Dear Ms. Ward-Pugh,
On Monday, August 21, 2006, Cheri Bryant Hamilton gave a presentation which clearly stated that non-residents of Jefferson County would not be required to license their dogs. She is sadly mistaken.
Section 91.0201, part B, reads as follows:
(B) The owner, or any person in possession of every unaltered pit bull dog born or brought into Jefferson County shall register that dog with MAS on a form provided by MAS.
Clearly, any person, resident or not, bringing an unaltered "pit bull dog" into Jefferson County, is required to "register" that dog with MAS. There are many problems with this requirement, including the following:
  1. Most people traveling  to another city do not first research the laws of the city to which they are traveling. Those travelers who come to Louisville and bring their dogs are going to be unpleasantly surprised to discover that there is a requirement for certain types of dogs to be registered at MAS.
  2. Those people who are made aware of the fact that they must register their "pit bull" dogs at MAS upon arrival in Louisville are going to be confused about whether the law applies to them or not. If they have a purebred of one of the 7 named breeds, the answer is clear that they must register. But, if they have a mixed breed dog, there is no way for these people to know whether their dog must be registered with MAS or not.
  3. Identifying breed heritage in a mixed breed dog is an impossibility, even for a veterinarian. There is no blood test nor any other objective method by which this can be done. Some purebred dogs can be mismarked, making them appear to be a mixed breed. Among mixed breeds, opinions will always vary as to what the cross may be. I have a mixed breed dog that has been identified by various veterinarians and experienced dog handlers as: an American Pit Bull Terrier-purebred, an American Pit Bull Terrier mix, a Beagle mix, a Hound mix, a Foxhound mix, and a Basenji mix.
  4. There will be a negative impact on the dog show as word of this requirement gets out. No person who owns an expensive, carefully bred and trained show dog, is going to risk having that dog confiscated by MAS. Additionally, other breeds not affected will boycott Louisville's dog show as a show of support to the owners of targeted breeds.  All of these owners will forego the Kentuckiana Cluster of Dog Shows, and with their departure will go the $4 million that the dog show brings to Louisville.
  5. There will be a negative impact on tourism to Louisville. People who enjoy traveling with their dogs will begin to avoid Louisville as they hear about the requirement for registration of certain types of dogs. Very few people who travel with their dogs will want to risk losing their beloved pets because of a misidentification of breed. Even more repulsive to these people will be the requirement for muzzling and caging of their dogs.
If the 8th Draft of the Animal Control Ordinance passes, Louisville will lose its reputation as a pet-friendly city. Worse, attendance at the Kentuckiana Cluster of Dog Shows, which has an economic impact of over $4 million to the Louisville area, will dramatically decrease as dog owners become aware of the requirements of the new ordinance. The dog show saw a decrease in attendance and entries this year, after a breed-specific ordinance was merely proposed. To believe that there will be no effect on this major event if the 8th Draft of the Animal Control Ordinance passes is simply naive.
I hope you will oppose the 8th Draft of the Animal Control Ordinance when it comes to a vote.
Karen Brinkley