Renton, WA: Dangerous dogs banned (not BSL)

Summary:  Renton citizens requested a ban on ‘dangerous dogs’ when they heard someone who owned a ‘dangerous dog’ might be moving in.  Judging from the article, in Washington State a dog is declared ‘dangerous’ based not on his or her breed, but on his or her behavior:  killing a domestic animal without provocation, or seriously injuring or killing a human without provocation.  A dog can get a ‘potentially dangerous’ designation by threatening or biting a domestic animal or human; then a second minor biting incident can have the dog declared ‘dangerous.’  Once a dog is labeled ‘dangerous,’ by State law the owner must keep the dog in a child-resistant enclosure and carry a $250,000 insurance policy or surety bond.  According to Renton ACO Dennis MccAskill, Renton dogs who would have qualified for the ‘dangerous dog’ label have usually been euthanized before a ‘dangerous dog’ declaration was rendered.  And, most Renton residents would not be able to afford the insurance necessary for keeping a ‘dangerous dog.’  Indeed, many owners opt for euthanasia once AC explains the risks of owning a dog designated ‘potentially dangerous.’  Renton City Council chose to ban ‘dangerous dogs,’ rather than try for better enforcement of the old law, hoping to prevent accidents.  It’s now “technically illegal” to transport a ‘dangerous dog’ through Renton, even on the freeway.

City of Renton bans ‘dangerous dogs’

Renton Reporter Staff Writer
Dec 29 2009, 5:04 PM · UPDATED

[…] “Could you really design a perfectly safe way to keep a (dangerous) dog in a crowded urban environment?” said council member Randy Corman. “You can commit to enforcing the law, but you’ll have accidents, because to err is human….”

“The old way of dealing with it, requiring people to have liability insurance and to have an enclosure, were not protective enough,” Corman said….

The law was passed quickly with a first and second reading Dec. 7….

Renton Reporter Staff Writer Celeste Gracey can be reached at or 425-255-3484, ext. 5052.

Full article retrieved 2009-12-31 from

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