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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Bill would end classifying dog dangerous by breed

A bill introduced in the House would eliminate a dog’s breed as a consideration in determining whether it is dangerous.

House Bill 2117 would prevent cities from creating breed-based restrictions for dog owners and would instead use behavior to decide if a dog was dangerous or potentially dangerous.

Under state law, a dangerous dog is one that injures a person or kills a pet without being provoked. A potentially dangerous dog is one that bites or threatens the safety of a person or pet without being provoked.

Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, is sponsoring the bill. She said it’s “counterproductive and discriminatory” to restrict responsible dog owners and that a dog’s behavior can’t be predicted by its breed alone.

“I had a friend that was attacked and disfigured by a beagle. That’s Snoopy,” Appleton said. “It just depends on how a dog is treated.”

The bill, which would overturn existing breed-based legislation in cities, is scheduled for public hearing in the House Judiciary at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State government, State Legislature | Topics: dog breed, pet

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