Albany, GA: Support speakers addressing commission on pit bull ordinance on 2/4/14

At last month’s city commissioners meeting, the mayor of Albany, Georgia intended to pass and immediately enact an ordinance that targets “pit bulls.” In order to accomplish this, however, a unanimous vote was needed, and with all the officials in favor of the proposed ordinance, its passage was considered a “done deal.”

As it turns out, Roger Marietta, the commissioner who initially brought the ordinance to the table, voted against it. Marietta felt the ordinance, as written, is unfair to the “average” pit bull owner as it would require a huge expenditure for them.

To be clear, Marietta supports the breed specific language in the proposal, and his suggested alternatives simply call for a reduction in the amount of liability insurance “pit bull” owners would be required to carry, as well as modified containment requirements.

The city commission will next meet on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:30 a.m., and while the proposed pit bull ordinance is not on the agenda, two speakers will be addressing the commission on the proposal. If you are able to attend the early morning meeting, please do to show your support for those speaking against the ordinance.

Please continue to send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Albany city officials listed below. Please encourage the city officials to strengthen and aggressively enforce the city’s current dangerous dog ordinance and hold ALL dog owners accountable for the actions and behaviors of their pets, as well as implement and provide educational resources for responsible ownership to residents.

In addition, please point out to the commissioners that their city attorney has provided them with faulty information. As a reminder, city attorney Nathan Davis advised the commission that if a dog owner challenges the city’s designation of their dog as a “pit bull,” then the dog owners can pay for DNA testing to establish the dog’s breed.

Mr. Davis is simply wrong.

It is the city’s burden to establish whether a dog is or is not a “pit bull” and, therefore, subject to the provisions of the ordinance.  This means that the city of Albany (i.e., Albany’s tax paying residents) would be responsible for the cost of the DNA test, NOT the dog owner. So in addition to the many expenses associated with breed specific ordinances, this is just one more cost to be carried on the backs of Albany residents to enforce an ordinance that will not achieve a safer community.

Contact Information for Albany, Georgia city officials:

City Manager James Taylor
222 Pine Avenue
Suite 560
Albany, GA 31702-0447
jtaylor@albany.ga.us
Ph. 1-229-431-3234
Fax 1-229-431-3223

Block copy and paste e-mail for the Mayor and City Commissioners:
dhubbard@albany.ga.us,jhoward@albany.ga.us,ihines@albany.ga.us, cpike@albany.ga.us,rmarietta@albany.ga.us,bob@langstafflaw.com, tpostell@albany.ga.us

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