7/28/2014

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Yakima City Council weighs pit bull ban

Yakima City Council weighs pit bull ban
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima's latest discussion on the city's pit bull ban attracted a crowd.

Dog rescue worker Becky Pascua wants the 26-year old ban lifted. "I believe focusing on pit bulls is very unfair, because a dangerous dog is a dangerous dog regardless of its genetic background."

Neighbor Emily Chandler sided with Pascua. "It's targeting innocent animals that have never done anything wrong."

Yakima's Code Administration Manager kicked off the study session with statistics. Impoundments of banned dogs are down from 96 in 2009 to 39 so far this year.

"Year after year, we're having people bitten by pit bulls," said Joe Caruso. "It's not numbers that we're making up."

Pit bull advocates argue focusing exclusively on pit bulls costs Yakima money that could be spent better looking at complaints for every breed. Caruso's response?

"Absolutely not. To say the pit bull ban is using an extensive amount of money, that is just one factor of our animal control program."

Ed Gefroh survived a recent high-profile attack in Yakima. Ed is still recovering after being mauled in August.

"I don't have happy thoughts when I'm out there anymore," said Gefroh. "I have a fear of something coming and getting me every time I turn around the corner."

Ed was attacked by three pit bulls near the corner of Division Street and 2nd Avenue. They tore him apart. He received 150 stitches and twelve staples to his head.

"Pit bulls can kill you and I'm just fortunate I didn't get killed by one," said Gefroh.

While he supports maintaining the ban, City Hall isn't entirely convinced. Leaders ended the session calling for more study. Said one member: "It's complicated."
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