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The Louisville Metro Council is again considering breed-specific legislation, a limit law and restrictions on breeders and dog owners. This ordinance will have a devastating effect on dog owners and breeders in Louisville and may have a dramatic impact on the Kentuckiana Cluster, the largest dog show cluster in the country.

The legislation proposes breed specific restrictions for “pit bulls,” defined as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, Cane Corsos, Presa Canarios, Dogue de Bordeauxs, Dogo Argentinos or any dog having the appearance and characteristics of these breeds. Breed determinations and dangerous dog designations are made by Director of Metro Animal Services and appeal is to the Secretary of Public Works. There is no opportunity to go to court! The Louisville Kennel Club and concerned dog owners have suggested the formation of an Animal Control Advisory Board to hear appeals and to assist the department in drafting regulations.

A $100 unaltered pit bull license is required, even for dogs in Louisville for less than 30 days. Therefore, show participants with these breeds would be forced to obtain a $100 license!

All “pit bulls” are required to be microchipped and owners must obtain at least $100,000 of liability insurance. Residents are limited to 2 dogs of these breeds and must complete a course of instruction concerning the welfare, control and socialization of unaltered pit bulls. 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.

Fanciers who have attended the Kentuckiana Cluster shows are asked to contact Metro Council officials and advise them as to how the adoption of this ordinance would affect your decision to attend the cluster in the future. Economic arguments are especially persuasive and fanciers are asked to detail their spending at the shows including lodging, restaurants, gasoline and other purchases made in the area. Click here for a list of key contacts on the Louisville Metro Council. The ordinance institutes the following changes for all animal owners:

  • 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.
  • Requires all puppies and kittens to be licensed at birth.
  • Establishes a $9 license fee for spayed/neutered animals; the fee for intact animals is set at $45. There is a $63 breeding domestic pet license listed in the fee structure, but it is not defined, nor is it mentioned elsewhere in the proposal.


The proposed ordinance further requires breeders obtain a $150 Class A Kennel License and residents who compete in conformation, performance, agility or other events must obtain a $100 Class B Kennel License. The document is currently unclear as to whether that license will allow an owner to maintain 5 or 10 dogs. Persons who obtain a kennel license must allow an inspection of their property by animal control and comply with a host of regulations including building requirements and specified maintenance.

Additionally, there are serious concerns regarding the definition of a nuisance in the proposed ordinance. For example, the proposal defines a nuisance as “any act of an animal or its owner which irritates, perturbs” and actions such as “damaging a flower or plant” or “allowing or permitting an animal to be maintained in an unsanitary condition so as to be offensive to sight or smell.” AKC believes that strong, enforceable nuisance provisions are essential to good animal control laws, but the definitions need to be specific, objective and enforceable. The statements in this proposal do not meet those criteria.

The Louisville Kennel Club has been working diligently to oppose this ordinance, but the help of all fanciers and concerned dog owners is urgently needed! You can contact the Louisville Kennel Club directly at for more information.

What You Can Do:

** The Louisville Kennel Club would like concerned dog owners to please thank Councilmember Melton, who is retiring, as he has been a consistent supporter of responsible animal owners and reasonable animal control legislation.

For more information, contact:

Louisville Kennel Club
Or go to

AKC's Canine Legislation department

The Louisville Metro Council is again considering breed-specific legislation, a limit law and…