Residents of Waterford, MI request repeal of BSL

Residents of Waterford, Michigan are hoping to change the city’s 23-year-old pit bull ban.  The residents have approached city officials seeking to remove the ban and replace it with a Responsible Pet Owner’s Ordinance.  Resident Mary Dunham wanted the ban overturned since October 2011, when she was ticketed by the township for having a “pit bull.” A DNA test later revealed that Dunham’s dog was a Labrador-boxer mix.  After that, Dunham, along with supporters, formed Oakland County Dog Ownership Group and Specialists (ODOGS) to create positive change in their respective communities.

The proposal presented to Waterford officials, based on the AVMA’s responsible owners ordinance, includes steps to replace the ban:

* All dogs would have to be spayed or neutered unless they were in a certified breeding or show program;

* All animals would be microchipped.

*Temperament tests would be administered if any dog bites or shows aggression, and if the dog goes through the program and is certified, it can stay in the township.

City officials are encouraging people both for and against the pit bull ordinance to sit down with the township prosecutor and discuss their concerns and suggestions.  No specific decision on changes to the ordinance have been made, but City Supervisor, Gary Wall, has confirmed the city officials are discussing the issue. 

If you live in or around Waterford, Michigan, please reach out to your city officials, meet with the city prosecutor, Walt Bedell, and talk about how to go about repealing the pit bull ban and replacing it with an ordinance that focuses on irresponsible and reckless dog owners instead of deeming dogs as dangerous and forcing good owners to comply with restrictions based solely on the appearance of their dog. 

In addition, ODOGS is inviting people to a question-and-answer forum Thursday, Feb 7.  All people who live or work in Waterford Township are encouraged to attend an open forumat 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Waterford Library, 5168 Civic Center Drive in Waterford.


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