Ernest Dempsey — February this year has started in Michigan with a landmark shift in the policy of an animal control facility in Michigan. The Genesee County has replaced its old policy of classifying the pit bull breed as dangerous with a new one that will decide each dog’s case individually for possible euthanasia, putting down only dogs found dangerous without judging on the basis of their breed.
This turning event coincides with the release of the pit bull named Faith that was found abandoned outside a church and was taken in by the Genesee County Animal Control (GCAC) last month. Fearing that Faith will be put down under the facility’s rule, The Lexus Project made legal intervention to save Faith’s life from the breedist put-down policy of the shelter, one numerous that follow same policies applicable to pit bulls in and outside the state.
Faith was adopted out finally on Wednesday after the Board of Commissioners approved the new policy, making it the first animal control facility that has reviewed and shunned its policy of euthanizing pit bulls because of their breed. A historical decision which has come after months of comprehensive reviews of the operations at the GCAC has thus ended the ‘no adoption of pit bulls’ practice which has lasted for at least a decade. In other words, pit bull is not officially a dangerous breed at this animal control at least.
While letters of thanks have been and are being sent to the authorities for this considerate decision in Michigan, it’s just the beginning of a possibly happy picture for other pit bulls held at other animal control facilities under the label of ‘dangerous’. The joy of having Faith out is in fact partly overshadowed by the euthanasia of a pit bull named Putz at the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. Putz was seized by the control after it attacked the abusive, dangerous husband of its owner and bit him when the man tried to beat the woman and the dog.
There is way to go in ending breedism as well as redefining the word ‘dangerous’ as applicable to dogs, both stray and pets. The release of Faith is the silver lining in this situation. For the dog lovers and animal rights activists, it is just a weekend of celebration while keeping blogging about GCAC’s laudable step toward fair judgment of canines.