Livingston County discusses vicious animal ordinance


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ky.- Livingston County Judge Chris Lasher calls it "the number one public menace." He said animal control officers respond to anywhere from two to ten dangerous dog calls a week. He said the two serious attacks in the past month sparked a new conversation about the ordinance to help regulate the animals.

Lasher worked with the County Attorney to draw up a ten page proposed ordinance. He said, "The intent of this ordinance is to make sure those people register those kind of animals with us so we know where they're at so they can be tracked."
Specifically named in the ordinance are American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and Rottweilers under the standards of the American Kennel Club, or American Pit Bull Terriers as established by the United Kennel Club.

In addition to registering these dogs, owners would be required to microchip them and "provide evidence of his financial responsibility and ability to respond to damages."

Lasher acknowledges there will be opponents, but said the ordinance was drawn up with other established Kentucky ordinances as a guide.

"I know some of them are very good animals and if they are, come register them and get the insurance required to protect those that are around you and you'll be okay," he said.

Sheriff Bobby Davidson said he supports the potential ordinance and thinks it would help him and other law enforcement do their jobs better. He especially thinks it would have helped when it comes to a dog in question from last month. A pit bull attacked a five-year-old and his mother. Davidson said shortly before the dog's hearing, it was stolen.

"Somebody had taken some bolt cutters, lock cutters and cut a lock off at the shelter and taken the dog," he said.

Davidson said he's requested the help of area sheriff's departments, but has not been able to locate the dog.
"Something needed to be done," he said. "I think we're going in the right direction. We're not out to get these dogs or break kids hearts, but we're out to protect the citizens of Livingston County and that's what we're going to do."

The Livingston County Fiscal Court will meet again July 12 to discuss the ordinance again.