By Elizabeth Summers, The Sand Mountain Reporter
An Albertville animal control officer is recovering after being bitten by a pit bull Tuesday.
Albertville Police Chief Benny Womack said the incident happened Tuesday as the officer was responding to a call about a pit bull being in a resident’s yard, trying to get at the family’s pet in an outdoor pen.
The officer, clad in appropriate protective gear, was bitten on the hand and suffered minor wounds, Womack said. The incident occurred on East Alabama Avenue, Womack said.
The pit bull was confiscated and officers later discovered the animal had not been registered in compliance with the city under the dangerous animal ordinance.
“Under the ordinance, pit bulls must be registered as a dangerous animal, as do animals that are aggressive by nature or fall into one of the many categories of the ordinance,” Womack said.
Since this dog was not registered, animal control officers have confiscated the dog and will place him in quarantine for 10 days. Once the owner meets all ordinance requirements, such as purchasing a permit, erecting the proper animal confinement system and providing proof of liability insurance, the animal will be returned.
An animal control officer must inspect the animal’s enclosure or pen and pet owners must submit a photo of the animal, complete a registration application and provide proof of $100,000 in liability insurance coverage, Womack said.
“The owner was issued a citation for failure to register the dog and failure to secure a permit,” Womack said. “The incident has been reported to the health department.”
The dangerous animal ordinance, adopted in 2009, defines dangerous animals as any mammal, amphibian, and reptile or fowl which, due to size or vicious nature to constitute a danger to human life, physical well being or property. The ordinance goes on to list a variety of animals, including snakes, alligators, bears, wolves, monkeys, dogs and cats with genetic history of crossbreeding, animals of wild nature and dogs containing any element of Pit Bull Terrier.
“The ordinance is rather lengthy so any pet owner may call the records division of the police department or stop by and we will get them a copy of the ordinance,” Womack said.
“There are lots of requirements owners must meet so it is not something to be taken lightly.”