Dangerous dogs in Sterling Heights

Today’s edition of the Detroit News is reporting that a woman in my neighborhood recently lost one finger and the tips of several others after her dog was attacked by an unlicensed, dangerous animal on on the 4800 block of Chadbourne Drive.

The city has really gone out of its way to enact ordinances designed to prevent this sort of thing from happening.  In the past 18 months we had a lengthy discussion about breed-specific laws with some in the city wanting a ban enacted on pit bulls.  To its credit, the city administration changed course and enacted a well-balanced ordinance that was not breed-specific, creating significant fines for failing to license dogs and have them properly vaccinated.

You may recall the publicity of the new law; it was fairly extensive.  Each water bill went out with a notice, if I recall correctly, there were signs up in the library, and the local free newspapers all reported the story.

Yet somehow, somebody in this neighborhood not only ignored the law, but also recklessly endangered the public by harboring an animal they must have known was capable of attacking someone.

Good government requires good citizens.  People have to not only pay attention to what’s going on around them, but they have to be willing to obey the law and try to be conscientious about safety.  So many people in this neighborhood, it seems, pay no attention to such things; the result is not only dangerous dogs but fireworks going off day and night, traffic accidents, disturbances of the peace and other nuisance crimes which lower the quality of life for all of us.

By the same token, laws and ordinances are not quick fix solutions to our problems.  So often I see our Council having a need to “do something” about a perceived social ill.  As often as not, the ordinance does little or nothing to fix the problem, while at the same time constraining the freedoms of law abiding, responsible individuals and taxing the resources of law enforcement.   There is a lesson here for our lawmakers: be reluctant to create new ordinances; the unanticipated consequences are frequently worse than the ills you aim to resolve, and the goals you seek to achieve are often elusive.

I hope the injured woman recovers a very large sum of money from the homeowner’s insurance.  Were this to have happened to me, my ability to earn a living would have been drastically impacted.  Hopefully a court of law will do what it can to make her whole again.


Posted on August 22, 2013, in Issues and views. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. dmoroni01@comcast.net

    Thanks for the post Geoff,   This is very alarming, as I must live just a few houses away 😦 and knew nothing of it.   What was once a beautiful street my husband and I complain that it seems we are the only two people around here who care about this neighborhood. Just  a few nights ago we called the police for an altercation that was going on in the street in front of our home..yet not one other person did a thing about it. This has been way for the last ten years or so…we even had to call the cops a few years back for a neighbor who was having his house broke into by teens who were having a party once inside. The police were able to contact the neighbors (they were out of state at the time). Can you believe we did not get as much as a Thank you….not sure what this world is coming to. It seems in this area anyways..people only want to know your business (peeking over the top of the fence) and cutting down trees so they can see into your backyard ..yet when it comes to noticing the things that matter..watching out for each other they are blind..don’t even get me started with the fireworks..we have had them land on our house as well as our pool cover…Thanks for letting me vent..lol.   Deb Moroni

  2. We have a problem in our subdivision with people who walk their dogs without a leash. Those who own a Pit Bull think that it is a good idea to take one of the most dangerous breeds in the world out for a walk without a restraint in our neighborhood. We frequently have children outside playing.

  3. The worst of the worst being the white haired smith. Normally his bite is worse than his bark but tread carefully near his neighborhood as he is very territorial!

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