Last week, news began to circulate that Moses Lake, WA decided to repeal its breed specific law that defined pit bulls, Rottweilers and Presa Canarios as hazardous dogs.
The law was repealed, in part due to legal issues the city was facing when a resident, Nick Criscuolo, sued the city that the law violated his civil rights. The complaint (which you can read in its entirety here) focuses on a terrible story in which one of two dogs owned by Criscuolo was shot and killed by a police officer in a display of unnecessary force.
Meanwhile,Criscuolo was then forced to register his other dog as a "hazardous" dog under the city law. As such, the complaint challenges the law based on the subjective nature of the law based purely on subjective visual assessment, and the reality that the restraints required by the law are based on "perceived, imprecise, methodologically deficient and unpublicized visual identification". Also, allowing for animals to be seized under these impricise judgments is a violation of due process.
Among the federal claims, the suit claims that the breed specific law violates the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (seizure, due process, vagueness, overbreadth, underbreath and equal protection).
Moses Lake enacted the law as an act of Panic Policy Making after a dog bite that occurred in 2008. You can get the full lowdown on how the law was passed from Pit Bulletin Legal News. After suffering the costs from the lawsuit, and realizing the inappropriateness of the law, the city has now backed away from the law and repealed it in its entirety.
Congrats to the city of Moses Lake for realizing their mistake -- and to Mr. Criscuolo for forcing change upon the city (although, I'm very sorry to hear about your dog being killed).