BSL Workshop


Louisville's proposed dog ordinance is really a "pet" ordinance
and reaches well beyond the dogs that are commonly thought of as dangerous.
Think it doesn't affect you? THINK AGAIN!

Click HERE to find out what you should know and what you can do about it.

Many pet owners don't know anything about the new proposed ordinance or how it will affect them. Some think it will not affect them because they do not own a "pit bull" or other dogs, or because they do not consider themselves breeders.. And still others think that ordinance will never pass. Well they are wrong! The ordinance is getting much closer to passing and if it does, pet ownership in the Louisville Metro Area will be very expensive and nearly impossible.. That's goes for almost ALL pets!

Introduced by Cheri Hamilton (District 5) the original proposed ordinance was meant to be Breed Specific. IE: Targeting Pit bulls, Rottweilers and the like. That was bad enough because BSL ordinances have proven to be ineffective in reducing dog related bites and deaths in other parts of the country. However, under the guidance of the new director of The Louisville Metro Animal Services the proposed ordinance has extended to cover nearly ALL animals. Read on for details...


UPDATE: 12/21/2007: The revised ordinance was signed into law and is now effective. A few lawsuits have challenged this ordinance in Federal court and we are now waiting for the outcome. Please click HERE to see the final ordiance.

UPDATE: 12/04/2006: Well it seems that many of the committee members have not been listening and they have sent this ordinance to the full council. On Tuesday, December 19th at 6 p.m. in 3rd Floor Chambers, City Hall, 601 W. Jefferson St. the ordinance will be presented to the full council for a vote. This meeting is open to the public and we highly recommend you attend and show that you do not support this ordinance. Along with the new super restrictive, oppressive and discriminatory ordinance also comes new fees for owning and handling pets in Louisville. this may be your last chance to really do something about it. Please go to the meeting if you can. And be sure to write your council members and ask then to vote against this ordinance and to send it back to committee until a fair and useful ordinance is produced. The council member's email address are below.


UPDATE: 11/08/2006:  The commissioner of The Kentucky Department Of Fish Wildlife  Dr. Jonathan Gassett recently wrote a letter to Mayor Jerry Abramson to give his views on the proposed changes to Louisville's pet ordinance. You can read that letter HERE.

UPDATE: 10/23/2006: The council met and passed some amendments to chapter 91 of The Louisville Metro Animal Ordinance. You can read the ordinance and amendments here.
Chapter 91 Animal Ordinance Amended -10/23/20006

The Responsible Dogs Owners Of Louisville have also put together some suggested changes. You can see them by clicking the link below.

Responsible Dog Owners of Louisville - Suggestions for Revising the Amended Committee Substitute 8th Draft Animal Control Ordinance of 9-13-06
October 26, 2006

UPDATE: 10/18/2006: Candidates running for seats on the Louisville Metro Council and the Mayor's office during the upcoming elections were sent invitations to fill out a survey about their positions on the proposed changes to the Louisville animal ordinance. You can see their responses by clicking here.

UPDATE: 10/01/2006: Rene Davis will be debating Vicki Welch in the first of many forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters.  (Pam Rogers is a member of this organization as well as the HSUS and is instrumental in setting up these debates) The debate will be conducted on Tuesday, October 3rd at 6:30 PM @ 527 W Jefferson in the Mayors Gallery, 4th Floor.  

UPDATE: 09/24/2006: Wonder where your council member stands on this issue? We will be sending out a questionnaire to each council member and the mayor along with candidates in the next few days. Their responses (or lack there of)  will be posted here soon so check back often.

Jeff Armstrong, whose son was nearly killed by dog some time ago is someone who has an up close and personal view of the dangerous dog situation. He has been following the changes to our ordinance and has written a letter to Mayor Jerry Abramson and the council members.
See what he has to say about our situation.

Adrian Hochstadt of The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently sent a letter to James Peden stating the AVMA's position on Louisville's proposed animal ordinance. The letter gives specific reasons why they are opposed to this ordinance and gives some very good suggestions on how to really solve the problem. For a VERY THOROUGH explanation about the problem of dog bites and what to do about them you can also read the book "A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention"

UPDATE: 09/12/2006: The American Kennel Club is sponsoring the Responsible Dog Ownership Day in Louisville on September 16th. (Noon to 5:00PM) at Petersburg Park. The event will include various booths, training exhibitions, educational materials, and children's activities. There will also be treats for kids and dogs so bring them on out and enjoy the fun. (Please remember to obey the leash laws)

UPDATE: 09/07/2006: Draft 9 has been made available to us and we have posted here on Thanks to everyone's hard work and insistent contacts, some changes have been made. While there is still much to be desired, there have been some improvements. Please continue to contact your council members until we get an ordinance that is good for everyone.

The people responsible for putting together this ordinance have also put together a "Myths About the Ordinance" document. To be fair, we are posting the contents of that document for you to read. However, we feel that many of the "Facts" in their myths document are really based on the interpretation of specific sections of the ordinance and do not reflect the actual wording of the ordinance. In essence, they represent the supposed intention of the ordinance but are not supported by the wording itself. Our position is that if it's written into law without specific and explicit exemptions, then there is the possibility for abuse and/or misinterpretation. As you can read in the 08/22/2006 update below, the council might have the best intentions but the law is the law. We suggest you read both "Myths" statements and the 9th draft and decide for yourself.

Louisville Metro -  Myths Statements

Responsible Dog Owners of Louisville's - Myth Statements

Representatives from the Responsible Dog Owners of Louisville association have also put together a list of sensible changes to the 9th draft of the ordinance and sent it to key council members. You can view the proposed changes here. This is also available in PDF and DOC formats.

UPDATE: 08/26/2006
Unleashed 8.1
  A very good article was written and published in the LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer) by Stephen George.
    Also, some very good letters have been written to council members. If you would like to read some of them, click here for a list.

UPDATE: 08/22/2006
During the "Community Conversations' meeting on August 21, 2006th the Mayor was approached by some concerned citizens with questions regarding the proposed ordinance changes. The mayor referred some of them to speak with Tony Hyatt (Communications Director, Majority Caucus, Louisville Metro Council) regarding concerns and questions about the proposed changes. According to the people we spoke with, their concerns that ownership of farm animals and various other pets other than "pit bull" dogs would be threatened by parts of this ordinance. They reported Mr. Hyatt's response was "Well, that certainly wasn't the intent of the Ordinance." and ""Well, you are worrying too much, common sense will prevail in those instances."  Mr. Hyatt has indicated to us that these answers have been taken out of context. You can see his letter regarding this here.
We have since changed this update section in order to better clarify the circumstances under which these comments were made. If you are interested, you can read our original update content for 08/22/2006 here.

To the Mayor and those council members who may think it is okay to write something into law and then rely on "common sense" to persuade it's enforcement we would like to note that:

KRS 258.225 Peace officers and animal control officers required to perform duties --
Interference prohibited.

                  (1) It shall be unlawful for any peace officer or animal control officer to refuse to
                        perform his duties under the provisions of this chapter.
                  (2) It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with any peace officer, animal
                        control officer, or agent in the enforcement of this chapter.
Effective: July 13, 2004
History: Amended 2004 Ky. Acts ch. 189, sec. 17, effective July 13, 2004. -- Amended
1998 Ky. Acts ch. 440, sec. 4, effective July 15, 1998. -- Created 1954 Ky. Acts
ch. 119, sec. 25, effective June 17, 1954.

Our opinion: This means that if the ordinance is passed it will become LAW and therefore the LMAS and LMPD will be required to enforce it regardless of what common sense tells them. And with the way the ordinance is currently written, citizens will not be allowed to go to court over it.