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Louisville Task Force Reconsiders BSL, Punitive Restrictions

(Friday, April 21, 2006)
Help is needed again in Louisville! In the wake a of public outcry about a proposed breed-specific dangerous dog ordinance, the Louisville Metro Council formed a task force to study issues relating to dangerous dogs and changes to the animal control ordinance. Unfortunately, the latest draft from the task force includes breed-specific language, possible fee increases, burdensome confinement provisions and will allow an animal control officer more latitude to issue citations. Concerned dog owners should immediately contact their metro council representative to oppose this measure.

The original breed-specific ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Cheri Bryant-Hamilton has been modified to remove Rottweilers but still includes severe restrictions on "pit bulls." The legislation defines "pit bulls" as American Stafforshire Terriers, Stafforshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers or any dog having the appearance and characteristics of these breeds. The ordinance would prohibit residents who have children under the age of 18 from having any dog of these breeds. Further, the proposal requires these dogs to be muzzled when off the owner's property and prohibits keeping them on porches, patios or in a home where a screen on a window or door is the only barrier.

The latest draft will also institute the following changes for all animal owners:
  • Remove the current fee schedule and allow the Animal Control Director to establish fee without oversight by the Louisville Metro Council.
  • Changes the definition of "occasional sale" to require any person selling a litter of more than 2 puppies to be licensed as an animal dealer.
  • Provides that that a dog wear a collar with license and vaccination tags any time it is off the owner's property - a show exception appears in the section relating to vaccination tags but not license tags.
  • Establishes a lifetime license fee for spayed/neutered animals; requires an annual license for intact animals.
  • Allows an animal control officer to issue a citation based on the sworn statement of one witness. Current law requires that the animal control officer observe the violation.
In addition, the task force is also considering a provision that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from walking an intact dog. Finally, the changes proposed by Animal Control director Gilles Meloche, which AKC reported back in February, may also be included in the next draft. To read more about his draft please see our previous Legislative Alert.

What You Can Do:
  • Contact your local Metro Councilmember and ask him or her to oppose this measure. To find out who represents you on the Metro Council, click here. It is critical that officials hear from their own constituents!

    Louisville Metro Hall
    527 West Jefferson Street
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
    502.574.2003
For more information, contact:

Louisville Kennel Club
Donnaherzig@hotmail.com

AKC's Canine Legislation department
919-816-3720, doglaw@akc.org