Michigan - Two nearby cities recently passed pit bull laws: Grosse Point Park and Hazel Park. Another close city, Allen Park, is considering similar actions. Back in July, two pit bull type dogs attacked an Allen Park council woman's two dogs. All three cities lie in the area of Detroit, which is often called the dogfighting capital of the US. In July, Robert Howard was killed by a loose pit bull in Detroit. The animal reportedly had been a fighting dog.
Grosse Point Park Bans Pit Bulls
Last week, Grosse Point Park banned pit bull type dogs and clearly defined a "dangerous" dog in their new ordinance. A dog is now considered dangerous if it "causes injury to a person or domestic animal, chases or menaces a person or domestic animal in an aggressive manner, or acts in a highly aggressively manner within a fenced or enclosed area, and appears to a reasonable person able to jump over or escape."
The last part is fascinating.
Basically, it might eliminate a dog like Chopper in the neighborhood, in addition to fenced dogs that terrify people that pass by a home. Though a non breed-specific measure, it is extremely powerful. Cities that reside in states with a prohibition to breed-specific law would do well to adopt this measure. It's simple enough to prove that pit bulls snap chains and scale 6-foot fences in order to reach their victims: dogs, cats and human beings.
Hazel Park Declares Pit Bulls as "Dangerous"
Over in Hazel Park, officials said they have been working on the new ordinance for many years, holding workshops on the issue and conducting their own research on breeds. City officials also said they want swift and severe penalties for all dog owners who allow their dogs to engage in dangerous behavior, including high fines and jail time. Pit bull restrictions defined in Hazel Park's ordinance include:
- No person under 18 years of age can walk a pit bull type dog
- The animal must be muzzled when off the owner's property
- The dog must be secured and locked in a six-foot pen with secure sides and a secure top.
- Owners must post "Beware of Dog" on the kennel, pen or fence containing the animal.
- Owners must notify the city in writing about the removal or death of a pit bull, must report the birth of offspring and the notification of the new address if the owner moves to another address in the city.
- Prohibition of spiked dog collars
- Prohibition of tethering
08/18/08: 2008 Fatality: Detroit Man Killed by Stray Pit Bull Attacking Dog
07/29/08: Councilwoman's Dogs Attacked; 1 Killed by Loose Pit Bulls
07/29/08: 10-Year Old's Arm Amputated After Family Pit Bull Attack
04/04/08: Cocker Spaniel Killed by Chopper, the Neighborhood Pit Bull