The city council in Flemingsburg, Kentucky has unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance that would ban the ownership of “pit bulls” in the city limits. The city already has a breed specific ordinance which defines pit bull, rottweilers and chows as “vicious,” and requires owners to register their dogs and maintain a liability insurance policy. The ordinance states:
Any dog which exhibits those distinguishing characteristics, which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club for American Staffordshire terrier, of Staffordshire bull terriers, or substantially conform to the standards established by the United Kennel Club for American pit bull terriers, including any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, or American pit bull terrier. Also the Rottweiler breeds and the Chow Chow breeds. Dogs of mixed breed or of other breeds than above listed which breed or mixed breed are known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs, or any other commonly accepted derivative named of the named breeds listed above. Or any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of any of the breeds of dogs listed above; or a combination of any of those.
According to the mayor, the city council chose to amend the ordinance after receiving “numerous complaints” about incidents involving “pit bulls.”
If the ordinance is passed, residents will be asked to voluntarily remove their dogs from the city. Those who don’t comply will have their dogs removed by the police and face a fine of $250.
The second and possibly final reading of the ordinance will be June 10, 2013. If passed, the ordinance would go into effect 30 days after the second reading.
As noted above, the city already has a breed specific ordinance, and the desire to strengthen the law is a clear indication that the ordinance is ineffective. Please encourage the city officials to take this opportunity to focus on education to curb irresponsible dog ownership, as well as educate on dog bite prevention.
Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Flemingsburg officials listed below. Please also provide city officials them viable alternatives and suggestions for their consideration. We recommend sending the city officials the NAIA publication, “A Guide to Constructing Successful, Pet Friendly ordinances.” The guide has some excellent points that would help lay the groundwork for an ordinance that will address the problems in the city.
Talking points and alternatives to breed specific legislation can be found here.
Contact information for the mayor and city council members is not available, however, you may send your correspondence to the city clerk, Joy Roark, with a polite request to forward on to each official.
Joy Roark, City Clerk