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Genesee County Considering Pit Bull Ban
Too violent for society? Pitbull debate rages in Genesee County following serious attacks
By Flint Journal staff
November 08, 2009, 6:00AM
GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — Kevin Thompson thinks pitbulls are too vicious for society.
Thompson, 51, said he has had to fight off roaming pitbulls with a hammer and been forced to seek refuge on the hood of his car when he parks outside the rental home he owns in Flint.
“It’s a huge problem,” said Thomas. “The neighbors are terrorized by these dogs.”
Maybe pitbulls are a problem because of the way they are treated. Or maybe it is because of the way they are bred.
After two attacks in recent months, the debate is raging here again — so much so that some officials are even considering a total ban of the breed.
Pitbulls are so potentially dangerous that Genesee County Animal Control won’t adopt out those that end up in its shelter — and attacking dogs usually do — meaning the 30 pitbulls there last week will ultimately end up being put to death, said Director Stepheni A. Lazar.
“The sad truth is we’d rather have them put to sleep than have them live a horrible life, then have them go out and hurt someone,” said Lazar.
David Norris blames the people who mistreat pitbulls.
The Mt. Morris Township man spent a year caring for a rescue named “Baby” and trying to get the 2-year-old pitbull comfortable around people again.
But, still, the dog cowers at even the sight of him — the same way she was when Norris found her covered in scars, pregnant and emaciated in his driveway.
“She’s really just a victim of abuse and because of that she probably is not going to get a fair chance at life,” said Norris, adding he will likely have Baby euthanized if he can’t find a proper home for her.
Flint City Councilman Scott Kincaid, who represents the southeastern portion of the city, said he would be willing to consider banning breeds of dogs “that have characteristics of being vicious toward human beings” — not just pitbulls alone. However, he wouldn’t trust a pitbull in his own home.
“I personally wouldn’t own a pitbull, but I’ve got grandkids and I’d be worried to death about the breed that would attack my grandchild,” he said.
He also said the city needs to enforce its existing vicious dog ordinance that regulates dogs that could or have attacked people or other animals. The ordinance requires vicious dogs to be kept on a leash or muzzle outside of a kennel, pen or house and mandates that owners display signs reading “beware of dog,” keep insurance in case of injury or death caused by the dog, and register the animal with the city clerk.
“I can’t tell you whether anyone has ever been prosecuted under our ordinance,” said Kincaid. “We should be going after them.”
In October, a 3-year-old girl was badly hurt by a pitbull who got loose from a neighboring home in Flint. A 13-year-old neighbor who was nearby put the dog in a choke hold until it let go of the toddler’s head. Weeks earlier, another three-year old was attacked by a pack of pitbulls while out playing with older siblings in the family’s own backyard. On Halloween, a Mt. Morris Township pitbull was shot by police and dumped in a trash bin when it was loose and his family was at a church event.
Flint Journal articles about these attacks generated hundreds of online comments from readers who either love the breed or want them all banned.
In the more than eight months since Lazar took over as director of Genesee County Animal Control, she said she has come across two pitbulls in the shelter that she has felt comfortable around.
Most of the pitbulls that end up in the shelter came from bad situations where they were mistreated and bred to be aggressive, said Lazar.
“It makes it kind of hard to trust them because most of them aren’t very nice dogs,” she said.
At the Genesee County Humane Society, the shelter will place pitbulls with families, but have more freedom to be selective with those families and with the dogs, said David Tucker, executive director.
The shelter looks at pitbulls just the same as any other breed and only adopt out dogs that are not aggressive toward people or other animals, he said. However, when it comes to pitbulls, if there’s any inkling that the adopter wants to use the dog for fighting, they can prevent it from being placed “in a situation that would fail.”
“That’s the one thing that for sure separates the pitbulls from the rest of the animals,” he said.
Carol Gillespie, animal control officer, said loose pitbulls in county are an everyday occurrence. In her 20 years on the job, she’s been bitten three times — only once by a pitbull.
“Overall they can be good dogs like any other dog, but you have to remember they are a very muscular, strong animal,” she said.
Becki Williams, founder of Friends of Genesee County Animal Shelter said pitbulls will do anything their owners ask and “people abuse that.”
“It’s not so much the breed as it is the owner, how the dog’s treated, that type of thing,” said Williams. “I don’t believe in breed-specific legislation.”
One community in the suburbs of Detroit took the relatively uncommon step of banning pitbulls from the city all together after it had problems with pitbulls getting loose and injuring or killing people more than 20 years ago.
Debbie Reed, animal control officer for the city of Grosse Pointe Woods, said the community enacted a ban in 1988 that keeps pitbulls and any mix of the breed off the streets.
“I think if you have a lot of dogs that are roaming that turn out to be pitbulls ... then I think it is a good ordinance to have,” she said.
If the Genesee County decided to ban pitbulls all together, Lazar said she fears those that abuse dogs and fights them would just turn to another breed and there would be a new problem with a different breed down the road. Dog fighting breeds move in trends, and who knows what will be popular next, she said.
“I kind of hate to see breed-banning because probably in 10 to 20 years, it’s going to be a different breed (that’s popular),” she said.
Too violent for society? Pitbull debate rages in Genesee County following serious attacks | Flint News - - MLive.com
11-08-2009, 11:43 AM #2
those effing idiots can go banned themselves. ugh!!! :mad::mad::mad::mad::(
11-08-2009, 12:14 PM #3
just bought a house in the country and will not give up my dogs.we should find out when is the next metting and show up in protest.did they ban dobermans or rottweilers when they were bitting all those people.just targeting our dogs because they were bred for fighting.total b##ls##t.i am mad as hell.
11-09-2009, 07:09 AM #4
i'm moving the hell out of this state, if my city votes for a ban/BSL on Pitbulls. :mad::(
if i know anything about a meeting, i'll let you know, and post it here.
11-09-2009, 12:07 PM #5
its because stupid owners that cant even take care of there own kidz much less a pit bull or any breed of dog at that STUPID PEOPLE ! BAN THE DEED NOT THE BREED
11-11-2009, 03:25 PM #6Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
I would like anyone that lives in or nearby to contact me about organizing a meeting before we go in front the counsel in protest. The real problem will be Scott Kincaid (city ccm, 9th ward). He is an idiot, and has always been a problem for the City of Flint. He single handedly has done more damage to our city than any other counselmen. We need to nip this in the bud, before it goes into actual legislation. I have already contacted some powerful people in the community and from surrounding areas. However, I am hoping we can stop this with the sheer number of people going in front of the city counsel.
I believe that when we defeated it in Detroit, it was because of the huge numbers of people that turned out against the ban. We already have dangerous dog laws in affect here, that they can not enforce, so lets work with what we have. We definately don't need breed bans.
I am a very motivated person, and I think we can defeat this.
Howard Burgess 810-233-4609
11-11-2009, 04:17 PM #7
Genesee County officials are considering a total ban of pit bulls. Please send your POLITE AND RESPECTFUL opposition to breed specific legislation to the officials below.
Genesee County Clerk's Office
900 S. Saginaw St.
Flint, MI 48502
Regular sessions of the Board are held on the second and the fourth Tuesdays of each month at 9:00 a.m
Board of Commissioners Office
1101 Beach Street, Room 312
Flint, MI 48502
PHONE (810) 257-3020
FAX: (810) 257-3008
E-mail information is not available for the county commioners, but letter may be snail mailed or faxed to the Board of Commissioners Office.
County Board Members:
John Northrup, District 4; Jamie Curtis, District 3; Brenda Clack, District 2; Archie Bailey, District 7, Patrick Gleason, District 9, Omar Sims, District 1, Chairperson Ted Henry, District 8; Pat Lockwood, District 6; Miles Gadola, District 5
11-11-2009, 09:00 PM #8
Whatever is needed, please let me know.
11-17-2009, 06:06 AM #9Our Voice: Stop the canine carnage: Outlaw pitbulls and punish irresponsible owners of any doghttp://www.mlive.com/opinion/flint/inde ... _carn.html
By Flint Journal staff
November 15, 2009, 5:32AM
Two violent incidents in October involving pitbull-type dogs in Genesee County have reignited a perennial debate.
Some people say these dogs are bred for aggression, are unpredictable and vicious in their attacks.
Ban the breed, they say.
Their owners and others claim they’re wonderful, loving, loyal pets.
Ban the deed of poor training and irresponsible ownership, they say.
Both approaches are warranted, in light of dog attacks in the county and around the state in recent years, many of them involving pitbull type dogs.
Ban the breed, and punish the owners of any type of dog that runs loose, and those that attack people, pets and livestock.
The proven danger to the public is just too high to do nothing anymore.
The reputation for the vicious, sudden attacks of some pitbull dogs doesn’t come out of nowhere.
In mid-October, two brothers ages 11 and 13 rescued a 3-year-old girl in Flint from the jaws of a pitbull. The dog was running loose, and clamped its powerful jaws around the girl’s head, shaking her like a doll. After the little girl was rescued, the dog turned on a 37-year-old neighbor running to help and bit through her arm to the bone.
Thankfully, everyone was recovering from their injuries.
On Halloween, Mount Morris police officers responding to several 911 calls of pitbulls running loose and threatening children shot and killed a pitbull that bared its teeth and snarled at the officers.
Up in Saginaw, a good Samaritan is still trying to heal months after pitbulls pounced on him when he came to the rescue of a neighbor, who the dogs attacked first.
These are just recent, mid-Michigan incidents involving pitbulls.
The pages of newspapers statewide too often carry stories of horror after dogs, many of them pitbulls, attacked and maimed or killed little kids and big adults.
Whatever gentle temperament pitbull breeds display within their families is overshadowed by these kinds of attacks.
Worse, pitbulls are known as a tough guys’ dog. Some are mistreated for illegal dog fights or to make them as mean and scary as possible.
In the light of all this, how is any person supposed to discern that any particular pitbull wouldn’t suddenly snap, and attack?
That’s the trouble with pitbulls — you can’t reliably tell which one will live a gentle life and which one will, for whatever reason or no reason at all, go after a person.
So ban them.
But don’t stop there. Many other breeds can and do bite people.
Fine the owners of dogs found running free.
Because, no matter the dog, it is at root a self-propelled jawful of teeth.
The potential of a bite is always there, with any dog. They should be under the control of their owners — in a fenced yard or on a leash — whenever outdoors.
Merely banning pitbulls for the bad acts of its type isn’t enough.
Ban the breeds, plus punish the deeds of irresponsible owners.
11-17-2009, 06:24 AM #10Junior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
Why is it?
I am originaly from Genesee county. I was just down there a few weeks ago- traveling to pick up a pit pup- for a friend.. And I've never seen so many pitbulls... Its definately the dog of choice there..why is it, only pitbull attacks make the news? Other breeds bite as well.. ANd- how exactly does an a.s.p.c.a get started? Flint doesnt have one- and yet- they have illegal dog fighting.....The reason i got a dog, was because i lived in flint- alone, and had a break in.... The choice was simple.... handgun- or a dog....the dog doesnt negotiate! Why is it- we live in a society where football- allows a dog killer back on the team? Just my rambling... feel free to add....
11-17-2009, 07:45 AM #11
City Council meeting dates & times
November 18th City Council convenes at 5:00 pm at city hall, 3rd floor, as address above is given and the Special Affairs meeting where citizens can voice their opinion to CC is November 23rd, 09 same place as described but the speakers start @ 4:30 pm and the city council meeting is immediately following at 5:30 pm. The Flint Journal here is hating on this breed terrible, but they're getting it back tenfold because read some of the comments, LOL. They're quoting the wrong statements that the people interviewed said......they are printing nothing more then PURE LIES. To know these dogs is to love them, like I said in a comment, let's bring all the kids raised around our so called vicious pit bulls down to the city council meeting and have the council members that support the ban(NOT ALL OF THEM DO) tell all our children they're taking away their pets. HAHAHA, even my 6 yr old daughter will have a response back to them, you can guarantee that lol.
Anyhow, these dogs give us 100%+ and were going to fight for their freedom also!
11-17-2009, 07:47 AM #12
thanks sweetie, for posting
11-17-2009, 11:29 AM #13
11-17-2009, 06:31 PM #14
really would like to get a doe since i got a buck opening day and missed a doe this afternoon(damn,but can miss a day for my and our dogs.i will be there too.
11-23-2009, 12:44 PM #15
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