UPDATE: February 13, 2013
According to the LaGrange city manager’s office, the city council voted last night to change the “pit bull” policy at the city’s animal shelter. Pit bulls, just like any other dog, will be given the opportunity to be temperament tested and evaluated, and can now be adopted from the shelter!
While the city does still have an ordinance that regulates the ownership of pit bulls, we all know that positive change takes time, and this is definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully, this is just the beginning, and the new pit bull owners of LaGrange can work toward repeal of the city’s existing ordinance.
January 29, 2012:
The city council in LaGrange, Georgia could relax the rules of the city’s shelter and allow pit bulls to be adopted. Under the current shelter policy, if a pit bull is found running at large and isn’t claimed by its owner, the dog is euthanized regardless of his or her temperament or disposition. Only the owner may reclaim the dog. It cannot be put up for adoption with the shelter’s general population under any circumstances.
The city would like to see all adoptable dogs, including pit bulls, that aren’t claimed by their owners, be available to the public for adoption when possible. The city council held a first reading on a change Tuesday night, and will take a final vote February 12, 2013.
Of course, it would be easier to adopt pit bulls to LaGrange residents if the city would also ease its restrictions on the breed. Currently, the city code regulates the ownership of “pit bulls.” The ordinance defines a “pit bull” as a dog that substantially conforms to the standards established by the AKC for American Staffordshire Terriers or Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or dogs that conform to the standards established by the UKC for American Pit Bull Terriers. Owners are required to register their dogs with the city, have an insurance policy or surety bond of $50,000, and a kennel or enclosure that meets specific requirements.
Perhaps once the council eases the shelter’s adoption restrictions on pit bulls, the city’s new pit bull owners will ask the council to repeal the city’s breed discriminatory ordinance.