Supporters of the bill also argue that many of these “scary-looking” dogs actually work as emotional support animals or service animals. One such pet owner is Donald Morehead, a Real Change vendor who owns two Pit Bulls.
Morehead was almost rejected to live in a boarding house in Capitol Hill several years ago until he convinced the property manager that his dogs are adequately trained and that they help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to one study, there are also instances that pets help people deal with their psychological and mental problems, such as preventing suicides and drug use.
James Ha, an applied animal behaviorist at the University of Washington, said that dog attacks are indeed a problem. But, there is a better solution to it rather than banning breed-specific dogs.
He suggested restrictions according to size, starting at around 80 lbs, which is a fairer and more practical way to lessen the risk of dog attacks.
Another solution, he said, is to have an evaluation of the would-be tenant’s dog by an animal behavior expert during the application process.
Morehead said that a dog should be evaluated by how it interacts with people and other animals rather than on the way it looks, saying, “Just like a kid, if you don’t raise a kid up with manners and respect and teach it how to use the bathroom, it’s not going to know how to do none of that.”