Tuesday’s public hearing drew a crowd to discuss Dadeville’s animal ordinance. | Alison James
Tuesday’s public hearing drew a crowd to discuss Dadeville’s animal ordinance. | Alison James

Archived Story

City hears public input on proposed animal ordinance

Published 1:53pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dadeville’s proposed animal ordinance came under public critique Tuesday with a hearing held at the Recreation Center.

Citizens were invited to speak their minds for up to three minutes on the proposed animal ordinance. Many came with prepared statements – most opposing all or part of the ordinance.

“This is a quite comprehensive ordinance here – I look at it as a lot of overkill,” said Mike McGill. “We just need to have some ordinance where we hold the pet owners responsible. If you can’t be responsible for your animal, you don’t need to have one.”

Several citizens had similar opinions, that the ordinance was excessive. Dan Cook said he was behind the part of the ordinance that addressed vicious animals but opposed to the rest of it.

“This is so ridiculous. If I turn my cat out, I have to be walking my cat on a leash. Wouldn’t I be a pretty sight out walking my cat on a leash?” Cook said. “If I’d wanted to live in New York City, I would have moved to New York City, not Dadeville.”

He wasn’t the only one who indicated the ordinance was too detailed for Dadeville.

“This isn’t Atlanta, Birmingham or Montgomery – this is Dadeville,” said Rex Young.

“Incorporating this as it is written is excessive in Dadeville,” said Renatta Rives. “Now if you want to go to Montgomery or Birmingham or Atlanta, this might be lovely. But this is Dadeville.”

Amidst a barrage of criticism that the ordinance was too long, too strict and overly detailed, city attorney Robin Reynolds offered his input.

“This ordinance was not intended to be passed as it was written,” Reynolds said. “It was written as a comprehensive ordinance to be pared down.”

Several citizens shared stories of walking with golf clubs, sticks and stones to protect themselves against potential attacks. The ordinance largely came under discussion after issues brought up by Richard Jarrell, whose dog was attacked by a pack of pitbulls when he was out walking.

“You are elected to make the tough decisions and accomplish the tough tasks,” Jarrell said to the council. “I challenge you to find a solution to this problem that will work – not a perfect solution, but some solution. I want to congratulate you on having the courage to come this far.”

Although several who attended the meeting wanted an ordinance that was directed specifically toward vicious dogs – and not toward pets that haven’t been a problem – other citizens said that wasn’t enough.

“I want to tell you nice folks that have these real nice dogs that are not a problem: For the last four years, I have had anywhere from five to nine dogs at a time in a pack early in the morning and late at night bunching my cows up – and I can attribute at least one death of an animal to it – right here in the city limits,” said Raphord Farrington. “And these dogs all have collars and tags on. They are your dogs that sleep on the porch all day, but they get to running together at night in packs.”

Councilman Frank Goodman said the council had a lot to consider following the hearing.

“There was some good things said out there, but then there was some negativity,” Goodman said. “I’m just hoping we will get it narrowed down and come to a solution on this … and I’m just hoping it will please most people.”