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Floyd County considers dangerous animal ordinance

10:44 AM EST on Tuesday, January 2, 2007
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) -- Floyd County officials plan a public hearing on a proposed animal control ordinance drafted after some residents complained of roaming hybrid wolves.

Under the proposal, animal control officers could impound animals, including strays, if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting abuse, neglect or cruelty. Animals that don't have proper permits or are not in properly restrained could also be impounded. Owners would have to pay fees ranging from $25 to $150 for the return of an animal.

Floyd County officials originally were to consider a ban on the possession of dangerous animals, including lions, tigers, wolves and hybrid wolves that are a dog-wolf mix. But the proposal was revised so that no specific animals were named.

"A law that says it is illegal to own a lion, a tiger, a bear or a wolf would never pass muster," County Attorney Steve Lohmeyer said.

A public hearing is set on the issue for Thursday, and the ordinance could be revised after that, Lohmeyer said.

Some residents in the Georgetown area about 15 miles northwest of Louisville, Ky., have complained that hybrid wolves have been allowed to roam near their homes. Steve and Jackie Lark, who raise hybrid wolves in the area, have said they keep their animals confined and that the proposed ordinance seemed acceptable.

But Susan Dunker, who said she lives within a half-mile of the Larks, said hybrid wolves should be banned.

"I don't understand why they would be permitted in a neighborhood," Dunker said. "I don't understand why it's permitted at all."


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