Adopting Out More Dogs
This morning, the Council unanimously adopted a new policy on adopting “power breeds” of dogs like pit bulls and Rottweilers. It allows Animal Care and Control to adopt out these dogs if they pass a behavioral assessment.
This policy is likely to substantially reduce the number of dogs euthanized by the City, as 45% of dogs euthanized last year belonged to power breeds. The Council will have to increase the funding for Animal Care and Control by about $50,000 per year to pay for the behavioral assessments, but we may also save money in the long term by not having to house as many dogs for as long a time.
I was very supportive of this policy change, and appreciate the focus by Animal Care and Control on reducing the number of animals they put down each year.
I also added a staff direction to this policy change for Animal Care and Control to come back to Council early next year and share their plans for screening both dogs and potential owners. One concern I have heard is that we need to be careful to ensure that we're not taking dogs out of abusive environments just to return them to different abusive environments. I have every confidence that staff will bring back a plan to avoid that, and I look forward to seeing it.