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Mayor Jerry Abramson has signed into law major changes to the Louisville Animal Control Ordinance and the news is not good for fanciers, breeders and responsible animal owners. The provisions in the ordinance contain a pet limit, severe restrictions on the keeping of intact animals, licensing of in-home kennels, extreme differential licensing and vague definitions. Below is a brief summary of the provisions in the 91-page ordinance that will have the greatest impact on breeders, fanciers and responsible dog owners.

The new ordinance will require any breeder who maintains more than one unaltered pet to purchase a $300 animal dealer license as well as a $150 Class A Kennel License to sell a litter of dogs. The required licenses allow the Metro Animal Services (MAS) to inspect the breeder’s premises at any reasonable time.

An unaltered animal license will cost $35 per animal, compared with $9 for an altered animal. Residents with more than four altered pets are allowed to apply for a $28 (plus $6 for each pet over four) multiple pet license; however this is not available to residents with even one intact animal.

Any time the unaltered animal is away from the primary residence for more than three days the owner must notify MAS in writing. This would mean that residents who board or travel with their unaltered dogs, whether to attend shows or for other reasons would have to write a letter to MAS every time they are gone for more than three days!

Intact animals are required to be microchipped, their enclosure must be approved by the Director of MAS in writing and having even one unaltered animal means that your home must be inspected by MAS! The ordinance prohibits restraining unaltered dogs using an invisible fence. Further, a female in heat is prohibited from having contact with another animal except for a planned breeding – this would mean she could not be around other females or neutered males!

The measure also limits the number of dogs residents may own as follows; 3 dogs for parcels less than a half acre, and 7 dogs when the parcel is between half an acre and two acres.

Further, the new ordinance will require that a dog or cat that is removed from a kennel for any reason must be revaccinated. This would mean that any time a dog is sold they would have to be revaccinated!

A boarding kennel is defined as “any establishment where dogs, cats, puppies or kittens are kept for the purpose of boarding for any part of a 24-hour period.” This means that any breeder or even any citizen who is boarding any animal would be required to purchase a license priced from $30-$180 as well as comply with regulations including providing indoor enclosures constructed of impervious materials, floors and outdoor runs must be metal, fiberglass, concrete or covered with 3” of gravel – not allowing for dirt or grass in runs!

Although visiting fanciers are exempted from the licensing requirements in the bill, it is unclear how other provisions in the law might affect them.

If you have additional questions about the ordinance please contact the Canine Legislation Department at 919-816-3720 or

Mayor Jerry Abramson has signed into law major changes to the Louisville Animal Control Ordinance…