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Legislative Updates: Good News and Not-So-Good News

On October 1, 2012, the Delaware Township, N.J., Board of Health will review, for final adoption, new ownership and breeding limits for dog-owning residents.

Proposed Ordinance #2012-10 BH seeks to restrict the number of intact dogs allowed per household to six over the age of 7 months, and says that “no household may shelter more than two litters of pups within a consecutive 24-month period.”

Although the proposal includes a grandfather provision that allows households with more than six dogs to keep them if such dogs are “properly licensed” by a date to be specified later, the grandfather clause is limited to 12 years, and households that have more than six dogs will be “subject to inspection to ensure the health and welfare of the animals and the household are maintained.” Inspections would be conducted by an animal control officer.

The Delaware Township Board of Health approved the proposal on first reading at its meeting on September 5, 2012. The October 1 meeting will include a public hearing where citizens may voice their support or concerns about the ordinance, and the board will hear the second reading for final adoption or rejection of the statute.

The American Kennel Club has asked concerned New Jersey residents to write, call or fax the board of health to ask it not to move forward with this proposal. AKC opposes limits on dog ownership, maintaining the position that “strong enforcement of general animal control and cruelty laws are more effective solutions than arbitrary restrictions on responsible dog owners.” Further, AKC believes that restricting dog ownership may unfairly infringe upon the rights of responsible breeders and owners.

Florida Owners Enjoy Dining with Their Dogs

Dog owners in Boynton Beach, Fla., enjoyed more positive news regarding their canine companions earlier this month. At the September 4, 2012, meeting of city commissioners, an ordinance was approved by a three-to-one vote that allows dogs to join their owners on the outdoor patios of local restaurants.

Boynton Beach is an oceanside community south of West Palm Beach, Fla., where residents often spend time outdoors with their pets. Photo © www.canstockphoto.com.

Some eateries already allowed patrons to bring their dogs when dining outdoors. After a customer complained at the Hurricane Alley restaurant earlier this year, owner Kim Kelly felt she had to ban dogs until something official could be done, as reported in the Palm Beach Post. Kelly then collected more than 1,400 signatures on a petition to city officials that would allow pets in outside areas at dining establishments.

The new ordinance requires that dog owners behave responsibly. Dogs are only allowed outside, must be on a leash and cannot sit on chairs or tables or get near dishes or utensils. Other restrictions require eateries to provide hand sanitizers for patrons and employees, and to post notices reminding employees to make cleanliness a priority. Dog owners must immediately clean up all pet “accidents.”

Best In Show Daily provides a biweekly look at dog-related legislation that is pending and has passed around the country. The American Kennel Club also posts regular updates in its Legislative Alerts section online.

Written by

Christi McDonald is a second-generation dog person, raised with a kennel full of Cairn Terriers. After more than a decade as a professional handler’s apprentice and handling professionally on her own, primarily Poodles and Cairns, she landed a fortuitous position in advertising sales with the monthly all-breed magazine ShowSight. This led to an 11-year run at Dogs in Review, where she wore several hats, including advertising sales rep, ad sales manager and, finally, editor for five years. Christi is proud to be part of the editorial team for the cutting-edge Best In Show Daily. She lives in Apex, N.C., with two homebred black Toy Poodles, the last of her Foxfire line, and a Norwich Terrier.