The Egelston Township Board is expected to discuss a proposed ordinance targeting dangerous animals ranging from wolves to poisonous snakes to elephants. The primary target of the ordinance, however, is “pit bulls,” also known as American pit bull terriers or Staffordshire bull terriers, or dogs with the “appearance and characteristics of being predominately” pit bull.
The proposed ordinance was prepared by the planning commission, and will be heard at the September 19, 2011 board meeting.
Based on Muskegon Township’s ordinance, the proposal would require owners of pit bulls and other dangerous animals to register with the township clerk within 90 days of the ordinance’s effective date, and annually thereafter.
Other proposed requirements of owners include:
• Confining pit bulls or other dangerous animals indoors or in a locked pen or kennel that has secure sides and a top attached to the sides.
• Keeping dangerous animals muzzled and on a 4-foot leash any time they are outside of the home or pen.
• Not keeping a dangerous animal inside a house when “the windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the dangerous animal from exiting.”
• Posting prominently on their property, within 10 days of the ordinance’s effective date, a sign that reads “Beware of Dangerous Animal.” A similar sign also would have to be posted on the animal’s pen or kennel.
Providing proof to the township clerk of public liability insurance in a single-incident amount of $50,000 for bodily injury or death or property damage as a result of the animal’s actions.
Anyone who doesn’t comply with the ordinance faces having their animal seized and removed from the township.
Township Planning Commission Chairman Gerald Luttrull said the township board had requested the planners come up with a dangerous animal ordinance, and he did not want to discuss specifics of the ordinance. The planning commission reviewed about a half-dozen ordinances before settling on the one adopted by Muskegon Township because contracts with Muskegon Township for ordinance enforcement.
Egelston Township, Michigan contacts:
Joan J. Raap, CMC
231-788-2308 ext. 16
231-788-2308 Ext. 11
Township Board Meeting Agendas: http://www.egelstontwp.org/Meetings/BoardMinutes/tabid/75/Default.aspx