Dangerous dog law may prompt Yakima to revisit pit bull ban
YAKIMA, Wash. -- On Tuesday, city council will discuss and vote on what Assistant City Mayor Dulce Gutierrez says is a stronger dangerous dog ordinance. She says the revamped ordinance provides clarity around an owner's responsibilities, the city's role in enforcing regulations, and simplified penalty fees around violations. She says this ordinance is directed toward all dogs.
“A dangerous dog can be any breed that's acting aggressively, in a manner that makes a person feel fearful for their own safety, also it could be any size,” she said.
If a dog is found to be dangerous, it would have to be confined at all times within a fence or a kennel, would not be able to be off of a leash in public, and would possibly need to be muzzled when taken outside the home. They would also need to be registered as a dangerous dog. Gutierrez says this will likely lead to taking another look at the city's controversial pit bull ban.
“I’m not gauging a majority support right now, to lifting the ban, that's not what I'm reading from the other council members comments in our public meetings, but I think in large part, what we wanna see, is that the community supports lifting the ban,” said Gutierrez,
She says it's a possibility the pit bull ban may end up on the November ballot for the public to decide whether or not to lift it, but at this point in time, she's not certain.
Vaughn Merry with the Yakima Humane Society says the ban has been unjust since it was enacted 30 years ago.
“We're banning one breed over another breed and, they’re no more dangerous than another large breed dog,” said Merry.
In Yakima, there are people on both sides, when it comes to this hot button issue.
“I think that they are bad dogs. I think that all they are good for is wearing a spot in your yard,” said DJ Escobar.
“I don't think it’s fair because I believe that they are God's creatures, and when you raise them from a pup, and you raise them right, taking care of them, giving them love, I think that they can grow up to love,” said Gloria Marrouquin.
Only time will tell if pit bulls will be allowed back in.