Hoping Enumclaw will retain ban on pit bulls | Letter

Thank you for the article city of Enumclaw may change rules on pit bulls on Sept. 30 alerting the community about an ordinance threatening to end to the city’s ban on pit bulls.

In 2066, my 4-year-old son almost lost his leg in an unprovoked attacked by a pitbull at the Queen Anne public library in Seattle. The dog, which had been left unattended and tied to the bike rack while his owner went into the library, had lept out suddenly and latched onto my son’s leg while he was riding his bike. According to the doctor, had the owner not come out and called the dog off and had the bite been a fraction of an inch higher, he would have lost the use of his leg. If the city of Seattle had had a pit bull ban at this time, this horrible attack on my son would have likely never happened. And that is why I am writing today.

I feel that the article fails to mention some very important facts about what removing the ban would mean to the public safety of Enumclaw residents. As one of the first cities to ban pit pulls in 1990, I am sure many of the more recent Enumclaw residents are not aware of these important facts and statistics. From dogsbite.org:

In the 9-year period from 2005 to 2013, pit bulls killed 176 Americans and accounted for 62percent of the total recorded deaths (283):

•81 percent of attacks induce bodily harm

•76 percent of attacks to children

•87 percent of attack to adults

•72 percent of attacks that result in fatalities

•81 percent that result in maiming

Victims of severe dog attacks often suffer acute damage, which may require $250,000 to one million dollars in specialized medical care treatment.

It only takes a few loose pits to inflict this kind of damage as pitbull-type dogs only account for 9.2percent+ of the total dog population.

I commend the City of Enumclaw for being among the first cities to institute breed specific legislation, and I urge its council members to continue to protect its community and uphold the ban. Yes, all dogs have the propensity to bite, but unlike other dogs, fighting breeds do not let go.

If the ban is removed, is the city prepared to handle the increase in 911 calls that are likely to occur? Is the city prepared to deal with enforcing leash laws at city parks and public spaces? Are residents prepared to deal with attacks to pets and livestock? Is the city prepared to enforce pet licensing laws?

These are questions that I would like to see answered in the coming weeks before any legislation is passed.

Concerned parent,

Karen Shelver

Maple Valley