Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Montgomery, AL -- After several recent maulings, the state House of Representatives approved 2 bills Tuesday that would allow authorities in Mobile County to declare dogs dangerous and impose criminal penalties on their owners. Representative Chad Fincher, who sponsored the bill, adds:
"It will hold owners responsible who have a dangerous dog, or those with dogs with a tendency to attack. If you have a dangerous dog, you have to take necessary action to keep these dogs away from the public."A Semmes man was mauled by two dogs in 2006, but the dogs were returned to their owner because there was no law regulating their behavior. The legislation allows animal control officers to impound dogs they consider dangerous and that have caused serious physical damage or personal harm to an individual.
The county district attorney could then petition the district court to have a dog declared "dangerous or a nuisance." If the court agrees and finds the dog has caused serious physical injury or death to a human being, the animal would be destroyed.
If the dog is judged dangerous or a nuisance without harm to a person, the owner would be required to follow special regulations including: proper constraint, micro-chipping, $100,000 insurance policy and an annual registration fee. If it attacked another person without provocation, the animal would be put down and the owner would face up to two years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.
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