Louie's Law


Nation needs to spell out definition of ‘service dog’

on June 13, 2014

dangerous breeds need not be included in the mix for the sake of service

Dangerous Dogs in the News


It seems nothing launches the nature-vs.-nurture debate like whether pit bulls are suitable to work as service dogs. Back in the 1980s, the city of Yakima joined many local jurisdictions in banning the breed entirely within city limits, amid yelps from human pit bull defenders that the action singled out the dogs and ignored irresponsible owners and breeders.

The issue has simmered for a quarter-century; then in April, the Yakima City Council approved an exemption that allows pit bulls as service animals. The change came on the advice of city attorneys, who said the all-out ban violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The exemption requires animals to be registered with the city, be restrained on leashes and muzzled in public, and the dogs must be kept in pens or locked enclosures when at home.

Pit bull supporters cheered, but opponents feared the exemption created an opening for dog owners…

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