ARTICLE VII. DANGEROUS ANIMALS*

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*State law references:  Vicious animals, Code of Ala. 1975,  3-1-3, 3-6-1.  

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Sec. 10-221. Definition of dangerous animal.
For the purposes of this article "dangerous animal" means and includes:
(1)   Any mammal, amphibian, fish, reptile or fowl which is of a species which, 
due to size, vicious nature or other characteristics would constitute a danger 
to human life, physical well-being, or property, including but not limited to, 
lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, bears, wolves, apes, gorillas, monkeys of a 
species whose average adult weight is 20 pounds or more, foxes, elephants, 
alligators, crocodiles, and snakes which are venomous or otherwise present 
a risk of serious physical harm or death to human beings as a result of their 
nature or physical makeup including, but not limited to, boa constrictors, 
Madagascar ground boas, green and yellow anacondas, Cuban boas, Indian pythons, 
reticulated pythons, African rock pythons, Amethystine pythons, Boelen's pythons 
and all members of the family pythonidae that exceed six feet in length.
(2)   Any dog or cat which has a disposition or propensity to attack or bite 
any person or domesticated animal without provocation, has been trained for 
fighting or is kept primarily for the purpose of fighting. For the purposes of 
this article, where the official records of the animal control officer or police 
chief indicate a dog or cat has bitten any person or persons, it shall be prima
 facie evidence that the dog or cat is a dangerous animal. Any dog which is 
 known by the owner or person in charge to habitually charge at persons on the 
 public streets and other public ways shall be presumed to be dangerous, whether 
 or not such dog has actually bitten or attacked a person or other animal.
(3)   Any domesticated dog that has in its known genetic history and/or formal 
pedigree crossbreeding with the wolf species to include, but not be limited to, 
animals referred to as wolf-hybrids or wolf-mix breeds or the breed known as 
Tundra Shepherd. The registration of an animal at any time in any jurisdiction 
as a wolf-hybrid, wolf-mix or Tundra Shepherd shall constitute prima facie 
evidence the animal is prohibited by this section. The term wolf-hybrid refers 
to all animals described in this subsection.
(4)   Any animal which is not naturally tame or gentle but is of a wild nature 
or disposition and which, because of its size, vicious nature or other 
characteristics, would constitute a danger to human life or property.
(5)   Any pit bull terrier, which shall be defined as any American Pit Bull 
Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier breed 
of dog, or any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding 
the breed of American Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American 
Staffordshire Terrier as to be identifiable as predominantly of the breed of 
American Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American 
Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-222. Prohibition.
Except as provided in sections 10-223, 10-224, 10-225 and 10-226, it shall be 
unlawful to own, keep, or harbor any dangerous animal in the city.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-223. Exceptions.
(a)   Any person who falls into one of the following subsections shall be 
permitted to own, harbor or have charge, custody, control, or possession 
of a dangerous animal, provided the person has first secured a permit under 
section 10-229; and provided further that owners, keepers or harborers of 
dangerous dogs shall also be required to register their animals in accordance 
with the provisions of this article:
(1)   Zoos, bona fide educational or medical institutions, museums or any other 
place where they are kept as live specimens for the public to view, or for the 
purpose of instruction or study.
(2)   A circus, carnival or other exhibit, training, competition or show by 
which the animals are kept for exhibition to the public.
(3)   A bona fide, licensed veterinary hospital or clinic where the animals 
are kept for treatment.
(4)   Commercial establishments possessing such animals for the purpose of 
sale or display.
(5)   Private individuals who have registered a dangerous dog and complied 
with all applicable requirements of this Code.
(6)   The humane society, except that the agency is also exempt from the 
registration requirements of this article.
(7)   A law enforcement agency which maintains an animal trained and certified 
to assist in law enforcement. Such an agency is also exempt from the 
registration requirements of this article.
(b)   The provisions of this article shall not apply to the transportation 
of a dangerous animal through this city, when such transporter has taken 
adequate safeguards to protect the public and has notified the police department 
of the proposed route of transportation and the time thereof.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-224. Exceptions for dangerous dog.
A dog may not be declared a dangerous animal in any of the following 
circumstances:
(1)   When an injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time 
such injury or damage was sustained, was committing a willful trespass or 
other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or harborer of the dog 
or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or was committing 
or attempting to commit a crime.
(2)   When an injury or damage was sustained by another animal which, at the 
time such injury or damage was sustained, was teasing, tormenting, abusing or 
assaulting the dog alleged to be dangerous.
(3)   When the dog was protecting or defending a person within the immediate 
vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault.
(4)   When an injury to a domestic animal was sustained while the dog was 
working as a hunting dog, herding dog or predator control dog on the property 
or under the control of its owner or harborer, and the damage or injury was to 
a species or type of domestic animal appropriate to the work of the dog.
(5)   When the dog was responding to pain or injury or protecting itself, its 
kennel or its offspring.
(6)   When a person or domestic animal was disturbing the natural functions of 
the dog such as sleeping or eating.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-225. Permit and registration requirements for dangerous dogs.
The keeping of a dangerous dog shall be subject to the following mandatory 
requirements:
(1)   Confinement.  A dangerous dog shall be securely confined indoors or in a 
securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled or 
in a crate as provided below. Such pen, kennel or structure must have secure 
sides and a secure top attached to the sides. Such structure must have a secure 
bottom or floor attached to the sides of the pen or the sides of the pen must 
be embedded in the ground no less than one foot. All structures used to confine
 a dangerous dog must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals 
 are within the structure. All structures erected to house a dangerous dog must 
 comply with all zoning and building regulations of the city. All such 
 structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and 
 sanitary condition.  
(2)   Leash and muzzle or crate.  No person shall permit a dangerous dog to go 
outside its kennel or pen unless such dog is securely leashed with a leash no 
longer than three feet in length and under the control of a competent adult. 
(As an alternative, the animal may be confined in a locked crate which is 
constructed of material of sufficient strength to prevent escape, posted with a 
sign saying "dangerous animal" and constructed so that a child cannot penetrate 
the crate with his hand.) When a dangerous dog is in a vehicle or being 
transported in an open truck bed or other conveyance, it shall be confined in a 
locked crate or cage which is constructed of material of sufficient strength 
to prevent escape and posted with a sign saying "dangerous animal" and 
constructed so that a child cannot penetrate the crate or cage with his hand. 
No person shall permit a dangerous dog to be kept on a chain, rope or other 
type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless a person is in physical control 
of the leash. Such dogs may not be leashed to inanimateobjects such as trees, 
posts, buildings, etc. In addition, a dangerous dog on a leash outside the 
animal's kennel must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent 
such dog from biting persons or other animals.  
(3)   Confinement indoors.  No dangerous dog may be kept on a porch, patio or 
in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such 
building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house 
or structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors 
are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure.  
(4)   Signs.  All owners, keepers or harborers of a dangerous dog shall display 
immediately to the left of the front door of the residence or business where the 
animal is located a sign furnished by the revenue department which shall be 
easily readable by the public using the words "Dangerous Animal." In addition, 
a similar sign is required to be posted on the kennel or pen of such animal.  
(5)   Insurance.  All owners, keepers or harborers of a dangerous dog must 
provide proof to the city clerk of liability insurance in a single incident 
amount of at least $100,000.00 specifically covering any damage or injury which 
may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of such animal. The policy 
shall contain a provision requiring the city to be named as an additional 
nsured for the sole purpose of being notified by the insurer of any 
cancellation, termination or expiration of the liability insurance policy.At 
the time of initial registration the owner, keeper or harborer must present 
proof to the police chief of the required insurance. At the time of subsequent 
registration the owner, keeper or harborer must show proof of insurance for the 
present registration period and proof that there was insurance coverage 
throughout the period of the prior registration year. In the event the liability 
insurance is canceled, lapsed, or for any other reason becomes nonenforceable, 
the owner, keeper, or harborer shall be in violation of the provisions of this 
article and subject to the penalties provided herein.  
(6)   Identification photographs.  All owners, keepers or harborers of a 
dangerous dog must provide to the police chief two color photographs of the 
animal clearly showing the color and approximate size of the animal.  
(7)   Reporting requirements.  All owners, keepers or harborers of a dangerous 
dog must within ten days of the incident, report the following information in 
writing to the police chief as required hereinafter:  
a.   The removal from the city or death of the dog;
b.   The birth of offspring of the dog;
c.   The new address of the owner if the owner moves within the city limits;
d.   The name and address of any person to whom ownership or possession of the 
dog is transferred.
(8)   Animals born of registered dogs.  All offspring born of a dangerous dog
 registered with the city must be registered with the city within six weeks of 
 the birth of such animal.  
(9)   Failure to comply.  It shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper or harborer 
of a dangerous dog to fail to comply with the requirements and conditions set 
forth in this article. Any dog found to be the subject of a violation of this 
article shall be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment. In addition, 
failure to comply will result in the revocation of the license of such animal 
and the permit providing for the keeping of such animal resulting in the 
immediate removal of the animal from the city.  
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-226. Requirements for dangerous snakes.
The keeping of any snakes of the species boa constrictors, Madagascar ground 
boas, green and yellow anacondas, Cuban boas, Indian pythons, reticulated 
pythons, African rock pythons, Amethystine pythons, Boelen's pythons and all 
members of the family pythonidae that exceed six feet in length shall be kept 
under the following mandatory conditions.
(1)   In consideration of the right of the public not to be unexpectedly 
exposed to snakes, these animals will not be openly displayed in a public 
setting outside of established forums for such practices to include 
herpetological shows, educational displays, pet stores and other special 
displays whereby members of the public are forewarned that a snake may be 
displayed in the open.
(2)   Snakes shall be transported in a manner that precludes escape. At a 
minimum, snakes shall be placed in a sturdy cloth bag free of holes or tears 
and the bag placed in a box or similar container. The box or container must 
be locked or sealed during transportation.
(3)   Snakes shall be housed in secure cages with hinged tops or doors or a 
sliding glass front which includes a locking mechanism. The cage shall be 
kept in a room modified to prevent snake escapes and which has a door which 
shall be kept shut or locked when not occupied by the owner.
(4)   Snakes requiring permits shall not be sold to minors.
(5)   Pet stores or other vendors or sellers of snakes requiring permits are 
required to provide a copy of this article to all prospective purchasers of 
uch snakes.
(6)   Snakes will not be fed or in any fashion provided any live or living 
creature while observable by any member of the public or in any manner which
 may otherwise violate the humane laws of the city.
(7)   It shall be unlawful and a violation of this subsection for any person 
to not comply with the standards set forth herein.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-227. Notice of keeping dangerous animals.
Upon the written complaint of any person that a person owns or is keeping or 
harboring a dangerous animal in violation of this article, the animal control 
officer shall forthwith cause the matter to be investigated. If after 
investigation the facts indicate that such person named in the complaint is in 
fact the owner or is keeping or harboring a dangerous animal, the animal 
control officer shall forthwith send written notice to such person requiring 
such person to safely remove the animal from the city within five days of the 
date of the notice. Such notice shall not be required where the dangerous animal 
has previously caused serious physical harm or death to any person or has 
escaped and is at large; in those instances the animal control officer shall 
cause the animal to be immediately seized and impounded, according to the 
provisions of section 10-228, or killed if seizure and impoundment are not 
possible without risk of serious physical harm or death to any person.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-228. Seizure and impounding of dangerous animals.
The animal control officer shall forthwith cause to be seized and impounded any 
dangerous animal, where the person owning, keeping or harboring such animal has 
failed to comply with the notice sent pursuant to section 10-227. Upon a seizure 
and impoundment, the animal shall be delivered to a place of confinement which 
may be with any organization which is authorized by law to accept, own, keep or
 harbor such animals. If, during the course of seizing and impounding any such 
 animal, the animal poses a risk ofserious physical harm or death to any person, 
 such person or persons authorized by the animal control officer may render the 
 animal immobile by means of tranquilizers or other safe drugs; or if that is 
 not safely possible, then the animal may be killed.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-229. Permit required.
(a)   No person owning, harboring, or having charge, custody, control or 
possession of any dangerous animal shall allow such animal to remain within the 
city unless the person has first secured a permit to do so and complies with all 
terms and conditions of such permit; and, in addition thereto, such animal shall 
at all times be so confined, controlled and restrained in such manner that the 
life, limb or property of any person lawfully entering such premises shall not 

be endangered.
(b)   Failure to obtain a permit when required by subsection (a) after written 
notification by the animal control officer shall be adequate grounds for the 
officer to impound the animal until a permit is obtained, all requirements for
 confinement of the animal are met, and all fees and costs of the impoundment 
 have been paid. If no permit is obtained within ten days, the animal will be 
 subject to summary destruction.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-230. Issuance of permit.
Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall have, keep, maintain, or have 
in his possession or under his control within the city any dangerous animal 
without first applying to and receiving a permit from the police chief; 
provided, no permit shall be granted except with such conditions attached as 

shall, in the opinion of the police chief, reasonably insure the public health, 
safety and general welfare. No permit shall be granted for any animal at any 
particular location except upon an explicit findingthat the issuance thereof 
will not be contrary to the public health, safety and general welfare.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-231. Application for permit.
(a)   An application for any permit required pursuant to this article shall be 
made to the police chief in writing and upon a form furnished by the police 
chief. The application shall be verified by the person who desires to have, 
keep, maintain or have in his possession or under his control the animal for 
which a permit is required, and shall set forth the following:
(1)   Name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2)   The applicant's interest in such animal.
(3)   The proposed location, and the name, address, and telephone number of the 
owner of such location, and of the lessee, if any.
(4)   The number and general description of all animals for which the permit is 
sought.
(5)   Any information known to the applicant concerning vicious or dangerous 
propensities of all such animals.
(6)   The housing arrangements for all such animals with particular details as 
to safety or structure, locks, fencing, etc.
(7)   Safety precautions proposed to be taken.
(8)   Noises or odors anticipated in the keeping of such animals.
(9)   Prior history of incidents involving the public health or safety involving 
any of the animals.
(10)   Proof of insurance to cover those who may be injured or killed by the 
animal.
(11)   Any additional information required by the animal control officer at the 
time of filing such application.
(b)   The application shall be accompanied by payment of a fee of $25.00, or 
$50.00 in the case of a dog which has not been spayed or neutered. The fee shall 
cover the cost of processing the application and of up to two signs as required 
in subsection 10-225(4).
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-232. Term and renewal of permits.
A permit issued in accordance with this chapter shall be valid until December 
31 of the year in which it is issued. An application for renewal of any permit 
shall be made not less than 45 days prior to the expiration thereof, and shall 
be accompanied by the same fee as required upon making the original application. 
If the application is submitted later than 45 days prior to the expiration of 
the existing permit, then a late fee of $5.00 per day after the deadline shall 
be added to the fee.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-233. Inspections, investigations, and issuance of renewal permits.
Prior to the annual renewal of any permit issued hereunder and at least once 
not more than six months after the issuance of any such permit or after its 
renewal, the animal control officer shall inspect the premises subject to such 
permit to determine whether the person to whom it has been issued is continuing 
to comply with all of the conditions specified in this article. In addition, 
the animal control officer shall investigate the past history of the permit 
holder to determine whether during the past permit period the permit holder 
was in compliance with all of the conditions specified in this chapter. The 

investigation may include a review of department records and interviews with 
the permit holder and neighbors. If the animal control officer determines during 
any such inspection and investigation that any of the conditions therein 
specified are being violated the officer shall issue a citation to the 
responsible person and shall take the animal into custody pending a hearing 
on the citation. The officershall also recommend that the permit be revoked or n
ot renewed in the event that any violation is not corrected. Upon completion of 
the investigation and review process provided herein, the animal control officer 
shall recommend to the police chief that the dangerous animal permit be renewed 
or that the renewal application be denied. If the recommendation is to deny the 
permit, the basis for the denial shall be included in the report.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-234. Revocation and suspension of permits.
The police chief, upon recommendation of the animal control officer may, for 
good cause, revoke any permit or modify any terms or provisions thereof and may, 
in the event it is reasonably necessary to protect against an immediate threat 
or danger to the public health or safety, suspend any permit or portion thereof. 
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall be considered 
good cause for revocation or suspension of a permit, seizure of the animal, and 
issuance of a court citation. Theruling of the municipal court on the citation 
will determine whether the permit is renewed or reinstated and whether the 
animal is returned or permanently surrendered to the humane society.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-235. Commercial establishments.
(a)   Commercial establishments possessing a dangerous animal for the purpose 
of sale or display may replace the same with others of the same kind, but the 
number of each shall not be in excess of the number thereof allowed by the terms 
of such permit. Such establishments may, in the discretion of the animal control 
officer, be granted a permit for such numbers of each kind of animal as do not 
exceed the maximum number such establishment estimates will be maintained by it 
in this city at any one time during the period of the permit. Such permit shall 
require the immediate notification of the animal control officer upon the 
acquisition of any animal having a prior history of any incident involving the 
public health or safety, or resulting in any bodily injury or property damage.
(b)   Upon the sale of any dangerous animal, the commercial establishment shall 
immediately send notification of the sale along with the name and address of the 
buyer, the method of transporting the animal, the path of travel of such 
transportation, and the destination to the animal control officer.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)

Sec. 10-236. Costs to be paid by responsible persons.
Any reasonable costs incurred by the animal control officer in seizing, 
impounding, confining or disposing of any dangerous or wild animal, pursuant 
to the provisions of sections 10-227, 10-228, 10-229 or 10-232 shall be charged 
against the owner, keeper, or harborer of such animal and shall be collected by 
the police chief.
(Ord. No. O-155-05,  4, 11-15-2005)