Highland Park, Michigan (dated November 17,1998) (Special thanks to Cindy Cooke of UKC)


Highland Park, MICHIGAN:

(the following consists of excerpts taken from Cindy's letter)

Charley Marler and I from UKC attended a meeting of the Highland Park City Council to discuss some proposed changes to their present ordinances dealing with barking and vicious dogs.
The Mayor had originally proposed an outright ban on "pit bulls" . The UKC had provided the council members with a letter that they routinely sent to legislators considering "pit bull" bans in particular, and breed-specific ordinances in general.
There were about a half dozen community dog owners who were also there to strongly oppose any ban or regulation on "pit bulls." Interestingly enough, all of the owners of these "dangerous" dogs were women with small children!
In any event, it was apparently refreshing to deal with politicians who had actually read all of the material sent them, and had clearly given it a great deal of thought, even before the meeting.
They were responsive to the needs of the dog owners as well as the law enforcement officers who need help in dealing with criminals who use dogs as weapons. They decided to form a committee made up of responsible dog owners and the police to draft a stronger leash law and develop some strategies for dealing with the criminal element who are abusing the dogs and the privilege of owning dogs. The United Kennel Club is going to help them contact local dog trainers who might be willing to offer a monthly "Responsible Dog Ownership" class which would be mandatory for violators of the new leash law.

The UKC is also proposing community service in the form of working in the animal shelter as part of the punishment.   The key element in the success in this case was advance notice! Noone can help if there called after the fact. These council men and women really wanted to do the right thing but they need to know what it is BEFORE they vote. Thanks to everyone who helped bring this matter to our attention at the very beginning...

Cindy Cooke
United Kennel Club