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Senate approves Rep. Clements plan to fix dangerous dog laws
RELEASE|June 17, 2022
Contact: TC Clements

The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan plan sponsored by state Rep. TC Clements to clarify state law by eliminating mandates and court orders related to a government registry of dangerous dogs, which is no longer in operation.

Previously, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) maintained a registry of tattoo identification numbers assigned to dogs proven to be dangerous. A 2016 law eliminated authority for the registry, but a few references to the registry remain on the books. As noted by the House Fiscal Agency, “This is particularly problematic when a court orders a dog deemed to be a dangerous animal to be tattooed under the defunct program.”

Clements, R-Temperance, introduced House Bill 5588, which, along with HB 5589, would eliminate two references to the tattoo identification registry: one authorizing judges and magistrates to order tattooing of a dangerous dog with a number assigned by MDARD, and one requiring local officials to provide dog owners information about the defunct registry.

“Unclear and outdated laws breed confusion for citizens and government officials who have to follow them,” Clements said. “Simple corrections will keep dangerous dog laws consistent and straightforward for courts and canine owners.

“Elected leaders should want to do all we can to clean up dysfunctional laws that do nothing. Smaller, more organized, and more efficient government always serves our neighbors better.”

The bills now advance to the governor for her consideration.

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