The Cecil County (MD) Board of County Commissioners will likely discuss numerous changes to its kennel and licensing laws during its 2012 budget public hearing on May 10, 2011. While it is not certain that a final vote will be taken on these changes on Tuesday, it is important that the commission hear that residents are concerned with the proposal.
Current law requires a kennel license for anyone “engaged in the business of breeding, buying, selling, boarding, grooming or training” five or more “customary household pets” over four months of age.
A proposal released in February would significantly broaden these requirements by requiring those that meet this definition to obtain an annual commercial kennel license, an individual license for every dog they own, and a business license. Commercial kennels must schedule annual inspections with the Animal Care & Control Authority, the Department of Environmental Health and the Department of Permits and Inspections.
These kennels may be given a special exemption to exist in certain residential zones, provided they comply with numerous requirements, including having a minimum of 5 acres if the dogs are kept outside, or 2 acres if the dogs are kept in a soundproof building.
Among other provisions, the proposal would also require a higher individual dog license fee for owners of intact dogs.
Licensing/Inspections for Dog Sport Participants?
Since February, a task force has been assigned to examine this proposal and present amendments to the commission. The AKC has learned that these amendments may include changing the definition of “commercial kennel” to those who breed two or more litters and buy or sell any dogs for compensation.
Furthermore, these amendments may propose a “hobby kennel” license for anyone who keeps dogs for hunting, tracking, participating in dog shows, performance events, or field or obedience trials. Even if dogs are not being bred and sold, those meeting this definition would be required to obtain an annual hobby kennel license and individual licenses for every dog they own, obtain site approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission, develop a program of veterinary care and exercise for dogs and display them in a prominent location, and submit to annual inspections prior to renewing the license.
Both commercial and hobby kennels may also be subject to unannounced inspections at any time.
How You Can Help:
Cecil County residents are encouraged to contact the County Administrator and Commission and ask that they not proceed with expensive, burdensome regulations that would violate the rights of responsible dog owners, breeders and exhibitors. The contact information is as follows:
County Administrator Alfred Wein, Jr.
200 Chesapeake Blvd., Suite 2100
Elkton , MD 21921
Phone: (410) 996-8301
Contact information for all commissioners:
200 Chesapeake Blvd., Suite 2100
Elkton, MD 21921
Phone: (410) 996-5201
Fax: (410) 996-1014
Commission President Jim Mullin (1st District)
Vice President Diana Broomell (4th District)
Commissioner Michael Dunn (3rd District)
Commissioner Robert Hodge (5th District)
Commissioner Tari Moore (2nd District)
The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to closely monitor this proposal and provide further information as it becomes available. Contact us at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com