(KCPW News) After some dog breeders vented their frustration with a new Salt Lake County ordinance aimed at irresponsible breeding, the county council voted to change the regulations this week. The ordinance initially passed in December required breeders to pay for a license each year with no exemptions. Shawni Larrabee, Director of Salt Lake County Animal Services, explains that now, members of responsible breeder clubs can get a five-year license for free.
“What we saw when we looked at this was a real shift in the culture in terms of where dog breeders are going, and where they want to take this,” says Larrabee. “As these groups begin to self police, which is really what you would like to see happen, we really should acknowledge and encourage that.”
Larrabee says many clubs adhere to a strict code of ethics for their members, including provisions to require breed-specific health testing and not sell puppies that are too young or sick.
But if a particular breeder or club isn’t playing by the rules, she says that can still be addressed.
“So even a recognized that’s maybe not really holding up their end of the bargain we can suspend the club for a period of time,” she explains. “So there are controls in there, but it’s really about the dialogue.”
Under the new ordinance, a club must be recognized by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club. The changes were first approved by the county council Tuesday. It will be voted on one more time at a future meeting. The ordinance applies to the unincorporated parts of Salt Lake County.