House measure could affect future purchases and adoptions of "aggressive dog breeds"

Apr 19, 2013

North Carolina citizens who plan to buy or adopt what some state legislators call "aggressive" dog breeds could soon have a harder time.  

A measure filed in the House earlier this week would require background checks, certification, and special permits.

Sponsored by a Republican from Cabarrus County and a Democrat from Mecklenburg, the legislation targets Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Chows, and Presa Canarios.  The term "aggressive dog breed" also includes wolf hybrids.  

Anyone in the state of North Carolina seeking to own one of these breeds would have to undergo a criminal background check at both the  state and federal levels.  The state would require the prospective owner to obtain certification through a training program on aggressive dog breed temperament and special needs. And homeowners' and rental insurance companies would be notified - in order to properly establish the risk of insuring such a dog owner.  

Providing those requirements are satisfied, prospective dog owners would then apply for special permit from the Department of Insurance.  If passed, the legislation would go into effect in January.  

The bill passed its first reading and is now in the House Rules Committee.