ordinance opposition

Several opponents of the stiff new Livingston County ordinance that lists some dogs as restricted and defines vicious animals left last night's meeting unhappy. The unidentified lady in the photo above was one of several individuals that voiced their disapproval of the measure.

Livingston dog ordinance approved by fiscal court

(Filed July 24, 2013) Smithland- Despite vocal opposition from the crowd that packed the Circuit Court room in the Livingston County Judicial Building last night the Livingston County Fiscal Court passed a stiff new dog control ordinance unanimously. The new county ordinance goes into effect immediately but dog owners have 60 days to come under compliance of the ordinance.

The 12 pages long document approved by the court identifies breeds of dogs as “restricted” those include American Staffordshire Terriers or Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers. But the statute also sets standards for dogs to be considered “Vicious Animal” which are also restricted. Seven different standards are set in the document to define an animal as vicious.

For a dog owner to keep a restricted breed of dog in Livingston County they must register the dog, have an identification chip inserted under its skin, provide proof of its sterilization, maintain $50,000 worth of liability insurance plus pay an annual fee of $25. The ordinance also prohibits convicted felons from owning, have custody of or reside at a residence with an unsprayed or unneutered puppy older than 24 weeks of age or any dog weighing more than 20 pounds irrespective of whether it has been spayed or neutered.

The new regulation also sets conditions that allow vicious dogs to be destroyed as well as penalties for persons harboring restricted or vicious dogs.

Several members of the audience vigorously protested the consideration of the ordinance. A Livingston County Deputy Sheriff eventually had to help maintain order in the meeting by reminding members of the crowd they had to refrain from shouting and be recognized so they could ask questions. At one time he told one person if he continued making vocal comments he would be taken to jail.

Many in the crowd were unhappy the regulation was being considered and expressed their disappointment with the court’s decision. Many did not ask questions but instead attempted to us the meeting as a forum to express their vocal opposition to the ordinance restricting dogs. At one point County Judge Chris Lasher reminded the audience they had already held a meeting for public comment on the proposed ordinance.

However County Judge Chris Lasher has previously outlined his reasons for pushing the regulations through. He has pointed to numerous dog attacks in Livingston County including the most recent attack of a five-year-old child.