Royal Oak, Michigan Will Not Pursue Breed-Specific Ordinance

From the Daily Tribune:

The city will not ban any breed of dogs, but it will adopt new regulations for pet owners in an attempt to reduce the number of bites and vicious dog reports, which totaled 32 in 2012.

Opponents of breed-specific legislation barraged city officials with information about the inaccuracies of judging a dog breed visually and the expense of proving it with DNA tests.

…City Attorney David Gillam recommended Royal Oaks dog ordinance be revised to designate three classes of dogs: dangerous dogs, potentially dangerous dogs, and all others.

A dog would be classified as dangerous if it bites or attacks a person, or bites and attacks a domestic animal and causes serious injury.

 A dog would be considered potentially dangerous if it has bitten or attacked a domestic animal; chased or menaced a person or domestic animal; acted in a highly aggressive manner within a fenced yard or enclosure; or has run at large on more than one occasion within a specified period of time.

This is a victory for Royal Oak citizens, no doubt, but I have long railed against labeling dogs dangerous, or “potentially dangerous” for attacking domestic animals, which is a common element of dangerous dog laws and why dangerous dog laws can be deadly.

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