As you prepare for Tuesday's Government Administration meeting please consider what I believe to be the Council's role.
Councilwoman Hamilton stated at the last meeting that government's role was to "protect the people." I do not believe "protecting the people" means taking away property rights, making decisions without polling or initiating a community vote, or addressing District issues over Metro issues. Each of these is a road not yet taken with the animal ordinance, but the Council appears poised for the possibility. Government is the people's voice; please make sure you are listening.
Certain districts in Metro Louisville have an animal control problem; those districts also have high crime, domestic violence, and substance abuse problems causing higher rates of death and
injury than dog bites. While we fight the "War on Terror" and
people die everyday from guns, cars, airplanes, disease, and just a bunch of plain everyday accidents; two deaths (one of which was preventable if additional MAS manpower had been available) caused by indeterminate dog breeds should not lead to this much time and attention.
Metro Louisville doesn't need unenforceable and constitutionally dubious legislation, we need action. Make your name in the Metro by initiating solutions to get more animals registered and increase animal interaction education. A Responsible Dog Ownership Day is scheduled in Councilwoman Shanklin's district - Petersburg Park, 9/16/06; council member's should initiate additional "Dog Days"
around Metro Louisville and make sure they are in attendance.
Animal groups across the country are more than happy to provide free services regarding animal interaction education, take what they offer and initiate these meetings out of the Metro Louisville Council Offices. Set up tents in neighborhood parks with low cost vet care and have amnesty MAS registration – meaning no charge for the actual registration. With only 15% of all dogs in Louisville currently registered, what can it hurt….at least you'll know where the animals are, and the odds are the next year at least 50% of owners will pay to renew when they receive the notice from MAS.
Please toss out Draft 8 right now. No matter how many "friendly amendments and changes" you make, no one can enforce 96 additional pages of animal regulations – very few people will even read it.
Please take the time to review thoroughly the current ordinance – there is more power in it than MAS or law enforcement is using. If you still feel that additional legislation is needed, please pledge to keep it simple, clear, concise, and enforceable.
Stop the legislation madness.
Be it human or animal, racial profiling is wrong.
Judge the deed, not the breed.