April 8, 2024

The American Kennel Club Strongly Opposes Los Angeles Proposal that Places Moratorium on Dog Breeder Permits

On Tuesday, April 9, the Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on a measure to suspend the issuance of dog breeding permits in the city as a way to address shelter overpopulation concerns. The American Kennel Club (AKC) vehemently opposes the moratorium on breeder permits.

We also call on the city to enforce current law properly and to not require a breeding permit for those who aren’t actually breeding dogs. Current enforcement improperly requires owners of intact animals to obtain both an intact animal permit and a breeding permit even if the animal will never be bred. City law is clear that the two permits are separate and distinct and should be treated as such. Improper enforcement has inflated the perceived number of dog breeders in the city, which is the impetus behind this current proposal.

AKC recognizes and shares concerns about the city’s animal shelters. However, we have strong concerns about responses designed to “send a signal” or scapegoat responsible breeders, rather than to create substantive policies that address the real, underlying issues that are causing the shelter’s problems.

“There are many reasons a responsible owner may not spay or neuter a dog they own,” said Sheila Goffe, VP of Government Relations, AKC. “Current city laws recognize this. Sadly, these laws are not being fully and lawfully administered. New proposals that scapegoat responsible breeders as the cause of the city’s shelter programs fail to recognize this and will only exacerbate existing problems by not addressing the underlying problems that have led to the city’s sheltering crisis.”

To lessen the strain on the shelter system, improve the working conditions for staff and volunteers alike and to promote the welfare of all animals in the system, AKC proposes the following recommendations:

  • Ensure good data collection to determine where issues are originating and allow for arising problems to be adequately addressed.
  • Require all animals received in the shelter system to be checked for microchips so lost pets don’t languish in shelter system taking up valuable space and resources.
  • Make sure low-cost spay and neuter funds are available to all who need it and ensure that program availability is widely known through community outreach.
  • Consider offering tax credits or other programs to incentivize greater acceptance of pets in residential housing to address issue of pets ending up in shelter system only because of housing issues.
  • Develop a plan to manage “dangerous dogs” taken in and kept in the shelter system.

AKC believes inclusive public outreach and education are key to promoting and instilling a culture of responsible pet ownership.

AKC and its affiliate organizations continues to proudly support the people and dogs of Los Angeles and California:

  • Recently, AKC Reunite donated to two Pet Disaster Relief trailers to the county of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. There are currently 21 AKC provided trailers in California.
  • AKC Reunite also provided $220,397.50 in donations to California animal shelters and organizations impacted by natural disasters.
  • AKC Reunite has awarded ten Adopt a K-9 Cop grants totaling $62,500.00 across California to assist police departments with the acquisition of k9 officers.
  • The AKC Canine Health Foundation, has granted $3.8m to date for organizations in California including $314,740 for organizations within the greater Los Angeles area.

To learn more background on the proposal, click here.

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