Moses Lake repeals dog ban

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Moses Lake

MOSES LAKE - The Moses Lake hazardous dogs ordinance was repealed.

The city council approved the move following an executive session at a recent meeting. The council chose not to pass an amendment to its animal control ordinance.

The hazardous dog ordinance was established following an attack on a 6-year-old boy in 2008. The ordinance designated pit bulls, rottweilers and preza canarios as hazardous dogs.

City code required ownners of hazardous dogs to put them in a fully-enclosed pen or yard, post warning signs and have liability insurance, according to the ordinance.

Hazardous dogs were defined as any dog with the "propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury to, or otherwise endanger the safety of humans or domestic animals," or dog any dog habitually snarling, growling or snapping at people on sidewalks, streets, alleys or other public places.

City Manager Joe Gavinski said the city council decided not to do anything with an amendment to the animal control ordinance to move the restrictions from the hazardous dogs ordinance to the animal control ordinance.

"They didn't table it. There was no motion to pass it at this time," he said. "They didn't even take it up. That's not to say it couldn't come up in the future, but, at this point, I think they probably want to sit on it for a bit."

The code now reverts back to the state's law on dangerous dogs, Gavinski said.

The state law does not refer to dog breeds in defining dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs. Instead, it defines potentially dangerous dogs as unprovoked dogs which bite people or animals on public or private property, cases people in a "menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack" or any dog with a "propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury, or to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals."

The city is presently facing a federal lawsuit from Nick Criscuolo, claiming the city's enforcement of the hazardous dog ordinance violated his civil rights.

Adam Karp, the attorney representing Criscuolo, said his client is happy with the repeal since it will mean an end to the profiling of specific breeds of dogs.

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