Jackson Co. passes vicious animal ordinance - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Jackson Co. passes vicious animal ordinance

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The ordinance, which gives Sheriff's officials authority to act in matters of vicious animals, passed unanimously. (Source: MGN Online) The ordinance, which gives Sheriff's officials authority to act in matters of vicious animals, passed unanimously. (Source: MGN Online)
JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Following months of discussion and public hearings, the Jackson County Commission passed a vicious animal ordinance Monday night.

The measure passed unanimously. The commission's chairman said it goes into immediate effect. The enforcement of the ordinance will be handled by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, primarily with the animal control officer.

Prior to the measure's passing, officials had no way of dealing with animals that attacked people, pets or property. With the new ordinance, the Sheriff's Department can now take steps to take animals that cause harm, and seek remedies to the problems they cause.

Chief Rocky Harnen said those remedies can include impounding the animal and having it examined by a veterinarian so a judge can determine the animal's level of danger to the community. "The judge can order that the owner pay boarding and any medical veterinary bills," he said, adding that the owner could also pay restitution to a victim if instructed.

Harnen said anyone who now faces a problem with a vicious animal is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department for assistance.

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