Dear Mr. Henderson,

The definition of "Dangerous Animal" in both the current ordinance and the 8th Draft is problematic. From the 8th Draft, a "Dangerous Animal" is "Any warm-blooded mammal which is known to carry or be susceptible to the rabies virus and which cannot be effectively vaccinated against that virus with any vaccine approved by the Kentucky Department of Human Resources.  A dangerous animal includes any hybrid animal or any pet wildlife which has attacked a human or which is apprehended or observed unrestrained."

I'm sure you are aware that any mammal can carry or be susceptible to the rabies virus. However, are you aware that only 7 species can be effectively vaccinated against that virus? If you go to the following link, you will see a list of all approved rabies vaccines licensed and marketed in the United States.

Notice that the species listed are limited to horses, sheep, cattle, ferrets, cats and dogs. Raccoons are provisionally listed--they may only  be vaccinated via a state or federal rabies control program. Under the current definition of Dangerous Animal, all mammals except those 7 species, are dangerous and may not be kept in Jefferson County. This includes rats, mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.

If the law was not intended to outlaw such creatures as pets, then it should be changed to reflect that. There is no reason to have a confusing, overbroad law on the books.

The next problem is the reference to "hybrid animal." How will MAS determine whether an animal is a hybrid or not? The Courier-Journal has long printed in its advertisement section a caveat that wolf-hybrids are not permitted in Jefferson County. However, since wolves and dogs are the same species (dogs are subspecies Canis lupus familiaris), it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to prove that an animal was a wolf-hybrid, even using DNA technology. How, then, will any prohibition against wolf-hybrids be enforced?

Please consider these matters in submitting your list of "friendly amendments and technical changes" to the Gov't Admin. Committee on Tuesday, September 5th.

Karen Brinkley