Royal Oak Ordinance Requires $1 Million ‘Dangerous Dog’ Insurance Policy

ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Royal Oak is about to unleash new regulations on dog owners.

The new rules, which go into effect Thursday, require owners of “dangerous dogs” to carry $1 million in liability insurance, post signs, complete an obedience class with the dog, and keep the dog in a locked, fenced-in area. Owners must also comply with seven pages worth of other requirements to keep their pets in the city.

Officials say a dog is deemed dangerous if it bites or attacks a person, or causes serious injury to another domestic animal. Exceptions include dogs protecting an owner or a homeowner’s property.

City leaders say they created the ordinance after receiving 32 reports of dog bites and attacks during 2012 in Royal Oak.

Royal Oak resident John Scott said the ordinance is a good move for the city, putting the responsibility on the owners instead of the dogs.

“If you’re a dog owner, you know that dogs are protective of their territory. There’s an old saying that there’s no bad dogs, just bad owners,” he said.

Lori Wosnicki, who has a Bernese Mountain Dog, she understands the reason for the new ordinance, but still thinks that it goes too far.

“Look at this dog, who goes to schools and has kids lay all over him. I have a really hard time with [the ordinance] because how do you decide what’s dangerous,” she said.

Violation of the dog ordinance is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine up to $500 and 90 days in jail.

RELATED: Michigan Ranks 6th In Nation For Dog Bite Claims

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