More than 80 animal advocates turned up at a peaceful protest at the Fulton Co Dog Pound in Ohio last weekend designed to raise community awareness regarding the pound’s regressive pitbull policy. Fulton Co kills any dog or puppy who is not reclaimed by an owner and whose body shape resembles that of a pitbull or pitbull mix in the opinion of the dog warden or his assistant. This cruel policy not only defies logic, it defies legal recommendations on the local and state level:
The commissioners unanimously passed Resolution 2012-47 in May, 2012, just after and in spite of the Ohio Legislature’s removal of breed-specific language from state code and against the recommendation of their legal counsel, Fulton County prosecutor Scott Haselman, to remain breed neutral. The policy states that no dog identified by the dog warden or assistant dog warden as a “pit bull” or “pit-bull” mix will be adopted out or transferred to a rescue group from the pound.
Dog Warden Brian Banister, who according to county records recommended and initially drafted the policy, said he agrees with the county’s decision about “pit bulls.”
Area animal advocates have been trying to present a case for judging each dog and puppy as an individual, based on behavior, instead of having a blanket policy of death for all unclaimed dogs and puppies based on body shape. But the county already knows everything:
The two leaders of Fulton County No Kill, Carol Dopp of Chesterfield Township and Tasha Grieser of Archbold, Ohio, said dogs should be judged by their behavior, not their physical appearance. The pair met with County Administrator Vond Hall in mid-August to discuss the matter with the intent of placing it on a county commissioners’ meeting agenda. They were rebuffed.
Mr. Hall said he approached the commissioners, who refused to open a discussion about the policy and have not met with representatives of either group.
“The board members fully understand the position the No-Kill group has, and they also fully understand their own position,” he said. “They do not see the need to discuss what they feel they already understand.”
It’s got to be a good feeling, knowing everything and not needing to listen to your constituents, your county attorney or your state’s legal recommendations. They probably sleep like babies. And act like them:
[A] Fulton County resident and dog trainer who is certified in a behavior-evaluation protocol developed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offered to evaluate the county’s dogs at no charge. That offer was refused.
We. Already. Know. Everything.
Why isn’t anyone listening to us?
“We are not a shelter,” Mr. Hall said.
Problem number one, in what appears to be a lengthy list in Fulton Co. By the way, it’s not necessary to call yourself a “shelter” in order to stop killing stray dogs and puppies whom people are willing to save. You can just call yourself a human to do that.
Mr. Hall said […] those people protesting the policy appear to be “expressing concern about the animal, not the public.”
Wait – I thought the people protesting were the public. But heaven forfend anyone be concerned about an animal, especially one with fat head and a waggy tail.
(Thank you Arlene for the link.)