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Pit bull ban dropped in Richland, approved in Royal City

RICHLAND, Wash. -- The Richland City Council has dropped a move to define pit bulls as potentially dangerous, while the council in Royal City approved a ban on pit bulls and Rottweilers even in cars passing through town.

The Richland council voted unanimously Tuesday night to reject a proposed ordinance that had passed its first reading in November 4 to 2 after a rental property owner said a neighbor's pit bull was scaring away potential tenants.

"I don't see where amending the (dangerous dog) ordinance will gain anything," said council member Edward Revell, who voted in favor of the proposal Nov. 21.

"We all have our fears," Revell said, "but I don't think there's any evidence to support (pit bulls) are any worse."

Mayor Rob Welch, who also changed his stance, said opponents convinced him that a breed-specific ordinance would be unwarranted.

"At this point in time, I think the community has spoken," Welch said.

In Royal City, population about 1,900, the council voted to banish Rottweilers as well as pit bulls effective Jan. 12, including dogs used by the State Patrol or in motor vehicles passing through the Grant County town southwest of Moses Lake. Violators would be subject to a fine and the dog could be impounded.

Pet owners made the same arguments as in Richland, but to no avail. Two people brought their pit bull to the meeting to show how well-behaved it was, only to be told by Mayor Justin Jenks to remove the dog from the council chambers.

Citing a Web site that listed 12 dog deaths blamed on Rottweilers and pit bulls in the last five months, none in Royal City, Jenks said he wanted to prevent any such occurrence locally.

"I can look anything up on the Internet and find the answers I want," retorted Cindy Bartlett, a pit bull owner. "Don't make a family get rid of a family pet. You should be outlawing dogs who have bit people."


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