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Police praised for response to dog attack

Saying the Yakima County Sheriff's office could take some lessons, Jim Stanton praised the Sunnyside Police Department's response to a vicious dog attack last Saturday.

Stanton's comments came during the Sunnyside City Council meeting this past Monday.

Stanton and wife Lana live across from the new Sierra Vista Middle School, now under construction, and just one house north of the city limits.

When a neighbor's pit bull jumped the fence on Saturday, Stanton had to fend off the dog while waiting for help.

Sunnyside police officers were on the scene first. The dog then tried to attack an officer, who shot the dog.

"I deeply appreciate the response from the police department," Stanton told the council.

He later expressed frustration with the Yakima County Sheriff's office.

Stanton said county personnel showed up at the scene and advised the wounded animal could not be taken away until the owner had the opportunity to decide whether to take the animal to a veterinarian or have it put down.

"The owner showed up an hour later and by that time the dog had bled out," Stanton recalled.

"That animal attacked a police officer," he added. "What does it take for the county to decide a dog is dangerous?"

Stanton said he was told county commissioners may take up a dog ordinance for consideration at their Jan. 17 meeting, about six months after the county first began studying a stricter animal control ordinance.

In the meantime, he said he has made repeated calls to the commissioners' office, the sheriff and county animal control.

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