Gaines Twp. board reviewing vicious dog ordinance

GAINES TWP. — The Gaines Township Board of Trustees is revisiting a plan to put more teeth in its dog ordinance.

“We had two pretty vicious dog attacks in the last month,” said Supervisor Paul Fortino. “We need to look at our dog ordinance. We had it on the table a month or two ago, but we need to bring it up again and get it taken care of.”

The first attack occurred on Nichols Road near Cook Road, when a rottweiler came off a porch and charged three teenage boys walking north on Nichols, according to police Chief Mark Schmitzer.

“The dog chased them down the road and bit one very severely on the buttocks and legs, requiring medical treatment,” Schmitzer said.

Two additional incidents occurred Oct. 30 and 31.

“Some pitbulls came from an address in the 12000 block of Ray Road, into the Village of Gaines, and killed some chickens in the 600 block of Genesee Street,” the chief said.

The dogs killed three chickens on Oct. 30, and another one on Halloween, he said.

The animal owners have been issued citations in each incident and Genesee County Animal Control has been contacted, but there is only so much the township can do under the current ordinance.

The ordinance, as it stands, allows for fees of $100 to $500 to be assessed to the animal owners.

“It doesn’t allow a judge or order the dogs be removed into the custody of Animal Control,” Schmitzer said, adding that state law does allow for such a court order.

“With no (removal provision in the) local ordinance, we have to go to county prosecutor and charge (the owners) under state law,” Schmitzer explained. “The county doesn’t like to deal with vicious dogs, so you take the back burner.”

Township attorney Michael Gildner will work on updating the dog ordinance so that it mirrors the state law.