Officials in the city of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky are considering repealing their ordinance banning “pit bulls.”
The current ordinance, passed in 1988, declares pit bulls to have “inherently vicious and dangerous propensities,” and further states that pit bulls are “potentially hazardous and unreasonably dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens.”
Section 91.35 defines a “pit bull” as follows:
Pit Bull Terrier: (commonly known as pit bull dog) shall mean any dog which either:
(1) Is registered with the American Kennel Club as either an American Staffordshire Terrier or a Staffordsire Bull Terrier;
(2) Is registered with the United Kennel Club as an American Pit Bull Terrier;
(3) Conforms to either of the standards of the American Kennel Club for the American Staffordshire Terrier or the Staffordshire Bull Terrier which were published, with an example photograph, in the 15th Edition of the Complete Dog Book in 1977 and which are attached to Ordinance 0-17-88; or
(4) Has predominant physical characteristics which are those of either the American Staffordshire Terrier or the Staffordshire Bull Terrier indicated in the standards of the American Kennel Club which were published, with an example photograph, in the 15th Edition of the Complete Dog Book in 1977 and which are attached to Ordinance 0-17-88.
The debate over the ordinance became heated last year when a resident was told he must remove his dog from the city limits because the dog met the physical criteria of a “pit bull.” Even after the resident successfully demonstrated to city officials that his dog was not a “pit bull,” the city still pushed for the dog’s removal.
Frustration over the ordinance resulted in a formal push for change at the April 21, 2014 council meeting, when dozens of people came forward and asked that the ban on pit bulls be repealed.
In response, the city’s Public Safety Committee met on June 2, 2014 to discuss changes to the provisions of the ordinance related to “dangerous animals” and the ban on pit bulls. While no decision was reached by the committee at that meeting, officials left a light at the end of the tunnel stating they were open to further discussion at a later date. In addition, staff members indicated they would gather notes and information from nearby cities on their dog ordinances.
At the June 16, 2014 city council meeting, Public Safety Committee chairman Tom Lampe insisted that people for and against repealing the ordinance needed to heard.
As a result, the Public Safety Committee will meet for a second time to discuss the idea of repealing the ban on pit bull-type dogs. The committee will meet in council chambers in the city building, 130 N. Fort Thomas Ave. at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 7, 2014.
Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting on July 7 with their suggestions and input for the council’s consideration.
Residents of Ft. Thomas: Your city leaders want to hear from YOU! Please reach out to your city officials, particularly those on the Public Safety Committee, Mayor Eric Haas, Tom Lampe and Jay Fossett, and encourage them to move forward with repealing the ordinance banning pit bull-type dogs. Share with them the wealth of information and research that was not available thirty years ago demonstrating that breed specific laws are ineffective, discriminate against and penalize responsible dog owners, and do not enhance the safety or welfare of the residents in communities in which it exists. Urge your city officials to enact an ordinance that deems dogs dangerous according to their individual actions and behaviors and, as one resident stated at the April council meeting, “puts the responsibility of the dogs in the individual owners’ hands.”