Kalamazoo State Senator Sean McCann has introduced two bills to protect people from vicious dogs.

According to a release, Senate Bills 1231 and 1232 would provide a framework for determining which dogs are dangerous and require their owners to take steps to protect people from them — including children, pedestrians, letter carriers, utility workers and animal control officers.

"Had this bill been law, the tragic death of a jogger in Lapeer County could have been prevented since previous complaints had been made against the dogs that attacked him. We need to prevent dogs with violent histories from attacking again and hold their owners accountable for their animal’s aggressive behavior.” - State Senator Sean McCann

McCann says he loves dogs and was a dog owner, but says this legislation is needed to establish necessary protection. “I would rather be strategic in protecting the public at large from dogs that exhibit specific troubling behaviors rather than discriminating against certain breeds of dogs.”

To further back up his reasoning for these two bills, McCann mentioned vicious attacks on letter carriers, students, saying people run into dangerous dogs way too frequently. The release refers to an attack in Kalamazoo where a letter carrier was violently mauled in 2012, underscoring the need for long overdue and stronger dog controls.

At the same time, the legislation would NOT affect:

  • Hunting and livestock guard dogs acting as expected.
  • Dogs that attack trespassers.
  • Dogs that attack people who are in the act of committing a crime.
  • Dogs that attack their owner(s) or family member(s).
  • Dogs that attack people tormenting them or attacking other animals who attacked the dog first; and other instances that would excuse aggressive behavior.
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