Pit Bull


Michigan Senate Passes Bill To Prohibit Dog Breed-Specific Bans

It's a win for pit bull owners

April 12, 2018 - 5:38 pm

LANSING (WWJ) - A move by the state Legislature is a big win for pit bull owners. 

The Michigan Senate voted 22-13 Thursday to prohibit local governments from dictating breed-specific regulations on dogs. The legislation will benefit canines that are perceived as more aggressive -- primarily pit bulls -- but also Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Cane Corsos.

If signed into law, the legislation would effectively overturn pit bull bans in 12 local communities.

Those pushing for the of the bill, including Terry Hodskins with the Michigan Pitbull education project, say targeting specific breeds is not an effective approach to dog bite prevention. 

Hodskins said a ban on the pit bull breed amounts to discrimination and is heartbreaking for many pet owners.

"Nothing is worse than a family calling you who has owned their dogs for eight or nine years and just moved into an area they had no clue had a ban and they're being told the dogs gotta go. It's terrible," she told WWJ Newsradio 950's Sandra McNeill. "In the cases that we take to court because they're being dragged to court because people think they have a pit bull -- it's mindblowing."

The Senate passed a similar bill in 2015, but it died in the House. Hodskins is more optimistic this time around.

"We're pretty hopeful with this committee that it's going to (pass), because we know the people," she said. "We've already been talking to them and I think we're looking good."

Although a 2014 American Veterinary Medical Association report found that pit bulls are not disproportionately dangerous, critics of the legislation contend that pit bulls are behind most fatal dog bites.

The bill now heads to the House for consideration.