The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

June 18, 2013

Alabama mayor: Town will reconsider pit bull ban

— CLAY, Ala. (AP) — The mayor of an Alabama town says that city officials will reconsider a ban on pit bulls after dozens of pet owners and animal advocates showed up at a city council meeting to protest the decision.

The Clay City Council had approved the pit bull ban two weeks ago, but animal advocates say the public should have been given more warning about the new ordinance. They also contend that laws aimed at specific breeds of dogs don't keep the public safe from being bitten by dogs.

About 75 people showed up at Monday's city council meeting, and many of them spoke out against the ban, WBRC-TV reported (http://bit.ly/17hXzza ). After a heated discussion, Mayor Charles Webster says the council will reconsider the ban on any pit bull dog.

Groups supporting pit bulls are vowing to continue fighting the ban, saying reconsideration is just the first step.

"It's unfair to ban any breed of dog for the actions of a few," said Melanie Hughes-Hicks of Bama Bully Rescue.

"What should happen is, we should have a vicious dog ordinance that doesn't name any breed," she added. "If we don't stand up, someone else's breed could be next."

Birmingham attorney Temple Trueblood said breed-specific ordinances aren't practical.

"It's probably going to be cost prohibitive to even try to enforce these laws," she said. "You have to have trained animal control officers that can actually recognize breeds of dogs."

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