Even though 2-year-old Maggie is a beloved pet, she is subjected to breed-based discrimination in Washington municipalities that ban pit bulls. Proposed legislation would make allowances for well-behaved canines regardless of pedigree. Photo by Tessa Kriechbaumer

Even though 2-year-old Maggie is a beloved pet, she is subjected to breed-based discrimination in Washington municipalities that ban pit bulls. Proposed legislation would make allowances for well-behaved canines regardless of pedigree. Photo by Tessa Kriechbaumer

Proposal: Let Washington dog owners appeal ‘dangerous’ breed bans

28 cities have ordinances that restrict or ban ownership of pit bull terriers

By Emma Scher, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

Cities that ban certain dog breeds would have to provide an appeal process for owners under proposed legislation that makes exceptions for good dogs of an outlawed pedigree.

According to DogsBite, a nonprofit organization that advocates for victims of dog maulings, 28 cities in Washington state have ordinances that restrict or ban ownership of pit bull terriers, or declare the entire breed as “potentially dangerous” or “dangerous.”

House Bill 1026 originally aimed to prohibit a ban on specific dog breeds in local jurisdictions. But a substitute bill that passed through committee on Thursday would still allow the breed bans, but requires jurisdictions to implement an appeals process.

“People make dogs dangerous, dogs aren’t born dangerous,” said prime sponsor Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo. “It’s discriminatory to tell someone that they can’t live in your town because of the member of their family.”

Through the appeals process, specific dogs may be exempt from the regulations if they pass a canine behavioral test. If the dog passes, it would be exempt to possession prohibitions for two years and subject to a retest to maintain the exemption. If the dog fails the test, it may retake the test within a reasonable period of time.

Rep. Jenny Graham, R-Mead, voted yes on the bill as it stands now, but supports local jurisdictions being able to create breed-based bans.

“At one and a half, I was bitten by a German Shepherd — I bear the scars still — eight times in the head and face. I’m lucky to be alive, and that was a German Shepherd,” said Rep. Graham. “With the bigger dogs that are capable of hurting or killing, there needs to be some protection there.

The bill was voted out of committee 8-2 with a “do pass” recommendation, and has not been scheduled for a floor debate.

More in News

Left to right, Ken Beckman, Aaron Beckman, Grant Beckman, Howard Elliot Neely and Jane Neely Beckman. Howard was the then-93-year-old grandson of Aaron Neely, Sr., who built the house. Photo by Karen Meador
Neely Mansion celebrates its 125th

Make sure to visit the nationally-recognized historical home on June 22.

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Community dreams about new downtown Maple Valley

City wonders how to build a downtown with an enriched atmosphere

Submitted photo from King County Council. 
                                Dave Lutes holds the proclamation from the King County Council declaring June 7 as ‘Dave Lutes Day’ with Amy Erickson and Holly Potts with the Kent School District.
He spent over 40 years in education, so the county gave him a day

After 42 years of working in the Kent School District, David Lutes decided to retire

Submitted photo 
                                Pictured left to right: Karen Martin, Primo Voce instructor and Kent Elementary Music Specialist; Nelli Southwick, Covington Elementary; Sophia Dermody, Sunrise Elementary; Elizabeth Ollom, Martin Sortun Elementary; Dennis Mottern, Covington Elementary; Isabelle Paxton, Sunrise Elementary; Irene Biju, Sherwood Forest Elementary, FWSD; Holly Johnson, Maple Valley homeschool; and Taylor Roy, Lake Youngs Elementary. Not pictured is Latin Wombles,Grass Lake Elementary.
Rainer Youth Choirs’ Primo Voce wins first

Covington-based Rainier Youth Choirs’ youngest ensemble won the top award at the… Continue reading

“Don’t give up hope” student essay winner says

Crestwood Elementary School student wins Holocaust essay contest

Photo courtesy of Kentlake High School. 
                                Kentlake High School’s graduating class of 2019.
Let’s hear it for the graduates

Congratulations to all of our graduating seniors from Kentwood, Kentlake and Tahoma… Continue reading

Coving-coving- Convington Chameleon needs a name

City asks residents to help name new ambassador

A park survey icon created by the City of Maple Valley.
Maple Valley offers parks survey

City wishes to meet families’ needs for parks

Most Read