Heated public hearing over Hastings Vicious Animals ordinance

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 22:37:09-05

HASTINGS, Mich. — A controversial subject in Hastings went under the public microscope Monday night.

It had to do with what’s called the city’s ‘Vicious Animals’ ordinance.  It has been on the table for a few weeks and has caused a lot of uproar. Some residents say the language of the ordinance targets certain breeds.

Mayor pro tem Bill Redman says it will hold dog owners accountable, and says they’ve been pushing for citizens to understand the bill before they shoot it down.

For a lot of residents, just the fact that the proposal mentions breeds is a no-go.  They argue it unfairly categorizes certain breeds, like pit bulls, as dangerous.

Monday night marked another hold up for the ordinance in the wake of strong words from some in attendance.  That included Patty Richardson, a representative for the Humane Society.

“It’s like profiling the pit bull,” Richardson said. “And at the animal shelter, I would think more people would adopt the pit bull mixes if they didn’t have a bad rap.”

The city council decided to hold off on a vote until they could figure out logistics for people with working dogs, and work out issues of insurance for people who are bitten by breeds spelled out in the ordinance.