Saginaw, MI, has been hashing out the details of their dangerous dog ordinance for months. The ordinance is finally available online, and despite some news reports to the contrary, it is indeed breed-specific.
The ordinance definition of “dangerous dog” includes
(C) Any dog of a breed that appears consistently in the top five (5) of the breeds on credible, analytical listings of “Most Dangerous Dogs” as verified and supplemented by local data and records for Saginaw County. The “list” shall include any dog that by physical appearance could be believed by any reasonable person to have sufficient physical or temperamental characteristics or behaviors to be a “mix” of any of the breeds listed or a “mix” with a non-listed dog where the mixture exhibits the dominant physical appearance of a dog on the list, and any other dog that has the substantial physical characteristics and appearance of those breeds on the list. Such list shall be updated annually and available on the City’s website and in the City Clerk’s Office.
This year’s “dangerous breed” list singles out “pit bull,” Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Bull Mastiff (Presna Canario) [sic], and Alaskan Malamute.
- How did the city select these breeds (and types, since “pit bull” is not a breed)?
- What breeds are they including in the “pit bull” category? That’s at least three breeds right there.
- Do they realize that Bull Mastiffs and Presa Canarios are not the same breed? That’s two different breeds. [Ed note: I have seen this bizarre combo of breeds done in only one other place–in Merritt Clifton’s non-credible report of dog bites by breed. Clifton’s report has been extensively debunked here and elsewhere. If Saginaw is using Clifton’s “data” to produce their list, that reflects very badly on them.]
- Why are they calling it a “top five” list when the list clearly encompasses eight or more breeds?
- Which “credible, analytical listings of ‘Most Dangerous Dogs'” are they using (especially since none exist)? [Ed note: Primary source appears to be Merritt Clifton’s non-credible piece of garbage.]
- What county data is being used to compile this list, and where can the public go to view that data?
- Who is responsible for collecting new data and releasing a new list every year?
The ordinance leaves these questions, and many more, unanswered. Keep in mind, too, that Code Enforcement officials will be responsible for breed identification.
Locals are encouraged to voice their concerns and request removal of the breed-specific portion of the ordinance. The ordinance will be discussed again at an upcoming council meeting.
City of Saginaw City Hall, 1315 S. Washington Ave., Saginaw, MI 48601
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