CHAPTER 16 - OFFENCES - MISCELLANEOUS
Sec. 16-15. - Animals as health menace or causing obnoxious odor.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any domestic or farm animal or fowl, including cats and dogs, within the corporate limits of the city in any such manner as will be or may become a menace to public health, or in any such manner as to constitute a public or private nuisance due to insects, vermin, obnoxious odors or - NOISES.
(Code 1956, § 12-1)
VESTAVIA HILLS, ALABAMA
Animal Control Overview
Animal/Dog Control and the prevention of rabies in the City of Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and within the police jurisdiction thereof, is governed by Chapter Four of the Vestavia Hills Code of Ordinances. The City's Code of Ordinances are published in a searchable database on the Municode website:
On July 18, 2005, the City Council adoped Ordinance 2098 to amend Chapter Four of the Vestavia Hills Code of Ordinances. This new ordinance is now in effect.:
Below is a brief summary of some of the key provisions of the City of Vestavia Hills dog control measures. Please refer to the current ordinance for details:
* Yearly rabies vaccination and proper documentation of same is required (collar and rabies tag).
* It is unlawful to keep vicious dogs unless certain requirements are met. Under State Code, owners are liable for personal injury caused by a vicious animal
* It is unlawful to keep ----NOISY -- dogs that are a public nuisance to ordinary persons in a neighborhood.
* Dogs are not allowed to run at large - they must be on a leash when not confined to the owner's property.
* Impoundment of dogs found to run at large within the City or its police jurisdiction is authorized by the City.
* The City has established the position of Dog Control Officer responsible for enforcing the Dog Control Ordinance. He/she has the authority to impound animals in violation of this ordinance and may under certain circumstances issue a citation to owners in lieu of impoundment of their animal. The fine must be paid to the City Revenue Department before the Dog Control Officer can release the animal, however. It is unlawful to interfere with the duties of the Animal Control Officer or his/her assistant.
* After hours, and on holidays and weekends, when the animal Control Officer is not on duty, the Vestavia Hills Police Department will impound dogs running at large if it is deemed safe both for the police officer and the dog.
* All Impound ed animals are brought to the Vestavia Animal Clinic.
* When a dog is impounded, every reasonable effort will be made to notify the owner, and to inform the owner of the conditions under which they may regain custody of the dog. A detailed report will be made and a copy posted at the Animal Clinic and at the City's Publ ic Works Facility for five consecutive days. These reports will be kept on file for 3 years.
* After the legal detention period of five days has expired, the dog may be sold to a new suitable owner or undergo euthanasia.
IF YOU NEED TO REPORT A DOG AT LARGE, A VICIOUS DOG, OR A
-------NOISY ------DOG.....PLEASE CONTACT:
MON. THROUGH FRI - 7 AM TO 3:30 PM
VESTAVIA HILLS DEPT. OF PUBLIC WORKS
AFTER HOURS, WEEKENDS, AND HOLIDAYS CONTACT
VESTAVIA HILLS POLICE DEPARTMENT
*******ORDINANCE 2098 ENCOURAGES NEIGHBOR-TO NEIGHBOR INTERACTION AS A FIRST SOLUTION , AND SHOULD THOSE EFFORTS FAIL, ORDINANCE 2098 OUTLINES SPECIFIC STEPS TO MOVE TOWARD A MEDIATED RESOLUTION OF -----A NOISY DOG PROBLEM.
Charpter 4 - Animals and Fowl
Sec. 4-20. - Noisy dogs.
It shall be unlawful for any person to confine, harbor or keep at any place or on any premises within the city and the police jurisdiction thereof any dog which frequently and habitually makes or emits sounds or noises of such volume, nature or extent as to be a public nuisance by reason of interfering with the customary use and enjoyment of property of ordinary persons in that neighborhood.
In keeping with the spirit of communities, persons within the corporate boundaries of the city are encouraged to address concerns of alleged violations of this section with the dog owner prior to seeking assistance from the city.
Complaints regarding noisy dogs must be filed with the Vestavia Hills Police Department. The procedure for abatement of a noisy dog shall be incorporated into this article as follows:
Upon first complaint to the police department of a noisy dog, the responding police officer shall complete an incident report relating the facts of the complaint to be signed by the complaining party(ies). As it relates to noisy dogs, multiple complaints within a single twenty-four-hour period will constitute a single complaint.
After completing a signed complaint, the officer shall also attempt to notify the owner of the dog to advise said owner that the dog is alleged to be in violation of this section and shall issue a verbal warning detailing the complaint. The responding officer shall also advise said owner that an incident report detailing said complaint will be filed with the police records division of the Vestavia Hills Police Department. Said incident report shall remain on file at the department for a minimum period of two (2) years and that subsequent complaints may result in mandatory mediation and/or appearance in municipal court.
If the responding officer is unable to contact said owner at such time the complaint is made, in such an event, the Vestavia Hills Police Department shall send a written warning in the U.S. mail, first-class postage prepaid, certified mail return receipt requested within ten (10) business days of said incident. The most recent record on file in the Jefferson County Tax Assessor's office shall determine said owner. Said warning shall detail the complaint and advise the dog owner that subsequent complaints may result in mandatory mediation and/or appearance in municipal court.
Upon a second complaint of a noisy dog within any continuous ninety-day period which includes a prior complaint, the responding police officer shall complete a subsequent incident report signed by the complaining party(ies) upon which the municipal court clerk shall summons both the complaining party(ies) and alleged offending party to mandatory mediation at a date to be determined and set by the municipal court clerk.
Upon a third complaint of a noisy dog within any continuous ninety-day period which includes two (2) prior signed complaints, the responding officer shall complete an incident report and the complaining party(ies) shall file with the municipal court clerk a sworn deposition and signed complaint charging such alleged offending party with the violation of this section. Municipal court clerk shall issue a summons, which shall be obtained, served and tried in the municipal court as provided by law. Failure to answer summons by the court date as set forward by the municipal court clerk shall result in the issuance of a warrant charging such alleged offending party with the violation as set forth in the complaint. Such warrant shall be obtained and served and the alleged offending party shall be arrested and required to post bond, as provided by law for the arrest and adjudication of offenses involving violations of ordinances of the city and the alleged offending party shall be required to answer to said offense in municipal court. Convictions for violation of this article are subject to the fines and penalties prescribed by the state for a misdemeanor offense, plus court costs.
At any time, the complaining party(ies) may file with the municipal court clerk a sworn complaint detailing violations of this section to which the municipal court clerk shall issue a summons charging such alleged offending party with the violation set out in the complaint, which summons shall be obtained, served and tried as provided by law. Failure to answer summons by court date as established by the municipal court clerk shall result in the issuance of a warrant charging such party with the violation described in the complaint and summons and shall be obtained, served and tried as provided by law for the arrest and trial of offenses involving violations of ordinance[s] of the city and violating party shall be required to stand trial in municipal court. Convictions for violation of this article are subject to the fines and penalties prescribed by the state for a misdemeanor offense, plus court costs.
(Ord. No. 2098, 7-18-05)
State law reference— Power of city to abate nuisances, Code of Ala. 1975, § 11-47-117 at seq.