HoCo Animal Control: Still Accepting, Adopting Pit Bulls
Court of Appeals ruling won't change Animal Control procedures.
Howard County Animal Control will not change the way it handles pit bulls after a Court of Appeals ruling that labeled the dogs dangerous by nature, according to Howard County police.
Animal Control, which runs shelters and adopts animals, is overseen by the Howard County Police Department.
“Animal Control will continue its procedure of assessing each dog individually,” police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn wrote in an email.
“Those pit bull and pit bull mixes assessed to be adoptable will be made available for adoption.”
Two pit bulls were included in the list of adoptable animals distributed by Animal Control in May. On May 8, Llewellyn said the shelter had “no pit bulls in the facility.”
Of the two advertised, “one pit bull was adopted,” Llewellyn said. “The other was first placed for adoption, but after six weeks in confinement, its behavior changed and it became aggressive with staff and other animals. Animal control had no choice but to euthanize.”
Animal Control Administrator Deborah Baracco said that regardless of breed, putting animals down “is a reality of shelter life. It happens regardless of what legislation is.”
Animal Control investigates reports of animal cruelty, accepts endangered and unwanted animals and administers the adoption program.
If residents do want to adopt pit bulls from the shelter, Llewellyn said, they will be asked to sign a waiver making it clear that they are aware of and understand the Court of Appeals decision, which makes the owner automatically liable in the case that the pit bull attacks someone.
The decision also gives landlords the right to prohibit pit bulls and cross breeds from their property.