Madison County Commission Approves New Annual License Fee for Owners of ‘Dangerous’ Dogs

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Members of the Madison County Commission Monday approved a new annual license fee for dogs who have been deemed ‘dangerous’ under the county’s 2010 ordinance.

Local Amendment Number One was approved as 75 percent of Madison County voters voted “yes” and 25 percent voted “no” in a November 6, 2012 vote.

The amendment deals with a law approved in 2010 and introduced by former District 21 Rep. Randy Hinshaw which requires “dangerous” dogs be put in a fenced area.

“It establishes,” says County Attorney Jeff Rich, “a procedure whereby if a dog has been determined dangerous that dog can be licensed and regulated going forward to try to limit the potential damage it could do in the future, or could be ordered to be put to death in a humane manner by a court.”

The commission was mandated through the constitutional amendment to establish an annual license fee for a dog that has been determined to be dangerous. Several commissioners report complaints about dangerous dogs have become more frequent in recent months.

“We have had a couple of situations where we have had in unincorporated areas of Madison County some folks that are breeding dogs for fighting purposes,” says Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, “we’ve had people who were on private property who have been bitten by dogs that were not appropriately managed on private property.”

So Monday the commission approved a new fee as incentive for dog owners to comply more strictly to laws already in place.

“We have established or recommended a license fee of $100 per year and an effective date of the amendment and regulations under the amendment of May 1, 2013,” concluded Jeff Rich.

The motion was seconded by District 1 Commissioner Roger Jones who championed the original amendment in 2012 along with members of the Madison County Legislative Delegation including Laura Hall, Mac McCutcheon, Howard Sanderford, Phil Williams and Wayne Johnson. It passed through both houses of the Legislature with no votes against it.

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