Indiana Town Passes Dangerous Dog Regulations

The ordinance, which includes strict provisions regarding dangerous dogs, takes effect in about a month.

The City Council in Jeffersonville, Ind. has passed an ordinance that places strict regulations on dogs that have been declared vicious animals.

The ordinance, which passed unanimously on Monday, May 1, repeals animal control laws from 1978 and 1993. However, some provisions in the new law — such as prohibition against pet owners allowing their animals to roam the city were already on the books.

Jeffersonville, a city of roughly 27,500 residents, is a suburb of Louisville, Ky. The new legislation is the result of about two months of discussion between Councilman John Perkins and Councilwoman Connie Sellers with Animal Control Officer Michael Wright.

According to the new laws, which take effect in about a month:

  • Dogs living within the city must be licensed, except those trained to aid the handicapped.
  • Pets must be on leashes and are prohibited from roaming the city at-large.
  • Pets must be kept in a fenced yard or inside a home.
  • Owners are required to clean up after their pets when they are not on their own property.
  • Jeffersonvilles animal control officer or any city police officer can designate an animal as vicious or dangerous when necessary.
  • Owners of animals designated vicious or dangerous must take steps to protect the public from their pet, including carrying at least $100,000 in liability insurance, keeping the animal confined, and using a leash and muzzle while walking the pet.
  • If the owners of vicious pets live on property owned by someone else, the property owner must also carry at least $100,000 liability insurance for the animals.
  • Outdoor enclosures for pets must be at least 75 square feet for animals up to 25 pounds, 125 square feet for animals 25 to 50 pounds, 150 square feet for animals 51 to 100 pounds, and 200 square feet for animals 101 or more pounds.
  • Anyone owning more than four dogs, six cats, or a combination of eight dogs and cats for more than 12 weeks must have a $100 per year kennel license, which cannot be granted for any site zoned for residential purposes.

Those violating the ordinance are subject to fines of $25 to $1,000 per violation per day.

Posted: May 6, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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