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Dogs Gone Wild

By Glenn Collins
Monday, August 13, 2012 | 11:08 AM


A jogger was attacked and bitten last week by a loose dog and packs of stray dogs are killing kittens. At least five dogs have been killed by cars this year on one street alone. This is not a script treatment for the latest Syfy Channel program. This is at least 9th, 15th and 18th Avenues in Haleyville.

Joggers running in fear, kittens disappearing off porches and cars dodging dogs highlight the animal control problem in Haleyville currently. Strays are not the only problem. Dogs with collars are frequently seen roaming the streets and, in at least one case, entering neighbors' yards and scurrying off with welcome mats, cups, flip flops and the like.

At a press conference Thursday, Mayor Ken Sunseri and Police Chief Kyle Reogas clarified the city's animal control ordinance and called for "voluntary compliance." The law is simple: put a leash on your pet or contain it. Animals can be seized, owners cited. There are fines, there's even the possibility of jail. Dogs still roam freely. Sunseri said, "It's an ordinance that we're going to have to maintain and enforce for the safety of the public."

Some key points of the ordinance:

It shall be unlawful for any owner to permit an animal to run at large within the City Limits.
Running at Large: An animal is running at large if it is not under control of its owner ... and it is off the premises of the owner ...
Public Nuisance Animal ... damages property belonging to anyone other than its owner, including damage to flowers, gardens and shrubs ....
Any person found in violation ... subject to ... fine of not less $25 and not more than $250 and may be imprisoned, or sentenced to jail or hard labor for a period not exceeding 30 days ...
Animals must be indentifiable: a subtantial, durable collar or harness bearing at a minimum the name and address or phone number of the owner ... also such Tag as issued coincident with the inoculation of an animal against rabies.
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