Lexington County Council passed an ordinance that would not allow most commercial dog breeding. The vote, last Tuesday, comes as Animal Services is trying to reduce overcrowding in shelters.
The new ordinance limits breeding and selling dogs to what they call “fancier breeders,” or those that breed for the overall health of a specific pure breed. The city would require that breeders be registered with the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club, which only registers purebreds.
Animal Service administrators hope the changes will stop what they call “backyard breeders,” who they say irresponsibly surrender their puppies and mother dogs at shelters.
“These mother dogs, that they end up having a litter of puppies. They don’t like the way they turn out so they end up here with the momma dog.”
But some breeders say the changes are unfair to those who responsibly sell mixed-breed dogs. Many are registered with other kennel clubs, such as the Continental Kennel Club.
“Obviously, it’s gonna limit the amount of dogs that are available. I think you’re gonna drive good breeders underground,” says Dani Mackeller, owner of Tiny Hurricane Kennels.
She says she doesn’t like the sentiment that those who breed mixed dogs are less responsible.
“I don’t overbreed. I only have one litter at a time of anything. They have 100% of my attention.”
Of the 38 breeders in Lexington County, 31 of them will not be able to breed commercially under the new ordinance. The ordinance goes into effect immediately, but breeders have seven days to make changes to their businesses.
Animal Control officers will be checking breeders in the next year, to make sure everyone is in compliance and could issue tickets to people in violation.