After two dogs got out and bit people in Buchanan, Michigan, the city commission is reviewing their dog laws. Buchanan has a barking dog ordinance, but no other animal laws. (Presumably they are using state law to deal with animal issues.) During the next city commission meeting, commissioners will hear from the state director of animal control regarding the applicability of state laws in the case of dangerous dogs, and this discussion may suggest additional local ordinances that Buchanan can pass.
Because the bite incident involved two “pit bull” type dogs, because the news media has focused on the dogs’ breed rather than any other aspect, and because Michigan does not have a state law that prohibits BSL, StopBSL feels that there is a possibility that Buchanan commissioners may consider breed-specific measures.
StopBSL would like to suggest that locals and residents in and around Buchanan make an effort to participate in community and commission discussions regarding potential animal ordinances, and to guide those discussions toward effective breed-neutral options.
Next city commission meeting: September 26, 7:00 PM, Buchanan City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail.
Contact info for city commissioners:
**Please don’t flood these folks with emails opposing breed bans. A breed ban has not been mentioned, and sudden widescale opposition from all corners will only confuse them. Instead, politely encourage commissioners to consider breed-neutral ordinances and to avoid breed-specific ones. Please encourage them to do the right thing; please don’t criticize them for something they haven’t done.**
Carla Cole, Mayor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael A Terrell, email@example.com
Patricia Moore, PMDPM@aol.com
Earl “Joe” Scanlon III, Mayor Pro Tem, firstname.lastname@example.org
City Manager & Police Chief Bill Marx, email@example.com
Please note, in the article below, it sounds like the city is experiencing a rash of unrelated pit bull attacks. In fact, the article reveals that these attacks were committed by the same two loose dogs on the same day.
Buchanan pit bull attacks prompt potential crackdown
South Bend Tribune Correspondent
11:22 a.m. EDT, September 13, 2011
BUCHANAN— In response to recent pit bill attacks on three people Buchanan officials could be looking to crackdown on dangerous animals. […]
[City manager and police chief Bill Marx] asked [state animal control director Val] Grimes to attend the next regularly scheduled commissioners meeting to go over the existing state statute governing dangerous animals and answer any questions.
Marx said the information could be used by the commissioners to decide whether a local dangerous animal ordinance should be drafted to fill any gaps in the state laws as that presently exist. […]
Full article retrieved 9/14/11 from http://www.southbendtribune.com/sbt-buchanan-pit-bull-attacks-prompt-potential-crackdown-20110913,0,975644.story