Even though 2-year-old Maggie is a beloved pet, she is subjected to breed-based discrimination in Washington municipalities that ban pit bulls. Proposed legislation would make allowances for well-behaved canines regardless of pedigree. Photo by Tessa Kriechbaumer

Even though 2-year-old Maggie is a beloved pet, she is subjected to breed-based discrimination in Washington municipalities that ban pit bulls. Proposed legislation would make allowances for well-behaved canines regardless of pedigree. Photo by Tessa Kriechbaumer

Proposal: Let Washington dog owners appeal ‘dangerous’ breed bans

28 cities have ordinances that restrict or ban ownership of pit bull terriers

By Emma Scher, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

Cities that ban certain dog breeds would have to provide an appeal process for owners under proposed legislation that makes exceptions for good dogs of an outlawed pedigree.

According to DogsBite, a nonprofit organization that advocates for victims of dog maulings, 28 cities in Washington state have ordinances that restrict or ban ownership of pit bull terriers, or declare the entire breed as “potentially dangerous” or “dangerous.”

House Bill 1026 originally aimed to prohibit a ban on specific dog breeds in local jurisdictions. But a substitute bill that passed through committee on Thursday would still allow the breed bans, but requires jurisdictions to implement an appeals process.

“People make dogs dangerous, dogs aren’t born dangerous,” said prime sponsor Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo. “It’s discriminatory to tell someone that they can’t live in your town because of the member of their family.”

Through the appeals process, specific dogs may be exempt from the regulations if they pass a canine behavioral test. If the dog passes, it would be exempt to possession prohibitions for two years and subject to a retest to maintain the exemption. If the dog fails the test, it may retake the test within a reasonable period of time.

Rep. Jenny Graham, R-Mead, voted yes on the bill as it stands now, but supports local jurisdictions being able to create breed-based bans.

“At one and a half, I was bitten by a German Shepherd — I bear the scars still — eight times in the head and face. I’m lucky to be alive, and that was a German Shepherd,” said Rep. Graham. “With the bigger dogs that are capable of hurting or killing, there needs to be some protection there.

The bill was voted out of committee 8-2 with a “do pass” recommendation, and has not been scheduled for a floor debate.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Stock photo
State AG Ferguson leads effort supporting local journalism

Federal legislation offers tax credits to subscribers, businesses and news organizations

C-17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord airstrip (courtesy of United States Military)
King County councilmember proposes program to aid transition of Afghan interpreters who served the U.S. overseas

Program would provide job training and learning opportunities for Afghan interpreters and advisors.

Vaccinations taking place. File photo
Inslee: No ‘massive disruptions’ as worker vax rates hit 90%

A surge in vaccinations has eased concern about service slowdowns ahead of a Monday deadline.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
Lambert removed from King County Council leadership roles

Lambert received backlash after her campaign used flyers that depicted her opponent as a puppet.

Union members picket in front of new Facebook campus in Redmond on Sept. 16 (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Northwest Carpenters Union members vote to accept contract with AGC

The agreement comes after weeks of striking.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
After doubling down on “racist” flyer, Lambert publicly apologizes

Apology encouraged by King County Council colleagues.

Pixabay image
School psychologist among three charged with immoral communication with a minor

Redmond detectives conducted an online predator sting using fake profiles.

Courtesy of King County Police Officers Guild
Office lacks power over King County law enforcement in misconduct investigations

Director Tamer Abouzeid presents OLEO annual report to law and justice committee on Tuesday.

Photos of drug bust and Fury the K9 unit (courtesy of King County Sheriff's Office)
King County Sheriff’s Office confiscates over $1 million worth of deadly fentanyl during drug bust

With help from a search dog, officers found 97,000 fentanyl pills and eight pounds of heroin.

Most Read