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Pit Bull Used as Service Animal Attacks Dog, Three People

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It hasn't even been three weeks since the City of Yakima decided to allow pit bulls as service animals, and already there's been a vicious attack. It hasn't even been three weeks since the City of Yakima decided to allow pit bulls as service animals, and already there's been a vicious attack.
YAKIMA, WA - It hasn't even been three weeks since the City of Yakima decided to allow pit bulls as service animals, and already there's been a vicious attack.

As people very well know there is still a pit bull ban in the City of Yakima. But after getting letters from people saying they use the breed as service animals, the city had to make an exception in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

There's been about five to six pit bulls allowed as service dogs so far, including the one that attacked a dog and three people Thursday afternoon.

When you think of a service dog, you typically think of a docile and good tempered companion. But shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday, a pit bull service dog ran out of an open door at 1307 Garfield Avenue and attacked a neighbor's dog.

Three people tried to break up the attack, and a man and woman were both bitten by the pit bull.

"Someone was trying to hit the dog with a rake to break them loose from the other dog, and it would not," said Joe Caruso, the Code Administration Manager for the City of Yakima.

In fact, the man was swinging so hard to beat off the dog that he broke his arm. We spoke with the brother's sister off camera and she says he's still in the hospital in a lot of pain.

This attack comes not even three weeks after the City of Yakima allowed Pit Bulls as service animals to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"I had a hunch that something like this would happen with these dogs," said Caruso. "They are allowed under ADA. I didn't think it would happen this quick."

Code Enforcement said the dog is quarantined for ten days at the humane society. If the judge finds the owner guilty, then code enforcement will ultimately decide if it's a dangerous dog.

"If I declare that it is a dangerous dog, that dog will not go back to him," said Caruso.

Many neighbors didn't want to talk on camera, but we spoke with one man who said he believes Pit Bulls can be a great breed if they're raised right.

"They raise them from little to big, if they raise them right and with care," said Aleks Rodriguez.

All of the Pit Bulls approved as service dogs will now be re-evaluated with the city.

If you are approved to use a Pit Bull as a service animal, you have to meet certain criteria. The dogs must be registered with the city, spayed, neutered, micro-chipped,  restrained on a non-retractable leash and muzzled in public.
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