ALERT: Wapata, WA (BSL)

Pits in the news and info on Breed Specific Legislation.

Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:17 pm

The city of Wapato has banned several specific breeds of dog, attaching a fine of up to $500 for violation of the new ordinance.

City Council members unanimously passed Monday an ordinance outlawing ownership of pit bull terriers or a mixture of those breeds. That includes Mastiffs, Rottweilers or American bulldogs.
Under the ordinance, a person caught with such a dog would face a $250 fine for the first offense, and $500 fines for each subsequent offense.
The only exceptions are for trained service dogs and for dogs certified as Canine Good Citizens by the American Kennel Association.
Council members hesitated to act on the proposed ban earlier this month, asking to explore ways to outlaw vicious dogs rather than certain breeds.
However, since the June 4 meeting, police have had to shoot a dog that was chasing people and cars, though it did not bite anyone. That seemed to change people's minds, said Mayor Jesse Farias, though there was still a lot of discussion before the decision.
"Since last time we met, police have had to destroy another animal," Farias said. "That was six in five months."



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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:18 pm

UPDATE: Wapato bans pit bulls
by Ross Courtney
Yakima Herald-Republic


WAPATO -- The city of Wapato has banned several specific breeds of dog, attaching a fine of up to $500 for violation of the new ordinance.



City Council members unanimously passed Monday an ordinance outlawing ownership of pit bull terriers or a mixture of those breeds. That includes Mastiffs, Rottweilers or American bulldogs.



Under the ordinance, a person caught with such a dog would face a $250 fine for the first offense, and $500 fines for each subsequent offense.



The only exceptions are for trained service dogs and for dogs certified as Canine Good Citizens by the American Kennel Association.



Council members hesitated to act on the proposed ban earlier this month, asking to explore ways to outlaw vicious dogs rather than certain breeds.



However, since the June 4 meeting, police have had to shoot a dog that was chasing people and cars, though it did not bite anyone. That seemed to change people's minds, said Mayor Jesse Farias, though there was still a lot of discussion before the decision.



"Since last time we met, police have had to destroy another animal," Farias said. "That was

six in five months."



Also, council members took those two weeks to better define a dangerous dog, regardless of breed, said Refugio Roa, one of the nay-sayers the first time around.



"We've been on the same page," he said. "We just kind of wanted the wording a little different."



The new ordinance uses the state definition of a dangerous dog.



The city has more than its share of dog troubles. It has a tight budget that can't afford animal control services.



Last year, a 4-year-old girl was hospitalized after being mauled by dogs in an alley behind her home. She suffered bites to her scalp and back, but authorities were unable to get a description of the dogs.



In 2004, a 4-year-old boy nearly lost his arms after being viciously mauled by a pack of stray dogs that invaded his grandmother's west Wapato yard, though it was just outside the city limits.



"It was getting out of hand," Farias said.



The ordinance won't have any authority in two nearby Yakama tribal housing projects because those fall under tribal jurisdiction.



The law will take effect in a few days, but the city will not begin enforcing it until it has had time to notify residents, Farias said. One idea is to send out a mass mailing in Spanish and English.



"It's only fair that we tell people in writing," he said.



* Ross Courtney can be reached at 930-8798 or rcourtney@....



http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/4989

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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:36 pm

City bans aggressive dog breeds



WAPATO, Wash., June 18 (UPI) -- City officials in Wapato, Wash., said they passed an ordinance making it illegal for people to own several types of dogs.



City Council members Monday approved a new law banning residents from owning pit bull terriers or pit bull mixes, including mastiffs, Rottweilers and American bulldogs, the Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic reported Wednesday.



Violators of the new law could be hit with a $250 penalty the first time they are arrested and a $500 penalty for further violations, the newspaper said.



City authorities said trained service dogs and dogs deemed as Canine Good Citizens by the American Kennel Association will not be included in the ordinance.



The ordinance will be put in place in coming days, but people won't be penalized until the city has informed residents of the change, officials say.



http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/06/18/ ... 213832052/




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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:37 pm

Owning a Pit Bull Will Cost You

Posted: June 18, 2008 06:34 PM CDT

Updated: June 18, 2008 06:34 PM CDT

WAPATO, Wash-People in Wapato will have to give up their dogs next week. Wapato City Council decided Monday night to ban pit bull terriers and other dangerous dogs.



The city defined ¬°dangerous' as a dog that has injured a person or another animal.



Owners will be receiving notices of the new ordinance. If they do not give their dog away they will receive a $250 fine.



People are allowed to keep their dog if it has gone through training and is certified with the American Kennel Association.



Yakima has a similar ordinance. Pit bulls were banned years ago and owning one will cost you a felony charge.



http://www.kndo.com/Global/story.asp?S= ... enu484_2_8


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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:56 pm

Banned breeds keep area safe, some Wapato residents say
by Ross Courtney
Yakima Herald-Republic

WAPATO -- If it wasn't for Butch, Kim Miranda's cedar fence would be covered in graffiti, just like those of her neighbors.



Just like the walls, sidewalks and even some of the vehicles surrounding her South Satus Avenue home.



But because of Butch, her 2-year-old Rottweiler, her fence is clean.



"I'm sure it's because he's here," she said. "They don't mess with me."



Still, Butch's days are numbered in this town. City Hall has banned Rottweilers, Mastiffs and several other derivative breeds and mixes of pit bull terriers to curb its dangerous dog problem.



On Monday, City Council members unanimously passed the new ordinance, which imposes a $250 fine for owning a pit bull mix, joining Tieton, Moxee and Yakima as the only cities in Yakima County to ban certain breeds.



They contend that in a city that can't afford an animal control officer, police officers have had to shoot five marauding dogs in the past six months. Last year, a 4-year-old girl was hospitalized after being mauled by dogs in an alley behind her home. In 2004, a 4-year-old boy nearly lost his arms after being viciously mauled by a pack of stray dogs just outside the city limits.



Wapato Mayor Jesse Farias plans to begin enforcing the new ban after he sends a letter in Spanish and English to each resident. He also plans to give residents time to comply, but hasn't decided how long, he said.



Stories about Butch -- Miranda's watchdog who barks at passers-by during the night -- don't make him regret asking the council for the ban.



"We have a problem with these breed of dogs and we need to do something with them," he said.



Several people have called City Hall about the ordinance, but most asked how long they had to comply rather than complain, Farias said.



Miranda considers Butch -- she calls him Scooby -- part of her family. She and her husband will probably replace him with a German Shepherd or a Doberman, which are just as likely to hurt somebody as a Rottweiler, she said.



She would rather the new law ban only pit bulls, dogs often raised for fighting, instead of Rottweilers.



"We don't have a dog problem, we have a pit bull problem," she said.



Her friend, Daniel Garcia, who lives a block away, calls the new law misguided for going after certain breeds. He knows of golden retrievers that have bitten people and points out a chow tied up around the corner that recently tried to attack some children. He and a neighbor woman used sticks to beat it off.



He owns none of the breeds specified by the ban, but has Chihuahuas he fears would bite somebody sooner than Butch.



He believes city staff should solve the dog problem by inspecting the house and yard of each dog owner before granting them a license.



"All these dogs that are chained and can get loose, that's the problem," he said. ?



http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/5057




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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:57 pm

Animal Control Officer Skeptical About Wapato Dog Ban
By Sade Malloy
Watch the story

Wapato -- Janine Wesley says, "Happy, fun."

But her happy fun dog is also considered dangerous by the city of Wapato.

Pitbulls, Rottweilers and Mastiffs are now illegal in the city, so Janine's dog is banned.

"You can't walk them down the road 'cause people Pitbulls are loose and they'll eat my dog."

This woman who didn't want to talk on camera agrees with the new rules.

She's says she's had issues before with Pitbulls and is sick of them.

But for every person in favor of the rule, there's another person who isn't.

Sade Malloy, KIMA Action News says, "Do you think that they're generalizing when it comes to dangerous dogs?
Gustavo Razo says, "Yeah I think so."

Sade Malloy, KIMA Action News says, "The city of Yakima has had a pitbull ban for 20 years now but it's still a daily problem officers picked up Monster here just yesterday."

Ben Zigan's been working with Yakima Animal Control for years and is skeptical of Wapato's new law.

Ben Zigan, Yak Animal Control says, "Considering the city of Wapato doesn't have the funding for an animal control service it's going to be really difficult to enforce a ban."

Difficult because even though pitbulls are now against the law and people can face misdemeanor charges, based off of Yakima's history with banned Pitbulls some dog owner's won't get rid of their animal.

Sade Malloy, KIMA Action News says, "Is there a reason to really generalize that one breed is more dangerous than another?

Ben Zigan, Yak Animal Control says, "No it all falls back on owner's responsibility.



http://www.kimatv.com/news/20586469.html

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