California is not alone! Dog Legislation in Kentucky
Letter from The Louisville Kennel Club, Inc.
Currently, we in the dog fancy are in a nationwide fight for our very survival. In city after city, state after state dog-unfriendly, anti breeding, anti-performance, anti-sportsman and breed specific laws are being passed every day. From California to New York, from Florida to New Mexico, every day brings news of another ‘hot spot’ where the Animal Rights Movement has taken away our right to own, breed, show, perform with and just enjoy our dogs.
As your may know, in Louisville, our own Metro Council passed what many regard as the worst anti-dog legislation in the entire country late last year. Worse yet, in a failed effort to force us to dismiss our Open Meetings lawsuit, they recently re-enacted the whole 90 page behemoth. Side by side with the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, the performance community, boarding kennels, grooming shops, multiple cat clubs and many others, we worked diligently for over 14 months to educate the Metro Council. Our input was disregarded. At the end of the day, only the testimony of the Humane Society of the Unnited States (HSUS) and input from Dr. Gilles Meloche (the disgraced Director of Louisville Metro Animal Services) was considered. Unfortunately, the Metro Council believed that the HSUS was a legitimate organization and did not understand its true agenda. They also failed to understand the lack of expertise or experience of Dr. Gilles Meloche in the area of Animal Services.
We can only wonder what was so enticing about these “experts” who were heeded when all others were ignored. The HSUS is a national Animal Rights organization with a stated goal of eliminating domestic pets, per it’s president, Wayne Pacelle: “We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding…One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” (Quoted in Animal People, May, 1993). The other “expert” was an Animal Control Director disgraced in Canada for pleading guilty to multiple counts of selling anabolic steroids without prescriptions or documentation. Moreover, Dr. Meloche was fired after 10 months from his position as Director of Animal Services in Durham, N.C. and forced to resign aftert 18 months as Shelter Director in Leon County/Tallahassee, FL.
We have currently filed two law suits to overturn this ordinance. The first suit was filed in conjunction with the League of Kentucky Sportsmen over violations of Kentucky’s Open Meetings Act, ignored by the Council Democrats when they chose to make substantial changes to the proposed law in secret, immediately before pushing the changed law through. The second suit, with a dozen plaintiffs, challenges the substance of the law. We are hopeful that we will prevail, thus setting a national precedent.
We are fortunate to have Mr. Jon Fleischaker as our attorney and we are hopeful that these cases will set a constitutionally driven precedent. Mr. Fleischaker is a nationally recognized and multiple award winning constitutional and individual rights attorney. We are challenging the ordinance under the multiple violations of the United States and Kentucky Constitutions, the federal Civil Rights Act, as well as many conflicts with state laws. Both the ordinance and the lawsuit can be read at http://www.louisvillepetlovers.com/ by clicking on the “Download” link.
Pet owners in Louisville are suffering tremendously under this law, which grants unfettered discretion to animal control officers to seize any animal (particularly, any unaltered animal) for any reason. Worse, the fees and fines that our animal control personnel are empowered to charge for pet redemption amount to government sanctioned extortion. Most pet owners must come up with $500 to $600 to retrieve their pets – even if those pets wound up at the shelter as a result of theft (as did happen in at least one case). A second citation can result in the forfeiture of all animals and a prohibition against owning any animals for 2 years, as well as jail time up to 12 months. These severe penalties apply to the most minor of “crimes,” including walking an unaltered dog on a leash longer than 4 feet! It is interesting that the law touted as the panacea for public safety has not prevented any attacks by dangerous dogs.
It is our firm belief that we owe a duty not just to the citizens of Louisville, but to the entire Dog Fancy nationwide to win these. Our success will set a precedent that will not only allow others to overturn bad laws in their cities, but will chill the efforts of other cities to pass similar bad laws.
However, to win this fight, we need the dog fancy to help us. To date, our club has spent an exorbitant amount in legal fees. We have received generous donations from many breed and all-breed clubs from around the country. However, the loss in entries we suffered at our spring cluster has had a significant financial impact on our resources. We’re asking your club to join with us and offer a donation to assist us in this effort which will benefit every club in the country and allow our sport to continue.
<>Thank you for considering our request. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone (502-339-7062) or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send all donations to:
LKC Legislative Fund
c/o Ellen Kapen, LKC Treasurer
8620 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40291
Vice-President and Legislative Committee Chair
Louisville Kennel Club
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