Alabama Proposes Dangerous Dog Laws

Under proposed legislation, officials could take dangerous dogs into custody immediately.

Posted: May 25, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

Two lawmakers in Alabama are seeking to close a loophole in state law by sponsoring legislation that would allow law enforcement officials to take dangerous dogs into custody without prior approval from a court.

Under current state law, officials can’t take an animal into custody without court approval, a process that usually takes 20 to 30 days.

However, under legislation sponsored by Sen. Myron Penn, D-Union Springs, and Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, law enforcement could immediately impound dogs at the owner’s expense if they determine the animal poses an immediate threat.

Animal control officers would also be allowed to destroy a dog after 10 days if it severely injures or kills a person and if the officers believe the owner knew the dog had a propensity for violence. The 10-day holding period would give the owner time to request a due process hearing.

Also under the bill, dog owners could be charged with a Class C felony if a dog kills or severely wounds a human, plus a Class A misdemeanor if the owner failed to take steps to prevent it.

Owners of a dog classified as dangerous could either have it destroyed, or, in less severe cases, choose to keep it confined and spay or neuter it.

The bill defines a dangerous dog as “a dog, regardless of its breed, that has bitten, attacked or injured a person or domestic animal without provocation.”

A similar bill, the Dangerous Dog Act of 2006 passed Alabama’s House Judiciary Committee last year, but never made it to the full House due to lack of support.


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Dixie   Phenix City, Alabama

11/18/2014 6:11:44 AM

Johnna, I am so sorry for your horrific loss. What an awful thing to have gone through. My story is severe but you will be in my prayers for the rest of my life.

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Pam   Gadsden, Alabama

5/19/2014 11:53:44 AM

This is a start. More important, every dog attack requiring medical attention should have a full report with pictures of the injuries and pictures of the attacking dog from every angle included in the report that should be submitted to law enforcement. Requiring pictures of the attacking dog will definitively show which type dogs are responsible for these horrendous first attack deaths and maimings, Fighting breed dogs were never meant to be family pets.

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Johnna   Riverside, Alabama

5/18/2014 10:56:40 PM

After living the nightmare my children and i have by loosing our precious angel, has opened my eyes to dangers unknown and kept hushed. People are chosing to push certain breeds for money knowing the dangers making people believe they are family dogs. Do your research fully. Look up all the known victims, see the truth in the behavioral nature of these animals befor you put ypur family and people who live around you at risk. All animals are capable of bitting someone, there are breeds killing and turning when proven no prior signs. If people would take a moment out and do true research on these animals this wouldnt be a debate. Human life, Gods blessings, are being brutaly murdered as my son was on april 6th. After what my family will forever greive and have nightmares of their brother being eaten defensless, think twice. Mauling needs to be graphic. Not a shake n bite, its eating. My angel had no face or neck left, still trying to breath as his brother kicked he looked up growled and went back to eating his face. Human rights should come first. My child should have had the right to play safely. With all the other dangers in this world n tragities these can be prevented and should be. Just with sex offenders, ect we have the legal right to know where they are in our neighborhoods. These animals should have no rights over our safety of our families when there is too many documented cases of killings and attacks that are growing daily. We cant always look at a person and say hes going to kill, or car accidents ect, but when we know the potential proven why are people taking a risk as this? Please i pray this goes forward so no family should have to live with what we do every day for the reat of our lives, forever changed. And my angel suffered fighting to live through the whole thing and after. With us always <3 all in our prayers that this doesnt happen to anyone <3

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mary   dania, FL

6/9/2010 5:03:14 PM

puppies do not belong in a yard unattended to "escape" You looked for your dog for an hour? WHoop di doo, you think that shows you are concerned? Your dog and all dogs should be kept in the house. A loose dog, whether chihuahua or rottweiler is unlawful and the owner should be given a stiff fine with escalating higher fines upon repeated loose dog offenses. That will encourage people to keep an eye on their dog. If I lost my puppy, I would be searching day and night , posting flyers and calling anyone and everyone to find the dog. It is a mistake to allow any governmnet official to violae your constitutional rights and take your dog without due process. Today its your dog, tomarrow your kids and next year your guns. Do not let anyone violate your constitutional rights by taking your dog without a seizure warrant.

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