Woman sues city of Yakima after her service dog is taken for bei - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Woman sues city of Yakima after her service dog is taken for being a pit bull

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Danika Denton Facebook page Danika Denton Facebook page
YAKIMA, Wash. -

A woman is suing the city of Yakima over a pit bull ban after she says she was forced to move her service dog outside city limits. 

According to the case report, Danika Denton didn't have anywhere else to take her emotional support dog Romeo, so the city impounded him. Her family in Selah has since taken him in. 

Yakima city spokesman Randy Beehler tells KIMA TV that the city council implemented a pit bull ban after a few attacked people. The 1987 ban includes four specific pit bull breeds: American bulldogs, American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and Staffordshire bull terriers. 

"The case that really drew a lot of attention was an older gentleman, a senior citizen, who was in a wheelchair and got attacked by a pit bull," Beehler told KIMA. "His injuries were so severe that he passed away." 

The city wouldn't discuss Denton's case, but Beehler said the ban excludes service dogs, provided that they are certified in the city. It's unclear why Romeo was forced out of Yakima if he is Deton's service dog. 

According to the case report, an animal control officer determined that Romeo is a pit bull by looking at him. The report also notes that Denton doesn't believe Romeo is a pit bull. Instead, she says he is a lab mix. 

Adam Karp with Animal Law Offices is representing Denton's case. 

"If they're basing it purely on eyeballing by an officer who may have done a number of evaluations, but there really is no scientific foundation," Karp tells KIMA. 

The city of Yakima receives between 80 to 90 complaints about pit bulls each year. Beehler says the city isn't out actively looking for them, but if they receive a complaint, they must investigate it. 

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