Tougher pit bull rules mulled
After violent attacks rise, Wyandotte, Allen Park, Redford Twp. consider ban, muzzling.
Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News
WYANDOTTE -- An uptick in violent dog attacks in some Wayne County communities has officials taking action, enacting stricter regulations for dogs deemed vicious and their owners.
Allen Park has formed a committee to study a pit bull ban; Wyandotte and Redford Township are set to take up ordinances this week.
On Monday, Wyandotte's City Council will look at requiring owners of pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers and pit bull mixed breeds to leash, muzzle and microchip the dogs or face up to $500 in civil fines.
The city examined a similar proposal in 2005, but it was dropped, officials said.
If the new proposal moves forward, current owners will have 60 days to comply.
Requirements include notification to the city animal shelter or police if the animal escapes, attacks or has died.
The proposal comes weeks after Allen Park began mulling a ban on pit bulls to replace its current vicious dog law. The city has been hit hard within the last 60 days with a number of pit bull attacks, said Mayor Gary Burtka.
"Pit bulls were roaming around ... residents were grabbing kids and bringing them inside," he said. "The experiences haven't been favorable with that breed within our city."
In July, two pit bull mixes broke down the fence to the yard of an Allen Park councilwoman and attacked her Shih Tzus, killing one and injuring the other, Burtka said.
A court hearing is pending as the city seeks to destroy them.
Sharon Keillor of the Bull Terrier Club of Metro Detroit calls the move unfair.
"A breed specific ban will not solve the problem. It penalizes great dogs and good owners for the misdeeds of bad dogs and bad owners," said Keillor, who specializes in boarding bull breeds. "It's not about the breed. It's more about responsible ownership."
Redford Police Chief John Buck said his township also is dealing with a recent surge in attacks -- six in June alone.
An attempted pit bull ban in the 1990s failed. Now officials intend to approve Tuesday an ordinance that will require owners to obtain liability insurance, keep dogs confined in secure pens and in some cases obtain special $100 licenses for dogs deemed vicious, Buck said.
"We have to step it up," he said. "When a dog demonstrates aggressive traits, we have to take extra steps to protect the neighbors and the public."
You can reach Christine Ferretti at (734) 462-2289 or cferretti@....
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Bless the Bullys