Thin out the laws

The family dog is on the loose, and in a panic you notice that his collar and tags are on the table at home.
May 6, 2013


While you hope that a Good Samaritan might come to the rescue and save your four-legged pal, there is the off-chance that he may get taken in by animal control.

While we all expect that the family pet will get taken in and held until owners can go get them, there is currently a state law that could be bad news for man’s best friend.

The law, Public Act 339 of 1919, reads: “The sheriff (shall) locate and kill, or cause to be killed, all such unlicensed dogs. Failure, refusal or neglect on the part of a sheriff to carry out the provisions of this section constitutes nonfeasance in office.”

While today’s government officials don’t appear to enforce this dated law, it is a shame that it is still on the books.

What is even more concerning is the fact that measures have been taken to repeal the law to no avail. House Bill 4894 of 2011 and House Bill 4168 of 2013 were introduced by Rep. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage. Neither has been taken up in committee.

The latest bill was introduced Feb. 5 and sits in the House Local Government Committee.

This is just one example of an outdated law on the books in Michigan. There are numerous others.

In 2010, the Detroit Free Press pointed out some other “extreme” laws currently on the books. They include a ban on singing the national anthem at a dance; seducing unmarried women; advertising treatment for STDs; and even swearing to “God," “Jesus Christ” or “the Holy Ghost.”

While the state Legislature is busy passing many new laws, they should also take the time to repeal laws that are outdated and no longer necessary. What is the point of having something there if it isn’t being used?

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Sheriff should also be required to eat what he kills, just makes sense.


Let's not forget Public Act 378 of 1927, "the local press shall report the events of the community and shall not inflame the interests of the public for political gain or profit, or by opinion or self-righteous exclamation."

"The penalty for such misconduct shall be a misdemeanor and/or public scorn/humiliation and/or mockery in the 3rd degree." (plus a monetary fine and costs of the Court).


I really like that John, is that local, county, or state; no way can it be a federal law. If this were enforced there wouldn't be a "rag" around where the law was pertinent.


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