November 21, 2022
Members of Radcliff City Council voted on Tuesday to approve the second reading of an ordinance restricting the sale of dogs and cats within city limits.
But it was not a unanimous decision.
Councilor Aundra Jackson voted against the ordinance and Councilor Terry Owens abstained.
The ordinance, like the one passed last year in Elizabethtown, will prohibit pet stores or commercial establishments from selling dogs and cats. It also prevents the sale of dogs or cats on public roads, common areas and flea markets.
The ordinance aims to reduce the market for shredded dogs and cats and could help reduce overpopulation and protect consumers from buying unhealthy dogs. That wouldn’t stop reputable breeders from doing business.
Former council member Barbara Baker spoke before the ordinance was passed. She told the council it was a “slippery slope” towards more restrictions and said the order appeared to give animal shelters and rescue organizations the upper hand.
Councilman Toshie Murrell, who manages the Forever Homes for Paws rescue, took Baker’s statement personally.
“I’m a non-profit organization and I spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to help this community, this community being the people who call because they need it, because the animals are on the loose, there are stray animals,” Murrell said. “Since we started the community chat program we have over 60 kittens which I have taken on to start with so I really don’t appreciate this Miss Baker because you came here for a personal attack against me, and I won’t have this.”
Murrell cited the inhumane conditions the animals are often kept in, showing photographs of Baker and reading letters of support she had received from other entities. She said it’s helped protect the public from sick dogs and rack up big vet bills, as shelters and rescues make sure animals are properly checked before they find a home.
Council members discussed how the order would be enforced. City Attorney Michael Pike said police and the county attorney had discretion.
Murrell later apologized to the mayor, council and the public.
“It’s really difficult,” she said. “My passion sometimes comes out quite loudly, especially when there is a personal attack.”