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Michigan Shelves Legislation Banning Pit Bulls

Posted on Jun 15, 2011
A proposed bill that would ban pit bull ownership in Michigan over a ten-year period did not make it out of committee and will be shelved indefinitely.

The bill, which was proposed by Grosse Pointe Democrat Tim Bledsoe, was killed by the chairman of the Michigan state house Regulatory Reform Committee, Novi republican Hugh Crawford.

Bledsoe believed that pit bulls were a dangerous breed of dog that caused hundreds of dog bite wounds to humans across the state each year, and that a law that banned the breed altogether would prevent a number of child injuries and even fatalities. Bledsoe, whose niece was mauled by a pit bull, said that he believed that a disproportionate number of dog bite injuries were caused by the large, strong dogs and that a bill could prevent a number of tragedies.

Crawford said after shelving the bill that he believed that dog attacks weren’t caused by a specific breed of dog, but that they were instead caused by negligent owners and bad pet owners. He added that he had talked to several constituents who were the owners of well-behaved, non-aggressive pit bulls.

The proposed bill would have banned the breeding and sale of pit bulls. After four years, the law would also make it illegal not to spay or neuter pit bulls. After ten years, it would be illegal to possess a pit bull in Michigan.

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James R. Keller
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Dog Bite Checklist

What to Do if You're Attacked

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Take photographs of the wounds
  • Call 911 or animal control to report the incident
  • Take photographs of the dog (if it's safe to do so)
  • Gather information about the dog owner (name, address, phone number, insurance info)
  • Contact an experienced dog bite attorney