Tag Archives: Sturgis Michigan

Sturgis, Michigan, So Many Dogs It’s Criminal

My wife and I are serious dog lovers. Our dog is the best dog in the world. She’s family. We adopted her from a shelter in 2009 and have never regretted it for a second. Choosing a dog at the shelter was tough. At the time we were in a small apartment, and I knew we only had room for one dog. When we walked into the shelter I asked, “which dog has been here the longest?” They showed us a skinny mix breed who had been waiting over two years for her forever home. My wife and I took her for a walk and she stole our hearts. I’ve wondered about all those dogs we passed up, they were facing long odds and most probably never found a forever home.

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Yesterday I read about Sturgis, Michigan a town that has made it illegal for anyone to own more than two dogs. The ordinance was created to stop individuals from operating kennels in the city, it reads as follows:

Sec. 10-33. – Operating a dog kennel in city prohibited.  No person, group of persons, association or corporation shall keep, operate, or maintain a dog kennel within the limits of the city. A dog kennel, as used in this section means any establishment wherein or whereon more than two dogs are owned, kept, or harbored. This section shall not apply to the owning, keeping, or harboring of any dog pups until they  attain the age of four months.

As you can see, it’s a broad definition of kennel and I suspect many residents are in violation of this law without being aware it exists.

 

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From the article:

Rick Carter, of 204 S. Fourth St., disagrees with the standard and argues that the city should not be able to control the number of pets he has on his private property as long as the animals are cared for and create no nuisances. Carter is fighting a civil citation he received when someone reported he had three dogs at his home. He has refused to relocate any of his pets and says he has never been cited for a dog-related nuisance or danger.

Carter filed a citizen initiative petition in January, signed by more than 21 registered voters. That forced the Sturgis City Commission to either repeal the existing dog limit ordinance or send the question to the ballot for voters to decide.

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Fortunately someone decided to challenge this law and gathered signatures to call for it’s repeal. They were motivated by a love of their three pets, and an unwillingness to abandon one of those pets. Tuesday, May 5, 2015 voters in Sturgis will be voting to decide whether or not to repeal this ordinance.

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This question will appear on the ballot:

CITY OF STURGIS
ORDINANCE PROPOSAL
Should the City of Sturgis repeal Part II – Chapter 10 Animals
– Article II Dogs and Cats –
Section 10-33 of the City of Sturgis Code of Ordinances?
Sec. 10-33. – Operating a dog kennel in city prohibited.
No person, group of persons, association or corporation shall keep, operate, or maintain a dog kennel within the limits of the city. A dog kennel, as used in this section means any establishment wherein or whereon more than two dogs are owned, kept, or harbored. This section shall not apply to the owning, keeping, or harboring of any dog pups until they attain the age of four months.
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Voters decided to keep the kennel ordinance on 5/5/2015

By a 294-648 margin, Sturgis city voters Tuesday turned down the repeal of a city ordinance that limits residents to having no more than two dogs.

But the man who sought the repeal said Tuesday he is moving to Kansas City and his three dogs will be going with him.

Tuesday’s election turnout was less than 15 percent of registered voters citywide.

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