Owners Fail to Register
Wapato, WA - Over the summer, the City of Wapato passed a breed-specific law that banned dangerous breeds including: pit bulls and mastiffs. At the time of the ban, owners of these breeds had the opportunity to register their dog and undergo specific training in order to continue to keep their dogs. Mayor Jesse Farias reports that since the ban was enacted: "Only one person has sent their dog to do the training and filed the necessary paperwork."
Turns out, the owners of potentially dangerous dogs are also the least responsible.
Instead of being "responsible" dog owners, owners of banned breeds have taken to hiding their dogs -- keeping them off the streets. Often when cities pass breed-specific laws, authorities "enforce as they go" (See related FAQ sheet). For instance, after a citizen reports a violation, authorities respond and issue citations to the dog owner. The citations and possible subsequent impoundment of the dog are directly due to irresponsible dog owners.
Nine months into the ban, police say that calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police said they've gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in '09. "That's nothing," says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department. Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs. He says that pit bull protection depends upon citizens calling in about violations.
06/26/08: After Ban in 2005, Council Bluffs Sees Fall In Pit Bull Attacks
06/19/08: Lower Valley Town of Wapato Adopts Pit Bull Ban
03/02/08: Ontario Pit Bull Ban Greatly Reduces Bite Count