FLINT (AP) – Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager has approved a new ordinance that makes jail time a possibility for owners of dogs that attack.

Darnell Earley signed an ordinance revision last month that made the owners of dogs that attack people or other canines subject to a misdemeanor with penalties of up to 90 days in jail, a fine of at least $250 or a minimum of 240 hours of community service, The Flint Journal reported.

A violation previously was a less-severe civil infraction. The revised ordinance, which takes effect Aug. 1, was approved earlier in June by City Council, but it also needed Earley’s signature. It calls vicious dogs a “serious and widespread threat” in Flint.

“It gives officers have another tool in their belt to impact public safety,” said Councilman Sheldon Neeley, who introduced the ordinance change. “It’s a positive move – something that was long overdue.”

According to Neeley, there have been dozens of attacks on children and others this year.

An earlier proposal for the revised ordinance drew opposition from some animal advocates because it singled out pit bulls, but opposition dissipated after the pit bull reference was dropped. The change that’s taking effect doesn’t single out specific breeds.

The revised ordinance won’t cover dogs that bite a person after being provoked or tormented or that bite or attack a person who is trespassing.

Earley also signed resolutions to increase the pay of City Council members and the mayor, in line with budget recommendations. Mayor Dayne Walling will get $82,500 a year instead of $55,000, and the pay for each council member is $10,500 a year, up from $7,000.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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