This table covers state laws and administrative regulations affecting commercial dog breeders. The table defines a commercial breeder, describes whether a state has an upper limit of dogs a breeder can possess at one time, whether a state has minimum standards of care, inspection provisions, and penalties for violations.
This table covers state laws and administrative regulations affecting commercial dog breeders. Generally, though not always, a commercial dog breeder is defined as someone who breeds a large number of dogs (usually 20 or more) within a certain time frame (usually 12 months). This definition does not typically include a person who breeds a litter or two every year as a hobby (usually termed a "hobby breeder"). Provisions covering commercial breeders may take the form of a state law or an administrative regulation issued by the agency that has the responsibility for overseeing these activities. The administrative regulation is issued by a state agency—usually the state’s department of agriculture, board of commercial breeders, or animal health department—who is responsible for overseeing commercial breeding. Failure to follow these state laws or regulations can often lead to revocation of a commercial breeder's license, civil fines, or even criminal penalties.
This table does NOT include laws affecting pet shops, animal rescue organizations, dog boarding kennels, or humane societies. In all, around 25 states have laws addressing commercial breeders. While the laws vary, they generally require a person who meets the definition of a commercial breeder to obtain a license, pay a fee (which often varies depending on how many dogs the person breeds), have his or her breeding facilities inspected, and maintain certain minimum standards of care. These standards of care usually address adequate food and water, regular exercise, veterinary care, natural or artificial light during daylight hours, adequate space in living quarters, protection from the elements and extreme temperatures, and even adequate resting time between breeding cycles. A few state laws (namely Louisiana, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington) limit the maximum number of dogs a breeder is allowed to possess at one time to 50, or in the case of Louisiana, 75.
The table below attempts to compare commercial breeding laws by category. An effort has been made to describe both laws and regulations for each state. While this table is aimed at giving readers an informational perspective of state dog breeding laws, specific questions concerning compliance and violation of these laws should be directed to licensed attorneys in each state.
Number of Dogs that triggers law
Definition of commercial breeder and licensing requirements
Maximum number of dogs allowed
Standards of care required
|5 or more dogs|
"Kennel" means an enclosed, controlled area, inaccessible to other animals, in which a person keeps, harbors or maintains five or more dogs under controlled conditions.
A person operating a kennel shall obtain a permit issued by the board of supervisors of the county where the kennel is located except if each individual dog is licensed.
Cost is $75
|Not listed||None provided|
Fewer than 20 dogs: may be subject to an inspection by the county enforcement agent during regular business hours if the county enforcement agent has received a citizen or law enforcement complaint in writing.
More than 20 dogs: must allow inspections of the kennel by the county enforcement agent as a condition of receiving a kennel permit. This subsection does not apply to any kennel that houses dogs that are being used or trained for hunting.
A person who knowingly fails to obtain a kennel permit within thirty days after written notification from the county enforcement agent is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act
3 or more litters or 20 or more dogs during the preceding 12 months
|As used in this article, "dog breeder," or "breeder" means a person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other association that has sold, transferred, or given away all or part of 3 or more litters or 20 or more dogs during the preceding 12 months that were bred and reared on the premises of the person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other association.||Not listed|
Per § 122065, law requires:
It shall be unlawful for a breeder to primarily house a dog on wire flooring.
|Any person violating any provision of this article other than Section 122060 shall be subject to civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation (§ 122110).|
Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (1994)
Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Administration and Enforcement of the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act
“Dog breeder” means any firm, person, or corporation which is engaged in the operation of breeding and raising dogs for the purpose of selling, trading, bartering, giving away, or otherwise transferring same, excluding racing greyhounds that are not intended to be companion pets.
"Pet animal facility” means any place or premise used in whole or in part, which part is used for the keeping of pet animals for the purpose of adoption, breeding, boarding, grooming, handling, selling, sheltering, trading, or otherwise transferring such animals. “Pet animal facility” also includes any individual animals kept by such a facility as breeding stock, such licensing of individual breeding stock to be inclusive in the pet animal facility license.
Dog Breeder Facility Regulations (8 CO ADC 1201-11:12.00):
Per law, the commissioner, upon his or her own motion or upon the complaint of any person, may make any investigations necessary to ensure compliance with this article (§ 35-80-110).
Per regulations, all facilities licensed under PACFA may be inspected upon application, routinely thereafter, and upon a complaint to the Commissioner or the Department about a particular facility. All licensees or applicants for licensure or license renewal must make their respective facilities, animals, and records available for inspection during business hours or at other times mutually agreeable, in writing, to the Commissioner (8 CO ADC 1201-11:10.00).
Where commissioner has reasonable cause, can issue cease and desist order.
If person fails to comply with a cease and desist order within 24 hours, the commissioner may bring a suit for a temporary restraining order and for injunctive relief.
Commissioner may also apply to court to temporarily or permanently restrain or enjoin the act or practice in question and to enforce compliance with this article or any rule or order issued under this article (§ 35-80-111).
The commissioner may issue letters of admonition or deny, suspend, refuse to renew, restrict, or revoke any license authorized under this article if the applicant or licensee (§ 35-80-112).
In addition to those grounds set forth in § 35-80-112 of PACFA, the Commissioner may issue letters of admonition, deny, suspend, refuse to renew, restrict, or revoke any license for such things as falsification of license information, violation of law or rule, conviction for animal cruelty-related offense, or failure on three (3) reinspections for an original violation within a single license year (8 CO ADC 1201-11:9.00).
|Connecticut||Any owner or keeper of a kennel who breeds more than 2 litters of dogs annually shall apply to the town clerk in the town in which such kennel is located for a kennel license||Not listed|
Per regulations (CT ADC § 22-344-1 - 15):
The commissioner, the Chief Animal Control Officer or any state animal control officer may at any time inspect any kennel including all facilities of any kennel in which dogs are bred or housed (§ 22-342).
The commissioner may, at any time, inspect or cause to be inspected by the commissioner's agents any such commercial kennel, pet shop, grooming facility or training facility, and if, (1) in the commissioner's judgment such kennel, pet shop, grooming facility or training facility is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner or in a manner that protects the public safety (§ 22-342).
Any person maintaining a kennel after such license has been revoked or suspended as herein provided shall be fined not more than $1000 or imprisoned not more than one year or both(§ 22-342).
Any owner or keeper of a kennel who breeds more than 2 litters of dogs annually and fails to apply for a kennel license as required or fails to allow an inspection of such facility as required shall be fined not more than $1000 or imprisoned not more than one year or both (§ 22-342).
Kennel is more than 4 dogs are kept for show, trial, sale, breeding, or other purposes
|Not listed|| |
Humane Care and Handling
Indoor housing facility
Outdoor housing facilities
General housekeeping for premises of the kennel
Animal welfare officers are authorized to inspect the facilities for which a kennel or retail dog outlet license is sought or obtained during normal business hours or by appointment to see if the facilities satisfy the requirements of § 3044F.
No person may refuse admittance to an animal welfare officer for the purpose of making inspections.
If premises do not satisfy the humane care and handling requirements, the facility shall be issued a warning identifying the deficiencies.
Such operator shall have a warning period of a minimum of 10 business days to bring the premises or facility into compliance (but Dept. can extend up to 60 days).
After expiration of the warning period the operator shall be fined.
The Department may also issue an order suspending the kennel license until the cited deficiencies are remedied.
The licensee is entitled to an administrative review of such order under the Delaware APA.
|Illinois||225 I.L.C.S. 605/1 - 22|| |
“Kennel operator” means any person who sells, offers to sell, exchange, or offers for adoption with or without charge dogs or dogs and cats which he has produced and raised. A person who owns, has possession of, or harbors 5 or less females capable of reproduction shall not be considered a kennel operator.
225 I.L.C.S. 605/2
License is obtained for a fee of $25.
225 I.L.C.S. 605/21
|Not listed|| |
The licensee shall:
225 I.L.C.S. 605/18
All licensees under this Act shall maintain records of the origin and sale of all dogs, and such records shall be made available for inspection by the Secretary or the Department upon demand.
225 I.L.C.S. 605/2.2
Rountine inspection of the premises of licensees is not provided in the act. However, Section 18 says, "[i]nspection of the premises of a licensee to determine compliance with this Act may be made only by the Department."
225 I.L.C.S. 605/18
Any person violating any provision of this Act or any rule, regulation or order is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and every day a violation continues constitutes a separate offense.
225 I.L.C.S. 605/20
Administrative fines imposed by the Department for violation of rule or regulation:
(1) For the first violation, a fine of $500.
(2) For a second violation that occurs within 3 years after the first violation, a fine of $1,000.
(3) For a third violation that occurs within 3 years after the first violation, mandatory probationary status and a fine of $2,500.
225 I.L.C.S. 605/20.5
345 IN ADC 14-1-1 - 4 (breeder registration requirements)
|“Commercial dog breeder” means a person who maintains more than 20 unaltered female dogs that are at least 12 months of age.||Not listed||Per law (15-21-4-1), a commercial dog breeder shall comply with the standards of care set forth in 9 CFR 3.1 to 3.12.|
(b) A commercial dog breeder:
(1) may not house a dog in a cage containing a wire floor unless the cage contains an accommodation that allows the dog to be off the wire floor;
(2) who houses a dog in a wire cage shall house the dog in a cage that is large enough to allow for reasonable movement by the dog; and
(3) shall, subject to subsection (c), provide every dog with a reasonable opportunity for exercise outside of a cage at least one (1) time per day.
(c) A commercial dog breeder who permits a dog access to a run at least one (1) time per day has satisfied the exercise requirement described in subsection (b)(3). However, a commercial dog breeder is not required to provide a dog with the opportunity for exercise if exercise would endanger the dog's life or health.
Knowingly or intentionally failing to register with the board as a commercial dog breeder commits a Class A misdemeanor. Breeder is liable to the state for two (2) times the amount of registration fees that the commercial dog breeder or commercial dog broker failed to pay (15-21-3-1).
Note that per law (15-21-7-1), the board may enforce this article when the board determines that sufficient funds have been deposited in the commercial dog breeder and broker fund to permit enforcement (but board can still assist law enforcement in criminal investigation).
Board can then:
IA ADC 21-67.1(162) - 13 (animal welfare regulations)
|“Commercial breeder” means a person, engaged in the business of breeding dogs or cats, who sells, exchanges, or leases dogs or cats in return for consideration, or who offers to do so, whether or not the animals are raised, trained, groomed, or boarded by the person. A person who owns or harbors 3 or fewer breeding males or females is not a commercial breeder. However, a person who breeds any number of breeding male or female greyhounds for the purposes of using them for pari-mutuel wagering at a racetrack as provided in chapter 99D shall be considered a commercial breeder irrespective of whether the person sells, leases, or exchanges the greyhounds for consideration or offers to do so.||Not listed||Statute (162.10A)states that a commercial establishment shall provide for a standard of care that ensures that an animal in its possession or under its control is not lacking any of the following:|
(1) Adequate feed, adequate water, housing facilities, sanitary control, or grooming practices, if such lack causes adverse health or suffering.
(2) Veterinary care.
Regulations provide specific standards for:
A commercial establishment fails to provide for a standard of care if the commercial establishment commits abuse as described in section 717B.2, neglect as described in section 717B.3, or torture as provided in section 717B.3A.
162.10C provides that the department may monitor the commercial establishment of a permittee by entering onto its business premises at any time during normal working hours. The department shall monitor the commercial establishment for the limited purpose of determining whether the permittee is providing for a standard of care required for permittees. If the owner or person in charge of the commercial establishment refuses admittance, the department may obtain an administrative search warrant.
In order to enter onto the business premises of a permittee's commercial establishment, the department must have reasonable cause to suspect that the permittee is not providing for the standard of care.
1. Disciplinary action: authorization (license) revocation, complete a continuing education program as a condition for retaining an authorization (3 to 8 hours of instruction) (162.10C).
2. Denial or revocation of license: if, after public hearing, it is determined that the housing facilities or primary enclosures are inadequate under this chapter or if the feeding, watering, cleaning, and housing practices are not in compliance with this chapter (162.12).
3. Civil penalties: a commercial establishment that operates pursuant to an authorization issued or renewed under this chapter is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500, regardless of the number of animals possessed or controlled by the commercial establishment, for violating this chapter. The departmental official who makes a determination that a violation exists shall provide a corrective plan to the commercial establishment describing how the violation will be corrected within a compliance period of not more than 15 days from the date of approval by the official of the corrective plan (162.12A).
4. Criminal Penalties: operating a commercial establishment without authorization is a simple misdemeanor. The failure of a person who owns or operates a commercial establishment to meet the standard of care is a simple misdemeanor (162.13).
Pet Animal Act
KS ADC 9-18-1 - 3 (regulations for fee schedule for animal breeder licenses)
KS ADC 9-25-1 - 15 (Article 25. Retail Breeders Facility Standards)
|“Animal breeder” means any person who operates animal breeder premises.|
“Animal breeder premises” means any premises where all or part of 6 or more litters of dogs or cats, or both, or 30 or more dogs or cats, or both, are sold, or offered or maintained for sale, primarily at wholesale for resale to another.
It shall be unlawful for any person to act as or be an animal breeder unless such person has obtained from the commissioner an animal breeder license for each animal breeder premises operated by such person.
Under the law (47-1706), the failure to provide the following can result in license revocation, suspension, or refusal to issue a license:
In the definition section (47-1701):
“Adequate feeding” means supplying at suitable intervals (not to exceed 24 hours) of a quantity of wholesome foodstuff, suitable for the animal species and age, and sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of nutrition in each animal.
“Adequate watering” means a supply of clean, fresh, potable water, supplied in a sanitary manner and either continuously accessible to each animal or supplied at intervals suitable for the animal species, not to exceed intervals of 12 hours.
“Sanitize” means to make physically clean and to remove and destroy, to a practical minimum, agents injurious to health, at such intervals as necessary.
“Adequate veterinary medical care” means a documented program of disease control and prevention, euthanasia and routine veterinary care established and maintained under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. It shall include a documented on-site visit to the premises by the veterinarian at least once a year; diseased, ill, injured, lame or blind animals shall be provided with veterinary care as is needed for the health and well-being of the animal.
Regulations provide standards for:
The commissioner or the commissioner's authorized, trained representatives shall make an inspection of the premises for which an application for an original license or permit is made (47-1709).
May make an inspection at least twice a year (47-1709).
Shall make an inspection upon a determination by the commissioner that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is violating the provisions of K.S.A 47-1701 et seq., rules, and regulations, or that there are grounds for suspension or revocation of such person's license or permit (47-1709).
1. Injunction (47-1727)
2. Criminal penalty (47-1715): any violation of or failure to comply with any provision of the Kansas pet animal act, or any rule adopted shall constitute a class A nonperson misdemeanor.
3. Civil penalty (47-1707): upon a finding that a person has violated or failed to comply with any provision, may impose on such person a civil fine not exceeding $1,000 for each violation or requirement to attend an educational course regarding animals and their care and treatment. If the commissioner imposes the educational course, such person may choose either the fine or the educational course.
3. Licensing (47-1736): unlawful for any person to act as or be a retail breeder unless such person has obtained from the commissioner a retail breeder license for each retail breeder premises operated by such person
Also unlawful for any person to knowingly purchase a dog or a cat for the purpose of resale to another from a person required to be licensed or permitted under public law 91-579, 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq., or K.S.A. 47-1701 et seq., if that person is not so licensed or permitted.
|Louisiana||LSA-R.S.2772||The term "breeder" is not defined in the law. However, the law states that any individual or business with 5 or more dogs who breeds and sells dogs retail, wholesale, or to the public is required to procure a kennel license and pay a kennel license fee. The fees range from a set minimum of $15 for up to 5 dogs to $30 if more than 10 dogs.||No individual or business that breeds, buys, or sells dogs retail, wholesale, or to the public shall maintain more than 75 dogs over the age of one year at any time for breeding purposes.||Not listed||Not listed||Any person who violates the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.|
01-001 CMR Ch. 701, § I - IV (rules governing animal welfare)
Breeding kennel defined in § 3907 as a location where 5 or more adult female dogs or cats capable of breeding are kept and some or all of the offspring are offered for sale, sold or exchanged for value or a location where more than 16 dogs or cats raised on the premises are sold to the public in a 12-month period. “Breeding kennel” does not include a kennel licensed by a municipality under section 3923-C when the dogs are kept primarily for hunting, show, training, sledding, competition, field trials or exhibition purposes and not more than 16 dogs are offered for sale, sold or exchanged for value within a 12-month period.
Per § 3931-A:
For purposes of animal welfare regulations, the term “kennel” means one pack or collection of dogs kept in a single location under one ownership for breeding, hunting, show, training, field trials and exhibition purposes. The sale or exchange of one litter of puppies within a twelve month period shall not be considered a kennel.
Regulations (01-001 CMR Ch. 701, § I) state that all pet shops, shelters, kennels and boarding kennels shall be comprised of a primary structure that is in good repair and structurally sound. All primary structures shall have available running water, heat, and electricity.
Regulations provide general standards for:
Specific standards for kennels and boarding kennels (01-001 CMR Ch. 701, § II):
Also specific provisions for outside dog houses and tethering of dogs (01-001 CMR Ch. 701, § II).
|The commissioner, a state humane agent, a veterinarian employed by the State or a licensed veterinarian at the direction of the commissioner may, at any reasonable time, enter a breeding kennel and make examinations and conduct any recognized tests for the existence of contagious or infectious diseases or conditions. Also, the department may revoke or suspend a breeding kennel license if a person maintaining the breeding kennel violates any quarantine or maintains animals contrary to the rules adopted by the department ( § 3936).|
Law states that a person maintaining a breeding kennel without having obtained a license, or after a license has been revoked or suspended, commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not less than $50 nor more than $200 a day may be adjudged (§ 3938).
Regulations state that Animal Welfare shall, upon written complaint by any person alleging violation of these Rules, or upon its own motion if it has reason to believe such a violation exists, cause an investigation to be made. If a violation is found to exist, Animal Welfare or the Attorney General may file a complaint with the Administrative Court for revocation or suspension of the license (01-001 CMR Ch. 701, § I(P)).
Regulations provide for civil violation: any pet Shop, kennel or boarding kennel which violates Chapter 723 of Title 7 commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not less than $50.00 nor more than $200.00 a day maybe adjudged (01-001 CMR Ch. 701, § III).
|Maryland||MD CRIM LAW § 10-616|
A person who is engaged in the business of buying, selling, trading, or breeding dogs; or of a kennel where 25 or more dogs are kept.
Authority to inspect to determine if dogs are being treated inhumanely in violation of this subtitle or other law, an authorized director of a humane society, accompanied by a sheriff or a deputy sheriff, may inspect a premises
Chapter requires that dogs are being treated humanely.
|Massachusetts||M.G.L.A. 140 § 136, 137A|
Per § 136A: "kennel", one pack or collection of dogs on a single premises, whether maintained for breeding, boarding, sale, training, hunting or other purposes and including any shop where dogs are on sale, and also including every pack or collection of more than three dogs three months old or over owned or kept by a person on a single premises irrespective of the purpose for which they are maintained.
Every person maintaining a kennel shall have a kennel license.
Per § 137C, a kennel must be maintained in a sanitary and humane manner.
|The mayor of a city or selectmen of a town, or in Boston the police commissioner, or a chief of police or a dog officer within his jurisdiction, may at any time inspect or cause to be inspected any kennel and if, in their or his judgment, the same is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner, or if records are not properly kept as required by law, the county commissioners, or in Boston the police commissioner, shall by order revoke or suspend, and in case of suspension may reinstate, such license (§ 137C).|
Every person maintaining a kennel shall have a kennel license. Any person maintaining a kennel after license is revoked or suspended shall be fined not more than $50 (§ 137A).
“Large-scale dog breeding kennel” means a facility where more than 15 female intact dogs over the age of 4 months are housed or kept for the primary purpose of breeding. As used in this subdivision, “housed or kept for the primary purpose of breeding” means that the female dog has previously been bred and whelped. A female dog that has not previously produced offspring shall not be considered to have been housed or kept for the primary purpose of breeding.
A person shall not operate a large-scale dog breeding kennel unless the large-scale dog breeding kennel is registered with the department. The department shall charge an annual fee of $500.00 per registration of a large-scale dog breeding kennel.
|The department may promulgate rules to accomplish the purposes of this act and to establish minimum standards for the housing, care, and handling of animals to insure the humane care and handling of animals. The department may also promulgate rules to establish minimum standards for large-scale dog breeding kennels.|
According to the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture & Rural Development website, Regulation No. 151, contained at Mich. Admin. Code R. 285.151.1 - 41, apply to large-scale dog breeding kennels.
These rules include:
According to MDARD: "Once the complete application is received, MDARD will contact you to initiate an inspection."
The laws specific to inspection only mention animal shelters and pet shops.
A person shall not operate a large-scale dog breeding kennel unless the large-scale dog breeding kennel is registered with the department.
After notice and an opportunity for an evidentiary hearing violation may result in either or both:
(a) Suspend or revoke a license or registration issued to the person under this act.
(b) Impose an administrative fine of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation.
The director may bring an action to do 1 or more of the following:
(a) Obtain a declaratory judgment that a method, act, or practice is in violation of this act.
(b) Obtain an injunction against a person who is engaging, or about to engage, in a method, act, or practice that violates this act.
|Minnesota||Commercial Breeders Act (M. S. A. § 347.57 - 64)||“Commercial breeder” means a person who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses 10 or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than 5 total litters of puppies or kittens per year.gr347.57)||Not listed|
Section 347.59 establishes several standards and states that the board may promulgate rules as it considers necessary to protect the public health and welfare of animals. The statutory standards include the following:
As of July 1, 2015, a commercial breeder must obtain an annual license for each facility it owns or operates ($10 per adult intact animal, but each fee must not exceed $250).
The board must perform an announced initial prelicense inspection within 60 days from the date of receiving a license application.
The board must inspect each licensed facility at least annually.
If, after the prelicense inspection, the commercial breeder has two consecutive years of inspections with no violations, the board must inspect the commercial breeder at least every two years. If the commercial breeder has any violations during an inspection or if the board has cause, the board must inspect the commercial breeder at least annually.
Board Listing of Breeders:
The board must maintain and post in a timely manner on its Web site a list of commercial breeders licensed and in good standing under this section.
The board must initiate an investigation upon receiving a formal complaint alleging violations. When animal control or law enforcement is made aware of a violation, it must be reported to the board.
Commercial breeders are also subject to cruelty laws. Section 347.62 also states the following are misdemeanors:
Canine cruelty prevention act
2 MO ADC 30-9.010 - 9.030 (Animal Care Facilities regulations)
Any person having custody or ownership of more than 10 female covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet.
Regulations define a "commercial breeder" as a person, other than a hobby or show breeder, engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for a consideration, and who harbors more than 3 intact females for the primary purpose of breeding animals for sale. Persons engaged in breeding dogs and cats who harbor 3 or less intact females shall be exempt from the license requirement
Note that the provision of the law that limited the number of dogs that any person could have for breeding purposes to 50 was deleted in the 2011 amendments to the law.
The law (273.345) provides standards for:
(1) Sufficient food and clean water;
(2) Necessary veterinary care;
(3) Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements;
(4) Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs;
(5) Regular exercise; and
(6) Adequate rest between breeding cycles.
Additional standards are provided in 2 CSR 30-9.030 for:
Homes used as an animal housing facility must be the homes normally occupied by the human inhabitant responsible for caring for the animal(s) and must be adequate and suitable for reasonable prudent humans to live in without health or injury risks above those expected in a well managed home.
A license shall be issued only upon inspection by the state veterinarian, his designee, or an animal welfare official
The state veterinarian shall have the duty and authority to inspect all facilities licensed under sections 273.325 to 273.357. Inspections shall be conducted a minimum of once a year, or upon a complaint to the department regarding a particular facility. (273.331).
Whenever the state veterinarian or a state animal welfare official finds past violations of sections 273.325 to 273.357 have occurred and have not been corrected or addressed, including operating without a valid license under section 273.327, the director may request the attorney general or the county prosecuting attorney or circuit attorney to bring an action in circuit court in the county where the violations have occurred for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, permanent injunction, or a remedial order enforceable in a circuit court to correct such violations and, in addition, the court may assess a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars for (1,000) each violation. Each violation shall constitute a separate offense (273.347(1)).
A person commits the crime of canine cruelty if such person repeatedly violates sections 273.325 to 273.357 so as to pose a substantial risk to the health and welfare of animals in such person's custody, or knowingly violates an agreed-to remedial order involving the safety and welfare of animals under this section. The crime of canine cruelty is a class C misdemeanor, unless the person has previously pled guilty or nolo contendere to or been found guilty of a violation of this subsection, in which case, each such violation is a class A misdemeanor (273.347(2))..
Any person required to have a license under sections 273.325 to 273.357 who houses animals in stacked cages without an impervious barrier between the levels of such cages, except when cleaning such cages, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor (273.349).
Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Act
Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Regulations
Commercial breeder means any one of the following:
A commercial breeder shall:
(1) Maintain housing facilities and primary enclosures in a sanitary condition;
(2) Enable all dogs and cats to remain dry and clean;
(3) Provide shelter and protection from extreme temperatures and weather conditions that may be uncomfortable or hazardous to the dogs and cats;
(4) Provide sufficient shade to shelter all the dogs and cats housed in the primary enclosure at one time;
(5) Provide dogs and cats with easy and convenient access to adequate amounts of clean food and water;
(6) Provide adequate space appropriate to the age, size, weight, and breed of dog or cat (as described in the law);
(7) Provide dogs with adequate socialization and exercise (as described in the law);
(8) Assure that a handler's hands are washed before and after handling each infectious or contagious dog or cat;
(9) Maintain a written veterinary care plan developed in conjunction with an attending veterinarian; and
(10) Provide veterinary care without delay when necessary (§ 54-640).
The department shall inspect all licensees at least once in a 24-month period to determine whether the licensee is in compliance (§ 54-628).
The department may issue a stop-movement order if the department has reasonable cause to believe that there exists noncompliance (§ 54-631).
The department may apply for a restraining order, temporary or permanent injunction, or mandatory injunction against any person violating or threatening to violate the act, the rules and regulations, or any order (§ 54-633).
The department may impose an administrative fine of not more than $5000 for any violation of the act or the rules (§ 54-633).
Operation without a license is a Class I misdemeanor (§ 54-634).
|Nevada||NRS 574.210 - 510||“Breeder” means a dealer, operator or other person who is responsible for the operation of a commercial establishment engaged in the business of breeding dogs or cats for sale or trade. The term does not include a person who breeds dogs or cats as a hobby.||Not listed|
A breeder shall not:
1. Sell a dog or cat:
(a) Unless the dog or cat has had:
(1) A registered microchip subcutaneously inserted into the dog or cat; and
(2) All the required vaccinations for rabies which are appropriate based upon the age of the dog or cat; or
(b) Without providing a written sales contract to the purchaser; or
2. Breed a female dog:
(a) Before she is 18 months old; or
(b) More than once a year.
Note that sections 574.360 - 440 establish standards of care for "operators" (defined as a person responsible for the operation of: (1) a cattery, kennel or commercial establishment engaged in the business of selling animals; or (2) an animal shelter). The term "breeder" was added to this chapter of laws in 2011. The provisions on standards of care for operators were not amended to add the term breeder, so it is assumed that those provisions do not cover breeders.
Per 574.353, the board of county commissioners of each county or city council of a city (if not limited by an interlocal agreement) shall adopt an ordinance requiring each breeder in an unincorporated area of the county/city to obtain an annual permit to act as a breeder.
For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of NRS 574.360 to 574.440, inclusive, as those provisions apply to breeders, any animal control agent of the issuing authority may enter and inspect the premises specified on the permit at any reasonable hour.
|Under 574.353, an ordinance adopted pursuant to subsection 1 or 2 may provide for the suspension, revocation or denial of a permit for a violation of the provisions of NRS 574.360 to 574.440, inclusive, as those provisions apply to breeders.|
Chapter 956, "Dog Breeding Kennels; Dog Retailers"
|Applies to "high volume breeder," meaning establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult breeding dogs that produce at least 9 litters of puppies in any given calendar year and, in return for a fee or other consideration, sells 60 or more adult dogs or puppies per calendar year (956.01).||Not listed (the licensing scheme provides a fee for fifty or more adult dogs, so it is assumed there is no limit so long as care standards are met, 956.07)||The chapter states that the director of agriculture shall adopt rules concerning:|
In adopting rules, the director shall consider the following factors:
For high volume breeder license applicants:
Not required. The applicant submits photographic evidence documenting the facilities where dogs will be kept, housed, and maintained by the applicant. The director may conduct an inspection of the facilities that are the subject of an application in addition to reviewing photographic evidence submitted by an applicant for a license (956.04).
At least once annually, the director of agriculture or the director's authorized representative shall inspect a high volume breeder that is subject to licensure under this chapter and rules to ensure compliance with this chapter and rules adopted under it, including the standards of care established in rules (956.10).
Inspections may also be conducted:
If the director determines a law or rule has been violated, he or she may issue (certified mail or personal service) a citation of violation and an order requiring the person to cease the acts or practices that constitute a violation, or requiring the person to take corrective actions to eliminate the conditions (956.12).
If after receiving this notice the person fails to follow the director's order, the director may assess a civil penalty. However, this occurs after notice of the violation, the time for corrective action has elapsed, and the director affords the person an opportunity for an adjudication hearing (956.13).
Unless the violation relates to operating without a license, the civil penalty fee is one hundred dollars per violation (956.13).
The attorney general, upon the request of the director of agriculture, may bring an action for injunction against a person who has violated or is violating this chapter (956.14).
The license may also be denied or revoked for violations (956.15).
Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act
Board of Commercial Pet Breeders
|“Commercial breeder” and “commercial pet breeder” mean any individual, entity, association, trust, or corporation who possesses 11 or more intact female animals for the use of breeding or dealing in animals for direct or indirect sale or for exchange in return for consideration. (30.2)||Not listed||The Board shall adopt the rules necessary to enforce and administer the Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act that establish standards for care. (30.3)|
Per regulations (532:15-1-1), commercial pet breeders shall provide that level of care to pets, including sufficient food and water, regular exercise, veterinary care, adequate grooming, natural or artificial light during daylight hours, adequate space in living quarters, protection from the elements and extreme temperatures, and adequate resting time between breeding cycles, that ensures the general health and well-being of all pets the commercial pet breeder owns.
Specific regulations related to:
|The Department shall arrange for an inspection at a facility prior to issuance of an initial animal shelter or commercial pet breeder license for that facility. (30.5)|
The Department, at least annually, shall arrange for the inspection of each facility of a licensed animal shelter operator or commercial breeder. (30.5)
On receipt of a valid written complaint alleging a violation of the Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act, an authorized agent of the State Board of Agriculture, a local animal control authority, or an inspector designated by the Department may investigate the alleged violation. (30.5)
|After notice and opportunity for a hearing if the State Board of Agriculture finds any person in violation of the Act or any rule, the Board shall have the authority to assess an administrative penalty of not less than $100.00 and not more $10,000.00 for each violation. Each animal, each action, or each day a violation continues may constitute a separate and distinct violation. |
A person commits an offense if the person knowingly falsifies information in a license application, annual report, or record required (misdemeanor, fine up to $500).
An unlicensed commercial pet breeder commits an offense if the breeder advertises animals for sale (misdemeanor, fine up to $500).
An animal shelter or commercial pet breeder commits an offense if the animal shelter or commercial breeder interferes with, hinders, or thwarts any inspection or investigation (misdemeanor, fine $1000).
4 Okl.St.Ann. § 30.13.
|Oregon||O. R. S. § 167.374, 376|
Standards of care for dog breeding only apply to a person that possesses, controls or otherwise has charge of at the same time 10 or more sexually intact dogs that are eight months of age or older
A person may not possess, control or otherwise have charge of at the same time more than 50 sexually intact dogs that are two years of age or older for the primary purpose of reproduction.
It is prima facie evidence that a person possesses dogs for the primary purpose of reproduction if during a 12-month period the person sells, offers for sale, barters or exchanges more than three (3) litters of dogs that are less than eight months of age.
In addition to minimum care standards from section 167.310 (animal cruelty definitional section that states owners must provide minimum care sufficient to preserve the health and well-being of an animal (food, water, shelter, and appropriate veterinary care):
Class B misdemeanor (167.374).
However, a court shall suspend sentence under this subsection for a violation of subsection (2) of this section if the person agrees to have a sufficient number of dogs spayed or neutered to remedy the violation
Per § 459-102, a "commercial kennel" is a kennel that breeds or whelps dogs and; (1) sells or transfers any dog to a dealer or pet shop kennel; or (2) sells or transfers more than 60 dogs per calendar year.
|No upper limit prohibited (but note that the commercial kennel license fee increases based on number of dogs maintained so anyone keeping 500 or more dogs must obtain a "Kennel Class C-VI" for $750 per year under section 206).|
Per § 459-207, all kennels shall be maintained in a sanitary and humane condition in accordance with standards and sanitary codes promulgated by the secretary through regulations.
Records for individuals dogs must be kept for two years.
Kennels under this subsection must develop and follow an appropriate plan to provide dogs with the opportunity for exercise. The plan shall be approved by a veterinarian.
Kennels must display kennel licenses.
Kennel Class C license holders have requirements for primary enclosures:
1. Primary enclosures must be designed and constructed so that they are structurally sound and must be kept in good repair.
2. Primary enclosures must meet the following requirements:
All Kennel Class C license holders (commercial kennels) have specific requirements that mandate the following:
Additional requirements for Kennel Class C license holders that apply only to dogs over 12 weeks of age:
Per § 459-218, state dog wardens and employees of the department shall inspect all licensed kennels within the Commonwealth at least twice per calendar year to enforce the provisions of this act and regulations promulgated by the department under this act.
State dog wardens and other employees of the department may apply for a search warrant for the purposes of inspecting or examining any kennel or for the purpose of removing any dog under section 207 or 211. The warrant shall be issued upon probable cause.
Per § 459-207, commercial kennels are subject to several possible penalties for violation of law.
The secretary may file a suit in equity in the Commonwealth Court to enjoin the operation of any kennel that violates any of the provisions of this act.
2. Civil penalty
In addition to any other penalty, the secretary may assess a civil penalty against an unlicensed kennel of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each day it operates in violation of this act. The penalty shall be premised on the gravity and willfulness of the violation, the potential harm to the health and safety of the animals and the public, previous violations and the economic benefit to the violator for failing to comply with this act.
3. Cease and desist order
The secretary may provide a written order to cease and desist operating to an owner who is operating a kennel without a license.
To comply with cease and desist order, owner must:
4. Administrative fine
Failure to take action or to meet the conditions imposed under this subsection, in addition to any other penalties allowed under this act, may result in imposition by the department of an administrative penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 per day for each violation.
5. Criminal penalty
Any violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree.
6. Revocation or refusal of kennel licenses as detailed in § 459-211.
Commercial Breeder Act (2009)
Commercial Breeders Regulations
“Commercial breeder” means any person who possesses or maintains, under the person’s immediate control, 20 or more unsterilized adult female dogs or cats in this state for the purpose of selling the offspring as companion animals.
Excludes those possessing companion animals for:
(1) Each licensee shall comply with 9 CFR §3.1 through 3.19, T.C.A. Title 44, Chapter 17, Part 7, the rules contained in this chapter and all other applicable federal or state laws or rules relative to the premises.
(2) Each licensee shall ensure that any act that constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine will be performed by an individual licensed as a veterinarian by the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
(3) A licensee may allow the companion animal into the breeder's residence at the licensee's discretion as long as the licensee complies with the standards of care provided in this rule.
The commissioner or the commissioner's representative shall make or cause to be made such inspections or investigations of the premises and records as considered necessary.
Commercial breeder has 30 days from notice of violation to make correction.
If breeder fails to make correction, the commissioner may assess a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00) up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation (§ 44-17-708).
It is a violation of this part for any commercial breeder to advertise, sell or offer to sell any companion animal unless the commercial breeder has a valid license from the commissioner (§ 44-17-710).
Commissioner may assess a civil penalty of $50.00 up to $1,000 per violation of this section. Each day of continued violation constitutes a separate violation
Any person who possesses or maintains 20 or more adult female dogs or cats in this state for the purpose of selling their offspring as companion animals, whether licensed pursuant to this part or unlicensed, who is in violation of this part or any rule promulgated pursuant to this part shall be required to reimburse any municipal, county or state government for any costs reasonably and necessarily incurred in transporting, treating, feeding, maintaining or otherwise caring for any dog or cat possessed or maintained in violation of this part (§ 44-17-714).
|Texas||V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 802.001 - 251|
“Dog or cat breeder” means a person who possesses 11 or more adult intact female animals and is engaged in the business of breeding those animals for direct or indirect sale or for exchange in return for consideration and who sells or exchanges, or offers to sell or exchange, not fewer than 20 animals in a calendar year.
The standards adopted under this section must:
The department shall inspect each facility of a licensed breeder at least once in every 18-month period and at other times as necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter.
On receipt of a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the department or a third-party inspector designated by the department shall investigate the alleged violation.
Except as provided, the department must inspect a facility before a license is issued for the facility.
If a person violates this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the person is subject to any action or penalty under Subchapter F or G, Chapter 51.
|Vermont||20 V.S.A. § 3583, 3681-3684|
"Pet dealer" means any person, firm, partnership or corporation, or a representative or agent, who engages in the sale of more than one litter of animals per year or two or more animals over six months of age to consumers for monetary consideration. Breeders of animals who sell animals to the public are included in this definition; except that duly incorporated humane societies or animal shelters which make animals available for adoption are exempt.
The owner or keeper of two or more domestic pets or wolf-hybrids four months of age or older kept for sale or for breeding purposes, except for his or her own use must apply for "kennel permit."
The Animal Welfare regulations apply per 2-4-300:1.1:
(a) Act. Refers to the provisions of T20 Chapter 197 “Welfare of Animals" and T20 Sections 3681, 3682 and 3683 as relating to provisions for the inspection of kennel premises.
Under § 3583 ("Domestic pets and wolf-hybrids kept for breeding purposes"), the owner or keeper of domestic pets and wolf-hybrids kept for breeding purposes must keep the domestic pets or wolf-hybrids within a proper enclosure. A proper enclosure is a locked fence or structure of sufficient height and sufficient depth into the ground to prevent the entry of young children and to prevent the animal from escaping. A proper enclosure also provides humane shelter for the animal.
The regulations provide standards relating to:
Regulations also include transportation standards
Under Subchapter 3 - Kennels (VT ST T.20 § 3681 - 3684):
These premises may be inspected at any reasonable time by a law enforcement officer, a representative of the agency of agriculture, food and markets, or an officer or agent of an incorporated humane society and a veterinarian licensed to practice in Vermont, designated by such officer, agent or agency. [emphasis added].
|Per § 3684, the person operating a kennel who is found to have neglected to remedy conditions specified in said quarantine order, other than the prevalence of contagious disease, within 10 days after receiving notice of such order, or who sells, gives away or otherwise removes a domestic pet or wolf-hybrid under quarantine or affected with a contagious disease, shall be subject to the penalty provided in section 353(a)(1) of Title 13.|
Va. Code Ann. §§ 3.2-6500 (definition of commercial breeder)
Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6507.1 to 6507.6 (Article 2.1. Commercial Dog Breeding Operations)
|“Commercial dog breeder” means any person who, during any 12-month period, maintains 30 or more adult female dogs for the primary purpose of the sale of their offspring as companion animals.||Maintain no more than 50 dogs over the age of one year at any time for breeding purposes. However, a higher number of dogs may be allowed if approved by local ordinance after a public hearing.|
"Adequate care" or "care" means the responsible practice of good animal husbandry, handling, production, management, confinement, feeding, watering, protection, shelter, transportation, treatment, and, when necessary, euthanasia, appropriate for the age, species, condition, size and type of the animal and the provision of veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or impairment of health (§ 3.2-6500).
Adequate care provisions are part of Article 2 on Animal Welfare (not part of 2.1 on Commercial Breeders), but apply to all owners of companion animals. Per § 3.2-6503, each owner shall provide for each of his or her companion animals:
Also, under Article 2.1 on Commercial Dog Breeding Operations, § 3.2-6507.2 requires that commercial breeders breed female dogs only:
(i) after annual certification by a licensed veterinarian that the dog is in suitable health for breeding;
(ii) after the dog has reached the age of 18 months; and
(iii) if the dog has not yet reached the age of 8 years
The State Veterinarian/ rep. shall have the power to conduct inspections of animal shelters, and inspect any business premises where animals are housed or kept, including any boarding establishment, kennel, pet shop, pound, or the business premises of any dealer, exhibitor or groomer, at any reasonable time.
The Commissioner/rep. may, upon receiving a complaint or upon his own motion, investigate any violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Any commercial dog breeder violating any provision of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor (§ 3.2-6507.5).
Breeder not specifically defined, but law applies to a person who keeps 10 or more dogs with intact sexual organs over the age of 6 months in an enclosure for the majority of the day.
Does not apply to:
Limitation of keeping more than 50 dogs (subsection 1 of the law) does not apply to a commercial dog breeder licensed, before January 1, 2010, by the United States department of agriculture pursuant to the federal animal welfare act (Title 7 U.S.C. Sec. 2131 et seq.).
|A person may not own, possess, control, or otherwise have charge or custody of more than fifty dogs (50) with intact sexual organs over the age of six months at any time (except for individuals/entities excluded by law).|
|A person who violates subsection (1) (keeping more than 50 dogs) or (2) (standards of care) is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.|
Commercial dog-breeding operations
“Commercial dog breeder” means any person who:
(A) Maintains 11 or more unsterilized dogs over the age of one year for the exclusive purpose of actively breeding;
(B) Is engaged in the business of breeding dogs as household pets for direct or indirect sale or for exchange in return for consideration.
|Not listed (the law contemplates the possession of more than thirty unsterilized dogs over the age of one year through the “Class II Commercial Dog Breeder” definition).|
Biannual inspections: To ensure compliance with state animal care laws and regulations, commercial dog breeding locations are subject to biannual inspections by animal control officers or law-enforcement officers.
Any commercial dog breeder who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 per violation.
In any proceeding brought pursuant to the provisions of this section, a circuit judge or magistrate may grant a person accused of violating this section an improvement period not to exceed one year upon such terms and conditions as the judge or magistrate may determine. Upon successful completion of the improvement period the judge or magistrate shall dismiss the charges.
"Dog breeder” means a person who sells 25 or more dogs in a year that the person has bred and raised, except that “dog breeder” does not include a person who sells 25 or more dogs in a year that the person has bred and raised if all of those dogs are from no more than 3 litters.
Must be licensed.
Law (173.41) provides standards of care that include:
Inspections required (173.41(6)). Facilities must be inspected prior to initial licensing and at least once every two years after that (not required to inspect out-of-state dealers premises).
Violation for standards of care or other non-licensing issue can result in up to $1000 forfeiture for first offense, and $200 to $2000 for 2nd or subsequent offense within 5 year time frame. Each animal constitutes a separate violation.
Failure to get license results in fine up to $10,000 and/or 9 months imprisonment (173.41(15)).