Maplesville adopts animal control policy for traffic stops (updated)

Published 10:17 pm Monday, March 10, 2014

The Maplesville Town Council approved Monday a policy regarding animal control on traffic stops conducted by the police department.

The purpose of the policy is to establish departmental rules and regulations on handling pets and animals in vehicles during traffic stops and subsequent arrests executed by police officers.

Police Chief Todd Ingram told the council in February that officers had experienced problems (aggression and biting) with animals that were in people’s vehicles during traffic stops and were unsure what to do with the animals upon arrests. The council tabled a decision about how to address the issue to give the department and town officials time to create a policy to be presented for approval at the March meeting.

The policy states that upon a traffic stop resulting in an arrest within police jurisdiction and involving pets and animals, the officer will attempt to notify a family member or friend to come pick up the pet within a reasonable amount of time. (The suggested time is within 30 minutes of notification.)

The policy also states the officer will call the animal control officer after an attempt is made to contact a family member or friend. The animal control officer will take custody of the animal or pet and transport it to the Maplesville animal holding pen.

If no one calls or picks up the animal by the next business day, the animal or pet will be transported to the Chilton County Humane Society.

A fee will be assessed to the defendant at their assigned court date, the policy says. The fee will include the time the animal control officer spent discharging his duties and any other miscellaneous charges incurred by the town.

Also, if the Maplesville officers are assisting a county police unit, in or out of Maplesville jurisdiction on a call and an animal or pet is involved, Maplesville animal control will not be called out.

Exception will be made on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the Maplesville police chief.