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Proposed Animal Control Ordinance moves forward to full Metro Council for vote after Committee approval

Tuesday December 12, 2006

Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
For More Information
Tony Hyatt: 574-4137/ 526-3622
For Immediate release:

Louisville – By a vote of four to three, the Government Administration has approved a proposed animal control ordinance that will deal with dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs in Metro Louisville.

The ordinance is sponsored by Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D) 5.

“When I began this effort, my intention was to make our neighborhoods safer from dangerous dogs,” says Councilwoman Cheri Hamilton (D) 5 “That is still my goal and we will move forward with a strong law that protects the public and encourages responsible pet ownership.”

In August, Hamilton presented a revised animal control ordinance to the Government Administration, Rules, Ethics and Audit Committee.

“We have addressed concerns of farmers and hunters,” says Hamilton “There has been a through review of all definitions.”

Hamilton began her effort to deal with dangerous dogs after two pit bull maulings in late November of 2005. Two separate attacks led to the deaths of14 month old girl and a 60 year old man. After filing the proposed ordinance, Hamilton chaired a special task force created to give input into the law. The task force included breeders, trainers, veterinarians, postal workers and council members.

“For a year now, we have listened to all of the groups who have an interest in this ordinance,” says Hamilton. “The County Attorney office has told the committee what is before us now is a strong measure that will be effective as they prosecute irresponsible dog owners.”

Recently the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld a ban on ownership of pit bulls passed by the Fiscal Court in Bracken County in 2004. The Court said the law does fit within the guidelines of public protection set by the Kentucky General Assembly as a proactive measure to protect humans from attacks by dogs.

Hamilton’s proposal does not ban owning pit bulls but does require stricter licensing of the breed if any owner decided to leave the animal unaltered.  The law also asks for stricter confinement of unaltered pit bulls.

Among the highlights of the current proposal:

·        Defines nuisance and dangerous dog categories

·        Requires additional ownership consideration for unaltered pit bulls and other dangerous dogs in licensing and containment

·        Set requirements for tethering in yards

·        Offers discounted licensing for those owners who spay and neuter

·        Grants more enforcement leeway for animal control officers.

“The time has come to move this ordinance forward for the safety of our community and our families,” says Hamilton.

The Metro Council could vote on the proposals at its next and last meeting of 2006 on December 19th.

Sponsor:
Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D) 5