City enacts new animal ordinance
by Rachel Davis
Nov 02, 2013 | 1506 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DORA — The City of Dora recently passed a new animal ordinance to deal with what the mayor and council called “numerous complaints” from residents about animals running loose.

A copy of the ordinance, obtained from the city clerk, prohibits allowing domesticated animals running at large and requiring owners to clean up after their pets when on any property that’s not their own. It further states that “any domesticated animal running at large will be picked up and transported to the BJC Animal Control [in Birmingham] and kept for seven days after which the animal will be euthanized.”

The new ordinance also gives city employees the right to force owners to provide proof of vaccinations. State law requires that animals receive rabies vaccination.

City employees are also authorized to enter any property within the city to capture animals running wild, vicious animals, any rabid animal or any animal that has bitten a human (documented by a written complaint). It also prohibits any person from hindering city employees in these duties.

Any animals captured by the city will be taken to the BJC Animal Control facility in Birmingham and placed on a seven-day hold.

The city will make reasonable effort to notify the owners, including posting photos of animals at city hall and informing owners of steps to regain custody of the animals. Once the animals are transported to BJC Animal Control, the owners are responsible for any fines and the cost of housing during its stay at the facility.

The ordinance also makes it illegal to operate a puppy mill or kennel within the city, as well as to own any wild or non-domesticated animal.

Anyone with a wild or non-domesticated animal will be given 72 hours to remove the animal or it is subject to seizure and euthanasia.

Sections six and seven of the ordinance deal with the responsibility of the owner if their pet bites someone. It states that if the person had a right to be where they are, or are performing a duty, such as meter reading, postal delivery, utility service or other service at the request of the owner of the property, lessee or public utility, the owner of the animal is liable for the injury.

The last section sets violations of the ordinance as a misdemeanor and assesses a $50 fine, plus applicable court fees. The ordinance is currently in effect.