Dog Fines Still in the Dark Ages
Scottsbro, AL - In Scottsbro, it costs more to write a dog citation than it does for the person to pay it. Unfortunately, Scottsbro is hardly alone in their 3rd world fee structure. The existing law says first-time offenders who fail to restrain their dog can be fined a whole $10 dollars. This first offense may result in a serious attack, particularly by the neighborhood pit bull that "never showed aggression" before.
The second and third offenses shoot up to the remarkable fees of $50 and $100 dollars.
Failure to restrain a dog from damaging gardens, flowers and, or shrubs can bring a $15 dollar fine. We hope Scottsbro policymakers are referring to a garden filled with dandelions; any true garden starts at a few hundred dollars (baseline). The fee explodes to $25 and $75 dollars for the second and third offenses, which guarantees a very upset gardener.
Traffic and parking violations increase all the time, so why are dog citations stuck in the pre-World War II era?
Furthermore, if speeding tickets on US highways cost $10-15 dollars, our highways would look like a NASCAR race. The paltry fine would not prevent anyone from going over the speed limit. Not to mention how lousy the surface of the roads would be. Our roads would appear as they do in third world countries: dirt based with a lot of potholes.
The humdinger in Scottsbro, however, is the citation for failure to restrain a dog that has attacked a person while off owner's property. It's a mere $50 dollar fine. A person can lose a face, ear, arm or leg in a first attack by a dangerous dog. Five $10 bills is hardly going to penalize this dog owner or ensure that future responsibility is practiced.
After the dog attacks a human being a second and third time, the fees blast up to $100 and $200 dollars.
The only thing these fines ensure is a future attack.
04/26/08: Haverhill Boy Receives 200 Stitches After Pit Bull-Mastiff Mix Attack
04/18/08: $95 Dollar Dog Bite Ticket, Hardly Sufficient for Victim Injury