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Friday, June 10, 2016

The Detroit dog that gave us a reason to smile could be taken away

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 12:43 PM

A few days ago, a story blew up about a Waterford Township man adopting a dog via Detroit Dog Rescue. Musician Dan Tillery adopted Diggy (formerly Sir Wiggleton), an American bulldog mix, and a photo of the two smiling received a lot of attention on Facebook.

As cute as this is, the real story here is that Diggy might be taken away from Dan because Waterford Township has a specific article in their ordinances against pit bull terriers. According to WXYZ Detroit, concerned residents called the Waterford Township police about the dog.

Article III, Chapter 3 of the Charter Township of Waterford Code of Ordinances specifies that pit bull terriers are a dangerous kind of animal because of "detailed and reliable data from many sources on the
number, nature and severity of attacks by pit bull terriers upon innocent citizens of this community, the Metropolitan-Detroit area, and other communities and urban areas within the state, and the United States of America." 

There's even a separate appendix just to specify what animal is being identified when they say "pit bull terrier." 

Waterford Township's pit bull ban has been in place since about 1990, and other Michigan cities like Grosse Pointe Woods and Melvindale also have similar bans. Hazel Park used to have a similar ban until a banned breed saved a domestic abuse victim in 2015.

What's really puzzling here is the data that Waterford Township has found, and how the data is used as a justification of the ban. A fair amount of groups, even including the American Bar Association, have said that bans are not justified, and that they're discriminatory. 

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