The Flemingsburg, Kentucky city council voted on Monday, June 10, 2013 to table a decision that would ban pit bull-type dogs within the city limits. An ordinance currently in place allows dogs identified as “pit bulls” to be kept within the city limits, but they are required to be registered ,and owners must maintain liability insurance. According to the mayor, the ban was proposed after he received complaints of the dogs running loose and posing a threat to other animals.
During Monday’s meeting, Kentucky Houndsmen Association President, Doug Morgan, spoke on behalf of Flemingsburg citizens as to why the city should not ban pit bulls. Mr. Morgan passed out information to council members with statistics regarding pit bulls and bans in other cities. He also discussed the fact that the city currently has a vicious dog ordinance sufficient to handle problem dogs. Mr. Morgan asked if irresponsible owners didn’t follow the current law, what made the council think they would follow a new law. He also discussed the difficulty of identifying “pit bulls” and shared various pictures of dogs frequently misidentified as pit bulls. Morgan ended his talk by asking the council not to make a decision at the meeting but, instead, research the issue thoroughly in order to make an informed decision.
The council unanimously voted to table the discussion until a later date. The next council meeting is July 8, but the mayor stated he was not sure if this issue would be brought before the council at that meeting.
Before adjourning, council members expressed their personal thoughts on the proposed ban. The majority of the members, including the mayor, agreed that they did not know enough to make an informed decision, and more time and research on their part was necessary.
Council member Kathy Moore and Scott Manning both still support the ban, however, Ms. Moore did acknowledge steps needed to be taken to address any vicious animal, while Manning simply stated he “still doesn’t like pit bulls.”
Finally, most council members agreed that they would like to hear from more citizens of Flemingsburg on this issue. In fact, some stated they haven’t heard from a single resident. If you live in the Flemingsburg area, please reach out to the city officials and let them know you do not support BSL, and ask them to consider a breed-neutral ordinance that addresses and penalizes irresponsible dog owners as opposed to singling out specific breeds of dogs.
The city officials are listening, and their tabling of the ordinance is an excellent opportunity to offer educational materials and alternatives for the Flemingsburg council to consider.
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
Phone: (606) 845-5951
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