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  1. #1
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    Eastpointe, MI - To Look at New Dog Laws

    'Get rid of' pit bulls, family says

    Boy's mauling death spurs Eastpointe to review dog law

    Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News

    Eastpointe -- They posted a Beware of Dog sign in the yard to warn strangers, never imagining their 5-year-old pit bull mix would prove most dangerous inside their own home.


    Now, a grief-stricken Eastpointe couple is warning others about the dangers of a breed that's "sent from Satan" after the dog latched onto their infant son and mauled him to death in front of their eyes Wednesday. He didn't even growl or bark beforehand, a family member said.



    The tragedy robbed the 40-something couple of the child they'd finally conceived after 17 years of marriage. The infant, who police have declined to identify, would have celebrated his first birthday on May 3.



    "We were preparing for his first birthday. Now we have to prepare for a funeral," the child's uncle, Terrence Lovejoy, said Thursday. "This is a passionate plea to those with these animals. It doesn't matter how much you think you know that dog ... neighbors, parents:Get rid of them. They are sent from Satan."


    Eastpointe officials already are taking action. They're asking police to compile statistics and dog complaints and plan to review the city's ordinance for dangerous and vicious dogs at the next City Council meeting.



    "Any time something like this happens, it devastates the entire community. It's a sad, senseless incident," City Manager Darwin Parks said. "With all you hear about dangerous pets, it is so important that parents think carefully about the animals they have in their homes when they have small children."



    Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley said the incident is believed to be the first of its kind for the city that already has "tough rules" for pet owners.


    "We'll review what we have in place and see if they (laws) are effective or need to be changed," she said.


    Eastpointe is among at least a half a dozen Metro Detroit communities to consider, p$#@! or revise animal ordinances in recent years.


    Farmington Hills, Southfield, Allen Park, Redford Township and Wyandotte have either evaluated policies singling out so-called "bully breeds" or beefed up rules for owners of dogs deemed "dangerous."


    In Waterford Township, Melvindale, Grosse Pointe Woods and Ecorse, "bully breeds" are prohibited. Others, like Dearborn Heights and Westland, have passed laws regulating pit bulls.



    Sharon Keillor of the Bull Terrier Club of Metro Detroit said passing laws against the breed is unfair.



    "They are wonderful dogs. They are smart and very people-oriented, " she said. "Any dog can be overwhelmed by a toddler. In spite of their very best behavior, dogs are dogs."


    Police said the family's frantic call came in at 2:47 p.m. Wednesday. The toddler was standing on his parents' bed when, without warning, the dog suddenly grabbed him. The parents were in the room. They never left the child unattended with the dog, which they had raised from a pup and which had no history of aggression with the family, Lovejoy said.


    The father fired his .45-caliber handgun eight times, killing the dog. But it was too late.
    Neighbors say the mother came out of the home screaming, "The dog got the baby by the head!"


    The husband followed, covered in blood and unable to speak.


    "It was a sneak attack on my nephew. He just grabbed him," Lovejoy said. "It took my nephew."


    Across the street, neighbor Jason Rodriguez, who owns a pit bull-Labrador mix, said he's saddened when he hears bad things about pit bulls.


    "It's the way you bring them up. I treat her right," said Rodriguez, 35. "I feel terrible for what happened to their baby and the dog. They are both gone now."


    Police said they had not received any previous complaints about the dog, which was not licensed. And the father had a permit for the handgun.


    cferretti@detnews. com (586) 468-0343


    http://www.detnews. com/article/ 20090424/ METRO/904240379/ 1409/METRO/ +Get+rid+ of++pit+bulls+ +family+says

  2. #2

    There has to be something more to this sad story

    I grew up in Eatpointe (back when the city still had the original name of East Detroit). I graduated from EDHS. I live 15 minutes from there now. The city of Eatpointe has really changed for the worst since my days in high school. The houses were always small and the yards are not big enough for people to have working or sport dog breeds. You don't see people out walking thier dogs there either. And the population, well, lets say its become a "little detroit". A strong voice in the back of my mind tells me there is something more to this story. A dog you own for 5 years from a pup doesn't just come out of nowhere in front of you and kill your baby. People need to educate themselves on responsible ownership. This dog was probably energy frustrated and not introduced or socialized with the baby properly. I have 2 beautiful, well behaved APBTs who I would trust around anything. But you can bet if I had a baby or small child, I would not allow my dogs access to the child from closer than a few feet at any time. There are a couple Dog Whisperer shows that Cesar demonstrates good handling of newborns with family dogs. I feel terrible fior the family, but they were probably not the right people to have this kind of strong dog. Now the city will have to make a show of demonizing the breed. Everybody loses on this one.:(

  3. #3
    Wow.....kind of offensive anned1!!

    I live in Eastpointe. My house is 1,100 sq ft. My yard is plenty big enough for my dog. I walk him in my neighborhood and PLENTY of other people in my neighborhood walk their dogs too!

    You should consider reading your post and the judgments you are making. Might give you a grasp on how BSL works!

    Of course all this is neither here nor there. I think the story doesn't add up and I am hoping I am correct. The "family" is now requesting Eastpointe ban pit bulls....pretty sad. I'll be at the next city council meeting and hoping it turns into nothing.

  4. #4
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    I live in sterling heights. Eastpoint is not as bad as detroit, but I think there has been an increase in crime. YOur probably more likely to get shot then get killed by a dog here. This story has been on the news for three days straight. The uncle was on t.v. saying pitbulls are satin dogs or something. I understand there pretty ticked off their dog, its just a shame That all dogs have to suffer the negative press. OH and by the way neighbors have stated this dog appeared aggressive, always growling and barking at people. But you guys are right there are too many unanswered questions, and I don't buy the dog gave no warnings before the attack. All dogs warn before an attack just some are so suttle they can be hard to detect.

  5. I love how even though the dog was a mix, it's always the pitbull part, not the lab or whatever, that gets blamed. It's interesting, too, that even though it was the family's own dog, they don't want anyone else to have a bully breed. I agree, there's a lot in this story that doesn't add up. I hope it blows over before they enact BSL.

  6. Folks, if you intend to e-mail city council members about this issue, please remember to always be courteous.

    And there are, as always, some wrong points in this article.

    Farmington Hills, Southfield, Allen Park, Redford Township and Wyandotte have either evaluated policies singling out so-called "bully breeds" or beefed up rules for owners of dogs deemed "dangerous."


    Of these, only Allen Park has passed anything in regards to bully breeds. Most opted for stricter dangerous dog laws because they realized it was not proactive to single out a particular breed.

    In Waterford Township, Melvindale, Grosse Pointe Woods and Ecorse, "bully breeds" are prohibited. Others, like Dearborn Heights and Westland, have passed laws regulating pit bulls.
    Grosse Pointe Woods repealed their hastily enacted ban and Westland has, last I checked, repealed theirs as well because it was not obviously working. Unfortunately, most papers don't check into updated facts.

  7. #7
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    Eastpointe dangerous-dog policy prompts debate

    Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News

    Eastpointe -- The City Council postponed a decision Wednesday on changes to the city's dangerous animals ordinance, vowing to revamp the policy but indicating they'll stop short of outlawing "bully breeds."



    The decision comes after an 11-month-old boy was killed April 22 by the family's pit-bull mix and after shaken residents and dog advocates packed the chambers Wednesday to speak out about any changes.



    "I'm against specific breed banning," Councilman Bill Sweeney said. "What happened was a horrible tragedy. People say we need a new law. No. We have to enforce what we've got."



    It's a decision residents like Jerry Comfort say is a mistake.


    "We'll hear again about the next kid that dies. It's going to happen again," said Comfort, whose 13-year-old Bichon Frise was killed last year by a pit bull that hopped a fence. "Our city is not as safe as it used to be because of pit bulls. You can't even take a walk around the block."


    But Michael Davis of the Great Lakes American Pit Bull Terrier $#@!ociation said breed specific bans are unfair and don't work.



    "Any dog can bite," he said. "We hold our children accountable. People should be accountable for their dogs. It comes down to proper breeding and proper ownership."


    Eastpointe officials say they already revised their dog laws in the last couple of years, but Mayor Suzanne Pixley said the death of toddler Leonard Lovejoy Jr. prompted her to request the council re-evaluate the policy.


    A relative of the toddler's family said the 5-year-old pit bull mix didn't bark or growl before it pulled the child from his parents' bed and began mauling him. His parents were in the room and never left the child unattended with the dog, which they raised from a pup. They have said the dog had no history of aggression.


    The father fired his permitted .45-caliber handgun eight times, killing the dog.


    Police say there were no previous complaints about the dog, which was not licensed.
    The child's uncle spoke out after the tragedy denouncing the breed, saying it was "sent from Satan." No family members attended Wednesday's meeting, but some of their neighbors did.


    Sue Thomas lives behind the family's house on on Nevada, in a subdivision near Nine Mile and Gratiot Avenue. She said she rarely saw the dog and the owner respected her wishes to keep it locked up inside when her young grandchildren were over.


    "I always believed he could control his dog, and 99 percent of the time he did," she said. "Something needs to be done. We need to take a closer look at what will hold these dogs. We need to encage them in some way so they cannot get out."


    Eastpointe is among at least a half-dozen Metro Detroit communities to consider, p$#@! or revise animal ordinances in recent years.


    In Waterford Township, Melvindale, Grosse Pointe Woods and Ecorse"bully breeds" are prohibited. Other communities, like Dearborn Heights and Westland, have passed laws regulating pit bulls.


    cferretti@detnews. com (586) 468-0343

    http://www.detnews. com/article/ 20090506/ METRO03/90506044 4/1361/Eastpoint e-dangerous- dog-policy- prompts-debate



    Eastpointe council may change vicious dog law

    BY CHRISTINA HALL
    FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER



    In the wake of a fatal dog mauling, Eastpointe City Council will review the city's vicious dog ordinance and look at model ordinances and those in place in other communities for guidance.


    If it makes any changes, council is leaning toward not being breed specific.


    No date for the discussion was set during tonight's council meeting, where people voiced their opinions about the issue. Council delayed the discussion, in part, because it didn't receive the most updated ordinance to review.


    Councilwoman Wendy Richardson suggested the discussion occur after upcoming talks about the proposed 2009-10 budget next week.


    The issue surfaced after 11-month-old Leonard Lovejoy Jr. was fatally mauled by his family's pit bull inside the family's Eastpointe home April 22.


    Leonard was standing on a bed in the 22000 block of Nevada when the 5-year-old male pit bull attacked him. Leonard's parents were in the bedroom when the attack occurred. His father grabbed his registered .45-caliber handgun and fired eight shots, killing the dog, police said.


    The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office has the case for review. No charges have been filed, Police Inspector John Calabrese said tonight.

    Contact Christina Hall: 586-826-7265 or chall@freepress. com.


    http://www.freep. com/article/ 20090506/ NEWS02/90506112/ Eastpointe+ council+to+ consider+ changes+to+ vicious+dog+ laws

  8. #8
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    Never seen aggression, Neighbors on the news stated the dog barked and growled when anyone approached.

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