Michigan City Moves Toward Banning Exotic, "Dangerous” Animals
An Ionia, Mich., city ordinance aims to ban ownership of "exotic, rare or dangerous” animals, including Pit Bulls.
Posted: December 20, 2011 3 p.m, EDT
The ordinance, which passed with a 5-3 vote during its first reading at the council’s Dec. 6 meeting, is scheduled for a public hearing and second reading during a council meeting on Jan. 3, 2012.
The ordinance would prohibit personal ownership of venomous and constrictor snakes, spiders and all animals whose bite or venom is poisonous or deadly to humans. It would also prohibit the acquiring, possession or maintenance of any Pit Bull Terrier within Ionia.
Pit Bulls are defined in the ordinance as any dog that exhibits phenotypical characteristics or conforms to the breed standards established by the American Kennel Club for American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers or Pit Bull Terriers.
Anyone found to be in possession of or maintaining an animal listed under this ordinance, must appear in court to show cause why the animal should not be destroyed or removed from the city.
The prohibition wouls not apply to show dogs or dogs shown at similar events sponsored by a nationally recognized kennel club or dog breeders association, or its local affiliate or chapter.
It will also provide a “grandfather clause” for any current Pit Bull owners. They would need to obtain a license within 30 days of passage if the dogs are not already licensed. However, if the animal is sold or given to a new owner for any reason, the exception would no longer apply.
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