Yakima Residents Want Pit Bull Ban Revoked

<p>Pit Bull</p>

Pit Bull

Emily Chandler is a dog lover.

She's known for taking strays into her home until they either find a suitable owner, or make her place their home.

Some of those guests included Pit Bulls.

"I've fostered Pit Bulls here, I did it here against my better judgement," said Chandler, "And we did hide them."

Emily hasn't taken in a Pit Bull in some time, however, that hasn't stopped officials from mistaking her boxer mix for one.

"We've been harassed a couple times by the humane society, because he looks like the pitbull type," said Chandler.

For over 25 years, the City of Yakima has held a ban on Pit Bulls within city limits -- deeming the breed too violent and aggressive.

Today, council members were asked by members of the community to consider softening or even completely eliminating the ban, arguing the animals are simply misunderstood, and it's behavior falls on the owner.

Some council members agreed the issue needs to be looked at closely and delayed making any decisions in the meantime.

The ban was placed in 1987 and has been challenged in the past.

Code enforcement officials say this instance is no different and want to keep the ban in place for the safety of the people.

"From our experiences, what we're seeing of pitbulls, a lot of pitbulls are being hidden in the City of Yakima," said code administration manager Joseph Caruso.

Caruso adds most people who own a Pit Bull aren't strangers to the crimiinal justice system.

"Are they all good dog owners? I can't say say yes or no, but a lot of them have criminal elements surrounding their circumstances," said Caruso.

Until a decision is made by the council, Emily Chandler says she'll be spending her time, trying to prove those who are anti Pit-Bull wrong.

"I'm an advocate for all who can't speak," said Chandler.

According to dogsbite.org, 11 cities in our state ban Pit Bulls, including Selah, Wapato and Othello.

Several other local cities, including Kennewick and Pasco have Pit Bulls listed as potentially dangerous.