MOSCOW, TN (abc24.com) – ABC24 News has a clarification on a story about the pit bull law in Moscow, Tennessee. The ordinance requires pit bull owners in the Fayette County town to take out a one million dollar insurance policy to cover liability.
That ordinance is not, as first reported, being newly proposed. It has, in fact, been in effect for a long time so it’s not even on the radar of city government.
But, some concerned pit bull owners would like to see it amended.
The mayor of Moscow has had numerous calls concerning the ordinance, and says she doesn’t get it.
“I don’t understand the big deal,” said Gladys Kercheval, “I really don’t.”
The ‘deal’ boils down to cost and availability. A Moscow ordinance requires a million dollar liability policy to be carried by pit bull owners.
“This is for the protection to the homeowners as well as the pet,” Kercheval said.
The problem is a million may not be available to cover pit bulls.
“It’s impossible to get a million dollar homeowners insurance policy for a dog,” Amanda Young told abc24.com, “we’ve called insurance companies and the most they offer is $100,000.”
But, Mayor Kercheval claims the coverage can be found and is relatively inexpensive.
“That is only a rider on your homeowners insurance,” said the mayor, “State Farm has one for $300 a year. That’s nothing.”
At Moscow’s city council meeting on Monday, September 10, two concerned pit bull owners requested the issue be put on the agenda for the next council meeting.
Privately, abc24.com was told getting the insurance rider was difficult, and that it would be necessary to switch from other coverage to State Farm to get the million, or settle for less.
“She said, in trying to complete the process,” said Moscow Police Officer Kristopher Brown, “she is unable to get the million dollar policy that is required; that she’s only capable of getting a $100,000 policy.”
The mayor said the insurance requirement is common knowledge; every new homeowner gets a copy.
“That is one of the main ordinances they are given,” said Kercheval, “the pit bull ordinance.”
Considering that ordinance has been in affect since 2007, change does not appear imminent.
“It’s a five year old ordinance,” said the mayor, “it has gotten along fine. This is the first time there’s ever been a problem with it. I do not foresee anything being changed.”
As requested, discussion of the pit bull ordinance has been added to the next council agenda.
One dog owner told abc24.com she has called several other cities in the area and their pit bull liability limits are $100,000.