This email is in response to the current legislation the current city ordinance, chapter 18 article II, as to regulating vicious/potentially dangerous dogs via Breed Specific Legislation.
You have children, imagine this…
Your 5 year old is outside playing with your loving American Pit Bull Terrier and Boston Terrier. 20 minutes later, the Warden is at your house telling you your dog MUST be chained and muzzled at all times, even in the fenced yard, and tattoo him to label him as a “vicious animal.” When explaining to your daughter why and that the city thinks he is dangerous and mean, she simply responds with a puzzled look, “But he is not.”
Yes this happened to me, which brought light to this unjust, costly, and ineffective ordinance.
All dogs can be dangerous under certain circumstances. When the owner or custodian of the animal does not properly train and/or confine his/her animal, does that animal pose a potential risk to human safety? A common ingredient to the dog personality is to guard and protect its owner and property. ANY dog with that personality can become a problem to the public, if that dog is allowed to run loose and is not properly supervised. The key word here is responsibility. To say certain breeds of dogs are dangerous is not a complete statement. All dogs can be dangerous if in the hands of an irresponsible owner.
Please retract your breed specific bill/ordinance. Don’t punish all of us responsible owners that maintain our dogs as companions and members of our families. We can and do maintain our dogs so they do not pose a threat to anyone, why should we be denied our companions simply because irresponsible owners of the same breed of dog in the past have not “ethically and legally” protected others from injury?
There are several samples of existing non-breed specific legislation (i.e. the states of Il., Pa., and Ca.) that is competent to regulate the irresponsible owners and not punish those that maintain their dogs safely and humanely. I have compiled a list of 25 cities in Michigan who have retracted these BSLs since 2003, including Detroit (chap 6 Article I), and urge you to do the same. I and many others, as responsible dog owners, ask that you seriously consider the impact of breed specific legislation. The irresponsible owners don’t care what breed of dog they lose the right to own…they’ll find another dog breed to fit their needs. I deeply care, because it threatens me with the loss of a family member.
I would love to talk to you, over phone or in person, to discuss this issue and maybe even bring to light some fact you may not have known of on this subject.