South Bend, IN considering moratorium of breed specific shelter policy

At a special committee meeting on animal care and control this week, South Bend, Indiana city council Vice President Oliver Davis proposed a moratorium on the euthanasia of pit bulls in the city shelter.  Under the current policy, any dogs that appear to be pit bulls are put down if they are taken to the South Bend shelter.

The committee is rewriting the chapter of the city’s municipal code that deals with animals because it has become outdated and discriminatory against certain breeds, specifically the American pit bull terrier.  The committee noted that animal control officers are not trained in identifying pit bulls, and the current procedures for identifying the animals are not accurate.  Because of this, the committee wants to change the current ordinance to apply to “dangerous dogs” without specifying any certain breeds.

Councilwoman Valerie Schey advised that the city is looking at the breed discriminatory language in the ordinance because animals are being judged simply on their appearance, not on their behavior or temperament.

It is extremely important that residents of South Bend, Indiana reach out to city officials and let them know you support the moratorium, as well as the removal of breed specific language in the municipal code.  Dogs are individuals, and each and every dog, regardless of breed, should be judged on his or her disposition, temperament and behavior. 

Officials reportedly hope to have a decision by the end of the month.


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