Vicious dog owners could face charges if pet attacks

Bay County Commissioner Ernie Krygier wants to amend the Animal Control Ordinance / Chad Britton

Dangerous dogs take the spotlight once again after a little girl is mauled by a Pit Bull this week in Bay City.

Now Bay County Commissioners are pushing to change the Animal Control Ordinance, forcing dog owners to take better responsibility of their pets.

The ordinance under scrutiny has been around since the 1970's.

County commissioners say it needs to be revamped so vicious dog owners could face possible jail time when their pets attack.

As this Pit Bull awaits its fate, so does its owner.

Tuesday night the dog mauled a 7-year-old girl at a relative's home on South Jefferson in Bay City.

She was feeding the pet when it latched onto her face and dragged her.

Those people should be thankful she didn't get killed, said Bay County Commissioner Ernie Krygier.

Krygier says enough is enough.

He TMs pushing to amend the county's Animal Control Ordinance so this won't happen again.

If your dog shows vicious tendencies you need to make sure that the dog is muzzled, or that it doesn't come in contact with the public, said Commissioner Krygier.

Under the proposed changes, if your dog were to bite someone, you could face misdemeanor charges, possible jail time, and a $500 fine.

This doesn't sit well with dog owner Sherry Keite.

She says she doesn't know if her two dogs, gizmo and gracie, are vicious.

They're sitting here real nice now, but I couldn't tell ya, they're not human, how many humans can you trust? said Keite.

Right now the ordinance says only vicious dogs, or Pit Bulls should be kept on leashes and muzzled in public areas, but Commissioner Krygier says the law should apply to all breeds of dogs.

Whether it's a Rottweiler, or a Cocker Spaniel, or a Chihuahua, or a small Shiatsu, it doesn't matter, you need to make sure that dog is under control, said Commissioner Krygier.

But Keite says that's easier said then done.

I would be very upset if my dog bit somebody by mistake, you know they're just animals, why should I be held accountable, especially if I have it on a leash and somebody walks up to it and doesn't ask first? said Keite.

It TMs a question the owners of the Pit Bull might ask as the Bay County Prosecutor investigates possible charges.

Bay County residents can weigh in on the proposed changes to the Animal Control Ordinance next week.

Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, July 12.

It starts at 4 p.m.

The 7-year-old girl TMs injuries are non-life threatening, but the bite was so deep she'll have to undergo reconstructive surgery on her head.

Last month Saginaw adopted a Dangerous Dog Ordinance.

Violators there face up to a $400 fine.

What do you think about the proposed changes? Leave us your comments below.