Pitbulls no longer face a death sentence in one local county - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Pitbulls no longer face a death sentence in one local county

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(07/25/12) - For several years, pet lovers weren't allowed to adopt pit bulls and pit bull mixes from the Saginaw County Animal Care Center.

As of Wednesday, that has changed.

In the past, if a pit bull or pit bull mix was brought to the Saginaw County Animal Care Center, it would have to be euthanized - even if it wasn't considered dangerous - but that's not the case anymore.

A sign hangs high at the Saginaw County Animal Care Center. It's a new policy that's effective immediately. It states that pet owners can now adopt pit bulls or pit bull mixes from the center.

That's good news for pit bull owner Larry Canty. 

"Me personally, I've been around dogs all my life. Dogs are what you make them, it does not necessarily have to be a pit bull to be vicious. I've seen Chihuahua's more vicious than a pit bull," he said.

Tammy Darling, who's looking for a dog to adopt for her grandson, would disagree.

"Usually, if they're turned in here, they're turned in for a reason like snapping for not tolerating little kids very well, so I don't think any of those type of dogs should be adopted out," she said.

Val McCullough, the director of operations there, says in the past, the adoption of pit bulls or pit bull mixes wasn't allowed because of dog fighting cases in previous years.

She hasn't received nearly as many complaints recently.

"Since February, we've heard the peoples' replies as far as wanting us to give all the dogs the same chance. We've been able to convince other people to give them the same chance," McCullough said.

"I think all animals deserve a chance. I think they all deserve a chance, some even more than others," Canty stated.

McCullough says if the center gets an aggressive dog in, then it would will be put down.

Her office can determine wether or not a dog is aggressive by doing a general assessment.

"We tell a lot by when the officers pick them up off the road. How they respond. We can tell a lot by how they act in their cage. If they're cage-aggressive. If when we take their food bowls out of their cage, how they respond to us," she said.

In order to adopt an animal, there is an application process that has to be filled out. Once that is approved, then the person wanting to adopt would have to go to a veterinarian of their choice and prepay for the sterilization and the rabies shot and then they're given 30 days.

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