Did Yakima, WA Uphold Its Pit Bull Ban Using Fudged Pit Bull Intake Numbers?
Tell me if you’ve heard this one: How can you tell if a politician is lying? Their lips are moving. How about a Code Enforcement Manager? Because a mere day before Yakima, Washington inexplicably upheld its impotent 26-year old pit bull ban, the Yakima Herald reported that Code Enforcement Manager Joe Caruso’s numbers on Yakima’s pit bulls didn’t quite add up.
The Yakima Herald reported that,
In documents provided to the Yakima City Council in November, Code Enforcement Manager Joe Caruso said animal control has picked up 39 [pit bulls] from the start of the year through Oct. 17. The Yakima Humane Society, which keeps a separate log of what dogs are turned in by animal control staff, says 103 have been turned in this year through late November.
Why the disparity? Because perhaps Mr. Caruso fudged the numbers.
At the Nov. 12 study session, Mr. Caruso reported the same 39 pit bulls figure and compared it to other years to illustrate that Yakima’s pit bull ban was supposedly working:
. . . Caruso presented the 39 figure as evidence that the city’s ban and education on the street was working to lower the number of pit bulls in city limits. He said animal control had picked up 96 dogs in 2009, 81 in 2010, 61 in 2011, and 72 in 2012.
Caruso also claimed that,
. . . there are fewer pit bulls in Yakima every year as a result of [Yakima’s pit bull] ordinance, down to 39 impounded by the city so far this year compared to 96 in 2009.
Yet, if the humane society is correct with their 103 number (and they should know since you can fake numbers but not dogs), it looks like Mr. Caruso may have fudged the numbers.
Why would Caruso have cause to fudge the pit bull intake numbers? To “prove” to the Yakima City Council that the pit bull ban was supposedly working. Because if the humane society took in 103 confiscated or free-roaming pit bulls through November, then Yakima’s pit bull ban is seeing the number of pit bulls significantly increasing in Yakima, not decreasing, indicating that Yakima’s pit bull ban has been an utter failure.
Additionally, does no one else find it odd that even though the city council knew there was a disparity in the city’s pit bull intake numbers a full day before the vote, they voted to uphold the impotent pit bull ban anyway? (Councilwoman Kathy Coffey is of course the exception since she cast the lone dissenting vote, while Cawley, Bristol, Lover, Ensey, Adkison, and Ettl voted to uphold the pit bull ban.)
And yet this council, who listened to the junk science hysteria of dogsbite.org over reason and logic, is actually surprised that their constituents have utter disdain for them. In fact, Councilman Dave Ettl had the audacity to scold his constituents at Tuesday’s meeting claiming they lacked respect when he said,
“I’ve been on the council four years and this is the first time I’ve had the cabaret show . . . Where’s the respect for the decorum of this proceeding?”
Well, that’s what you get when you violate people’s constitutional rights and uphold a law that is known the world over to be ineffective legislation, using fudged data to do it no less! Further, knowing full well that there was a discrepancy in the pit bull intake numbers, Mr. Ettl voted to uphold the pit bull ban anyway, and yet he dares lecture his constituents about respect? Well Mr. Ettl, respect is earned, not merely given, and certainly not simply because you hold a council seat, which I doubt you will be holding for much longer.
Give it up Yakima. As even the White House now acknowledges, breed-specific legislation is ineffective. Yakima should know that since they can’t even reduce their pit bull numbers in a city where they’re banned, at least not in any other way than by lying about their pit bull numbers. And while the council may get what they deserve in backlash, the community deserves better protection from irresponsible dog owners of any breed than to be hoodwinked by numbers that were clearly faked by a man, and perhaps a council, who may have had an agenda.