Dog ordinance already in works

Published 5:01 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
Although the Humane Society of Escambia County has been working on having a law or ordinance passed regarding dangerous dogs, the need for the law is more evident now than ever, said Renee Jones, Humane Society director.
Following a vicious attack that left a Brewton toddler dead on Sunday afternoon, officials now have another reason to continue their efforts in having an ordinance passed that would require all animals to be contained.
Jones said she is not for breed-specific laws, but believes a law forcing owners to contain any animal is necessary regardless of the location.
The fact that any animal can be a danger or nuisance, regardless of the dog's history, is one of the reasons Jones supports the ordinance.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith agrees.
Jones said although packs of dogs can pose a serious threat, any animal could be a danger if the right situation exists.
A law concerning dangerous dogs was introduced during the last session of the Alabama Legislature; however, no action was taken to make the ordinance a law. Jones said the ordinance would be re-introduced during the upcoming session of the Legislature.
Since last year's passing of the Escambia County home rule, a more local decision can be made without the need to wait on a decision from the Legislature, Jones said.
Although the ordinance may soon be on the books for Escambia County, Jones is concerned with the HSEC's ability to enforce the law.
Jones said proper enforcement of such an ordinance would require additional personnel as well as continued support from municipalities in the county and other law enforcement agencies in the area.
Jones said she has given the law to the county commission and is available for further discussion with them on the topic.
The Escambia County Commission will have its next regularly scheduled meeting on at 9 a.m. Monday.

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