Officials in Livingston County, Kentucky plan to discuss a proposal that would regulate certain dog breeds. According to Livingston County Judge-Executive Chris Lasher, the proposed ordinance would require owners of “restricted dogs” to register the animal with the county, obtain a $50,000 insurance policy, microchip, and spay or neuter their dogs. The breeds reportedly to be targeted by the proposal include American staffordshire terriers, bull terriers, pit bulls and rottweilers.
According to Mr. Lasher, the county gets 3 to 10 calls per week about “these dogs chasing people or livestock or killing other dogs.” He further stated that responsible owners will comply with the ordinance, and those who do not comply are the ones “[we] are targeting with the ordinance.”
Livingston County has an animal control ordinance which requires all dogs to remain on their owner’s property unless on a leash, and prohibits dogs that have proven themselves dangerous by their behavior and actions. Apparently, rather than single out the reckless and irresponsible dog owners who are not in compliance with the current ordinance, the county’s solution is to punish ALL the owners of dogs of certain (or perceived) breeds. If the irresponsible owners aren’t following the current law, why would they comply with any new and more stringent ordinance?
This issue will be discussed at the July 12 fiscal court meeting. Please send your polite and respectful opposition to breed specific legislation to the Livingston County officials, as well as viable alternatives and suggestions for their consideration. We recommend providing a copy of the NAIA publication, “A Guide to Constructing Successful, Pet Friendly ordinances.” The guide has some excellent points that would help strengthen and improve the city’s current ordinance.
Talking points and alternatives to breed specific legislation can be found here.
Individual contact information for the magistrates is not available, but you may send your correspondence via the County Clerk with a polite request to forward on to each magistrate and Mr. Lasher.
Livingston County Clerk
335 Court Street
PO Box 400
Smithland, KY 42081
An online contact form can be found here.
Harry Van Smith