10/22/2014

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Service pit bull involved in attack accidentally returned to family

Service pit bull involved in attack accidentally returned to family
YAKIMA, Wash. -- KIMA is getting questions answered after a service pit bull involved in an attack was mistakenly returned to the family. It was taken away again Wednesday.

Kali Katzenberg enjoys the last few minutes with her pit bull before animal control officers take him away. Katzenberg and her dad have owned him for a year and a half in Yakima.

"When you first got the dog, you knew that pit bulls weren't allowed in the city of Yakima," KIMA said to Scott Lusby, Katzenberg's dad.
"Correct," he responded.

They're not mad they got caught. The family says it hurts to have the dog taken away again.

"They give him back to me, and then they just take him," Katzenberg said. "That's not okay. I know they made a mistake, but it still kind of makes me mad."

Animal control learned about the illegal dog in March, but let the family apply to register the pit bull as a service dog.

"He's always there for me when I feel bad," Katzenberg said.

The city now believes the family lied on their service dog application in an attempt to keep the pet.

It worked, but about two weeks ago, the dog got out. It fought with another dog. When three people tried to break up the fight, they were all bit.

The dog was supposed to be held at the Humane Society while Animal Control made a decision on the dog's fate. But the Humane Society mistakenly gave the dog back to the family.

"How does a mistake like that happen?" KIMA asked Yakima City Codes Manager Joe Caruso.
"Well, a mistake like that happening by the Humane Society, I'm going to take the blame on that," he responded. "It's a City of Yakima citation."

The family now has to turn in paperwork to have their case heard before a judge. If they don't do it by Tuesday, the dog will be euthanized.

Until Thursday, the new ordinance for service pit bulls was in a transitional stage. That ordinance officially went into effect Thursday.
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