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Pack of Lansing dog owners fill city council session on vicious dogs


A large crowd of dog owners packed a Lansing city council meeting on the city’s vicious dog ordinance.  The city council's public safety committee heard from about a dozen speakers during its hour long meeting.

Mayor Virg Bernero wants Lansing to adopt a new law that requires additional insurance and fencing requirements on the owners of specific breeds of dog, including pit bulls.

Beth Contreras is the vice president of Voiceless Michigan, an animal welfare group. She says the mayor’s proposal is the wrong approach.

“Those things are not going to fix the problem,” says Contreras, “That’s not going to stop these same people that are currently opening their door and just letting dogs run. That’s not going to stop’em. The dogs are still going to be let out. They’re still going to be running.”

There were hundreds of dog bites reported in Lansing last year, but only a handful of tickets written for violating the city’s dog laws.

City council members say they want to look at how Lansing’s current rules could be better enforced.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.