A new vicious dog ordinance that could mean jail time for dog owners was approved by the emergency manger in Flint earlier this month.
The ordinance says owners of dogs that attack individuals or other dogs are subject to a misdemeanor. The penalties include up to 90 days in jail, a $250 fine or more, or a minimum of 240 hours of community service.
The new ordinance is a response to the numerous dog attacks that have plagued Flint and Genesee County this year.
The fines and penalties will not apply if the dog was provoked or tormented. It will not apply to trespassers.
The city ordinance currently defines a vicious dog as any canine having “a propensity, tendency or disposition to attack, to cause injury or otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or other domestic animals.”
Although the ordinance was revised from an earlier proposal that singled out pit bulls, one can expect this new ordinance will target so-called “aggressive breeds” such as pit bulls, Shepherds and other large dogs.
The ordinance also requires vicious dogs to be kept on a leash or muzzle when outside of a kennel, pen or house and mandates that owners display signs reading “beware of dog,” keep home owners insurance in case of injury or death caused by the dog and to register the animal with the city clerk.
The Flint dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. have been helping dog bite victims for over 40 years. Please call us with any Flint dog bite questions. As always, you can reach us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733).