Friday, February 13, 2009
Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - The new director of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control has a new policy on the handling of pit bulls brought into the shelter.
Doug Ray says stray pit bulls that come in will be adopted out if they're not aggressive. That wasn't the case until Ray got on scene January 12th.
"A pit bull came and was held the mandated straight period which was four days and after that it was euthanized unless it went to rescue," said Ray.
Now those same non-aggressive pit bulls will get the chance to go to a good home.
"I don't treat pits any differently that I treat a Lab or I treat a Rottie," added Ray.
The only exception is when it comes to the adoption process.
"We do a home inspection to make sure the dog is going into the right home," said Ray.
And two weeks after someone adopts a pit bull, Ray says there's a follow-up visit. But not everyone likes the new policy. Ray says he's been the target of vandalism and threats.
"My front windshield was smashed. I've had cans of dog food thrown at my car. I've received two different notes put in my car pretty much telling me I was set up to fail and for me to go home," Ray said.
Ray isn't sure if the trouble comes from a heightened sensitivity to pit bull attacks after two pit bulls mauled 68-year-old Brenda Hill on the steps of her home. Doctors had to amputate Hill's left leg.
Rays says those two dogs were scheduled to be put down Thursday night and there was no question about that being the right course of action.
That's just what Hill's son Gregory Gilbert says should happen.
"I have no sympathy for the animals and I have no sympathy for the owner," said Gilbert.
Hill's son says he doesn't agree with Ray's changes to the pit bull adoption policy. Gilbert does not believe stray pit bulls should be adopted out.
"I'm not saying that they're all bad. No, they're not. But you never know how that dog is going to react with a family," said Gilbert.
Ray says that's true for any dog, not just pit bulls.
"We're really cautious of what we're releasing in the street," said Ray.