Vicious Animal ordinance mentioning pit bulls angers some in Hastings

HASTINGS, Mich. — City officials are rethinking and rewriting their Vicious Animal ordinance after some backlash from residents. Residents have filled recent city hall meetings and voiced their concern that the ordinance unfairly targets pit bulls.

"It spells out their breed of dog," said Mayor Pro-tem Bill Redman about the ordinance. "It doesn’t spell out any other breed."

According to Redman, the ordinance actually outlines four different types of pit bulls. Breed advocates want it eliminated.

"It doesn't spell out Schnauzers like I've got," Redman told FOX 17. "It doesn’t spell out weiner dogs. [It] Don’t spell out huskies. It don’t spell out German Shepherds, Dobermans."

He said the ordinance deals with the owners' accountability when it comes to "dangerous dogs," which could be any dog that attacks or injures someone. This isn't the first time it's been brought to their attention.

"A couple years ago this flared up," he said. "It was sent to the chief of police and the city attorney and they went over it to try to come up with something."

The council never pushed for it so it was never finalized, said Redman. The police chief and city attorney are drafting a new one which is expected to be done by Tuesday, Dec. 26, when they'll meet to discuss its language.

"Will something happen? I don’t know," said Redman who's one the nine people voting on this. "When the ordinance comes back I’m assuming that we’ll have sometime to look at it, read it over an study it and then make a decision."

Once they review it, he said they'll have two more meetings in January to determine whether they want to adopt the ordinance or make further changes.

"We want to be as fair as we can to everybody," he said.

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21 comments

  • BOB

    Pit bulls are dangerous and vicious. They should be banned. Just ask the lady who was attacked while walking her pit bull. Wait, she can’t answer because he dog ate her.

  • Melissa Bryner-Mark

    There has been a fatal attack by these dogs every 17 days in the U.S.. They kill 30,000 pets per year. They attack more than all other breeds. This is why they are specifically named in legislation and bans. They do what they’ve been bred to do. They attack to kill. Once triggered, they have no off-switch. Retrievers instinctively retrieve, the same as pointers point, and border collies herd. Pit bulls kill. You can no more love this inherent trait out of them or train it out of them any more than I can train my beagle not to sniff. It’s genetic. It’s in their DNA.

  • Theresa Thompson

    The frequency of pit bull attacks and the conditions under which they happen cannot be explained away by saying “all dogs bite”. All dogs do not take advantage of the weakest members of society to maul or dismember them to death. All dogs do not go feral and murderous when agitated.
    While journalists, shelters, and pit bull promoters struggle to attribute deaths by pit bulls to other causes, the truth is that 36 people have lost their lives as a result of pit bull attacks in the US in 2017, representing a death by pit bulls every 10 days. Fourteen victims were under the age of eight, including 7 babies. Eighteen people were over 60 years old, and ten were over 70. In addition to the deaths, 39 more vicious attacks by pit bulls were reported by media in Virginia during 2016 and 2017. Many of the attacks were by “family” pit bulls.

    • Leeanna Lynx

      All reporters explaining away the attacks, especially Bethany Lynn Stephens being eaten by her dogs, are not real journalists. They’re marketing. There is no possible way that can be spun into a non-horrific event. No excuses are rational. Do they realize how fully mental they sound?
      If “any dog” might do what Bethany’s dogs did, no one would ever have dogs in their home or go anywhere near them.

  • Harve Morgan

    Be grateful you have officials that care about public safety and pit bulls are without a doubt, a menace to public safety. This past year they have averaged killing a person about every 10 days, no other breeds can compare with this record. Pits are a danger to society despite dressing them in tutus and placing children in jeopardy for a photo op. Parents should care enough about their children to not want them around a breed that is the number one canine killer of children.

  • Helga Joubert

    Oh, you want to be fair to everybody, huh?
    Stop worrying about hurting people’s feelings and start worrying about public safety! Frankly I don’t care if pit bull-owning misfits are upset over the wording of the ordinance. I get upset when I hear about yet another person killed or mutilated by one of these nasty dogs.
    Pit bulls have been the number-one killer dog for decades now. Is there any reason to believe that will suddenly change? Pit bull owners have had more than enough time to figure out the problems with the breed and learn how to own them safely. The steady rise in fatalities and mutilations year after year proves that safe ownership is not possible. Not every pit bull attacks, but after decades of trying to figure it out, still nobody can tell which ones will and which ones will not. There is no behavioral test that detects idiopathic aggression.
    Pit bull owners need to be put in their place. Why does the rest of society have to play second fiddle to these lunatics?

    • Leeanna Lynx

      Why do pit bulls deserve “equal opportunities?”
      At what?
      Why do we need to “understand pit bulls?” We don’t.
      Why should we have to live in multi-unit dwellings with territorial, deadly dogs?
      Why should we want to “save them all?”
      Sin e that ridiculous Pit Bull Initiative we have more pit bulls than ever, more pets killed, more people killed, and more pit bulls killed because dogfighters are enabled. Amateur dogfighters who never would have fought a dog if not for the weekly shelter clearances of dirt cheap or free pit bulls.
      There is no public benefit to having more than a thousand pit bull rescues across the nation. The no-kill numbers are manipulated while the dogs are endlessly trafficked around in circles until either a thug takes it or some gullible bleeding heart can be convinced she is a rescue angel.
      There are more than three hundred dog breeds people can choose. The only thing pit bulls do better than the other breeds is to kill other animals, including people.

  • Mary Ann Redfern (@Carlaumol)

    What a bunch of cowardly BOZOS catering to the dangerous pit bull owners’ delicate and childish feelings. Your pits are dangerous by BREED, dummies. And the corpses which they make are not fit for an open coffin. I am so freaking sick of these sociopathic pit bull owners trying to manipulate their trash dogs into better footing which only ends up with someone being maimed or killed. Take your pits and move to a deserted island, trash.

    • Lynn Fredenburgh

      Still spouting, are you? And I am still rescuing; 35 years now with no incidents, ever. Not even a chicken has been harmed by dogs I adopted as adults. They all loved my kids and respected my animals, even the abuse cases. The only casualties have been their Kong toys and my pocketbook, as they have all been desexed and well vetted.

  • Jeff

    If it is in the media or on the internet it has to be true!! I use yo feed into all that crap about the breed until I rescued on from a friend who would have taken it to a pound because of the new apartment they were moving in. The dog is VERY protective of the family in the house, but yet afraid of his own shadow. HELL the neighbor kid (2 yrs old) gives him a physical, turn your head and cough; now I am going to pull on your tail. Dog just sits there . ANY dog can fall under the ARSE NINE allegations of a Pitbull. IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW THE DOG IS RAISED!!. Michael Vick and his BS gave the bad name to Pitbulls.Until you ACTUALLY spend time with one that is trained NOT FOR FIGHTING. Shut the hell up with this social/ news media statistics. Pitbulls are the only ones you hear about. Again Thank You Michael Vick.

    • Melissa Bryner-Mark

      I agree, but don’t want them in rural areas. They have been known to attack cattle and horses. I live on the outskirts of a small town, and my dog has been attacked. They don’t belong anywhere. We need a North America ban that includes pit bulls and pit-bull-like dogs.

      • Lynn Fredenburgh

        I live in an agricultural area and I think about 50% of the family farm dogs here are pit types. I’ve never heard of any attacks on animals or people so I think your theory is all wet. I have rescued and adopted pit types for 35 years and never had an incident, even with many animals and kids in and out of the house. Millions of families can make the same claim, as there are probably over 5 million pit types in the US that are family dogs. Have you read of 5 million attacks? 4 million? 1 million? No? So much for your genetics theory, lol.

  • William Linington

    The pit bull movement uses a relatively small number of highly motivated people to push an agenda that is actually extremely dangerous to their fellow citizens and pets. We see them constantly countering one version of the truth with another in a bid to undermine the whole notion of empirical truth.

    Pit bull advocates will step over the the dead bodies of people (1 every 9 days in 2017), thousands of disfigured for life people in 2017 facing bankruptcy from crippling medical bills, and over 30,000 killed other dogs in 2017 as just inconvenient numbers and tell us we’re not bright enough to understand what the numbers really mean. They’ll say, look, a chihuahua or an enraged gerbil can nip too, so they are just as bad as pit bulls.

    You just cannot reason with them. So we have to step over them, as they stop over the bodies of all the victims, and deal with elected officials instead and get these dogs banned everywhere. It’s nearly 2018 for heaven’s sake. We should not be gambling human and pet lives because a small handful of people have fanciful notions about loving the killer out of a murderous animal breed.

    Pit bull lovers and rescuers are not compassionate people. Do not for one second let them get away with trying to portray themselves as caring people.

    Nor are pit bull advocates dog lovers. Pit bulls killed nearly 30,000 other beloved family pet dogs in 2017. Pit bull advocates work non-stop to make sure you don’t see those numbers.

  • Julie

    And not one of the people that are anti-pit bull here lives anywhere near there. Either do I but someone has to speak up for the dogs. I haven’t had anything but good experiences with these dogs myself, and I have been training dogs for over 50 years. Don’t let the haters fool you. They put out made up stats and are only caught up in anything that says pit bull, even if it’s not. Please do your research before you decide. And make sure it’s not at dogsliedotorg or any of their very bias sister pages. Be fair.Thank you