Legislative Policy Statement
The Fort Bend Kennel Club (FBKC) supports the rights of Americans to own, breed, and interact
with their dogs in a responsible and humane manner without interference. The FBKC opposes unreasonable limitations on pet ownership, including any
legislation that would implement breeding bans, breeding permits, mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs, or that would arbitrarily
identify a dog as "dangerous" because it is of a certain breed or phenotype. Instead,
the FBKC supports reasonable, enforceable, and non-discriminatory laws that protect the health and welfare of dogs and that
do not restrict the rights of responsible breeders/owners.
Studies from national research organizations have shown that most of the dogs found in shelters
throughout the United States are relinquished by owners who are unable or unwilling to socialize,
train, and care for them. To avoid these issues, the FBKC strongly encourages
the pet-buying public to:
- Purchase a dog only when all family members are prepared to take on the daily
responsibilities of dog ownership as well as the long-term emotional and financial commitment (avoid purchasing a puppy on
- Research breeds of interest by visiting the American Kennel Club (AKC) website
at www.akc.org as well as the AKC parent club websites (national organizations representing specific breeds); dog shows are another good place to make contact with breeders.
- Seek reputable, ethical breeders as resources for your dog (check breeder referral
listings with the breed's AKC parent club website).
- Make well-informed decisions when buying a dog, making sure it is compatible
with your family's lifestyle.
- Arrange for appropriate socialization and obedience training for your dog (dogs
do not train themselves; a "bad" dog is a dog that is either untrained or improperly trained by its owner).
- Make sure you and your dog are good neighbors by adhering to clean-up ordinances,
leash laws, nuisance laws, and other reasonable regulations within your community.
In addition, the FBKC joins the AKC in encouraging pet owners to spay/neuter their dogs if
they do not want to participate in AKC conformation events or engage in responsible breeding programs.
"Guardian" v. Owner
The FBKC stands with the AKC in supporting
the use of the term "owner" rather than "guardian" when referring to the keeping of dogs.
As the AKC has said, ". . . the term guardian may in fact reduce the legal status and value of dogs as property and
thereby restrict the rights of owners, veterinarians, and government agencies to protect and care for dogs. It may also subject
them to frivolous and expensive litigation."
Members of the FBKC believe the right to responsibly own and breed dogs is seriously threatened
by oppressive canine legislation being introduced across the country each year at state and local levels, with most of it
being promoted by so-called "animal rights"* groups like PETA. We are
increasingly faced with breed bans, household limits, breeding restrictions, litter permits, excessive licensing fees, and
other threats to owners' and breeders' rights. Some of the proposed legislation
may affect your rights as an animal owner. We encourage you to take an active role in combating the onslaught of negative
canine legislation to help ensure your rights now and for generations to come. Please
visit some of the "animal welfare"* organizations below to learn more about specific legislation being proposed in your area
and elsewhere, and to find out how you can help defeat it before it is too late.
Click HERE to see the latest Legislative Alerts posted by the American Kennel Club.
American Dog Owners Association - www.adoa.org
American Kennel Club - www.akc.org/canine_legislation
National Animal Interest Alliance
(NAIA) - www.naiaonline.org
NAIA Trust - http://www.naiatrust.org
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA) - www.responsiblepetowners.org