POLL: Should Pit Bulls Be Banned Within The City Limits Of Burien?

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With the news of Thursday’s pit bull attack on former Burien Mayor Sally Nelson and one other woman (read our coverage here), the Comment Wars have been flying fast and furious on The B-Town Blog, between both the anti and pro-pit bull camps.

“When is Burien going to get on board with several other cities and ban this breed from our city,” reads a Comment from Julies. “If we wait, many cities around us will ban the breed which will drive the owners of this breed to seek refuge in Burien that tolerates attacks on innocent victims such as children, adults, big dogs, little dogs, cats.”

Another Reader called RECOND1940, who claims to be a friend and neighbor of the dogs’ owners says: “The dogs did not run off biting people it happend in there yard the mayor tried putting the dogs back inside the house, I know exactly whats going on because my whole family is out there looking for the dog kaleb.”

There’s a second Comment War happening on our Facebook Page as well (with 54 and counting on Thursday’s story), which you can read here.

To read the Comment threads yourself, click here for ones on the original story, and here for today’s update.

Some of the more interesting Comments we’ve read include:

Bernice Bellamy says: (July 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm)
Given how screwed up Burien’s Animal Services are maybe this is just karma. Sorry someone was hurt and very sad to hear a dog was killed and I’m sure the other one — when found – will be shot and killed by the cops, too. This is what happens when you have irresponsible owners, an irresponsible city council and a city manager that doesn’t have a clue about animal care and control. Sad for all animals in Burien with the awful system they have now.

Eaton B. Verz says: (July 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm)
Now that’s how you take care of a vicious dog on the loose! City council please take note! That officer eliminated the problem and saved the cost of transporting it toYakima! Now, let’s find the owner. I’m sure CARES is hot on the trail…….

local says: (July 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm)
A helicopter? For a DOG. Really,Burien? Could you please use that money to shut down the crack house next door that I reported a few months ago?

Julies ays: (July 7, 2011 at 11:48 pm )
I live in this area and last year I had a pit bull in my backyard that easily cleared a 4 foot fence more than once. I have 2 dogs, 2 cats and a 2 year old grandchild, fortunately none were in the back yard at the time and when I attempted to scare him away from my glass door, he didn’t budge till he left on his own terms.

Why do I have to be worried about a loose unpredictable breed like a pit bull to enter my fenced yard. When is Burien going to get on board with several other cities and ban this breed from our city. If we wait, many cities around us will ban the breed which will drive the owners of this breed to seek refuge in Burien that tolerates attacks on innocent victims such as children, adults, big dogs, little dogs, cats. With so many breeds to choose from why would someone want a dog like this unless they need protection from what ? Drug dealers ?? Gang members ??
Do you want your daughter or son, (many times a child will not survive an attack)grandchild, elderly parent taking a stroll, you, walking your dog or your cat in his own yard. Let’s think about the rights of the innocent not the rights of those who wish to own a breed such as this.

kalebsays: (July 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm)
recon19d40 – well trained dogs will not run off and bite people because someone broke into their house. the dogs weren’t even on their own property when someone was bit. it’s getting really old to hear about all the wonderful, calm, great dogs that are perfect around children and the dog ends up attacking or kiling someone. it doesn’t matter if it’s a pit bull or other breeed. know your dogs.

a pit bull that “likes to nip like a puppy” hasn’t been properly trained. you don’t let any dog continue with that behavior especially a large dog. these dogs were not trained and socialized like they should be.

RECON19d40 says: (July 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm)
were you there? the dogs did not run off biting people it happend in there yard the mayor tried putting the dogs back inside the house, I know exactly whats going on because my whole family is out there looking for the dog kaleb. I have a dog that does the same thing and if she was mauled by the dog and felt threatened why would she try and put the dogs back in the house so nothing happend? I am sure you would rather think the owners are horrible people you know nothing about these dogs

Eaton B. Verzsays: (July 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm)
Vicious dog attacking people = dead dog…happy outcome! All of recons spewings do not alter the fact of two attacks. Dogs that attack should be removed fron society. Dogs are born in litters, humans, not so easy to replace. Sorry, no sympathy here….

In an attempt to get some idea of where our Readers stand on this issue that doesn’t involve name-calling, we’ve created a simple Poll – please take it and let’s see what the public (or at least the BTB audience) thinks (NOTE: this Poll is our own; far as we know, the City of Burien is NOT considering banning pit bulls):

Should the City of Burien ban pit bulls?

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42 Responses to “POLL: Should Pit Bulls Be Banned Within The City Limits Of Burien?”
  1. CoverOfLight says:

    Cum canis proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti canis habebunt.

  2. Burienette says:

    Can we just ban stupid people?

  3. Pete says:

    Oh yea, and enforce it like the ban on fireworks.

    • Burienette says:

      Don’t get me started on the freakin fireworks . . . .

      • RECON19d40 says:

        What if cops just shot anyone with fire works??? We could also ban the fourth of July…..look how good communist North Korea is doing. Lets ban everything!

  4. RECON19d40 says:

    CoverOfLight, are catapults illegal in Burien???? Then I am an outlaw…

  5. RECON19d40 says:

    Can we just ban all teeth in Burien??? If we wanted to be safe, we could also ban all knifes, rocks, guns, and sticks……

    • Burienette says:

      Don’t forget cars! They are very dangerous.

      • RECON19d40 says:

        All cars will be banned, everyone will have to drive golf carts. If golf carts are too dangerous, we will use segways. With all this banning this country would be more like Nazi Germany. Wont be a whole lot of freedom left…..

    • Julie says:

      You can’t be serious, I can’t remember the last time my car started itself, opened the garage door and drove off to run over someone. I’ve got to go hold down my rocks so they don’t attack someone.

      • Jman says:

        LOL, I can’t remember the last time that happened either, but I do remember the last time my pit bull got in the car, drove down the street, then came home and parked the car, thinking I wouldn’t figured it out.

        Seriously though, go ahead and ban pit bulls. this way you will get to actually live with what people have been warning about, which is replacement dogs. I’d rather see people have pit bulls as pets, even if they are irresponsible, over Mastiffs, which is exactly what they are replaced with. A Mastiff has more than twice the jaw strength than pit bulls, and they are 2-5 times the size. I remember when they wanted to ban other breeds that were popular with thugs way back when, and thugs just choose new dogs. They will choose a new breed about every 10-20 years anyway. Since the pit bull is becoming very mainstream, meaning that we see all people from all walks of life getting them now, and prove that it’s not the breed that is bad, it isn’t as exotic for gangstas anymore, so we’ll start seeing new breed come in anyway. And for whatever reason, many people will skip through the whole people thing, and continue to blame a breed. It’s been happening for over 100 years, 76 different breeds are banned across the US in different towns, and what good has it done. Do not want violent dogs, then you need to stop bad people, not dogs.

  6. Bonnie says:

    Banning pit bulls is not the solution. Animal control is. I know CARE was on the scene shortly after the recent pit bull situation. I want to know what does CARE do in regards to animal control. Where are stray dogs and cats housed? For how long? Is there ways for the community to adopt these animals if not claimed? Are they a no kill shelter? Can anyone answer this for me?

    • Feral Dog says:

      Animal control is the solution? Why is it their problem to begin with? Animal control should really be about people, not animals. Normally it`s the owners fault and not the animals anyways.
      But if a dog (I don`t care what breed it is) bites, nips, I don`t give a sh#t either way personally. The solution? Shoot the f#*king thing. Period,
      Since the subject of banning things came up, lets start with banning press #1 for English.
      That shouldn`t be an option. Should be a given. I

  7. Patty J says:

    It is not the dogs, it is the irresponsible owners!

  8. ALauren says:

    So let me get this straight: two family dogs got out (anyone who has dogs knows that this can happen to even the most responsible owners), possibly from a break in and kicked down door, ‘attacked’ a woman (and by attack I mean bite, I think most of us would agree that an ‘attack’ would probably require a trip to the hospital), and so a police officer fired eight shots, hold on let me get that right… EIGHT SHOTS into one of the dogs in front of the two little boys who he belonged to? Unfortunate event? Sure. Vicious pitbull attack? Hardly.

    • Neighbor M says:

      The officer did not fire eight shots into the dog, in front of the two little boys who he belonged to. The little boys, and their parents, weren’t even around.

      • Neighbor M says:

        OK. I’ll say it before someone jumps down my throat: “…to whom he belonged”, if you want to be truly correct.

  9. tb says:

    They are misunderstood … people don’t realize they take time to care and train for… like most dogs. But pits need just that much more… they are amazing animals in the right hands

  10. Shelly Lyon says:

    I think that people should have to take training with their dog and have a special license to own a bully breed. Not for the people protection but to help put the breed in the hands of responsible owners. i do not think yhey should be banned.

  11. Shari says:

    If you read the info from sources like the AKC and others, it does seem like the breed is misunderstood. Pit bulls, like Burien, have a brand problem. Even though the negative image that’s applied to the entire group may only be the result of a small proportion that do deserve the bad rep, it’s still true that if pit bulls are involved in something, the benefit of the doubt isn’t going to swing the way of the animal or its owner. I’m suspecting that the ban on the breed that exists in a lot of cities is partly based in safety concerns and partly based in subtle demographic manipulation, but either way, the breed has image problems, some of it deserved, some of it not. Our insurance company may be unusual but it denies homeowners coverage to any policyholder that owns this breed (and a few others).

  12. VERY TIRED says:

    Banning pets, which are legal to own, is a definite overreach by the City.

    In a city that can barely provide proper police coverage (because it annexed an area it could not control), it makes little sense for them to even consider such a ridiculous proposal. Pets should be on a leash outside of someone’s home, and fenced in, or inside the house. Pitbulls are not inherently dangerous if they are trained. The whole concept of this idea is ridiculous on it’s face.

  13. Okuhou says:

    Breed bans don’t work. Why do you think so many cities are giving it up. Ohio as a whole state is giving it up… So what? Ban them then does the next breed to bite someone get put on that list? No dog attacks for no reason. If someone did break in or whatever the dogs were probably quite shaken up and confused. And on top of all of that it’s stupid to say “oh well it would protect our small dogs and cats”. If you want to protect your cat don’t let it outside. It’s not just pit bulls that are willing to kill cats. A lot of breeds including labs and shepherds have been known to kill them. As far as most dogs are concerned a cat is prey. Same with small dogs.

    • J says:

      Exactly, anytime my friends Jack Russell would see a cat there was no stopping it till it caught the cat and killed it!

      Also, I know a child that was severely bitten by a miniature dachshund which required extensive surgery!

      It’s NOT just “bully breeds” or large dogs.

      As a small dog owner, one must remember when selecting your new family member…the bigger the dog the bigger the bite!

  14. Big-B says:

    I agree with Recon, it’s “the irresponsible pet owners”
    Also agree with Feral Dog, “lets start with banning press #1 for English.”

    We’ve got two dogs in the house and the big one barks (which happens to be part pit and also one of the best and smartest dogs I’ve known), but the little chiwawa lookin thing likes to nip. Most people would look at that little thing and think its cute… It’s cute flipping off my foot…


    We all know that a dog bite situation is no laughing matter and can change the lives of all involved permanently. However, a breed ban is not the answer, and may even have unintended consequences.

    Any dog can bite and a breed specific ban would not change that reality. How many dog bites occur on a daily basis that we never hear about—and what breed are those dogs? Some have already been mentioned here on the blog.

    I believe that education and enforcement can go a long way towards prevention of roaming dogs and bite situations. As pet owners, our pets depend on us to keep them safe (as with children) and our due diligence is imperative. We need to be sure that a fence is secure and gates are closed. Obey leash laws. When out and about, be aware of our surroundings and know what to do if strange dogs approach.

    There are some good comments here on the blog and I wanted to also add a few informative links. If you have a moment, please take time to check them out.




  16. Karin S. says:

    I’m glad to see so many reasonable comments on this blog. As a Burien resident who owns a pit bull, we would choose to leave rather than live in a community that bans a specific breed of dog.

    This problem is really about neglectful owners. I’ve had some of them as neighbors, but there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about them. Animal control and enforcement seem like a joke around here.

  17. BurienRes says:

    Most of the above comments lack common sense! Since when is it the Animal Control and Police Dept’s “job” to monitor and prevent dogs from attacking??? They respond after the fact, not before. Get it!! You/we should be thankful we have a police & animal control dept. Putting these departments down for someone else’s irresponsibility leaves me to wonder about the mentality of a few of the commenters.

    After the fact everyone wants to point the finger, but if a dog attacked you, for no apparent reason, what then? Pit bulls have a bad rep because they have earned it more so than other types of breeds, and because of their strength their is no stopping them when they do attack.

    I had a pit bull charge me for no reason other than I was walking by and its owner was stand right there!!!! If I hadn’t been carrying a bag it would have locked onto my leg instead of the bag. With so many great breeds in the world I have trouble understanding why anyone would want a breed that is trouble bound…

  18. Jackie says:

    Why do we give kudo’s to dogs when they engage their natural instincts and retrieve the duck/pheasant/quall, but when a pit bull engages his natural instinct to attack and protect, we are all surprised. This instinct is bred into this breed it is within the dog whether the owners are responsible or not, . Instinct cannot be 100% controlled, ask some of these families that their “sweetheart” pit bull attacked and killed one of their own kids.
    If the owners can’t be responsible, can we at least make these owners register their dogs so that us as INNOCENT victims know where to avoid when walking on PUBLIC roadways ! Shouldn’t be a problem for these owners if they are SOOO confident their dogs are well contained and no one will get attacked.
    It is ignorant for all of us to think that a dog will never get out, what if little Jimmy opens the front door and the dog gets out and bites the people walking down the
    wrong street at the wrong time.

  19. Nej says:

    Jackie: It’s ignorant to think that only pit bull-type dogs may attack. Just ask the 3-yr-old that was recently bitten in the face by a 1-yr-old Lab at a park. He will have permanent scarring according to the article. His mother’s reasoning for turning her back on the child and dog: everyone knows Labs don’t bite. So when the media and others continue to give the public the impression that ONLY pit bulls and a few other breeds have problems, this is what happens. Ignorance and a child that is forever traumatized and marred.


    Sadly, the article did nothing to inform parents that all dogs may bite. It just kept reiterating what nice dogs Labs are. Pretty much every breed of dog has done substantial damage to humans and especially children, most often the family dog or a relative’s dog.

    With an estimated 4.7 million dog bites requiring treatment in the US each year, do you really mean to tell me you think all those bites came from a few breeds? It is often reported that Labs and goldens are among the top on the list of biters doing fairly serious damage. And in fact Labs and goldens are on many insurance company lists as being “potentially dangerous,” along with about 75 other breeds. Are we to ban them all because of their “potential?”

    Owner responsibility, training, socialization with other dogs and humans, and making sure to not let an incident happen if you know your dog has aggression issues is key to safety. Not banning breeds. Unfortunately there are way too many people who should not have a dog in their household. We don’t have the resources to police the laws that are out there, let alone bans of certain breeds.

    Scientific research will show that although dogs do have genetic tendencies, just like humans each dog within a “race” is an individual and you cannot assume they will all act accordingly. Most pit bulls will never be involved in a fight or bite a human. Especially when that dog has received appropriate socialization and training.

    • Big-B says:

      Nicely said…

    • llkennel says:

      It is true, ALL DOGS WILL bite under the right circumstances! However, as a person who lives in a neighborhood where there are now 3 Pit Bulls who have irresponsible owners, WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO ALTER MY LIFESTYLE to accomodate their lack of education? I rescue Dachshunds and have 4 full-time residence (too old and/or ill to adopt), and every time I take them for a walk, I have to be on constant alert where we walk. The dogs have us surrounded, and have even attacked my dogs in THEIR OWN YARD! What Animal Control???? I witnessed one of the Pit Bull owners 2 days ago “training” his Pit Bull to ensue small dogs. I called to get some assistance for the small dog and was hung up on. We have no way to enforce this breed, or any other for that matter, in the City of Burien. While banning the dog may be extreme, what else can be done? Please note, I have 2 friends who own Pit Bulls…. both take very good care of their “babies” and will agree, both are very well behaved. The problem here is that, just like the fire works, the few have ruined it for the majority. If all DOG owners took the same responsiblity that my friends do, this issue wouldn’t be open for discussion.

  20. kitty lover says:

    I love dogs, and every other animal…only some people……that said, I would like to walk my neighborhood and local Lake Burien Park, without whipping my head around, looking for off-leash dogs that love to run up to me…..and give me a heart attack…..When I politely remind their owners that this is a “leashed dog park”, they just walk off and tell me their dog won’t hurt me…..Oh yeah, I hear you…..Hey, it is the law….Would it be so difficult to follow the laws????? I would love to have a police car come by our parks periodically and see if people are leashing their dogs, and remind them that dogs must be on a leash, and just because you see someone that does not leash their pet, it is not an open invitation for you to do so, but rather to remind them to put the dog on a leash. When I have complained to the City about this situation, , they tell me to call the police….which seems a little extreme…but like fireworks, this is definitely another “unenforced law” How about just a warning????….So, as a Citizen, when I ask people to simply comply with our laws, I get the “oh, that applies to everyone else, but not to me”…..answer….so satisfying. I love to walk, but I do so in fear….and no, not just of dogs.

    • Hotrodgal says:

      I fully agree Kitty Lover.
      The leash laws protect more than the humans though.

      I have a massive Doberman with a fun loving, goofy
      personality. He loves people and other animals but
      I can’t take him on leash to the park in fear of his
      being attacked by an off-leash dog. He would protect
      himself (I hope) but I’m sure vet bills and heart breaking
      damage would would occur.

      As for the ban, where does it end? With 100% Pits
      (I hate the word bully breeds!) or with a dog that is
      50% or even just a smidgen? With my Doberman?
      With the neighbors wiener dog?

  21. aspbtowner says:

    So in saying that a potentially dangerous animal should be banned from any particular area is the the way to go. How about people with wild and out of control children/teenagers. I know a few families that would have “potentially dangerous offspring” and they are choosing to ingnore their actions. Irresponsibility! Same goes for any animal owner. Yes a pit can have a high prey drive. So do doxies and chihuahuas. Pits can be aggresive. So can any Terrier or parrot or cat or neighbor. Most pits as with any dog are generally only aggressive if they feel that they or their humans are in danger. I personally would not go on anybodys property seeing any kind of dog on the property. I too feel that owners should be subjected to banning or some such discipline. I didn’t choose to own my pet. He was a rescue from a family member who didn’t want him to fall into the wrong hands. He is very well behaved, loving, eager to please and alot of fun. He is however also alot of work. Like any terrier breed he is full of energy. When owning a bully breed the owner should be required to take classes on how to handle them. The owners are the problems not the dogs. Any owner who does nothing about a problem dog should be checked into. The owner themselves probably have issues. Pits in general are not the problem. Banning them is not a solution. Educating the public and owners would possibly help however.

  22. elizabeth2 says:

    To follow up on your quote”

    “When owning a bully breed the owner should be required to take classes on how to handle them. The owners are the problems not the dogs. Any owner who does nothing about a problem dog should be checked into. The owner themselves probably have issues”…..maybe this could be referenced back to your comment about people and children?

  23. Syrenna says:

    Punish the DEED, not the breed. But I also have to agree witht the other posts: don’t let stupid people own a dog that they can’t handle responsibly.

    And as for Julies comment, featured in the above article; that is the most ridiculous thing I have read on this issue at all. A 4 foot fence… really? I only know of a few breeds of dog that CAN’T jump over a fence that “tall.”

    Drug dealers and gang members are not the only people that own pit bulls and how dare ‘Julies’ suggest that only those that partake in such activities have the capacity to own and love this breed of dog.

    Talking about rights, she should know that she has the right to speak her mind, but that me and every other non-innocent pit bull owner that doesn’t happen to be a drug dealer or gang member also have the right to tell her that she sounds about as ignorant as the other people wanting to ban a specific breed. And that she should invest in a bigger fence.

    On a side note – Well said Nej!

  24. sadie says:

    why ban just pitbulls if you do then bann all dogs it couldve been another dog that couldve done it as well as a pit. Punish the owner not the dog is that not what we do with parents when their kids do something wrong. Are we gonna ban children as well NO we wont. Dogs are our children not by blood but we adopt them we play, bathe, and feed them is that not what we do with our kids. Its not the dogs fault its the owners punish them and find the dog a better home were they can be loved and trained not to bite.

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