Yakima city council to revisit ban on pit bulls - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima city council to revisit ban on pit bulls

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Yakima, WA -  A few months ago Yakima City Council member Carmen Mendez vocalized her interest in discussing the current law in place, the breed-specific ban of pit bulls within city limits.

Supporters of the law refer to previous reports of pit bull attacks in the city, making the breed dangerous, but on the other side of that argument, are people like Council member Mendez, who say they've only had positive experiences with the animals.  Animal experts also note that any animal can become aggressive, and that aggression is not specific to pit bulls.

Through the years, the ban has garnered both support and opposition and that is why at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016, council members will take a moment to revisit the ban, and its circumstances.  Public commentary is welcome. 

"I want to take this very slow, and make sure that we are doing everything that we need to do to in order to ensure that the community feels that we are listening to what they want us to do," said Mendez.

Councilwoman Mendez, says ideally, there would be no vote on the ban Tuesday night, but instead she wants the discussion to focus on the hearing everyone out, all their concerns, questions, etc. and after the meeting, she would like to turn the discussion over to the city's Public Safety Committee for further review.

The Yakima City Council Meeting will be in the Council Chambers at Yakima City Hall, the meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m.

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - The Yakima City Council is reconsidering a 29-year-ban on pit bull breeds within the city.
Reversing the ban will be discussed at the council's June 21 meeting after Councilwoman Carmen Mendez made a motion to revisit the ordinance last week. The motion passed by a 5-1 vote.
The council revisited the pit bull ban in 2013 and 2014. The ban remained in place in 2013, but was modified in 2014 to allow pit bull ownership only if the dog certified as a service animal.
The city ordinance, passed in 1987, bans bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers as well as dogs with any "identifiable" pit bull variety as an element of their breeding.
The city has a separate ordinance establishing requirements to keep individual dogs deemed "dangerous" contained on owners' properties. Council members haven't expressed interest in revisiting that policy.