In Irondale, Alabama, it is unlawful to keep, harbor, own or possess any pit bull dog. However, pit bull dogs registered on the date of publication may be kept within the city subject to certain requirements. These requirements include proper confinement, the use of a leash and muzzle, the posting of “Beware of Dog” signs, the taking of identification photographs, and the maintenance of liability insurance ($50,000). Failure to comply may result in the seizure of the dog, a fine up to $500 and/or imprisonment up to 30 days.
(a) Prohibited. It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess within the corporate limits of the city:
(1) Any pit bull dog; provided, that pit bull dogs registered with the city on the date of publication of this section may be kept within the city subject to the standards and requirements set forth in subsection (b) of this section. "Pit bull dog" is defined to mean:
a. The bull terrier breed of dog;
b. Staffordshire bull terrier breed of dog;
c. The American pit bull terrier breed of dog;
d. The American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog;
e. Dogs of mixed breed or of other breeds than above listed which breed or mixed breed is known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs, or pit bull terriers;
f. Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of the breeds bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, any other breed commonly known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs or pit bull terriers; or a combination of any of those breeds.
(2) Any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury to, or to otherwise endanger the safety of humans or other domestic animals; or
(3) Any dog which attacks a human being or other domestic animal without provocation.
(b) Keeping of registered pit bulls. The provisions of subsection (a) of this section are not applicable to owners, keepers or harborers of pit bull dogs registered with the city on the effective date of this section. The keeping of such dogs, however, shall be subject to the following standards:
(1) Leash and muzzle. No person shall permit a registered pit bull dog to go outside its kennel or pen unless such dog is securely leashed with a leash no longer than four feet in length. No person shall permit a pit bull dog to be kept on a chain, rope or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless a person is in physical control of the leash. Such dogs may not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts buildings, etc. In addition, all pit bull dogs on a leash outside the animal's kennel must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals.
(2) Confinement. All registered pit bull dogs shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled as above provided. Such pen, kennel or structure must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. All structures used to confine registered pit bull dogs must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals are within the structure. Such structure must have a secure bottom or floor attached to the sides of the pen or the sides of the pen must be embedded in the ground no less than two feet. All structures erected to house pit bull dogs must comply with all zoning and buildings regulations of the city. All such structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
(3) Confinement indoors. No pit bull dog may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure.
(4) Signs. All owners, keepers, or harborers of registered pit bull dogs within the city shall within ten days of the effective date of this section display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public using the words "Beware of Dog." In addition, a similar sign is required to be posted on the kennel or pen of such animal.
(5) Insurance. All owners, keepers or harborers of registered pit bull dogs must within ten days of the effective date of this section provide proof to the city clerk of public liability insurance in a single incident of $50,000.00 for bodily injury to or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any persons which may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of such animal. Such insurance policy shall provide that no cancellation of the policy will be made unless ten days written notice is first given to the city clerk.
(6) Identification photographs. All owners, keepers or harborers of registered pit bull dogs must within ten days of the effective date of this section provide to the city clerk two color photographs of the registered animal clearly showing the color and approximate size of the animal.
(7) Reporting requirements. All owners, keepers or harborers of registered pit bull dogs must within ten days of the incident, report the following information in writing to the city clerk as required hereinafter:
a. The removal from the city or death of a registered pit bull dog;
b. The birth or offspring of a registered pit bull dog;
c. The new address of a registered pit bull dog owner should the owner move within the corporate limits.
(8) Sale or transfer of ownership prohibited. No person shall sell, barter or in any other way dispose of a pit bull dog registered with the city to any person within the city unless the recipient person resides permanently in the same household and on the same premises as the registered owner of such dog; provided that the registered owner of a pit bull dog may sell or otherwise dispose of a registered dog of the offspring of such dog to persons who do not reside within the city.
(9) Animals born of registered dogs. All offspring born of pit bull dogs registered with the city must be removed from the city within six weeks of the birth of such animal.
(10) Irrebuttable presumptions. There shall be an irrebuttable presumption that any dog registered with the city as a pit bull dog or any of those breeds prohibited by subsection (a) of the section is in fact a dog subject to the requirements of this section.
(11) Failure to comply. It shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper or harborer of a pit bull dog registered with the city to fail to comply with the requirements and conditions set forth in this section. Any dog found to be the subject of a violation of this section shall be subject to immediate seizure and, impoundment. In addition, failure to comply will result in the revocation of the license of such animals resulting in the immediate removal of the animal from the city.
(12) Violations and penalties. Any person violating or permitting the violating of any provision of this section shall, upon conviction in the municipal court, be fined a sum of not less than $200.00 and not more than $500.00. In addition to the fine imposed, the court may sentence the defendant to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days. In addition, the court shall order the registration of the subject pit bull revoked and the dog removed from the city. Should the defendant refuse to remove the dog from the city, the municipal court judge shall find the defendant owner in contempt and order the immediate confiscation and impoundment of the animal. Each day that a violation of this section continues shall be deemed a separate offense. In addition to the foregoing penalties, any person who violates this section shall pay all expenses, including shelter, food, handling, veterinary care and testimony necessitated by the enforcement of this section.
(Ord. No. 4-0497, 4-1-97)