Breed ban: nonsensical

No one should be afraid to go for a walk alone or with their dog, or to let their children play outside, for fear of vicious free-roaming dogs or neighborhood dogs. Tragedies like the recent death of Diane Selin’s little dog Ty, and the mauling last fall of an elderly SeaTac woman, are preventable and should never happen.

These frightening and dreadful incidents and others like them have prompted the community to act out of fear and insist that lawmakers consider enacting new legislation aimed at dangerous dogs and even specific breeds of dogs. This is nonsensical. These legislators fail to take into consideration that Washington state, and King County specifically, has many laws that would prevent these tragedies — if they were adequately enforced.

Passing new laws is easy. It gives legislators a sense of accomplishment and something that they can brag about in a press release. It is much more difficult to demand that existing laws are adequately and fairly enforced. I am finding it more and more absurd as local governments try to pass new legislation to make citizens feel safer, rather than insisting that laws already on the books get enforced to make citizen safety a reality. New laws, and bans on specific breeds of dogs, are not going to make citizens safer — there is no reason to believe that they will be enforced any better than existing laws.

 It is high time we demand that King County Animal Control become a function of the Sherriff’s Department or that each municipality hire its own humane officers to enforce the dangerous-dog law and the dog-confinement laws that are already in effect. Short of this, how can any town expect that any new legislation will be enforced?

Passing a new law in Bothell or adding stiffer penalties to existing laws will only penalize responsible owners who follow those laws. In the absence of enforcement, it will have no impact upon the small percentage of people who choose to flaunt existing laws and put their neighbors in danger.

Brenda F. Barnette

Chief executive officer, Seattle Humane Society




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Letters to the Editor

A way to keep us healthy | Letter

A way to keep us healthy A problem has occurred recently that… Continue reading

Kenmore council let them down | Letter

On Feb. 3, the Kenmore City Council had a special meeting regarding… Continue reading

Two solutions | Letter

Facts about the growing gap between the super rich and the vast… Continue reading

More community members weigh in on election | Letters

Thompson has positive ideas I write in support of Mason Thompson for… Continue reading

An unenforceable ban | Letter

As the advisory vote in Snohomish County regarding a fireworks ban approaches,… Continue reading

Community members weigh in on election | Letters

Sperry cares for Kenmore My husband and I are supporting Van Sperry… Continue reading

Thompson is ‘exceptionally well qualified’ | Letter

I am currently the presiding judge for Snohomish County District Court and… Continue reading

Thompson, a judge to be proud of | Letter

Judge Paul Thompson was an excellent choice for our governor to make… Continue reading

Okoloko is hard working and ethical | Letter

As a recently retired trial attorney after a long career in the… Continue reading

Duerr hardworking and engaged | Letter

Davina Duerr may be the most hard-working and engaged member who has… Continue reading

Vote for Okoloko | Letter

I support Judge Edirin Okoloko for the position of Superior Court judge.… Continue reading

Retain Okoloko as Superior Court judge | Letter

After a 23-year career as a Snohomish County judge, having served more… Continue reading