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BILL NO. 28-0080
Twenty-Eighth Legislature of the Virgin Islands
June 8, 2009
An Act declaring September 26, 2009, “Virgin Islands and American Club Responsible Dog
PROPOSED BY: Senator Craig W. Barshinger
1 WHEREAS, the American Kennel Club was established 1884 to foster interest in
2 purebred dogs, to promote public awareness and the welfare of dogs through programs such as
3 the Good Citizen Award Program and its annual Responsible Dog Ownership Day; and
4 WHEREAS, here, in the Virgin Islands, the Animal Care Center of St. John was
5 established to promote responsible pet ownership and provide medical care for homeless animals
6 on the island, to educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering and spaying pets;
8 WHEREAS, in addition to providing medical care to animals, the St. John Animal Care
9 Center also cares for and finds good, loving homes for abandoned animals in need, and provides
10 food and water for homeless animals that live in the bush; and
1 WHEREAS, this September over 600 American Kennel Member Clubs, as well as other
2 animal welfare organizations across the country, will celebrate the Seventh Annual Responsible
3 Dog Ownership Day; and
4 WHEREAS, the St. John Animal care Center and the American Kennel Club have
5 teamed up to celebrate the First Annual Responsible Dog Ownership Day in the Virgin Islands;
7 WHEREAS, the Legislature encourages all animal welfare organizations, other
8 interested community groups and government agencies to commemorate Responsible Dog
9 Ownership Day anytime during the month of September by holding a community event that
10 publicly promotes responsible dog ownership; and
11 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds and declares that every dog deserves a responsible,
12 kind, educated and respectful owner; Now, Therefore,
13 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands:
14 SECTION 1. September 26, 2009, is declared “Virgin Islands and American Kennel
15 Club Responsible Dog Ownership Day” in the Territory of the Virgin Islands.
16 SECTION 2. (a) Persons who comply with the standards established in subsection (b)
17 are declared “Responsible Dog Owners”.
18 (b) To qualify as a Responsible Dog Owner, the dog owner must demonstrate:
19 (1) Responsibility for the dog’s health needs, including:
20 (A) Routine veterinary care;
21 (B) Provision of healthful food and plenty of clean, fresh water;
22 (C) Daily exercise, regular bathing and protection against flees, tickets
23 and other insects and parasites;
1 (2) Responsibility for the dog’s safety, including Compliance with 19 V.I.C.
2 chapter 66, Subchapter II, “Dogs”, including compliance with licensing requirements,
3 license tags, preventing the dog from running at large or injuring domestic animals, using
4 a leash, and providing a safe, enclosed shelter free from the hazards of the road and other
5 dangerous obstacles;
6 (3) Responsibility for ensuring sanitary conditions, including properly
7 disposing of the dog’s wastes and maintaining the dog’s living area free of wastes and
8 other debris;
9 (4) Responsibility for providing the dog with a high quality of life, including
10 attention, learning activities, play activities, and pleasant and comfortable living
11 accommodations; and
12 (5) Responsibility for the dog’s socialization, the dog’s behavior towards
13 others, including preventing nuisances in the neighbor caused by excessive barking or the
14 dogs running at large and encroaching on neighbor’s enjoyment of their property.
15 SECTION 3. The Governor may appoint a committee to organize or coordinate events
16 throughout the Territory for the commemoration of Virgin Islands and American Kennel Club
17 Responsible Dog Ownership Day.
18 BILL SUMMARY
19 Section 1 of the bill declares September 26, 2009, “Virgin Islands and American Kennel
20 Club Responsible Dog Ownership Day. Section 2 declares Responsible Dog Owners those who
21 comply with five standards set forth in that section. To qualify as a Responsible Dog Owner,
22 the dog owner must be responsible for the dog’s health needs, safety, sanitary conditions,
23 providing the dog with a high quality of life and must be responsible for socializing the dog and
24 preventing it from becoming a neighborhood nuisance.
1 Section 3 authorizes the Governor to appoint a committee to organize or coordinate
2 events throughout the Territory for the commemoration of Responsible Dog Ownership Day.
7 BR09-0582/May 15, 2009/YLT