The ordinance was developed following recent disputes between homeowners who rescue animal and their neighbors who expressed complaints. Kristin Allen, whose voice that has become very familiar to county commissioners and Owensboro residents, was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting. Many state officials including Animal Control, the Health Department, and Planning and Zoning Department have visited Allen’s home due to recent complaints from neighbors about her rescue animals.
The new ordinance concludes that parties can only possess non-domestic animals under a state-issue permit and under no circumstances may a person keep non-domestic animal on residential property of less than two acres, which would mean that the Allen’s will have to move some of their rescues to another location.
"I can still do what God asked me to do with this wildlife," Allen said.
The Fiscal Court started rewriting the ordinance in March and finished the morning of the meeting. The idea of the ordinance was brought about to distinguish between what is or isn’t considered a public nuisance. The document explained that a public nuisance was, as stated:
"Any animal that molests or chases passersby; a threatening or violent animal; an animal that trespasses, repeatedly at large; damages private or public property, barks, whines, mews, crow, cackles or howls excessively; allows offensive odors; has a virus, or is offensive to public health/safety."
"We tried to put all concerns and comments in balance with the rights of the rescuers and rehabilitators and the homeowners," Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly said.
The question brought before the court many months ago was how to distinguish between pets and rescues? This was answered in a 16-page document explaining what animals and situations would be allowed in residential and farm areas. The ordinance explained that the Owensboro Metropolitan Zoning Ordinance would consider any real property defined as residential, and would then be considered by the Fiscal Court if the owner is in violation of the law. The next Daviess County Fiscal Court meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 5 p.m.
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