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Metro Council passes ordinance on extreme weather protection for animals

The new ordinance will make it illegal to leave an animal unattended in a car and classifies animal control officers as first responders.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville Metro Council passed an extreme weather ordinance for animal protection Thursday. 

The new ordinance requires animals to brought inside during inclement weather, classifies animal control officers as first responders and makes it illegal for someone to leave their animal unattended in a car. 

Kentucky Animal Action, an animal activist organization, praised the Metro Council for taking further steps in the protection of animals. The organization says the new ordinance gives a clear definition of what shelter means for animals.

"Kentucky is a prime example where extreme weather legislation is needed because we see all of it," Kentucky Animal Action's Mychell Lawson said. "We have negative temperatures and negative wind chills. And we have triple digit temperatures and triple digit heat indexes. And things can get real serious real fast at either of those extremes"

Additionally, the ordinance authorizes animal control officers and first responders to take steps to rescue a companion animal in a hot or cold car in order to prevent suffering. 

"I just saw a dog in a hot car at the beginning of this week, on Monday," Lawson said. "And immediately I thought here it is. This is exactly what we are trying to prevent and save dogs from."

The ordinance is expected to be signed into law by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in July.

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