Second meeting at city hall

At the city commission meeting tonight, representatives of KVFA as well as SOAR (Speak Out And Rescue) spoke and reiterated the need for a chaining law. The commission received copies of a survey showing that other cities’ laws work and are easily enforced. The mayor asked the police chief to speak about the city’s animal issues from a law enforcement perspective. Chief Kevin Palmer said that the police had 600 calls in the last two years about animals, probably less than 10 being about cruelty. The vast majority were about barking.

The chief is an animal lover and was adamant that his officers will enforce the state cruelty laws. He asked SOAR to provide a brief training session to his officers about its outreach protocol and the types of cruelty to look for when they are called about an animal. The chief made it clear that residents should call the police, not the dog warden or the shelter, about possible animal cruelty. The dog warden has no authority to enforce the animal cruelty laws. Only the police can arrest people and authorize the impoundment of animals for cruelty.

So Winchester folks, please spread the word and put the chief’s number on speed dial: 859-745-7400. He also checks his email regularly on his phone: He mentioned lack of shade, any type of injury with broken skin, and lack of food and water as a few issues among many that merited law enforcement, so don’t think that an animal has to be on death’s door for the police to be called.

That said, the commission was not exactly jumping at the chance to enact a chaining law, which KVFA and SOAR think is the only way to stop lifetime chaining. They seem to believe that the problem can be solved with public education, which SOAR, during its four years of outreach experience, has seen is definitely not the case. People who chain their dogs for life will change their behavior only when required to by law. That’s why so many cities have had to resort to chaining bans.

So if you live in the city of Winchester, please keep calling and writing the commission! It is important to hammer on this issue while it is fresh in their minds. Kitty Strode is sympathetic to our cause–it’s the other 3 commissioners and mayor who really need to hear from you. Let them know that lifetime chaining is cruel, and you want a law against it. They need to hear from you that chaining a dog for life is unacceptable, and you expect them to act.

We get the government that we settle for, so let’s aim high!