Wilsonville City Council cracks down on unleashed dogs
By GINNY COOPER / Staff Writer
WILSONVILLE—Wilsonville residents Bill and Carol Johnson say that unleashed dogs in Wilsonville are posing a threat to residents.
“Our granddaddy lives up there, he went out to the mailbox and the dogs chased him and he fell,” Bill Johnson said. “These dogs are just killing other dogs and cats, and chasing people.”
Shelby County Sheriff’s Sgt. Clay Hammac said the department has only received one complaint in the past 12 months. The allegation involved a black lab and white poodle mix, who were accused of attacking a neighbor’s cat, Hammac said.
Trey Gaunt, Chief Engineer of Development Services, who is in charge of the overall management of animal control and other capital projects, said animal control has not received an inordinate amount of calls from the area.
“Wilsonville doesn’t seem like it’s generating any more calls than other areas,” Gaunt said, and emphasized that animal control is the town’s responsibility within town limits.
Wilsonville Mayor Lee McCarty took a firm stance on the issue during a March 24 City Council meeting. McCarty presented an ordinance, which increases regulations for pet owners.
Under the ordinance, which was approved unanimously by the City Council, it is unlawful for a person to “possess, keep or harbor in the Town” any dog that has not been vaccinated by a veterinarian duly licensed, as evidenced by a tag.
It is also unlawful for the owner or person in charge of the dog to allow the dog to run at large, and any dog found running at large may be impounded. To resume possession of the dog, owners must pay all impoundment and boarding fees and all costs of vaccinations and identification.
In addition, animal control officers are authorized to enter private property to enforce the ordinance, according to the document.
All dogs that have not been picked up in seven days will be put up for adoption or disposed of in a humane manner, according to the ordinance.
“Let’s pass it and catch it,” said Councilman Don Davis, who approved the ordinance.
The Council also approved a contract between the Town of Wilsonville and Shelby County, which must be approved by the County before it will go into effect. Under the contract, the county would aid in enforcing the ordinance by providing one day of exclusive Wilsonville dog enforcement each month and requiring any owners of detained dogs to pay the facility costs associated with processing, vaccination, boarding and detention of the dog.
The first term of the contract will continue through Sept. 30, 2015, at which time both parties may agree to extend the contract for an additional year.
“To my knowledge, there is nothing like this in the state,” McCarty stated.
The Shelby County Humane Society will offer a vaccine clinic at Oak Meadow Park in Wilsonville on April 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The clinic will offer $10 rabies vaccines, $35 feline and canine vaccination packages, free microchipping and free ID tags to all pets. In addition, the clinic will offer scheduling for low and no cost spay and neuter surgeries. There will be a $10 discount for any residents who live within the town limits.
“This will be the first step, to control over population and under supervision of dogs,” McCarty said.
Oak Mountain Intermediate School teacher Stephanie Hardwick-Goldblatt, left, and student Rachel Hyche traveled to the National Center for Explosives Training... read more