Alabama Proposes Dangerous Dog Laws

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

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

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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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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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diane guyton   bessemer, AL

5/12/2009 6:28:05 PM

my puppy got out of my yard beford o could fine him a rock willer dog had kill him the owener did not tell us right a way we looked for him for hour we sceen the man ask him he said he ran over our puppy did not call us or any thing but looking at him we new somthing else had happy they tell us that alabama as no laws for dog like that well i think they should an what can i do to help this was our baby an this was wrong

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carol   canton, OH

4/8/2009 4:10:54 PM

i think pitbulls are fine....its all on how owner raise
they are loveable,caring,playful,andmuch
if i had a chance i would own

i think people theses days are dramacitic they think pitbulls are the eviliest dog in the world ,ive been around alot and to me they are uniuue and
i think people should give pits a try and not be shot..i think u should get the people that fight them in jail,and not destroy the dog.its dont the pits fault for attack anyone it the owners

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Arthur   Des Moines, IA

8/27/2008 9:30:07 AM

I strongly dissagree with the idea of having to request due process. Our nations will only stay great as long as all laws are properly enforced, not skipped over if an individual forgets to mail in a form. Alabama is, however, to be commended for the deffinition of a dangerous dog. Too often is a single breed labled as a danger, while the multitude of mutts and purebred dogs can bite our children unnoticed. A dog does what it is taught, and we should be punishing the teacher, not the straight "A" students.

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