The town of Crab Orchard, Kentucky is considering an ordinance to regulate the ownership of “pit bulls” within the city limits. The small town does not have its own animal control officer. Instead, it relies on the Lincoln County dog warden, and there is only one dog warden for the entire county. Because of this, enforcement of any ordinance is obviously a challenge, and public education is key in getting their problems with irresponsible and reckless dog owners under control.
The city commissioners do appear hesitant to enact a breed ban, and would likely be well served with educational materials and suggestions on how to resolve their animal control issues.
The town has no on-line presence, but your polite and respectful letters can be snail mailed or faxed to City Hall at the number and address below. The telephone number is also the fax number. Simply ask the city clerk to distribute your letter and materials to the mayor and each commissioner.
City commissioner meetings are the first Thursday of the month.
Crab Orchard City Hall
224 Main Street
Crab Orchard, KY 40419
Crab Orchard ponders possible pit-bull legislation
By Ben Kleppinger
10:30 a.m. EDT, September 7, 2012
CRAB ORCHARD — City commissioners in Crab Orchard are considering possible legislation concerning pit-bull-type dogs within city limits after receiving many complaints and one report of a dog biting a girl in the face.
Mayor Billy Shelton said there are dangerous dogs being kept by multiple people in city limits and the dogs are sometimes given too much freedom to run around or are chained up outside while children are out playing.
“I don’t want to take anyone’s dogs away from them, but we’ve got a lot of complaints,” he said. “We really don’t want to (adopt a new law) but if we feel we need to, we will.”
Commissioner Juanita Pettit said there has been one instance of a dog biting a girl in the face. That dog was subsequently put down, she said.
Commissioner Phyllis Adams said she is aware of one dog kept chained to a bench near where children play, and the dog is capable of pulling on its chain and nearly getting to the children.
One option being considered by the commission is an ordinance that would provide four definitions for what a “pit bull” is considered to be and regulate dogs that fall under those definitions.
City Attorney Jonathan Baker said the definitions include Staffordshire Terriers. Under the ordinance, dogs could be “held” while the district court decides what will happen, Baker said.
Shelton said he loves dogs and used to raise setters himself.
“Not all pit bulls are bad. It’s the way they’re raised,” he said. “I’m sure if we had to, we could adopt an ordinance against them.”
Shelton said he would like to see people just use “common sense” in caring for their dogs and keeping dangerous ones off the street and safely restrained rather than passing a new ordinance and getting into people’s personal business.
“We’re not in the business of bringing civil suits or fixing somebody’s problem with their neighbor,” he said.