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Dothan City Pet Ordinance Stirs Controversy

By: Rhiana L. Huckins Email
By: Rhiana L. Huckins Email

Concerned residents gathered at Dakota Coffee Shop on Ross Clark Circle to discuss issues they have with the proposed Dothan pet ordinance.

It hasn't been approved yet, but Dothan’s new pet ordinance is causing major controversy throughout the city.

Some dog owners have a lot of problems with the way it’s written, one issue being mandatory spaying and neutering.

Anna Muldoon, owner of wholesomehound.com, said, "Many show animals cannot be shown or compete in events if they are spayed or neutered so by forcing that, the dog ends their career and forces extinction of pure bread dogs."

City officials feel it’s a way to control the animal population. If a dog is found roaming the streets the owner can get slammed with penalties and fees.

Opposers say there should be a clause in the law protecting owners in case their dog escapes from an outside accident. Another problem they see is breed labeling.

Renee Jones of K-9 Connection LLC said, "Any dog amongst a breed of which that its perversities of violent acts is deemed a dangerous dog, well, that is so broad it could basically encompass any dog and it also sets up the ordinance to add breed specific legislation, which is absolutely wrong."

Renee Jones says there aren’t any studies proving one breed to be more dangerous than another. She hopes there will be some major changes in the composition of this ordinance.

Renee Jones said, "I want to see enough people show up and let the mayor and city manager know that this is not acceptable. We need to throw it out and go back to the drawing board."

The opposing party plans to form a committee in order to come up with what they feel will be a better ordinance. Anna said about 50 people were in attendance and City Commissioner Keith Seagle was there.

The public forum for both sides of the matter will take place on Tuesday, January 22nd at 6 p.m. at the Doug Tew Community Center.

For more information on how some pet owners feel about the new proposed ordinance you can go to www.alabamacaninecoalition.org.


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