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OCD Bullyologist
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Remember, breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter is breed-specific legislation. It carries all the same flaws and moral dilemmas as any other type of breed-specific law. It is difficult to enforce, does not improve public safety, and results in the needless death of pets.
And, once you allow a municipality to identify a "pit bull" for mandatory spay/neuter (something which cannot actually be done in a fair or scientific manner), that municipality has the ability to identify a "pit bull" for additional restrictions. One resident makes a telling statement: "We're not saying get rid of them, yet. And that's another ordinance that could come up."
Contact information for Ypsilanti Township:
Township Civic Center, 7200 S. Huron River Dr., Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Online contact form: Contact Us - Charter Township of Ypsilanti
Supervisor Brenda Stumbo, [email protected]
Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe, [email protected]
Treasurer Larry Doe
Trustee Jean Hall Currie
Trustee Stan Eldridge
Trustee Mike Martin
Trustee Darcus Sizemore
Next Township Board of Trustees meeting on October 5, 2010, at 7:00 PM in the Civic Center Board Room, 7200 S. Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti Township.
*NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH YPSILANTI, MI.*
YPSILANTI TWP: Officials may require spaying, neutering of pit bulls

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
By Adrienne Ziegler
Heritage Newspapers
Ypsilanti Township is considering a change to their code of ordinances that would require all pit bulls to be spayed or neutered by Jan. 1, 2011.

According to the language of the new law, pit bull owners found in violation of the ordinance would be guilty of a criminal misdemeanor punishable by not more than a $500 fine and/or imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

New proposed ordinances require "readings" at two separate public meetings, and publication in a newspaper before they can become law. The board heard the first reading of the proposed amendment on Tuesday evening during their regular board meeting, with a second reading scheduled for their next meeting in October.

Six trustees voted to approve the reading, with trustee Mike Martin dissenting.

According to data provided by the Humane Society of Huron Valley, in 2009, 49.2 percent of all dog intakes in Ypsilanti Township were pit bulls. In 2009, the breed accounted for 50 percent of all euthanasia performed at the Humane Society of Huron Valley. For the top ten breeds taken in by the Human Society in Ypsilanti Township in 2009, 237 of the 432 were pit bulls.

"We have to do more to enforce responsible ownership of this breed," said Executive Director of the HSHV Tanya Hilgendorf during the meeting. "You should be very proud of this ordinance."

Hilgendorf said that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that there's a serious pit bull overpopulation problem in Ypsi Township, and that backyard breeding contributes to it. She said it is the number one animal control complaint they receive.

HSHV has acquired a grant that will allow for free spaying and neutering for pit bulls in Ypsilanti Township over the next year and a half after which, she hopes to find additional funding to continue the program. She said she thought the ordinance would be a win for everyone since it will cut down on overpopulation and spayed and neutered pit bulls make easier-to-train, less aggressive dogs

But not everyone is happy about the new ordinance.

"Every community I've seen this in, the next step is banning breeds. It's breed-specific legislation," said Angela Barbash, a West Willow resident and the owner of two pit bulls that she said she prefers to refer to as Staffordshire terriers. One of her dogs is spayed and the other is not, and she said she had not intended to neuter him.

Barbash asked the board why they would put blanket restrictions on everyone instead of going after the individual backyard breeders that are the cause of the problem. She also said she didn't see how this ordinance would help since people are already breaking the law by breeding and are unlikely to bring their animals in for neutering to be in line with the ordinance.

"You are penalizing and infringing on private property here," she said. "Criminals don't follow the law. Backyard breeders and people who fight dogs don't follow the law, so what you're going to end up with is responsible dog owners being cited."

A second amendment to the township ordinance read during the meeting would allow animal control officers to impound animals found to be in violation of the new law. The reading was approved by a vote of 6 to 1, with Mike Martin again dissenting.

"I have never seen the influx of pit bulls in my life," said Carol Blackburn, an Ypsilanti Township resident who supports the amendment to the city ordinance and has had problems with neighboring pit bulls charging the fence and frightening her grandchildren. "It's not fair to neighborhoods. It's not fair to children. Let's do it right. They can still keep the dogs, just get them spayed and neutered. We're not saying get rid of them, yet. And that's another ordinance that could come up."
 
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