At last nights meeting in Enumclaw, Washington, officials voted to keep the current breed ban in place.
The meeting drew a great number of commenters, some from both sides of the issue, but as we have seen before, the commenters for repealing the ban, out weighed those for keeping. There was a small contingent to keep the ban, led by a woman whose child had been attacked by a dog she identified as a “pit bull.” Public comment lasted for over an hour.
The vote to keep the law in place was unanimous. This is interesting considering the vote to repeal was nearly unanimous as well, with only one dissenting vote. The official recommendation per city documentation, was to repeal the existing ban.
There is some speculation that officials did not want to act to repeal with the emotional pressure present.
Though the repeal failed to pass the second reading, officials have said that this is not the end of the discussion. Replacing the ban with restrictions is one idea that is being looked at as well as increasing penalties for those who have dogs that attack.
The ordinance that was for discussion, not only repealed the existing ban. It also would have strengthened the rest of the dangerous dog laws, to better protect the community from negligent owners who fail to exercise proper care and control over their dogs. A companion to the repeal would have adopted the county animal control law, which has been updated far more recently then the cities law.
King County provides animal control for the city, and having laws that are the same is extremely important for the proper enforcement of those laws. Disparity breeds confusion for both residents and those working in official capacity, for the county.
It is unfortunate that officials failed to provide equal recourse for all victims of dog attacks and has failed to act in a manner that would have made for more effective enforcement of Animal Control within the city.