Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am a responsible dog owner/breeder/handler/teacher/home owner who is
very concerned about the proposed animal control legislation being
considered for the City of Louisville, KY. Breed Specific Legislation
like banning Toyotas because someone was run over and killed by one.
Was the car at fault, or the driver of the car, or possibly the
pedestrian who got killed? Usually when a dog is mean and vicious it
is that way because its owner wants it to be. As a dog owner, I would
not have a dog that behaved badly towards people. 99% of the dogs in
the world live happily in their homes and communities. You are trying
to legislate to 1% of the remaining animals rather than punish their owners.
As an obedience teacher and exhibitor of 30 years I have not
encountered vicious dogs. It is uneducated owners puffing up their
own importance who encourage bad behavior on the part of their dogs.
You have endorsed the AKC Companion Animal program on one hand and yet
on the other hand you are making it impossible to have a dog in the
city of Louisville. You are punishing 99% of dog owners! If this
kind of thinking weren't so misguided it would be laughable--no intelligent person would believe it!
Then there is the economic impact to your city and state! Dog shows
bring millions of dollars into states from the pockets of thousands of
people attending these events. They buy animal products, stay in
motels, buy gasoline, pay tolls, provide entertainment, shop in local
stores, go to movies, buy groceries--you understand what I mean. All
this would cease if dog owners visiting the state overnight have to
pay $100 for a license for each of their dogs. I routinely travel
with six dogs in my car! I would move from your city if the law
punished me that much for living there and I certainly wouldn't bring
a dog to show, nor would I drive through your state and stay in a motel there!
How about the impact on service dogs? I just read the story of the
Golden Retriever that saved over 900 people on September 11, 2001 by
repeatedly leading groups out of the World Trade Center. You are
negating all that is good about companion animals. Dogs for the
blind, hearing dogs, READ dogs, Therapy dogs, dogs for the elderly--my
Certified Therapy Dog used to visit the local hospital and several Alzheimer Homes on a weekly basis.
It is a proven fact that dogs provide an atmosphere of caring and
instinct that helps lower blood pressure, detect epileptic seizures,
diabetic coma, and insulin shock.
Education is the key here. For the amount of money you are going to
have to spend hiring law enforcement to find and put in jail all the
people who are not going to obey these laws, you could have an
education program that would serve as a model for the nation . If
license fees were reasonable and not punitive, you would find your income rising instead of tanking.
Same theory--if you lower taxes people have more money to spend. If
tax laws are business friendly your economy grows! If the law
punished those owners of problem dogs severely you would not have that
problem to deal with.
Right now, the way your proposed new legislation reads it is
grammatically a nightmare, impossible to understand, and not legally understandable.
And animal lovers all over the country are reading it and shaking
their heads that those people elected to govern in Louisville could
behave so unintelligently. Who is advising you? Your ideas are sad
and unbelievable--negative and with no sign of positivity.
Unencouraging and destructive!
I certainly am hoping those of you supporting this legislation come to
your senses, and I give my whole hearted support to those who
recognize its negative influence on your community.
Sincerely considered and written,
Nancy Smith, Red Lodge, Montana