Dog Lovers Start Campaign to End Breed Bans in Michigan

Dog lovers and animal advocacy organizations are coming together to make Michigan the next state to ban laws that discriminate against certain breeds of dogs based solely on their looks.

Breed specific legislation (BSL), or breed discriminatory legislation (BDL), has unfairly targeted dogs based solely on their appearance, without regard to their actual temperament or whether or not they have responsible owners. These types of laws have mostly been aimed at pit bulls, or pit bull mixes, but other breeds have also been targeted.

The Centers for Disease Control, the American Bar Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association, among dozens of other organizations, have all come out opposing BSL and recommend community-based approaches for preventing dog bites and dealing with dangerous dogs and their owners.

Thankfully, attitudes and laws are changing to reflect reality. Already 19 states have enacted laws that ban this type of discrimination. Now, Make Michigan Next (MMN), a newly formed coalition made up of animal advocacy groups and citizens, is taking up the fight to make their state the next to make this common sense change. According to the group, more than 35 breeds face some sort of discrimination in the state.

Last week an estimated 500 dog loving voters took part in a rally at the state’s capitol to show their support for a state law banning BSL. Advocates for a statewide ban argue that these types of laws are tearing families apart, killing innocent dogs and have also raised serious concerns about our ability, including that of experts, to properly identify a type of breed based on what they look like.

“Dogs have no control over their environment, but their owners do,” said Courtney Protz-Sanders, a MMN coalition member. “This rally is about everyone’s right to own dogs and the need to stop discrimination based on appearance. Right now, because we have no state law to protect us, any breed of dog can be banned from visiting or living in any township, city or county in Michigan.”

Ultimately, their goal is to get lawmakers to make a simple amendment to a state law that will allow municipalities to make any dog-related ordinance they want, just so long as they are not breed specific. According to MMN, following the rally several legislators expressed interest in introducing a bill.

“It’s time to bring Michigan law into the modern era. There is no place for discrimination in our society,” Protz-Sanders said. “We are the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. They don’t vote, but we do.”

TAKE ACTION!

Please show your support for ending discrimination in Michigan by signing and sharing Make Michigan Next’s Care2 petition urging lawmakers to repeal existing breed bans and to enact a statewide ban on BSL.

For more info, visit Make Michigan Next and follow updates on MMN’s Facebook page.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

81 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Miriam O.

Thanks so much for sharing Alicia! YES, NO DOG IS BAD, ONLY IT'S OWNER!!!

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Helga Kordjukova
Helga Kordjukova4 years ago

Oct 24, 11:00 # 1,579

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

If there is a problem with a Pit it usually starts with the owner. All for ending BSL. Good luck Michigan.

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Allan Richardson
Past Member 4 years ago

Those laws include the apportionment of Congressional (House) districts, which are currently gerrymandered to favor the majority party in most states (which in turn is controlled by gerrymandered STATE house and senate districts, set by previous generations of legislatures). This is why 55 percent of the VOTERS in all the 2012 Congressional elections voted for Democrats, while Republicans won the majority of the SEATS, and thus control the U.S. House. Similar effects of gerrymandering determine state legislative majorities. And finally, there is the Electoral College itself. Traditionally, most states award the entire electoral vote count from that state to the candidate with a plurality (when a third party is running) of the state's Presidential votes (by a margin of even one vote; remember Florida in 2000?), but that is only a tradition. A state legislature and its governor can make a law awarding electoral votes in any combination, even bypassing the popular vote completely (as Florida threatened to do in 2000).

So everything down to county commissions and city councils and school boards are important. If you don't vote, or if you vote frivolously, don't complain!

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Allan Richardson
Past Member 4 years ago

Changing lawmakers is easy if you get enough people to help. The hard part is to get enough people to VOTE. If you think "all politicians are crooks" so there is no point in voting, the only people who vote will be the friends of those crooks. If you think "there is no difference between the parties" so there is no point in voting, you haven't been listening to their spokespeople. If you think "my one vote won't count" so don't bother, remember that Kennedy defeated Nixon by one vote per precinct across the country.

The Presidential race is the big "sexy" election, and it is important (but campaign ads don't mention some of the big REASONS it is important, such as nominating judges, including Supreme Court justices who serve for life). But who runs the House and Senate matters a great deal also; the party that gets even a one vote majority in the House gets the power to name the Speaker, who decides when, if ever, a bill comes up for debate and final voting, along with the chairman and majority of members of key committees, and the party that gets a one vote majority (or 50-50 and the Vice Presidency) can win votes when they are taken, but a majority of 60 is needed to make sure the minority cannot block a vote. And who runs the state houses also matters: each governor is like a mini-president within that state. And the state legislatures (49 of which have a House and a Senate; Nebraska has a unicameral legislature) control the laws the state makes. Those laws incl

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Mark Donners
Mark Donner4 years ago

Changing lawmakers.. that's like getting rocks to change their mind.

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Arlene C.
Arlene C4 years ago

merci Alicia et bon dimanche

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Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

No dog is bad but its owner; don't make it wrong

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Angev GERIDONI
Angev GERIDONI4 years ago

PETROPOLIS : now you can help the sanctuary that is home to farm animals, victims of exploitation, of abuse, and all kinds of cruelty. Some comes from Pétropolis some from other places around this city. Today there are 150 lucky animals, please give, for keeping them and to rescue other ones : ♥ Fairy sanctuary - or - ♥ Doe

Thank you for sharing

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