Lansing, MI asked in Real Estate Law and Animal / Dog Law for Michigan

Q: Neighbors got a pitbull puppy. Are they required to get a fence or some type of confinement system?

We have a dog and 2 small children. We had an electrical fence installed to contain our dog. We live in Michigan. Are there any laws that required pet owners to get a fence or containment system installed?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: In most areas dogs are required to be contained by either some sort of fence (invisible fencing is acceptable) or on a leash when not in direct control of the owner.

The ‘direct control’ is the tricky part. (Think hunting dogs For example, that are allowed to be off leash So long as the owner maintains verbal control of them.) for most homeowners the answer is a leash or fence. But local laws vary from one municipality to another.

The bottom line is the owner remains liable for the acts of the dog. Just because it is a ‘pit bull’ doesn’t mean it is a dangerous animal though. Each beast has his own personality and that matters. I’ve seen pitties that are sweet and loving and others trained to attack — you never know.

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