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Issue Background

Limit Laws

When animal control concerns arise, legislators often consider placing a limit on the number of dogs residents may own. However, limit laws are ineffective, difficult to enforce, and fail to address the true problem of irresponsible ownership.There is no link between a specific number of dogs and nuisance problems. One dog that barks continuously or habitually runs loose will cause trouble, while several dogs that are quiet and stay home will not. Vigorous enforcement of animal control and nuisance regulations that address behavior that is problematic for neighbors is a better use of resources and provides for a more peaceful community. 

The AKC supports public education campaigns to teach residents about responsible dog ownership, such as how to properly care for and inter­act with pets. Incentivizing residents to engage in obedience training and providing adequate parks and trails on which dogs can be properly exercised promote responsible animal ownership.                                                     

The American Kennel Club and its affiliated clubs understand the challenges of creating effective animal control ordinances for a community. We support laws that target irresponsible dog owners and substandard animal care; however, limit laws do not address these issues. Limit laws are ineffective, difficult to enforce and unfair to responsible dog owners. Laws should instead focus on targeting irresponsible owners regardless of the number of dogs owned. 

"Limit laws, however, are ineffective, difficult to
enforce, and fail to address the true problem of irresponsible ownership."

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