Victory for Louisville KC in Suit Against City

Late Friday, United States District Court Judge Charles R. Simpson, III, of the Western District of...

Late Friday, United States District Court Judge Charles R. Simpson, III, of the Western District of Kentucky issued his decision in the case of the Louisville Kennel Club, Inc. v. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government.  A significant victory for the Louisville Kennel Club, the judge’s decision features two key rulings that may also prove to be of great importance for dog owners nationwide.

First, Judge Simpson held that there was no rational basis why owners of unaltered dogs should be treated differently than the owners of altered dogs.  This declared the part of the ordinance that required owners of unaltered dogs to get the Director’s written approval for those dogs’ enclosures (owners of altered dogs did not have such a requirement) as an unconstitutional violation of Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process. 

Reiterating another court’s earlier decision that recognized that dogs are personal property, the judge further held Louisville’s seizure bond requirement as an unconstitutional violation of procedural due process rules.  This requirement, which required anyone accused of animal cruelty to post bond for the care of their seized animals, would have resulted in the forfeiture of animals if they were not able to pay for the bond regardless of whether or not they were later determined to be innocent. 

"We congratulate the Louisville Kennel Club and their co-plaintiffs on their leadership in opposing the Louisville ordinance," said Dennis Sprung, President and CEO of the American Kennel Club.  "We are confident that this decision will encourage communities to consider the interests of responsible dog breeders and owners when making changes to their animal ordinances." 

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.