Grosse Pointe Shores votes to ban pit bulls after dog attack earlier in spring

Update (10 p.m. Sept. 19): The city council approved a measure that would ban residents from owning pit bulls in the future, but would allow those already with that breed of dog to keep them.

The original story is below.

Months after a dog attack in Grosse Pointe Shores left another dog and its owner injured, the city council will weigh a ban on pit bulls.

The issue has become a divisive one in the community, with some saying breed-specific bans don't work while others point to the incident over the summer as evidence they're necessary.

"I’m for a ban for pit bulls in the area," said Bob Wujek.

"It’s implicit racism in my opinion," said Fran Bachman, who doesn't support the proposal. "When you have dogs that are usually, maybe associated with the African American community, the Latino community, and you’re just going to eliminate them, that hurts the diversity and inclusivity of Grosse Pointe Shores."

For City Manager Stephen Poloni, the issue has brought out energy for both arguments.

"There are passionate people on both sides of the argument and so it’s up to legislative body which is city council to look at those things and hear the comments from the residents and make their decisions from there," he said.

The city council is expected to vote on the proposal during a Tuesday meeting. 

"I’m a pet lover, I'm an animal lover, but there’s information saying pit bulls are dangerous to the neighborhood and with the case that happened just a few weeks ago that substantiates that," said Wujek.

The incident involves a pitbull owned by Detroit Lions Running Back David Montgomery and his longtime girlfriend. According to the Detroit Free Press, the pair were sued after their dog attacked a cockapoo, causing it to suffer two broken legs.

But Bachman says the bans would make the community less enticing to move to. She also said over 300 people have signed a petition saying they don't want the ban.

"The taxpayers would pay for it," said Bachman. "How you can legislate this with a breed specific ban is really impossible.

"If you have a current pit bull you have to have $100,000 worth of insurance for each one and then you have to have a six-foot fence instead of what you may have already," she added.

If it passes, Poloni said current owners would be grandfathered into the law but would need to register their dogs within 30 days. No future pit bulls would be allowed.