Mpls. Proposal Would Allow 'Bully Breed" Dogs to Be Adopted

Updated: 06/05/2014 8:26 AM By: Beth McDonough

There are 15 dogs that face an uncertain fate at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.  

The city calls Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans "bully breeds." City law dictates that the public cannot adopt the breed, and they either have to go to a rescue agency or be euthanized.

But now, there's a big push to change the policy to save dogs lives and the city money.

"There are two or three dogs I just want nothing to do with," says Tom Daley of Golden Valley.  He's taking no chances since nearly being bitten by a pit bull.

The proposed change in city policy isn't directed at "dangerous" dogs but "adoptable" ones, fit for families. "We're not a humane society at the city but we need to behave a little more like one, " Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman said.

That's what she's pushing for.  

The proposal calls for a system where the public can choose whatever dog they want from the shelter regardless of breed. Turning a dog into a pet, "we will save the cost of putting down these dogs so we will save dogs’ lives as well as the cost to the public," says Goodman.

Last year, officials put down 152 dogs, nearly half of them were “bully breeds”. The cost is in addition to the boarding they get until their deaths, which run $15 per dog/per day.  

On average, “bully breed” dogs stay at the shelter for 21 days, multiply that by 15, and it adds up:  $315 a dog.  

Dan Niziolek with the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control says, "we're hoping to drop the length of stay for animals by at least three days, that's the cost savings for the city of Minneapolis." Roughly, $15,000 a year he says.  

Plus, new owners would pay an adoption fee and be screened to see if they're a good fit.  

The temperament of these animals would be tested too, "how they behave in the field the disposition toward us, how it is walking around other animals," according to John Kilner an animal control officer.

Still, Tom Daley isn't so sure, "they're innocent animals but untrained it's kinda like a deck shuffle you don't know what you're gonna get."

If a dog bites another person or dog, those animals aren't put up for adoption.

The Minneapolis city council votes on the resolution in a week. Then, money would have to be set aside to pay for the new policy.