Ypsilanti Township makes pit bull spay/neuter ordinance permanent
The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees approved an extension of an ordinance that requires residents to spay or neuter their pit bulls.
Officials approved the ordinance in October 2010 with a two-year sunset clause that would allow officials to assess its effectiveness before extending it.
The board unanimously approved the extension Monday, making the ordinance permanent.
Residents who violate the law face criminal misdemeanor charges punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.
Officials said the ordinance is an attempt to reduce the number of pit bulls euthanized and control the breed's population. So far, more than 700 pit bulls have been sterilized for free through a grant awarded to the HSHV from PetSmart, and the program has enough funds left to sterilize another 150.
Ypsilanti Township accounted for nearly 50 percent of the shelter’s pit bull intake, while 11.2 percent came from the City of Ypsilanti and 7.4 percent from Ann Arbor.
In 2011, as the law went into effect, 237 pit bulls were brought into the Humane Society. That number has dropped to 113 through the end of October and is projected to rise to 135 by the end of the year.
Euthanasia of pit bulls dropped from a peak of 139 dogs in 2009 to 103 in 2011 and 56 through the end of October. Officials are projecting putting down 58 pit bulls total in 2012.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Mike Radzik, director of the office of community standards, said.
Jenny Paillon, director of operations at the HSHV, thanked the board for being progressive with the ordinance.
“We’re very, very happy with the results and we want to see it continue,” she said. “We love this breed and we don’t to euthanize them anymore.”
Trustee Mike Martin was the lone vote against the ordinance in 2010, but he supported it this time. He said last month that he thought the ordinance was effective, but added that he wanted to see a more comprehensive spay and neuter program for all animals in the township.