Dog Breed Profiling Results In Pit Bulls Euthanized At Texas Animal Shelter

Pit BullA North Texas animal shelter has dealt with a huge amount of criticism after they implemented a controversial policy on pit bulls. Since March 2004, the Erath County Humane Society automatically euthanizes pit bulls or dogs that look like pit bulls without giving them a chance for adoption and a new home.

“The decision was based not only on our 23 years of experience with dogs and cats of all breeds and cross breeds, but also the statistics and facts provided by various other types of organizations and media sources. The information provided and used in our decision indicates that pit bull dogs, also known as the American Staffordshire, whether full blood or crosses, pose the greatest risk and liability threat of all dog breeds,” Gail Johnson, president of the humane society, said in a letter.

The organization said they have the best interest of the public and believe the genetics of pit bulls causes the shelter to be at risk for possible liabilities. So, any dog or puppy that resembles a pit bull is euthanized and is never offered up for adoption after the required three-day reclaim waiting period.

Johnson stated she doesn’t think there are any good pit bulls.

The director of Erath County Humane Society, Judy Hallmark, agreed.

“They’re very strong. [It] takes everything out of me. We don’t have any choice, we can’t run the risk of them turning,” Hallmark said.

She added that she used to ask rescue groups to take the pit bulls, but she said now they don’t even want them. She also sometimes had pig hunters take the dogs.

Pit bulls are the only specific types of dogs that the shelter automatically euthanizes.

Kathy Tompson, program specialist for the Tarrant County Humane Society of the U.S. said, “In Texas we have a state law against breed specific legislation. We are against breed specific legislation in all ways.”

The center recently held a class on pit bulls and how to “tell which are adoptable and those that are not.” Tompson said no one from the Erath County Humane Society attended the seminar.

Both Hallmark and Tompson said many shelters have the same policy regarding pit bulls.

“Unfortunately, that is the case and anything with a square head gets dubbed a pit bull,” Tompson said. “Bad dogs go in trends, before it was the pit bull, it was the Doberman in the ‘70s, and the Rottweiler in the 80s. Some breed is picked on every 10 years or so.

“We recommend that shelters evaluate dogs on an individual basis. We don’t advocate specific discrimination based on breed. Irresponsible owners are the problem, not the dogs.”

Johnson said the Erath County Humane Society board stands firm in their decision to euthanize pit bulls.

“Looking back in history, we can learn of the purpose man had in mind when they used selective breeding of certain breeds of dogs to perform certain tasks. Such are the retrievers, the sheep herding dogs, and the sled pulling dogs,” Johnson said. “All of these dogs were developed to provide a useful service to man. Tragically, for the Pit Bull Terrier, man has perfected this breed to be aggressive, fearless and capable of providing ill-gotten income to its owner, even if its death is the final outcome.”

Of the 1.4 million dogs euthanized at shelters last year, roughly half were pit bull types, according to the latest data from Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People. More than 90 percent of pit bulls in shelters end up euthanized.

Source: Stephenville Empire-Tribune,,


(Thanks Irene)

53 Responses to “Dog Breed Profiling Results In Pit Bulls Euthanized At Texas Animal Shelter”

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  1. JOANN says:

    I use to be scared of pit bulls, until one was given to me as a puppy. She was the best thing that Life ever gave me. She was my friend, and she loved me more than any other dog possibly could. Everyone told me she would turn on me, being uneducated I took her to the pound after 6years and they automatically put her to sleep. The next day I couldnt live with out her, I went to get her and she was put to sleep. I thought they would find a home for her, I didnt realize it was an immediate death. It’s the only regret I have in life. She was a great dog, and anyone would of loved her if they knew dogs. I didnt then, and im heart broken now. Their dogs, there is no difference. They are full of love. They dont deserve to die.

  2. Sarah says:

    I can not believe that these women can be so cruel. I have a Pitbull and she is the most wonderful dog and I will never own another breed. I rescued her and it was the greatest decision of my life. She has helped me in so many ways and I love her more than life. These people are disgusting, and cruel. They dont deserve to work with animals. Maybe the law should be stepping in to change their ignorant policy. Or why dont they send the Pitbulls up north? They do not get put to sleep automatically. Most shelters will keep a dog until they get adopted. My own Pitbull was in a shelter for a month before I adopted her.

  3. Angela says:

    I have been an animal lover my entire life and have had a wide variety of canine breeds as a part of my family. One thing is obvious to the educated canine owner, it matters not what breed of dog; rather, the manner in which YOU (THE OWNER) train and raise the canine. The latest addition to my family; which happens to be a Red Nose Pit Bull, has been the most compassionate, intelligent, and devouted canine I have EVER had the pleasure of having in my life. In fact, the small dogs that have been in my family have always had more of an agressive streak than my loving Pit Bull. Rest assured that Pit Bull owners are getting extremely fed up with the ignorrance of uneducated individuals who throw out accusations because of media propoganda or fabriacted stories on the internet. Luckily, I have the opportunity to be a voice for these amazing animals; as I will be entering an Animal law practice after Law School. I encourage those of you who know the Pit Bull (and other profiled breeds as well) to get involved in Breed Specific Legislation issues. Knowledge is indeed power and educating those who have been misguided or choose not to read more than the negative storied reported is a great way to end the bad rep that Pit Bulls have been given.

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