Mayor, council differ on breed specific ordinance in Lansing, MI

Earlier this week, we learned that the Mayor of Lansing, Michigan was pushing for an ordinance that targeted “scary hounds” (his words, not mine), and more specifically, pit bull-type dogs.  At that time, information on the proposal was scarce, but Mayor Bernero advised he would leave it up to the council as to the best ordinance to move forward with.

While the Mayor is still pushing for a breed specific ordinance, we have now learned that City Councilwoman Jody Washington believes this is not a breed issue, but an owner issue.  The Public Safety Committee has put a ‘vicious dog ordinance’ on the top of their priority list, and will discuss this matter at their meeting on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.  Councilwoman Washington is the chair of the Public Safety Committee, and she advises the ordinance will not focus on specific breeds.

It is unknown at this time the position the other council members have with respect to a breed specific ordinance, but this is an excellent opportunity to provide educational materials and information on the many flaws of BSL to the council for their consideration.

Please continue to send your polite and respectful opposition to BSL to the Lansing city officials.  Encourage them to move forward with a common sense breed-neutral ordinance that holds irresponsible and reckless dog owners accountable for the actions of their dogs.

Contact information for the Mayor and City Council, as well as suggested materials, can be found at our previous alert listed below.

Please make your voice heard and help bring about positive change in Lansing, Michigan.

The issue will be discussed at the March 5, 2013 Public Safety Committee  meeting which starts at 12:00 p.m.  Please attend this meeting if at all possible, and let the Lansing officials know you support a strong breed-neutral ordinance that focuses on irresponsible owners, not particular breeds of dogs.


4 responses to “Mayor, council differ on breed specific ordinance in Lansing, MI

  1. I sent them a letter about educating their community on being responsible pet owners and not punishing all owners for irresponsible ones. How visual ID doesn’t work . Council woman Woods responded to me and thanked me for my concerns on this issue. She said she was passing along my email to the Public Safety Commission. I am trying to work it out to attend the March 5, 2013 meeting.

    • That’s great, Mary! If you are able to attend, please let us know how it goes. I’m hoping with Councilwoman Washington heading up the Public Safety Committee, there is a very strong chance they will present a breed-neutral ordinance to the full council.

      • Lansing update: I attended the Lansing Public Safety Commission Meeting today. They had a turnout of about 30 People. The commission of 3 people. Invited the City Attorney, Ingram County Animal Control, and a Judge to attend their meeting and share information. This is what came out of the information the 3 of them shared. There was only 2 dog at large citations issued for the year 2012, there was 137 non registered (dog licence) dog citations issued for 2012. There seems to be a communication issue, between the police dept. and animal control. When a dog call is received by police after animal control has closed. Animal control is not given enough information about who owns the dog. So that the next day when they go out to investigate that call. They don’t know who to speak to and whether or not the dog is licensed to that address. So most of the time what is happening is, no one answers the door when they show up or they say they got rid of the dog in question. Then the investigation gets closed.
        After listening to numerous people speak and the people they invited to share information. They decided that they need to invite a police officer to attend their next meeting on March 19, 2013 . They agreed that educating their community is something that is needed and holding irresponsible owners accountable for their dogs needs to be more addressed. Which means the laws that they already have in place, are not being enforced. They want to find out why and they also want to know if their police officers receive any training in how to handle aggressive dogs, when they are called out on animal related calls. It doesn’t sound like they are going to consider BSL or any other new law. It sounds like they are going to address the problem of current laws (local and state) not being enforced and adding community educating to that. Their county animal control already offers free obedience training for dog owners. Which a lot of communities could learn from their example on that one.

      • Thank you, Mary! I posted your news in our update. Thank you for attending the meeting and for being a voice for the dogs and their responsible owners!

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