Royal Oak, MI targeting “bully breeds”

Officials in Royal Oak, Michigan are  calling for changes  following a dog-on-dog attck in December.  Mayor Pro-tem Patricia Capello claims there  is a great deal of concern in the community, “especially from those who live in the vicinity of a dog they consider to be a vicious one.”

At the city commissioners meeting on Monday, the “bully breeds” were talked about at great length.   Mayor Ellison cautioned against a breed specific ordinance, stating that a dangerous dog would be described as a dog that has been the subject of an animal control officer call for biting or has been declared a dangerous animal by the ACO.  In the event that happened, it would then trigger additional requirements for anyone owning a dangerous dog.  In addition, Mayor Ellison argued that public education is key, and that residents need to understand their responsibilities as dog owners.

However, Commissioner Poulton agreed with the move for a breed specific ordinance, claiming other cities have enacted BSL, and it was time for Royal Oak to do the same.

There were a total of 32 dog bites and 21 “vicious dog” incidents in Royal Oak last year.   Suggestions for curbing such situations included mandating leash lengths, specific collars and muzzling dangerous dogs with “powerful jaws.”  In addition, commissioners want dangerous owners to have gated yards that are padlocked shut, proof of liability insurance, age and size requirement for those walking a dog and obedience training for both the owner and dog.

Commissioners also discussed a way for residents in the community to report a suspected dangerous dog, that would then be checked by the animal control officer who would make the determination.

The city attorney was instructed to review the suggestions, and report his findings in one month.

Please send your polite, respectful and informative letters opposing breed specific legislation to the Royal Oak officials.  Please provide them with viable suggestions and alternate ordinances for their review.  Encourage city officials to craft a breed-neutral dangerous dog ordinance that focuses on reckless and irresponsible dog owners that will benefit the safety and wellfare of the entire community – people and animals alike.

You can find talking points for your letters here.

Mayor Jim Ellison

City Commissioners:
Patricia Capello

Kyle DuBuc

Michael Fournier

Peggy K Goodwin

David J Poulton

Jim Rasor

There is also an online contaft form that you can use to contact the entire city commission Contact the City Commission

Link to city commission meetings:

City Manager Donald Johnson
Online contact form:


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