.
The following items and links are provided by the STCA Legislative committee. They may be national or local in scope. This is provide for your information because the Legislative committee felt it may be of interested. Unless specifically noted, none of the information here represents an STCA BOD approved position statement (See above). If you want more information, contact the STCA Legislative Committee.
The following list shows some of the current AKC alerts. Clicking on an article below will take you to the that alert on the AKC Page. For the complete list, visit the AKC Legislative Alerts page.