Thursday December 20, 2007
For Immediate Release;
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
Stephen Haag 574-1204/645-1752
By a unanimous vote of 26 to 0, the Louisville Metro Council has approved recommendations of a special Public Safety Subcommittee with regard to the Animal Control Ordinance.
“There was a cooperative effort to correct the many concerns expressed by animal owners within our community.” said Councilman Kelly Downard (R) 16 who chaired the subcommittee. “Councilwoman Hamilton and I intend to pursue additional safety measures for our city early next year.”
In July, the subcommittee began its review of the law that went into effect on January 4th, 2007. Over the course of the summer and fall various experts testified about animal control laws in other cities and behaviors of altered and unaltered animals.
“The key to success in this ordinance is to not only promote responsible pet ownership but keep the community safe in light of the two deaths in our community related to animals,” said Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D) 9, a member of the subcommittee. “We promised a review of the law and if there were problems with enforcement we would correct those problems.”
Among the changes approved:
- Unaltered dogs has been removed from the at risk category
- Unaltered dog permits have been removed from the ordinance, and replaced with unaltered pet licenses which will be $50
- Dogs that have been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous must still be kept on a four foot leash, removed were leash length requirements for unaltered dogs
- A new enforcement measure is in place for unlicensed dogs. On the first violation, the owner is cited with a requirement to get the animal licensed within 15 days. On a second violation the dog may be impounded and a fine assessed.
- The LMAS Director now has the authority to impose a sliding scale of fines based on income. Under the old law, the current fines were fixed.
Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D) 5 who sponsored the current law is pleased with the changes.
“While we have made improvements in some areas of the law to make it even more effective, I have been pleased with the overall results of what we passed last year,” said Hamilton. “There are no major changes to the substantive parts of the ordinance.”
At the end of September 2007, Louisville Metro Animal Services has declared 23 dogs potentially dangerous and one dog dangerous. There were more than 100 PDD and DD investigations so far this year. LMAS estimates it will receive over 25,000 service requests in 2007 compared with 24,254 in 2006. Investigations have increased from 990 in 2006 to over 6,000 by year’s end.
LMAS has also seen an increase of licensing since the new law went into effect Last year, 62,871 were issued. In 2007, the estimate of licenses is over 75,000 or a 15 % increase.