From Click On Detroit
2 Dogs Killed In Incidents This Year
Rochester Hills may soon be cracking down on residents with dangerous dogs.
The City Council is considering increasing the punishment for dog owners whose animals hurt people or other animals -- regardless of the dog's breed, The Oakland Press reported.
The possible changes come after two dogs were killed earlier this year in separate incidents involving pit bulls.
"I'm really not interested in dealing with a breed specific," Council President Greg Hooper told the newspaper. "But I am interested in dealing with the owners themselves and increasing the fines or somehow making the owners more responsible."
Two pit bulls jumped a fence and killed a puppy in a yard in February, the newspaper reported. One of the dogs was ordered euthanized by a judge, the other still lives in the home. In August, another puppy was killed by two loose pit bulls while being walked by its owner.
There are 76 pit bulls registered in the city, City Building Director Scott Cope said. Of the 20 dog bites reported in the city last year, 15 breeds were involved, The Oakland Press reported. Only three of the incidents involved pit bulls.
The owner of one puppy that was killed, Don Torchia, asked the council to toughen the ordinance.
"I fail to see how 76 dogs can inflict that much of a workload on you," he said, according to the newspaper.
Several dog owners from around the county asked the council to direct enforcement at dog owners, not any specific dog breed.
"To me there is no such thing as a bad dog. There is only a bad, irresponsible owner," one woman said.
"In order to have any chance of being effective, I think it has to be about the owners, not the dogs," Councilman James Rosen said. "We have to make the consequences of aggressive dog behavior so onerous ... I mean major-league financial penalties and even incarceration."