Dog law urged

Published 5:34 am Monday, February 5, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
Owning a dog carries responsibilities - and shirking those responsibilities could carry some stiff penalties if a proposed ordinance is passed.
After a Brewton toddler was killed last week by a stray Rottweiler, local animal advocates have pushed for a new county ordinance to help control dangerous animals.
Brewton and East Brewton already have dog ordinances. Escambia County Humane Society Director Renee Jones said she hopes that county commissioners will pass a local dangerous dog ordinance. She is endorsing one similar to a bill that failed in the Legislature in recent years.
The bill proposed before the Legislature outlines specific penalties if an owner fails to comply with the law.
Section one of the bil requests that the Legislature &#8220find that certain dogs are an increasingly serious and widespread threat to the safety and welfare of citizens of this state by virtue of their unprovoked attacks on, and associated injury to, individuals and other animals.”
The bill also suggests that existing law inadequately address the problem of the failure of owners to confine and properly train and control these dogs.
Jones also said a panel, not any individual, would make a determination on what constitutes a &#8220dangerous or vicious animal.”
Many municipalities have certain ordinances on the books that list specific penalties if a person keeps a dog that is considered to be dangerous or vicious.
East Brewton has Ordinance 1202 on the book that deals specifically with those types of animals.
In Brewton, there is an ordinance that is referred to as a leash law.
Angel also said that if a dog is outside the residence it must be contained.
There are penalties to owners who do not comply with the law, however attention should be brought to anyone who violates the ordinance.
Escambia County has had a copy of the proposed legislative bill and will be taking it into consideration in the future, Sanks said. A new state law gives the county more authority to enact ordinances dealing with nuisances.

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