Lincoln Park, Michigan May Consider Breed-Specific Ordinance for “Pit Bulls”
Editor’s note: Why is it that “pit bulls” are singled out for separate consideration when the fatality in question involved a German shepherd mix and a Labrador mix? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a breed-specific ordinance for any breed (and “pit bull” isn’t even a breed) but it is odd that the one fatality cited didn’t involve a so-called “pit bull” and yet they get singled out anyway. If Lincoln Park is having a problem with free-roaming dogs (and notice I said dogs and not “pit bulls”) then how will a breed-specific ordinance help? The same people who aren’t abiding by the law now won’t suddenly start doing so simply because additional legislation has been passed. Lincoln Park should instead consider a dangerous dog (owner) law which targets irresponsible owners of all breeds. These all-encompassing laws — which often include escalating fines and punishments for irresponsible dog owners — have historically proven incredibly effective as a deterrence. Breed-specific legislation, however, has historically proven to be a dismal failure.
From the News-Herald:
A study session on pit bulls and other dogs considered to be dangerous has been set by the City Council for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday [January 18, 2011] at City Hall, 1355 Southfield Road.
Councilman Mark Kandes requested the study session to look at the community’s reactions to the issue.
“The reason for the meeting is twofold,” Kandes said. “To get initial flavor of what’s going on in the community and what’s going on in other communities, but also what’s going on with vicious animals in general to see what we need to do about our ordinances.”
Police in the city still are investigating the death in July of a 5-year-old boy who was mauled by two dogs in his home. Those animals are described as a German shepherd mixed breed and a smaller possibly Labrador mix.
Numerous reports have been filed with police in Downriver communities and throughout Michigan about people and other animals being attacked by pit bulls and other dogs.
…Mayor Frank Vaslo said he is hoping residents will come to the meeting to voice their opinions.
“I’m hoping the council will get enough information to make an informed and reasonable decision,” Vaslo said. “We want to forge a reasonable path for the city to follow as far as dangerous animals go.”
“I don’t believe banning is the answer,” Vaslo said. “We need to strengthen vicious animal ordinances, but I’m open to listening to the testimony by everyone and we’ll make the decision after that.”…
Read this article in its entirety here.