The Yakima, WA, City Council voted in April 2014, to allow Pit Bulls (which are otherwise banned from the city) to be owned if they qualify as service dogs as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Included in the restrictions for owners of service Pit Bulls were that they must be leashed and muzzled at any time they are in public and that they must be kept in well-secured confinement when they are at home.
The ordinance allows fines for violation but did not set an amount. An item on the Tuesday agenda of the Council is to set that fine at $250, KAPP-TV announced.
PIT BULL SERVICE DOG ATTACKS 3 PEOPLE, PET DOG
In early May—just two weeks after the ordinance allowing the exemption--a registered Pit Bull service dog attacked three people and a companion dog after it escaped from its owner’s home in the 1300 block of Garfield Avenue. The owner was in the back yard, said Yakima Code Enforcement Officer Joe Caruso.
The city application to register the Pit Pull as a service dog at that location showed the animal was owned by Scott Lusby, Caruso said, and that the dog “provided emotional support, calmed its disabled owner, channeled negative emotions away and provided a sense of security.”
On May 15, KIMA-TV reported that the Pit Bull involved in the attack “was mistakenly returned to the family. It was taken away again Wednesday.”
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.
The city said it believes the family lied on their service dog application in an attempt to keep the pet, reported KIMA.
Yakima had banned pit bulls in 1987 after three separate attacks by the breed.