Monday, August 6, 2007

North Carolina- Henderson County proposed ordinance includes mandatory spay/neuter

August 1, 2007
The Honorable William MoyerChairman, Henderson County Board of Commissioners
100 N. King Street
Hendersonville, NC 28792

Dear Mr. Chairman:Concerned dog owners and citizens of Henderson County have contacted the American Kennel Club regarding an ordinance that dramatically affects their ability to own dogs. We respectfully write to you on their behalf. The American Kennel Club (AKC) was established in 1884 to promote the study, breeding, exhibiting, and advancement of purebred dogs. AKC now represents over 4,500 dog clubs nationally, including 115 clubs in the state of North Carolina. The American Kennel Club supports sound, enforceable, non-discriminatory legislation to govern dog ownership. We understand that it can be a rather daunting task to formulate legislation that will allow the responsible citizen to enjoy a myriad of activities with his/her dog while at the same time protecting all people from the actions of irresponsible dog owners. We believe, however, that this is an attainable goal. We understand that Henderson County will soon consider changes to the animal control ordinance that include mandatory spay/neuter of dogs unless one purchases a $100 permit each year for each intact dog or cat. The AKC opposes the concept of differential licensing, breeding permits, breeding bans and mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of responsible breeders and owners. Local responsible breeders should be viewed as assets to their communities. These breeders make serious commitments to their animals by raising healthy, well cared-for dogs and by working to ensure that puppies are placed with responsible owners. These breeders are in a unique position to support new pet owners and exemplify responsible animal ownership. Responsible dog breeders and owners are models for their communities and should not be penalized by being required to purchase the expensive intact animal permits that would be mandated by this new provision. The AKC believes the answer to animal control issues is strict enforcement of current laws, rather than passage of new burdensome regulation. The key to resolving this issue is to implement and expand the wide range of programs available to educate the public about responsible breeding practices. The AKC offers a wealth of material on this subject, and we would be happy to provide you with more information in this regard.The American Kennel Club and your constituent dog owners are willing to assist you in developing reasonable animal control regulations designed to ensure that dogs and their owners remain respected members of their communities. We look forward to working with you as this issue progresses.
Sarah Sprouse
Manager, Canine Legislation
cc: Asheville Kennel Club, Appalachian Houndsmen Association, North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs, North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance