‘Dangerous Dog Law’ to be considered in Madison County

Amendment on November’s ballot could create tougher laws dealing with “dangerous dogs”

Published: Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 7:50 AM      8:02 AM

Victoria Cumbow, The Huntsville Times

HUNTSVILLE, AL — State Rep. Randy Hinshaw, D-Meridianville, is asking for a “yes” vote on an amendment to the state constitution that would affect dog owners in Madison County.

The proposed amendment would give the Madison County Commission the authority to determine what dogs are labeled dangerous and require owners outside city limits to keep them fenced in.

The amendment would also allow the County Commission to set civil penalties against the owner of the dog if it attacks someone.

Hinshaw decided to seek stronger rules on dogs in the county after an attack in Toney on 2-year-old Jace Rhinehart by a family member’s pit bull.

The boy’s mother, Donna Roberts, left her son unattended in the car when she ran into the house for something, she said Monday at a news conference in the Madison County Legislative Delegation Office. Rhinehart and his 4-year-old sister got out of the car and Rhinehart wandered into a pen where the dog was chained up, Roberts said. She and her daughter pulled the dog off Rhinehart, but only after he had suffered serious injuries.