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Montgomery, Alabama - On-Hold
Mina - awesome
rinalia wrote in stop_bsl
Update: As of December, 2006, dogs cannot be declared dangerous based on breed:http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=11272&sid=1
Update: November 29, 2006: Currently on-hold
Next public meeting: July 31, 2006

Information taken from http://www.rott-n-chatter.com/rottweilers/laws/alabamamontgomery.html

City Council meets every first Tuesday of the month at 10:00 am
and every third Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm
in the Council Chambers, first floor, Room 142, City Hall, 103 N Perry St

July 21, 2006:

Montgomery City Council members want to put a leash on pit bull attacks but are deliberating how to balance enforcement with due process for dogs and their owners.

Council members met Thursday to discuss vicious animals and ways to address the issue through city codes and enforcement. The meeting of the Public Safety Standing Committee was prompted by recent pit bull attacks on two children and a police officer.

Diane Sherman, who lives in Forest Hills, said her dog was attacked in her front yard recently by a neighbor's dog while her 14-year-old son was walking the animal.

She said it took three adults and her son spraying the dog with a water hose to separate the animals.

"I feel very fortunate my son was not injured at the time," Sherman said. "I'm very concerned about the safety of children in our neighborhood."

Sherman said the process of filing a vicious animal affidavit took her four hours.

"I think that's part of the reason you don't have more people signing affidavits," she said. "I almost got up and walked away."

Sherman said her family is also stuck with a $700 veterinarian bill.

Steven Tears, director of the Montgomery Humane Society, said pit bulls are not the most vicious or powerful dogs. He said Rottweilers are more powerful.

"That is not the most vicious dog out there. It's just the most popular," he said. "You are more likely to get bit by a Chihuahua than a pit bull."

Tears encouraged the council to take action to stop backyard breeders, who are not held accountable, and encourage people to spay and neuter their pets. He said they often find out about backyard breeding or dog fighting after a drug bust. People rarely call in to complain about their neighbor's dogs, Tears said.

Tears also suggested a breeder's license.

Carol Zienert and her son, Ryan, who shows dogs, are against an ordinance that would ban specific breeds such as pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers. They want to see laws dealing with behavior and with the actions of owners.

Councilman Glen Pruitt said he was in court twice in the past month because of pit bull attacks. He said one woman's dog was killed and another's pet was maimed in an attack.

Councilmen Willie Cook and Jim Spear are opposed to laws banning specific breeds. Other council members including C.C. Calhoun and Pruitt are not so certain.

"We've got a real complicated issue here, and there's no easy solution," Spear said.

C.T. Tolliver, who has worked as a city animal control officer for 22 years, said people receive a written warning for their first violation of the leash law and a citation is issued for the second offense, which leads to an automatic court appearance where a judge sets the fine.

If a person or their pet is attacked, they are advised they can fill out a vicious animal affidavit, Tolliver said. The affidavit prompts an investigation by animal control officers, who submit their findings to a municipal court judge. The judge ultimately determines the punishment and the fate of the dog.

Tolliver said she has seen fines from $10 to $500. Several people noted a $10 fine is not much of a deterrent.

The committee planned a meeting at 9 a.m. July 31 for a work session and public hearing on the issue of vicious dogs. Council members asked the city's animal control officers and the director of the Montgomery Humane Society to bring written suggestions.

Residents can also offer written suggestions


Montgomery needs to enact an ordinance that does a better job of holding owners of vicious animals responsible and making it easier for concerned citizens to request and receive an investigation of threatening situations involving such animals.

But the ordinance needs to focus on all vicious animals, not just pit bulls or any other specific dog breed.

Not that pit bulls can't be dangerous; clearly they can. That is underscored by two recent incidents involving pit bulls in which two children and a Montgomery police officer were bitten. But there are many other breeds of dogs that can be dangerous as well - for instance, Rottweilers, Dobermans and German shepherds, to name just three.

The problem is not the breed, but the owners.

City Councilman Glen Pruitt has expressed concern about what he sees as a growing pattern of violence involving pit bulls. At his urging, the council's public safety committee is looking into possible ordinance changes.

Capt. Huey Thornton, a Montgomery police spokesman, told a Montgomery Advertiser reporter that he believes pit bulls are responsible for the majority of a growing number of incidents involving vicious dogs.

But if the city simply prohibited pit bulls, it would not eliminate the problem or even curb it for long.
Prohibiting pit bulls to address vicious animals would be the equivalent of addressing handgun violence by banning any type of handgun that currently might be popular among criminals. Just as criminals would soon find another type of weapon, irresponsible dog owners soon would turn to other breeds.

The City Council should look closely at other cities that have adopted ordinances to attempt to control animal violence to see what has worked best.

We would suggest that any new ordinance start with tough penalties - jail time and a lifetime prohibition against dog ownership - for anyone who used any type of vicious animal to protect an illegal enterprise, such as a crack house.

The city also should ensure it has adequate procedures for allowing citizens to report concerns about potentially vicious animals and having animal control officers to investigate whether those concerns are valid. Citizens should not have to wait until someone is attacked before getting help.

Editorial: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060626/OPINION01/606260303/1006


Mayor Bobby N. Bright
Phone: (334) 241-2000
Fax: (334) 241-2600
Felecia Holley-Martin
(334) 241-2427
City Council meets every first Tuesday of the month at 10:00 am
and every third Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm
in the Council Chambers, first floor, Room 142, City Hall, 103 N Perry St.

Mailing Address
Post Office Box 1111
Montgomery, Alabama 36101-1111

H: 648 Pimblico Road 36109
272-2558 Fax: 272-1846
3809 Wares Ferry Road 36109
B: 271-4228
1412 South Perry Street 36104
W: 269-0093
President Pro Tem
H: 3143 Patrick Road (36108)
1055 Largo Lane 36116
H: 280-7899
P. O. Box 201441 (36120)
H: 281-7775
2243 Country Club Drive 36106
H: 262-0604
H: 8642 Sturbridge Drive 36116
B: Locke & Associates
4144 Carmichael Road, Suite 20 (36106)
272-7400 FAX: 272-6106
B: Jinright-Turner Insurance & Bonds, Inc.
4216 Carmichael Rd. (36106)
P. O. Box 230308 (36123)