Pelham has gone to dogs, resident says

A Pelham homeowner association president pleaded with Pelham city officials Monday night to put a handle on the city’s &uot;horrendous&uot; animal control problem.

Roddy Johnson, president of Canyon Park Homeowners Association, asked the Pelham mayor and council to consider adding an animal control department to the city’s services. He said the leash law in the city is not strongly enforced and dogs and cats run wild.

&uot;Pelham has benefited a lot from the taxes paid by the growing townhome and garden home residents. But our dog and cat problem is horrendous,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;As a homeowner president, I get calls all the time from people saying there are stray dogs and cats everywhere. All (homeowners) want you to do is consider budgeting money for animal control like other cities like Homewood do &045; someone to drive through the neighborhoods and let people know that if their animal is loose it might be taken.&uot;

Mayor Bobby Hayes asked Johnson if he considered signing a warrant with the Pelham police against a neighbor who has a stray dog.

&uot;You have to be able to take the heat yourself,&uot; Hayes said.

Johnson said he has contacted police in the past but has never considered a warrant.

&uot;We know the police are busy with more important things. They have a tough job,&uot; he said. &uot;We don’t think this should be the police’s job.&uot;

Hayes also questioned Johnson as to what the cost of adding animal services department would be.

&uot;You are looking at a lot of money. I know something needs to be done. We’ll look at it,&uot; Hayes said estimating the service at more than $100,000 a year.

After the meeting, city officials said police currently give out citations to residents who violate the leash law. Stray animals, they said, are picked up and brought to a local vet where the city pays for shelter until a owner is located or the animal has to be terminated