Michigan Considering ‘Bite-and-Run’ Bill

Legislation would make it illegal for dog owners to leave the scene of a biting incident.

A Michigan House panel is expected to endorse legislation today that would make it a crime for owners of dogs to leave the scene after their dogs bite people.

If approved, the law would make it a misdemeanor to leave the scene of a dog-biting incident, punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jeff Mayes (D-Bay City), who says one of his constituents and her dog were attacked on a sidewalk, only to have the attacking dog’s owner drive away from the scene.

The bill also would require an owner to help an injured bite victim.

Mayes introduced a similar bill in 2005, and the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee in September 2006 but didn’t clear the full House.

The Michigan House Judiciary Committee will consider the bill today, and if approved, it will go on to the full House of Representatives.

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