Humane society ends contract with Washington city due to 'unjust' pit bull ban

YAKIMA, Wash — The Yakima Humane Society is cutting ties with the city in southern Washington state over its ban on pit bull terriers.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the organization notified the Yakima City Council on Monday after officials postponed a vote on lifting the ban, which has been in place for more than 30 years.

The organization is contracted by the city to pick up stray animals and keep them for at least 72 hours. The organization also provides medical care to the animals and spays and neuters them.

Organization board president Kelly Murray says the society can no longer support enforcement of the "unsubstantiated, unjust ban."

Society director Charles Stanton says the organization will be happy to reconsider the partnership if the ban is lifted.

In March, the city moved to vote on the ban, but it has since been postponed.

The standing ban defines pit bulls as “any American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog or American Staffordshire terrier breed” or dogs mixed with any of these breeds. The minimum fine for the first violation is $250, rising to $500 for the second offense and beyond.

However, residents can get approval to have a pit bull as a service dog if they follow various conditions.