Saturday, May 31, 2014

Go Muzzle Yourself.

Now that the first festivals of the year have passed…and we couldn’t possibly have any more city hall issues out there, I have turned my thoughts to the muzzling of dogs.  This is not about “should you bring your dog to an event?”  It is not a liability primer concerning dogs.  And it is not about how hot pavement must be painful to the pads of the dog’s feet.  No, this is just questioning why we have an ordinance muzzling your dog in city festivals or parks or well, wherever. 

My go-to logic says, “What do other cities do?”  Naturally, I tend to think of places that we might be willing to visit or to live in ourselves.  How about Lexington, Austin or Nashville.  What do they say about “the muzzle ordinance?”  As a Google user it is easy to find out.  All three of these very livable cities do not consider muzzling dogs enough of an issue to make it an ordinance.  O.K. You got me. They do mention “vicious dogs.”  But really, what is it that we know that the aforementioned cities don’t know?  Maybe we have discovered that the muzzle ordinance is the “cutting edge” of truly livable cities and by retaining the ordinance we will leapfrog Nashville, Lexington and Austin.

My guess is that our city is simply, just more risk averse, but risk abounds in everyday life.  I suspect we may be told that we are safer when dogs are muzzled in public, but that is hardly quantifiable. It just seems strange that three very livable cities have gone one way, and we have gone another.   

Let the muzzles be removed and your comments begin. 


  1. I too have done some Googling and some chatting with other folks in other cities about this issue... largely I believe that we are solving a problem that we don't have! I'm pretty sure that we could abandon or at least modify the language of the ordinance so that the City can continue to be 'held harmless' if there ever is an incident.
    People who need to bring their dogs into large random groups of strangers really need to do their own soul searching but this probably isn't that forum...

  2. Allen, the dog muzzle ordinance is new to me. Didn't know we had one. That may be because I've never seen a muzzled dog in Paducah that I can remember. I walk my dog on a leash, always, but don't even own a muzzle. Thanks for re-visiting this topic. The entire commission should, with an eye toward killing an ordinance it won't enforce. Thanks from Tom Butler.

  3. I never muzzle my dogs, I figure if no one else does why should I.......

  4. I read that there was a muzzle-your-dog rule for the LTAMF, but while I saw many (leashed) pups on the stre ets of LowerTown during the Festival, I saw only one muzzle on any dog. And FWIW I also saw many members of the Paducah police department on the job. Does anyone know if any citations were issued during LTAMF for non-muzzle-compliance?

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  6. I am frequently amazed by the absent mindedness of many pet owners. A dog is still an animal and can be unpredictable. ESPECIALLY when brought face to face with a small child. Add in street vender food droppings or the treat said child may be holding. If everyone is doing their job and the dog is in fact an angel not an animal then there should be no issue. Alas, there is so much room for err in this equation. Muzzling is a pain. Good dogs don't need a muzzle. Usually.

  7. Some of the kids running around at festivals need to be muzzled.

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