'Vicious Animal' ordinance to be voted on Tuesday

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Michael Bradford

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ky. - 'Rebel' the pitt bull is 13-years-old. According to his owner, Carl Buford, the senior citizen likes chasing sticks and being around children.

"They are the most loving dogs if people would just give them a chance," he said Monday.

But, he says leaders in his county are not giving Rebel and other pit bulls that chance. A new ordinance could soon restrict them and other animals, including rottweilers classified as 'vicious.'

Leaders will gather at the courthouse Tuesday evening for a second reading of the ordinance and if passed, it could become law. The ordinance mandates owners to register their dogs, have them micro-chipped, and get them insured for $50,000 in damages.

Buford has started a petition and one group on Facebook demanding "Fight For Our Dogs Rights In Livingston County." The page has nearly 150 likes.

Carl Buford says it is clear many do not agree with the changes which mandate spending money he says many do not have.

"This is July and I have not yet had a 40 hour check. So trying to make me pay a registration fee for my dog or take out this expensive insurance will be a hardship on me."

County Judge Executive Chris Lasher says in two years there have been 91 incidents with pit bull-type dogs.  He said a May incident was 'the final straw.'

At the 'Three Rivers Machine Shop' a pitt bull attacked a 5-year-old. The boy's mother was also bitten while trying to help her son.

"We believe its government working to make sure our communities remain safe and are safe," Lasher explained of the ordinance.

Buford says not all pitt bulls are bad. 'Rebel' he says is not a problem and should not be penalized.

"I've got to fight for my buddy," he said of plans to attend Tuesday's meeting.

If the ordinance passes, dog owners have 60 days to comply. Judge Lasher says those failing to do so could face fines and jail time.

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