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Old 07-16-2009, 08:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Vestavia Hills, AL: Residents ask for pit bull ban

Vestavia Hills, AL: Residents ask for pit bull ban
Posted on July 9, 2009 by stopbslcom
Nothing official has been proposed. According to city officials quoted in the news article below, they intend to look at all their options.

Send snail mail correspondence to all council members at:
c/o City of Vestavia Hills, 513 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills AL 35216
Fax: (205) 978-0122

Mayor Alberto (Butch) Zaragoza, [email protected]
Phone: 205-978-0130

David Carrington, Council President, Place 5, [email protected]
Phone (205) 978-0131

Mary Lee Rice, Council President Pro-Tempore, Place 1, [email protected]
Phone: (205) 822-5456 (Home)

Jim Sharp, Place 2, [email protected]
Phone: (205) 822-0402 (Home)
Phone: (205) 978-0123 (Office)

Steve Ammons, Place 3, [email protected]
Phone: (205)789-7492

George B. Pierce, Place 4, [email protected]
Home: 205-823-6023
Fax: 205-879-5090
Cell: 205-370-6730

City Council Agendas and Minutes: City of Vestavia Hills > City Council Agendas and Minutes

Next city council meeting: July 13, 5:00 PM

The Council meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month beginning at 5:00 PM in the Council Chambers.

I want to address the City Council. Can I get on the City Council agenda?

The City Council welcomes citizen comments at the end of every regular public meeting. Any citizen recognized at that time may address the City Council.
In order to appear on the City Council Agenda, application must be sent to the City Council President in care of the City Clerk, Rebecca Leavings, either by e-mail or regular mail. The postal address is: Office of the City Clerk, 513 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, Alabama 35216. Application to appear on the City Council agenda must be submitted by 12:00 PM the Wednesday prior to the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. Please clearly state reasons for addressing the City Council and provide any background information as needed.

Pit bull incident in Vestavia Hills sends residents to court - al.com

Pit bull incident in Vestavia Hills sends residents to court
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
WILLIAM C. SINGLETON III, News staff writer

Some Vestavia Hills residents on Cedarwood Road want pit bulls banned from the city after two pit bulls got out of a fence and allegedly attacked a German shepherd being walked by its owners.

“Pit bulls are unpredictable based on their nature,” said resident Floyd Hosmer. “You never know what’s going to trigger their defensive nature.”

Municipal Judge Tommy Spina on June 23 ordered that two dogs belonging to 18-year-old Benjamin Hilley remain at the Vestavia Hills Animal Clinic until further notice of the court.

The judge continued Hilley’s case until July 14.

Since the order, the Hilley family decided to put the dogs to sleep on June 26, said Steve Poer, Hilley’s attorney.

“It was a very traumatic situation for that 18-year-old kid,” he said by phone June 29. “We did what we thought we had to do.”

Hilley was charged with violating the city’s leash law, a misdemeanor which carries up to a $500 fine and 180 days in jail.

“I don’t expect Ben to be looking to adopt another pit bull,” Poer said. “The situation immediately at hand has been taken care of, we hope.”

Poer said he didn’t know if Hilley’s decision would lead to a dismissal of charges.

The case involves an alleged attack by Hilley’s dogs on a German shepherd belonging to Todd and Lela Coffey.

Shane Sears, an attorney for the Coffeys, said Todd and his 7-year-old son, Jaden, were walking their German shepherd when two pit bulls attacked their dog.

Todd Coffey and a neighbor intervened to protect Jaden and the German shepherd, which was on a leash.

Todd and the German shepherd were injured, Sears said.

Hilley’s dogs were impounded, but some neighbors were concerned that Hilley might be allowed to bring them home.

Neighbors circulated e-mails about the incident and asked residents to appear at the June 23 court case.

City prosecutor Michael Trucks addressed residents in a conference room outside council chambers, which serves as the municipal courtroom.

He told residents he advised Hilley and his mother of neighbors’ concerns and encouraged him to look into another breed of dog.

“We certainly don’t want to suggest that we’re anti-dog,” Trucks told about 25 residents. “What we really are is pro-safety. And quite frankly, the two of those things can work well with the right breeds and the right circumstances.”

Residents asked Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza, who attended the meeting, about a citywide ban on pit bulls.

Zaragoza said the city is reviewing all its ordinances and wants to put more teeth in codes that address the number of pets a resident can have as well as strengthen ordinances that address vicious animals.

“There is still a question whether we can outlaw pit bulls,” Zaragoza said. “When we talk about vicious dogs, there are other vicious animals besides dogs. There are other vicious dogs besides pit bulls. … We’ll be looking at all that.”

E-mail: [email protected]
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