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Humane Society gets CCSO animal enforcement overview

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Jonathon Oliver of the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office presented information to the Humane Society of Chilton County about the new animal law enforcement program during the board of directors meeting on Dec. 20.

“I am in charge of doing the animal program for the sheriff’s office,” Oliver said. “It is just going to focus on animal cruelty, abuse, Emily’s Law.”

Emily’s Law (Title 3 Section 6A of the Alabama Code) addresses how animals that have been dangerous dogs should be treated.

“There are a lot of moving parts to it,” Oliver said.

He will also be enforcing the nuisance animal law that was approved by the state legislature for Chilton County at the request of the Chilton County Commission.

“A nuisance animal is just an animal that has damaged another person’s property,” Oliver said.

Oliver is setting up meetings with the prosecutors and judges, and he said he will be building the program in the next few months. Because of the holidays, some of the meetings he needs to have will be in January. He is also working on drafting standard operating procedures. Picking up strays will be omitted from this.

“If I bring them in, it is going to be because they damaged somebody’s property, they killed somebody’s dog or attacked a human,” Oliver said.

When other patrol officers encounter a suspected animal cruelty, nuisance or dangerous animal case, they will contact Oliver because he will have all of the equipment. Oliver will also be working patrol part of the time.

Animals that Oliver picks up related to the animal laws will be taken to the animal shelter.

However, Oliver said an owner of a suspected dangerous dog does have the option to simply have the animal euthanized rather than go through the court process for a judge to determine if the dog is a danger or a nuisance. The owner has to pay for the costs associated with the case.

The laws include several regulations the owner must follow if their dog is declared a nuisance or dangerous.

Also during the meeting, treasurer Kristy Johnson gave a report that the ending balance for November was $3,963. The board discussed upcoming expenses for getting taxes filled out and an audit review. A vote was not taken on a contract for these services.

The Santa Paws fundraiser on Dec. 7 raised $320 for the animal shelter.

Home for the Holidays is being held again at the animal shelter. This program allows community members to give a cat or dog a break from the shelter by taking them home for a few days. Opportunities include Dec. 23-30 or through Jan. 3 if someone wants to take an animal through New Year’s Day. Anyone interested in this program can call the shelter at 205-755-9170 or contact the Humane Society of Chilton County on Facebook.

Tickets are still available for the quilt fundraiser. Tickets are $5 each. The winner will be drawn on Dec. 20. For more information, call the shelter at 205-755-9170.