Officials in Clay, Alabama passed an ordinance in early June that banned new pit bulls from the city and regulated dogs meeting the description of “pit bull” that currently live in the city. The ordinance was heard, voted on and passed in one meeting, without notice to the public. City officials originally said the move was taken after the sheriff was approached by a pack of “aggressive dogs” that “looked like pit bulls.” It was later revealed that the sheriff was approached by a pack of dogs he believed to be rottweilers, not pit bulls.
Regardless, the city apparently had an additional, ulterior motive. In later news reports, Mayor Webster advised that the city had recently become aware of [pit bull] breeders moving to Clay and, according to him, the ban was a “precaution.”
Since its passage, residents of Clay have been attempting to get the ordinance repealed.
At a work session conducted by Clay officials on Monday, July 29, the city attorney introduced a proposal that removed the breed specific language in the ordinance. The compromise ordinance is based on breed-neutral dangerous dog ordinances around the state.
Residents are in agreement with the city attorney’s proposal, and the matter now goes back to the city council where it will face opposition from Mayor Webster who doesn’t believe the compromise is strong enough. In fact, he thinks even more breeds should be added to the list of breeds regulated by the city, and points to “eleven breeds” identified by insurance companies.
Clay’s current ordinance goes into effect August 3, 2013. People who own pit bulls have until that date to register their dogs, and several Clay pit bill owners are working with attorneys on ways to fight the ordinance in the court.
Please encourage the Clay city officials to move forward with the city attorney’s compromise proposal and repeal the breed specific language in the newly passed ordinance. Please be sure that all your communications with city officials are polite and respectful as you are representing responsible dog owners as a whole. Your voice matters, and the manner in which you use your voice makes a very big difference.
You can send your correspondence to the City Manager/City Clerk via the online form below.
Clay City Hall
2441 Old Springville Road
Birmingham, AL 35215
Phone: (205) 680-1223
Online contact form for the city manager/city clerk Ronnie Dixon
You can also keep up with the issue via the city’s Facebook page.