Guilford County, NC -- Some dog breeders said a proposed change to Guilford County's Animal Control Ordinance isn't fair.
Thursday, commissioners will hear a presentation from a group that wants to keep a closer eye on breeders, by requiring high volume breeders to pay for a permit and get inspected once a year.
As it stands now, Animal Control will only inspect a breeder or kennel if it receives a complaint. The change would allow for an annual inspection, which could be unannounced, according to Animal Control Manager Scott Greene.
The rule would only apply to breeders who sell 50 or more puppies a year or have seven or more litters.
Greene said he wants to prevent situations like what happened at Rush Kennel when nearly 100 dogs were seized after several complaints of dogs with health problems that were sold there.
"If we were inspecting Rush Kennel on an annual basis, we hope that we would have inspected it and seen problems before we were actually able to go on a complaint-driven basis," said Greene. "We would love to prevent another incident like that or any of the other ones we've dealt with."
Robin Honeycutt and Vicki East are both breeders in Guilford County who said they don't breed a high volume of dogs, but still oppose the proposed rule change.
"Don't come in and check out my territory," said Honeycutt. "It's my constitutional right to have my dogs and I'm taking excellent care of my dogs."
"Just to set an arbitrary number is not fair to people like myself who may, one year fall under and have that many litters," said East. "Just because you have multiple litters don't mean you don't do the dogs right."
"Susie's Law handles the abuse and neglect in North Carolina and it's excellent - we don't need anything else on these books," said Honeycutt.
Greene said the goal of proposing the change is to ensure dogs are properly cared for and breeders are educated on the best practices.
"We're not out to put any breeders out of business," he said.
Greene said field officers already on staff would likely be responsible for enforcing the rule.
High volume breeders would be exempt from the county inspection and fee if they could prove inspection by the American Kennel Club.
Penalties could range from educating breeders to fines to seizing dogs.
Commissioners meet at 1:00 pm Thursday. They will hear the presentation and are expected to set a date for a public hearing on the issue for September.