there is nothing in the alabama state law that forbids the use of deadly force when it comes to pit bulls. do not allow bullies in animal control tell you otherwise!
Use of force in defense of a person.
(a) A person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he or she may use a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose. A person may use deadly physical force, and is legally presumed to be justified in using deadly physical force in self-defense or the defense of another person pursuant to subdivision (4), if the person reasonably believes that another person is:
(1) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.
(2) Using or about to use physical force against an occupant of a dwelling while committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling.
(3) Committing or about to commit a kidnapping in any degree, assault in the first or second degree, burglary in any degree, robbery in any degree, forcible rape, or forcible sodomy.
(4) In the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is in the process of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage a federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is attempting to remove, or has forcefully removed, a person against his or her will from any dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle when the person has a legal right to be there, and provided that the person using the deadly physical force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring. The legal presumption that a person using deadly physical force is justified to do so pursuant to this subdivision does not apply if:
a. The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner or lessee, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person;
b. The person sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used;
c. The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
d. The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his or her official duties.
(b) A person who is justified under subsection (a) in using physical force, including deadly physical force, and who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is in any place where he or she has the right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), a person is not justified in using physical force if:
(1) With intent to cause physical injury or death to another person, he or she provoked the use of unlawful physical force by such other person.
(2) He or she was the initial aggressor, except that his or her use of physical force upon another person under the circumstances is justifiable if he or she withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person his or her intent to do so, but the latter person nevertheless continues or threatens the use of unlawful physical force.
(3) The physical force involved was the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law.
(d) A person who uses force, including deadly physical force, as justified and permitted in this section is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the force was determined to be unlawful.
(e) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force described in subsection (a), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force used was unlawful.
(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §610; Acts 1979, No. 79-599, p. 1060, §1; Act 2006-303, p. 638, §1.)
A person who is justified under subsection (a) in using physical force, including deadly physical force, and who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is in any place where he or she has the right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground.
LIABILITY FOR INJURY TO LIVESTOCK
Law § 3-1-1: Keeping of dog known to kill, etc., stock prohibited; liability of owner for injuries, etc., caused by same; liability for killing of same.
Translation: No one can keep a dog that is capable of killing, maiming, or harming livestock without being aware that the dog can be vicious. If you keep such a dog, you are liable for twice the worth of any livestock that your dog might kill or injure. Also, if your dog behaves in this way and someone kills him, that third party is not liable for the dog's death.
Do you have a link about what's going on with this?
Elsewhere people are using deadly force, though info was little:
i received this link in an email:
with this description:
This woman describes the horror of her Weimereiner being mauled to death by her neighbor's pit bulls, the threats made by the animal control officer, a rabid pit owner, that if she shoots the dogs on her property she will go to jail, and her helplessness over the fact that she is now a prisoner on her own farm.
i can't get this link to load in any browser. i can't find it in google. can someone find it and send it to me?
alabama is fast becoming a state for me to target aggressively.
"He said," (the animal control officer,) "that if we tried a civil law suit, we wouldn’t win."
Since when is an animal control officer qualified to give legal advice regarding civil litigation?
Here's some advice most civil servants learn during training: If you're not specifically qualified, don't speculate about the law. Upon reaching the limits of your expertise, shut the fuck up and advise the public to seek professional legal counsel. And finally, don't say anything that exposes your entity to liability, especially something like telling someone not to defend themselves. If something happens to them when they could have legally defended themselves, guess who just went on the hook for their injuries or death?
The supposed ACO in this story is nothing but a nutter. I wouldn't trust this moron to get my trash to a dumpster, much less give legal advice or serve as an ACO.
Awesome comment, Dude.
I agree, the conduct of this ACO is shockingly unprofessional. Wow.
I read the article and it breaks my heart. I would expect any dog left out on a chain to escape if it gets a chance. This is why I support just shooting the goddamn things since I wouldn't believe the dogs would get the proper dirt nap they deserve.
Well, welcome to Alabama - the land where dogcatchers make the rules on how we live and give us legal advice on how we must never, ever question Pit Bull behavior even when they come on your land and maul your beloved pets to death. I would like to tell the story of what our dogcatcher said to me when I complained about unbelievably loud Pit Bull barking that sounded like they were fighting in the middle of the night. I got legal advise also. I'm going to write about it one of these days. I am 2 counties to the west of Pam Ashley's County. But I know Etowah County well. I was born there. Hello, Pam, and Welcome !!!!!
Chief of police down here told me "pit bulls are in the news because they are just so loyal and protective". Not sure if he's a nutter, maybe he's just dumb or being overly diplomatic.
Ah, "loyal and protective" - is that what they call it when pit bulls attack, maim and kill their owners? That really is a pit bull specialty, you know. Love the Orwellian double-speak!
when they finally caught the btk killer , he turned out to be a dog catcher and family man and church goer. outside one church a sign advertized the notion "even the dogs feel safer now"
re useless pit luving a.c.
theres more than one way to skin a cat -killer.
Yes, more stories, please! This is fascinating to me.
Snarky: you are right, I forgot that the BTK killer was in AC!
This is so weird to me--when I picture the job of an AC officer, I think of a thankless, underfunded job working with an endless parade of abused and neglected animals. I'm a bleeding heart about animals; I'm sensitive to the grief.
NOW, though, I see how this job could attract 3rd-rate tyrants. Gives you a lot of power over peoples' emotions. And a pseudo-paramilitary org uniform, to boot. Many opportunities to lord it over people.
Yikes. This should be researched.
Yes,I live in Fear. I'm a 66-year-old Woman married to a 71-year-old man 47 years and all we've ever done is work, abide by the laws, raise our kids and --LOVE OUR PETS...USUALLY DOGS. AND THE HAIR STANDS UP ON MY NECK WHEN I SAY TO YOU THAT THE FIRST THOUGHT THAT CAME TO MY MIND WHEN I FIRST STARTED HAVING MY "PIT BULL PROBLEM" WAS ---LEAST WE NEVER FORGET...THE BTK KILLER WAS A DOGCATCHER !!!!!!!! When senior citizens start having to pay out nearing $5,000 lawyers fees just to be able to sleep at night on top of paying a 9% sales tax that we thought were covering animal ordinaces and workers to keep our communitites livable, SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!!!
3rd rate tyrants has a ring of familiarity and truth in my world. sometimes their just lazy losers with the "no harm no foul" mentality to avoid paperwork. i have been in more than one situation where AC has refused to take complaints for lose menacing dogs because no one was injured. i have experienced this in 3 different cities. then when someone is injured, and all of the neighbors start telling of their personal close calls with the neighborhood mutants, these 3rd rate tyrants always step forward with their mighty dog veneer and say, "people need to report these incidences". yeah, right. fuck them.
My county has 50,000 people in it. We have one AC officer with one truck. The pit that almost killed my dog was declared dangerous and still allowed to run lose. I called police and AC and they continually passed the buck. The AC guy was usually out in the country out of cell phone range. Finally, the pit killed a dog and the police and AC swooped in. At least the pit got the needle.
So, I guess I'm saying add a lack of funding to the mix. I think our AC guy is okay, but he has 309 square miles to patrol on his own and gets called to all over.
Most of our pit owners around here are thug/trash. We don't have as many naive hippies as other locations. I've seen zero pits in family homes with parents that work, don't sniff glue, etc.
my locale has more of the naive dingbat skank with a wimpy boyfriend in the background than real pit scum. some middle class housewifes and people into "pitbull rescue" . you know, the "know it all" type who really know zilch about dogs but think it might be cool to have a rescue pit or three. prob tap into the propit sites on the web and believe everything they read . some idiot skater kids in hoodies,of course but they probably wont have their mutants long , for a variety of reasons LOL.
I am really glad that I got to read the personal stories and perspectives of previous posters. Thanks. I read each one at least twice.
Decatur AL: I check your blog at least twice a week. I hope you got rid of those pits next door.
the nutters in my area consist of low life judgement proof criminal trash, young clueless males in need of status, spinsters who can not relate to humans, liberal yuppie fur parents without children that drive volvos who think they can make a difference in the world if they just adopt a poor misunderstood wiggle butt and raise them with love and affection.
that last type is the most recent addition to my neighborhood. nice couple, right up until they got a pit bull. now this fucking mutant is approaching a year old and she is the epitome of a spoiled child of upper middle class parents. you know the ones who name their kids buffy and trevor and they never say NO to them and indulge their every whim. yep, that little fucking mutant was just doing back flips at the end of her leash cuz she didn't like the sound of my recycle cans being wheeled down the driveway. i could hear the moron softly and without any confidence whatsoever calling her name. of course, mutant was in the red zone and oblivious to the sound of his voice. he managed to pull her inside. at one point she decided that she would comply and grabbed the leash in her mouth and led him inside.
it's gonna be a interesting summer.
Keep your guns loaded and your pitchfork sharpened Dawn -
"when I picture the job of an AC officer, I think of a thankless, underfunded job working with an endless parade of abused and neglected animals. I'm a bleeding heart about animals; I'm sensitive to the grief"
Many people don't understand some of the significant changes that have gone on in animal control, and also the problems still lingering.
Some animal control departments are being run more efficiently and are actually putting public safety first, as they should be. That is usually because there have been deaths and injuries, and the town or county has been sued or been near to it, and the public has been outraged and demanded change and accountability.
In other areas, animal control is a local loser, often related to a local politician or cop, who just needs an easy job where they can go smoke dope, not answer the phone, and collect a check for not working. These are the types that the pit bull breeders and lobbyists have fastened on to, having private conversations and putting pressure on these people behind the scenes to protect the breeders interests and protect the guilty.
An example of that is Lynn Massachusetts some years back (the town where the pit bull tried to grab the baby from the father's arms to kill the baby.) A pit bull breeder and lobbyist in Ipswich Massachusetts, Holly Gump, had revealed that she was having private interactions with Lynn Animal control and putting pressure on them to protect dangerous dogs and oppose laws, and in particular to work FOR pit bull breeders. No Lynn residents knew these lobbying sessions were going on. Animal control then repeatedly mouthed the pit bull lobbyists propaganda, but the attacks got so out of control that the authorities kicked Animal control in the butt and passed stronger laws to protect the public.
In other areas, the insane No Kill terrorists have taken over animal control, aiding and abetting the dog fighters and putting fighting dogs ahead of people's lives or the lives of other animals. This is the lunatic portion of animal control, BUT some dog fighters and breeders have posed as No Kill followers to get sympathy and seize control of animal control and run it for the dog fighters interests, such as Fulton County Georgia a few years ago.
But Alabama, like some other southern states, is dog fighting country. You have to understand that when authorities have busted dog fights in states like Alabama (which took a huge amount of pressure to get them to do that because they formerly refused) they have found judges, chiefs of police, teachers, kids coaches, nurses, and other supposed authority figures at the dog fights! Even a well known cancer researcher is a dog fighter and lives in a southern state and has infiltrated animal control with her friends! Many of these Alabama animal control officers are dog fighters and breeders themselves, are related to them, or do what they are told by the dog fighters that control the local authority system. These animal control officers are criminals protected by other criminals, and the public unfortunately doesn't tend to get involved with changing this until the bodies start piling up.
People in those areas need to go to their STATE representatives and identify the crime that local animal control is committing. Threatening victims is a crime. Allowing violence and attacks is a crime. When the STATE politicians start hearing about it, things often change. Be vocal, air the dirty laundry, and go visit STATE representatives and senators.
"that last type is the most recent addition to my neighborhood. nice couple, right up until they got a pit bull. now this fucking mutant is approaching a year old and she is the epitome of a spoiled child of upper middle class parents"
Every state has insurance companies that are registered to sell homeowners insurance in that state, or insurance to landlords. The state has that information. The owners are required to inform insurance companies that they have dogs and what kind. If there is an incident, the insurance companies will not cover the insured if they have not reported the pit bull and the homeowners will lose everything. Or they may cover one time, then drop the policy holders.
Those who are a threat to others often need to be reminded of this. Sometimes Santa Claus sends Christmas cards to remind them of this, I've been told.
"3rd rate tyrants has a ring of familiarity and truth in my world. sometimes their just lazy losers with the "no harm no foul" mentality to avoid paperwork. i have been in more than one situation where AC has refused to take complaints for lose menacing dogs because no one was injured. i have experienced this in 3 different cities. then when someone is injured, and all of the neighbors start telling of their personal close calls with the neighborhood mutants, these 3rd rate tyrants always step forward with their mighty dog veneer and say, "people need to report these incidences". yeah, right. fuck them."
This is why ALWAYS the report should never just be made to animal control.
People need to put their complaints in writing and send to every authority figure in town, registered mail preferable, as well as the media and state authorities.
The best thing is to pass the hat from the neighborhood being manaced and have a lawyer do it. It is much cheaper than anyone thinks to have a lawyer write complaint letters and keep them on file.
Then animal control starts obeying the law, too.
A paper trail is a necessity.
Even where animal control is not corrupt, just a report to animal control is never enough. A verbal or email complaint is never enough.
All authorities need to receive written complaints. Then they can't hide them when a child is killed or a pet is attacked.
The problem that is so frustrating is that people don't do anything until it is too late.
"When senior citizens start having to pay out nearing $5,000 lawyers fees just to be able to sleep at night on top of paying a 9% sales tax that we thought were covering animal ordinaces and workers to keep our communitites livable, SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!!!"
Yes, something is wrong. The fighting dog breeder and "rescue" (dog sales) community has infiltrated your authority system and criminalized it.
People need to take back their communities.
"He said," (the animal control officer,) "that if we tried a civil law suit, we wouldn’t win."
People now are suing the animal control officer first, then dog owner, particularly one like this.
The animal control officer (dog fighter lobbyist) told those people that because the animal control officer knew they WOULD win a civil lawsuit. The animal control officer was issuing a threat to protect dog fighters.
To be eligible for grants from ASPCA, Best Fiends, PitCo etc, A/C orgs must have divided loyalty between public safety and pit bull promotions.
Non-Pit koolaid drinkers are being driven out of the profession. It is a serious public health issue.
vintage - add to that, the blowhard pseudo authority figures like diane jessup who go around "educating" animal control, it is no wonder that AC become a worthless joke.
jake - not to worry, i was armed.
candormd - i've not had any success on my own when it comes to getting insurance info with a previous nutter problem. for the heck of it, i tried to contact a private investigator to see what they would charge. i was told they could not guarantee they could get it but estimated $1500 for them to try.
They have to get licenses, and each state has an insurance commission with the list
An example for Mississippi
There has been problems in the past with unlicensed companies selling, so the states regulate licenses carefully and maintains lists.
You don't have to find one. You provide a detailed letter anon and send to each one.
Mortgage companies also often handle policies payment through their offices, because they need to make sure that there is proper insurance, or the mortgage company is in trouble when something happens. They have to have proof of insurance.
Deeds have that information. Many deeds are online, or it's an easy check at the deeds office.
Mortgage companies need to know too.
Attached photo big help so no switcheroo or hiding type monkey shines. copies cheap include with each one.
Hunters can also legally shoot any loose dogs that they feel are chasing wildlife or a threat to wildlife.
That animal control officer in Alabama is defying many laws, and the hunters and farmers should know about it.
If there is any incident at all, such as loose dog in your yard, just have your lawyer contact owner for the insurance information contact information.
That private investigator was a charlatan. Check out Amazon for guides on info search.
THE THREE S'S.... SHOOT, SHOVEL AND SHUTUP OR PITCH FORK , SHOVEL , SHUT UP AND SMIRK. the possibilities are almost endless however. natcherro pero
In my town, you can call animal control and they'll tell you something like, "Well, we can't come out until next week...if you can catch the dog and keep it till then we'll come get it..." yeah right! Otherwise, you're supposed to load the dog up in your car and take it to the shelter, which I've actually done a couple of times. However, if it's a pit bull that running loose, you can just call 911 and they will respond. If it's not a pit bull, then 911 will tell you to call animal control. I think the cops here like to shoot pit bulls. It happens a lot. Thank goodness!
WOW. I came late to my own party it seems. I just found this blog today. Bleu was killed 3/9/12 and the story was published in The Tuscaloosa News then 3 weeks later in The Gadsden Times. The pit bull advocates came out of the woodwork after the Gadsden Times article...funny it didn't happen with the Tuscaloosa one.
To update, nothing is being done. Our attorney says we do not have grounds for a civil suit since Bleu was given to us. Although he was bought by the previous owners, they can't claim loss since they had given him to us. So, other than a letter sent to the pit bull owners requesting homeowner's insurance information for a claim, there's not a thing going to be done.
To be fair, let me clarify the animal control officer's comments:
He said we could shoot them if they came back in the yard BUT not if shooting toward the road, toward a house, or from our house.
He said we could not shoot them in their yard.
Basically we would have to go out and pose them before shooting.
He said that we should leave "pit bull" out of the discussion because it was not the breed that was the problem. He asked me to describe them and, as I placed my hand at about the height of the brown one, he interrupted and said that it wasn't a pit bull at all. He said he had a pit bull terrier and he began to describe it as shorter and wider and how people don't know the difference. He said his pit bull was wonderful with children (I think he said his children but I'm not sure).
My husband told him we would pursue every legal approach we could and his response was that he doubted we could win.
We were all calmly talking but my husband and I were both getting thoroughly aggravated at his obvious support for the animals that killed our pet in our yard.
He was not hateful, arrogant, or argumentative, but he left us the impression that he had been there and seen that and already knew we would be where we are now...nowhere.
The family who could not keep Bleu and gave him to us have been devastated as well. Their 3 daughters raised him from a puppy and he slept in the bed with them. Sometimes they would come to the farm and I'd look out the window and see them playing in the yard with him. The week following the first pit bull attack, I took him to see them at their home. Maybe I was having a premonition, but I felt it important to take him to see them. His leg wounds still looked bad but I wanted them to have some time with him.
He was cold natured and wore a sweater in the winter with hand warmers in the pockets. He was terrified of thunder and slept in the house during storms. He was snakebit 10 times two years ago and a vet friend kept him 2 weeks and brought him back from the brink. He and his family and clinic workers feel his loss. Bark Avenue owner, his boarder, cried with me when she learned of his death. He had just stayed with her in February before he was killed in March.
Sorry for the length but my commentary just didn't touch how sweet and special Bleu was. He didn't deserve the death he was given.
you might try consulting with a couple more attorneys before giving up. just because no one has has been successful in the past doesn't mean you will not prevail.
Appreciate the advice but Alabama law recognizes dogs as property only. The Animal Control officer said that before we consulted an attorney. Our attorney said the same thing. Loss, post trauma, grief do not exist when property is destroyed in the eyes of Alabama law. I have e-mailed Governor Bentley, Speaker Mike Hubbard, our district state legislators, our Etowah County CEO Phil Simms, our sheriff Todd Entrekin, our Animal Control officer's supervisor Bettis, and reporters Greg Bailey (Gadsden Times) and Robert DeWitt (Tuscaloosa News) repeatedly with updates. I recently mentioned that if legislation is not begun whenever a pit bull attack occurs on an Alabama citizen, there may be cause for litigation for failure to address this issue. Forewarned and all that.
You are giving people bad legal advice. I proved it in Court only two months ago that shooting Pit Bulls it's going to cost you the MAXIMUM allowed by law. I hope that someone who follows your advice and gets put in prison for cruelty to animals (AND fined) will sue YOU.
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