LYNN - The Lynn Town Council passed a new animal control ordinance at its July 17 meeting after residents and a business owner complained to the council at its work session July 10, about stray dogs damaging property and bothering customers.
According to the minutes of that work session, residents Vivian and Purvey Barnes, Jennifer Hill and Becky Boyd were present. The Barnes said stray dogs have been coming into their yard, digging up flowers and tomato plants and tearing things up. Boyd, owner of Becky’s Wholesale Flowers, told the council stray dogs had been barking at and trying to attack elderly customers trying to enter her shop with walkers or canes.
By the July 17 meeting, attorney Jeff Mobley had drafted a new dog control ordinance for the council to consider. Lynn Police Chief Bryan Kirkpatrick had contributed to the ordinance, and he explained its contents to Mayor Earl Gilbert and the council before council members voted unanimously to pass it.
"We've just had a lot of problems with stray dogs running around town” for several months, Police Chief Bryan Kirkpatrick later said. He estimated the number of troublesome dogs at ten to fifteen, including seven to eight stray puppies and their mother that are often around Lid’s Texaco. He suspects the mother dog was dumped.
He said the dogs were also jumping on people and getting in the way of vehicles, having noted at the meeting that he believed one puppy had been hit by a car but not killed.
“Right now we’re going to do a 30-day grace period (before issuing citations for violations of the new ordinance),” Kirkpatrick said. “(For 30 days), I’m just going to issue warnings. That gives everybody time to buy collars (and) name tags (and) get rabies tags because that’s something you can’t do over night.”
He said the grace period would expire August 18 or 19. He pointed out that after that a dog roaming loose would result in the owner being cited even if it has a collar and tags. He said he had posted about the new ordinance on Lynn Police Department’s Facebook page to raise public awareness during the grace period.
“If people owns animals, I wish they would have them spayed or neutered. That would help the problem. A lot of people, if they don’t want an animal, they’ll just bring them out somewhere and dump them,” Kirkpatrick said. “If you don’t want an animal to take care of it, don’t get the animal to begin with, and if you do get an animal, be a responsible owner and have it spayed or neutered and have its rabies vaccination (given).”
Kirkpatrick said he’d personally received five or six complaints about dogs, noting other complaints had been made to Gilbert and Town Clerk Marcia Manasco.
“We’re just going to have to buckle down all across town limits on everybody’s animal so we can get this under control and keep it under control,” he said
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.