View Full Version : Bill Voier's Question about Pit Bulls

Sarah Moore
08-10-2007, 08:25 PM
Bill, GSHS does not have a formal policy on pit bulls. They are evaluated the same as any other dog coming into the shelter according to the policy and procedure. We've had several wonderful pit bulls that had great temperaments and were adopted as family pets. We have a wonderful one named Peaches there now. We screen pit bull adopters carefully. We have not euthanized any at the shelter although two who went to a foster home were eventually euthanized due to aggressive behavior. We have not had any dogs that we believed were trained as "fighting dogs". I believe if an animal came in that was from that type of environment, it would have to be euthanized. That seems to be the general concensus among organizations such as the Humane Society and ASPCA.

These sections of our policy manual are particularly relevant to your question.
1. Shelter Admission Policy & Procedure

A. No domestic dog or cat is to be denied admittance except as described in section C below.(Section C relates to city animal control) Other domestic animals will be considered on a case by case basis and admission will be based on the shelter’s ability to care for the animal. In the case of diseased, badly injured, or aggressive animals see sections H (relates to sick animals who must be isolated) and I below.
G. An assessment of each animal’s general temperament will be performed upon admission. If aggression or temperament problems are noted, a more detailed evaluation will be arranged by the shelter manager and a treatment plan will be implemented if feasible. Ongoing behavior observations and treatment results will be clearly documented.

I. When an animal's health and/or temperament is such that it poses an immediate danger to personnel and/or other animals it may be a candidate for euthanasia. The animal should be placed in a an appropriate holding area until it can be further evaluated.


4. Animal Retention Policy
...We are committed to putting forth our best efforts to avoid euthanasia of healthy and reasonably well-adjusted animals and those animals which may become healthy and adoptable pets with reasonable medical treatment or training. Sadly, there may be times when it is necessary to euthanize an animal as a last resort...

A. Assessment Policy: Each animal will be evaluated for adoption or euthanasia on an individual basis, as fairly and compassionately as possible. This evaluation will be performed by a skilled and experienced staff member in consultation with other key members of the organization. Animals that are suffering from a serious illness or injury, those that have a documented history of aggressive behavior, or those that demonstrate aggressive behavior towards a person or other animal during a behavior assessment may be euthanized without being held for adoption...

09-05-2007, 01:39 PM
Forgive me for NEEDING to say something about pitbulls and adoptions at the shelter, but I adopted my Helga last winter from GSHS and she is a joy. She was raised in the shelter, so maybe that's why she's so sweet and gentle. She's solid black so nobody wanted her, since black animals have such a hard time getting adopted. I fell in love with her after she got over her shyness and her need to roll over in the presence of every other animal we passed as I led her on a leash outside the shelter for a walk. I discovered that she would run with me! We run every morning together. Pitbulls get a bad rap. If raised with love and discipline, they can be the best pets. She's full of energy, so I have to run her or she eats rugs and shoes, but she's still a pup. I just wish pitbull owners would get their animals fixed.

Sarah Moore
09-06-2007, 11:01 AM
Thank you for that wonderful update on Helga. I am so happy you found each other. Sounds like you have a great life together.

09-11-2007, 12:54 PM
I had to bring in a stray pit bull (SPOT) that had found his way to my house. I asked at the shelter before giving him up if that would be a problem. They said no, they adopted several out. Well Spot was such a nice dog that one of the shelter part time employee fell in love with him and took him home.

GSHS employees made me feel okay about leaving him there, saying they had no reason to beleive a pit bull could not be adopted. Thanks. It made my giving up of this nice dog, much easier.

10-08-2007, 10:53 AM
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At least one of the two dogs that fatally mauled their owner Middleburg owner and bit her son also attacked a Clay County deputy as he arrived at the scene.

Two pit bulls attacked and killed the woman who had raised them from puppies. They attacked her son and lunged at a responding sheriff's deputy before they were shot and killed.
Dogs Can Be Heard As Sons Call 911 For Help
911 Calls: First Call | Second Call

Middleburg Woman Killed By Her Pit Bulls

POSTED: 9:56 am EDT October 2, 2007

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MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- A 42-year-old woman was fatally mauled by her two pit bulls, which also attacked the victim's son and a sheriff's deputy before both dogs were shot and killed on Tuesday morning, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Tina Marie Canterbury was dead by 8:15 a.m. when Clay deputies arrived at the scene in the 2400 block of Cosmos Avenue, off county Road 218 West.

"She was a wonderful, wonderful person to be around -- always smiling and always happy. It brightened up the room when she walked in," said Billie Cantebury, the victim's cousin.

The victim's 21-year-old son, Cody Canterbury, was also attacked by one of the dogs -- bitten in the throat -- but was not severely injured.

"We have two full-blooded red-nosed pits and they just attacked our mom," a second son is heard saying on one of the 911 calls. "We can't get to my mom and my brother just went out there and they attacked him too. They don't need to get out of the ambulance or the dogs will try to get them, too."

The dogs could be heard in the background of one of the 911 calls.

"As soon as I heard it, I stood up and made sure the primary dispatcher had dispatched the call because you could tell the urgency of it," said Director of Communication Diane Pickering, who took the call. "It's attention to detail. It's what the dispatchers do everyday. We hear everything, we don't get to see everything."

A family friend at the home at the time shot at the dogs with a 9mm handgun, but they were still alive and one of them lunged at an arriving deputy before it was shot and killed.

The other dog got loose. The sheriff's office issued a dangerous dog alert while Clay County animal control officers and sheriff's deputies tracked down and the second dog. It was found in a wooded area about two hours later, shot and killed.

Family Photo
Tina Marie Canterbury

"It is a tragic and horrific situation that brings to light the danger of these type of animals," Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said. "These dogs had never bitten a human before, but they did today -- they did turn on their owner."

Authorities said they did not know what circumstances caused the dogs to attack Canterbury.

"This was a responsible owner. These animals never had any history of any type of aggression," said Animal Crimes Detective Annie Henderson.

Billie Cantebury said the dogs were his cousin's companions when her husband was away on business.

"They were house pets, and they literally slept with her when he wasn't home. She would take them out and put them in their pen and walk them and stuff," he said.

The dogs were two years old and had been raised since puppies by Cantebury.

Beseler said the dogs were behind a fence that had a beware-of-dogs sign and the county had never had an animal complaint at the home.

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