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Your Dog, Your Rights

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12/09/2009: RECENT CASES

United States v Stevens is the federal case from the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, that was granted certiorari by the Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard by the Supreme Court on October 6.

12/09/2009: DEFEATED BILLS

California AB 241 was covered in previous installments of Your Dog, Your Rights. If passed, breeders in California could not have more than 50 dogs, and those that did would have faced tough decisions on what to do with the excess dogs. Nor was there any due process provided for in cases of dogs that were seized.


The Pennsylvania Canine Health Board was created under section 221 of the Pennsylvania Dog Law to create specific standards that will protect the health and well being of dogs in commercial kennels (Class C Kennels). The Canine Health Board has proposed some very stringent guidelines for ventilation, lighting, and flooring for commercial kennels. The regulations are subject to public comment and regulatory review prior to final publication of the proposed regulations.


A worrisome, overly-restrictive tethering ordinance was recently passed in Kanawha County West Virginia. It’s worrisome because surrounding counties may consider similar ordinances, which will have an enormous impact on dog owners, especially hunting dog owners. Kanawha County Commission held 4 public hearings on the issue, and found what they believed to be the majority of public opinion was in support of regulating tethering dogs.


California Senate Bill 250, the mandatory spay and neuter legislation discussed in the last column, has been tabled until the next California legislative session in 2010. It has not yet been defeated and will most definitely resurface. The bill was last amended on August 31, 2009. It unfortunately still has no requirement that intact dog permits be made available state-wide. As originally written, intact dog licenses will only be available in municipalities and counties that choose to provide that option.

09/09/2009: Miscellaneous

A resolution that proposed to change the American Veterinary Medical Association’s policy against ‘cosmetic procedures’ was vetoed at the AVMA annual convention on July 10, 2009. The Utah VMA brought a resolution that would retract the AVMA’s stated opposition to these procedures, but 75% of the members voted the resolution down.


When California Assembly Bill 241 was originally introduced, it limited breeders to 50 intact dogs, with no age specifications. The bill has now been amended as of July 23 to limit breeders to 50 intact adult dogs. The bill specifies that any owners of dogs over this limit have 30 days following notification to spay, neuter, transfer, or otherwise rid themselves of the excess animals---including euthanasia if necessary.

09/09/2009: SUPREME COURT

United States v Stevens is a federal case from the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit that has been granted certiorari by the Supreme Court, meaning the Supreme Court will hear the case. Arguments are set to be heard on October 6, 2009. Robert Stevens was convicted by a federal grand jury under 18 U.S.C. § 48, which criminalizes creating, selling, or possessing depictions of animal cruelty.


The new Oregon breeder bill will limit breeders to 50 intact dogs, 2 years of age or older that are kept for the primary purpose of reproduction. A breeder is defined as keeping those dogs for reproduction if they sell more than 3 litters per year. If a person has 10 or more intact dogs, 8 months of age or older, they must meet standards and regulations for care and containment, such as a rule that crates may not be stacked.

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