Dog owners in the city of Saginaw will now have a new set of rules to follow.
In a 5 to 3 vote, Saginaw city council members have voted to approve a new dangerous dog ordinance. While this new ordinance has many new guidelines for pet owners to follow, one of the most controversial points was the definition of "dangerous dogs".
The ordinance defines Dangerous Dogs as:
(A) Any dog with a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or other domestic animals; or
(B) Any dog that attacks, attempts to attack or that, by its actions, gives indication that it is liable to attack a human being or other domestic animal one or more times without provocation; or
(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 TMs website and in the City Clerk TMs Office.
The breeds currently on this list include Pit bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepards, Bullmastiffs, and Alaskan Malamutes. However the ordinance clearly defines that any dog with a tendency to cause injury or endanger safety is also considered to be a dangerous dog. Some people still feel that those breeds are being singled out.
Under this ordinance, owners of these dangerous dogs have to register their pets with the city for a one time fee of $20. They will receive a city issued sign to post on the house in which the dog is registered to. While the fee is not remarkably high, some argued that it is just a money maker for the city. City council members say that the fees would be necessary to enforce these new guidelines. In addition to the fee, the dogs would also have to be leashed, held in a kennel or fenced in, following specific guidelines. Violators could be fined between $100 and $400.
Supporters of the dangerous dog ordinance want to stress that their main goal is to crack down on irresponsible dog owners, and to promote public safety. Dennis Browning, a Saginaw city council member said "We want people to take care of their animals. They're allowed to have any dog they want, we're just telling them that you have to take care of them"
Do you think this ordinance will help prevent animal attacks in the Saginaw area? Vote on our poll.