Lawsuit Against Barbour County for Violating State Animal Control Law

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Barbour County, Alabama, to compel the county to abide by a state law requiring the county to maintain a pound for the holding of dogs, cats and ferrets, and to employ an impounding officer.

Updated

March 1, 2019

Work Type

Litigation

Status

Victory

Next Step

Case closed

Barbour County opened the animals shelter.

In 2016, residents filed a lawsuit against Barbour County, Alabama, to compel the county to abide by a state law requiring the county to maintain a pound for the holding of dogs, cats and ferrets, and to employ an impounding officer.

Alabama state law requires each county in the state to maintain a “county pound and an impounding officer” for impoundment of stray dogs, cats and ferrets. Barbour County currently has no shelter, forcing residents to take on the burden of sheltering and rehoming stray and abandoned animals.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund assisted in the filing of the lawsuit by Renee Klein and Betty Kramer, two Barbour County residents who have been harmed by the county’s failure to comply with state law. The county began to build a pound a decade and a half ago, but it has never opened and is now deteriorating from neglect.

In 2018, the Barbour County Commission voted to contract with Barbour County Humane Society, a private shelter in Clayton, Alabama, for animal sheltering services. As a result of the lawsuit, the County now has an animal shelter and an animal control officer. The animal shelter is already conducting monthly adoption events and is developing social media accounts to keep residents engaged and aware of its work.

As of October 2018, all animals at the shelter have been adopted out and the case was dismissed by the Court.

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