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Cool heads prevailed

While I understand the frustration and anger voiced by Mr. James Stanton (at a recent Sunnyside City Council meeting) regarding a very serious dog problem, I want to make one thing perfectly clear again to him and now to the public. The Yakima County Sheriff's Office will never destroy an animal needlessly. Never.

I commend Deputy Bermudez, then Sgt. Carl Hendrickson, on keeping a cool head in a very emotionally charged situation.

Once the vicious and wounded dog ran back into its garage through a hole, Deputy Bermudez and Sgt. Hendrickson assured that the public was no longer in danger. They secured the area, stayed on-scene and contacted the owner of the dog. If the dog would have continued to be a danger to anyone, the dog would have been shot again. We have had to kill a number of dogs over the years, but we have never done so needlessly.

The owner did respond, decided that the wounded, vicious dog should be destroyed, not taken to a vet, and the deputy took necessary action.

County Commissioner Jesse Palacios has a re-work of the existing law in progress so that dog owners can be held more accountable right from the start when problems develop. We certainly would appreciate quick action in amending the law because the law is what we must go by.

Again, I understand Mr. Stanton's frustration, but the officers did a commendable job in a very difficult situation.

/s/ Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin

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