Calhoun County, Alabama

Calhoun County Animal Control
Do You Know the Laws?


Leash Laws, rabies vaccination laws, animal bites, liabilities of animal owners, cruelty laws, and animal control officers...
What do you know...What should you know. Everyday these questions are asked by animal owners in Calhoun County. If you own a domesticated animal, here are some points of information that may help you answer some of these questions.

What is a leash law? The term "leash law" in Alabama is a slang term for: Alabama Code Section 3-1-5, Permitting dogs to run at large...

The law basically states that you are responsible for your dog, and it must remain on your property, unless you are with it. If your dog wonders onto the property of another, and you're not in control of that dog, then you can be cited and found guilty of a misdemeanor in a court of law. Not only are you responsible for the fines and court costs but you can be held liable for the costs of confiscating the dog and its internment at the local animal shelter until you return to claim your dog.

Train your dog to remain on your property, or contain him by other methods such as, proper leashing, electronic collars, or proper fences. There are no "leash laws" for cats. But cats must have a rabies tag and collar.


Rabid animals, while always talked about as foaming at the mouth and acting crazy. These are late stage symptoms. Early stage symptoms could be as little as an over friendly animal, unusually vicious, withdrawn or even normal looking. Are you willing to take a chance with your family or your neighbors? Rabies symptoms for humans can take from as few as nine days to a year to appear. If you suspect - get treatment immediately. Once the symptoms appear it is usually too late and death will likely result. Would you, or even worse your children, like to die from the "OH THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME" syndrome. Contact your local veterinarian for advice. Alabama law dictates that you must vaccinate your dogs and cats against rabies annually starting at the age of 3 months. The dog or cat must bear proof of this by collar, tag, and vaccination certificate. If you fail to vaccinate your animal against rabies you will be cited by the County Rabies Officer, charged up to twice the amount of vaccination as a penalty, and may even face jail time if dictated by the courts. Be responsible, have your dog and/or cat vaccinated against rabies. Collar your dog and/or cat and display that rabies tag proudly.


Dogs or cats found running at large who do not have a proper rabies tag on their collar are subject to capture by the County Animal Control Officer and will be interred at the local animal shelter.

If your animal stays on your property but is not collared with a rabies tag or some type of identification tag they may be mistaken for a stray and captured. Periodically the Animal Control Officer conducts sweeps in your area for strays. All animals not collared or tagged are removed and interned at the local animal shelter. If the officer suspects the dog may have an owner, all attempts will be made to contact that owner so that they may retrieve their pet from the local animal shelter. If your animal accidentally strays or runs off, contact your local animal shelter and the Animal Control Officer with a description so that we can assist you in finding your animal. Time is important. Stray animals are only maintained at the local shelter for a short period of time.


Contact the Animal Control Officer immediately so that the proper procedures and capture of the animal can be accomplished. If the animal is a stray, write down the description of the animal for the Animal Control Officer. If the animal is owned, record the name of the owner and the Animal Control Officer will advise you of what steps to take. By law, Animal bites must be reported.


Animal cruelty comes in many different types of mistreatment. As defined in Alabama Law, it can be extreme as shooting or torturing an animal, to not providing proper food and shelter. If you suspect animal cruelty in your area report it immediately to the local Animal Control Officer, or local law enforcement.


Their powers by law, and their responsibilities:

Alabama Code Section 3-1-16

Employment by County Commissions of persons to enforce laws for prevention of cruelty to animals, compensation. Oath and powers of same.

The county commissions of the respective counties of the state may employ a suitable person or persons who shall be charged specially with the duty of enforcing all laws for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and to fix the compensation of such officer or officers, which shall be paid in the same manner as other salaries of county employees are paid, and such officer or officers, upon taking the oath as required to be taken by deputy sheriffs, shall be vested with all powers now vested by law in deputy sheriffs.


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